We’ve had a great response to the message we’ve put out into the ether to connect with social enterprises and charities to apply to be part of our Enterprise Programme. In case you’ve missed it, Enterprise is a programme which involves a charity or social enterprise working with a team from a corporate organisation to get down and dirty with a pressing business issue which the charity or social enterprise needs to solve.

Clearly the charity or social enterprise gets some ‘money couldn’t buy’ business support but what’s in it for the corporate team? An experience of working in an environment where there’s no hierarchy, they’re not the expert, issues can be life or death and there’s an unprecedented level of passion for the cause. It’s collaboration and learning in its finest form. Blagging, posturing and entitlement are quickly weeded out and emotional intelligence and leading from the heart wins out. These are not insignificant lessons for any of us.

I ran a programme recently where the social enterprise CEO reflections back to the group were ‘the first hour felt like I’d wandered onto Exmoor in rutting season, the focus seemed to be on who could get the upper hand to lead rather than the problem at large’. Make no mistake this wasn’t a telling off, it was an astute observation which had complete resonance with the group which raised knowing smiles of recognition…….more importantly it was a piece of feedback that they probably wouldn’t have got from their own organisation, and if they did it would be straight jacketed in digital language.

I’m looking forward to this years programmes, we’ve already been talking with theatre groups who work with offenders, community recycling programmes and mental health organisations all of whom have a pressing business issue to solve, a passion for what they do and are excited about what new possibilities the programme can ignite.

With the growing appetite for organisations to grow their talent AND have social impact we’re always delighted to hear from social enterprises and charities who are interested in participating, if you think it might be for you drop us a line we’d love to hear from you.

by Carole Miller