WHO WAS THE CLIENT AND WHAT WERE THEIR CHALLENGES?

Camerados CIC is building a movement that believes two things solve big hairy social problems and they are missing most from services helping people with tough times: Friends and Purpose. The team has huge amounts of experience working together with people having tough times including as part of government, foundations, large service providers and social enterprises.   However, at the early stages of a new organisation with big ambitions, lots of opportunity and people scattered across the country, the challenges mainly focussed around how they came together as a team behind a joint vision, prioritised activity, shared information and divided responsibilities.

HOW DID WE HELP?

Over a period of 9 months we worked with Camerados to bring them together as a team, refine their vision, mission and values (and what they really meant for the day to day running of the organisation), helped develop their early operational plans, supported them in securing funding for critical new work, refined roles and responsibilities, and reviewed internal communications and sharing of information.  Within this period, we ran two away-days for the Directors designed to address these areas, but also to give some time out for reflection and discussion.

WHAT IMPACT HAS THIS HAD?

The biggest impact has probably been in getting the Director team to gel more effectively and have more open conversations about different motivations, challenges and ways of working.  As a result, we have helped Camerados establish a base set of principles and approaches that chime with the philosophy of the movement, and have allowed them to adapt how they operate and allocate responsibilities quickly in a fast moving ‘start-up’ environment.

“Although all our Directors have experience of leading their own companies we now know that we needed help to bring focus to our plans and robustness to our mission and principles so that we ALL felt the same about our direction and what we stood for.  We thought we knew what we were doing but we didn’t.  Now we do and it feels fantastic.  Their style is so genuine and supportive that the group gels because they are there and any conflict is handled honestly and respectfully because they create that atmosphere.  I’m excited for what the Practical Governance approach can achieve for movements like ours – they are all about the mission which is refreshing in comparison with the vast majority of consultants I have worked with!”
Maff Potts, Director, Camerados CIC

WHAT DID WE LEARN

We are at our best when we don’t over-plan sessions and try to fit too much into them.  The first away weekend was a big success because we stuck to that, producing some short and practical tools that the Camerados team could take away and instantly use. The second away weekend covered a lot of ground and whilst much of what we did was valuable and is being used, altogether we probably over-professionalised our approach which made it a little more rigid, less accessible and slightly over-whelming.  We are already focussing now much more on tools that can have an instant impact rather than reports, and ensuring we stay in touch more regularly with our clients to make sure they know we are there for some quick advice (for free) and to better understand what is and isn’t of genuine use.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?

This work took place over a period of 6-9 months and involved two away weekends with Directors together with follow-up discussions and ad hoc advice. Altogether this equated to around 8 days of support.