So what do those things have in common? Well it turns out that the people involved in all of those things have a great deal to learn from and develop each other. Let me explain - we've always known that:
a) Charities are full of passionate and capable people who achieve a remarkable amount with very scarce resources
b) Blue chip companies are full of intelligent people who would love to spend some time making a meaningful difference to charities
So I'm very proud this week to have been facilitating a session involving 3 teams of leaders from United Biscuits to work with 3 amazing charities* as part of a programme to challenge how they can apply their expertise and leadership in a totally different environment. And it turns out that when you get Sales, Supply Chain, Projects, Manufacturing, IT, HR and Finance experts together and have them look at a very different business and how it can grow, improve its' efficiency or transform its' culture, then they can have a huge impact.
Clearly charities do need funds to prosper and grow, but they also need expertise to help develop a strategy, create new sources of income and improve the way it operates - and a team of experts can make a big difference in a really short space of time. So next time you are tempted to give up your time to paint a wall at your local charity, then consider how else you could utilise what skills you have to really make a difference. It's very easy to do and the learning works both ways.
I look forward to catching up with all 3 charities in 3-6 months to see what has happened as a result of the session and how the action plans have developed the businesses.
* NOFA / Little Angel Theatre / Aspire