Collaboration takes many shapes and generally presents opportunities to support innovation by combining capabilities and expertise around a common purpose.
A Forbes Magazine's article Increasing Complexity is Driving The Value of Collaboration suggested "the ability to collaborate is becoming a key driver of value creation." Today many businesses understand its potential but may be unsure how to get started. If ever there was a time of increasing complexity it's now - and the potential rewards demand that every business should actively seek opportunities for collaboration.
The CBD Sydney Chamber and Business Alliance NSW, though separate businesses, embrace that opportunity for the benefit of their collective, growing Membership. They believe that their collaboration can assist connect more businesses and expand their circles of trust to assist sustain and grow their businesses.
And Then Came COVID-19
Challenging times to say the least. But challenges create a playbook for innovation.
With no opportunity for face-to-face networking, the CBD Sydney Chamber - Business Alliance NSW collaboration launched two initiatives - an Expert Speaker & Virtual Networking program and a bi-weekly informal discussion group The Business Formula.
Virtual Expert Speaker & Networking events are very different to information-focused webinars.
Like face-to-face networking events, these feature key note speakers, opportunities for discussion and personal introductions, acknowledging Members and welcoming new participants. Participation is available to all CBD Sydney Chamber & Business Alliance NSW Members and non-members, while the content draws on expertise from Members among both partners. Key presentations so far include Commonwealth, State and Local Government incentives/subsidies, managing employer obligations, HR and staff management, charting the future for property investors and the latest economic updates. Future events will cover training and the challenges around cyber security, building retail skills, re-shaping your business, challenges for not-for-profits, collaborative business mentoring and managing legal challenges around diminished capacity. The content is short, sharp, contemporary and the discussion lively. These are about engaging not simply listening.
Business Formula takes a different approach, combining information exchange with informality.
Everyone has the opportunity to have the floor to discuss current issues that may be on their 'business minds." The group is looking for direction that may potentially lead to collaboration. The content is free-flowing and information exchange encouraged.
To-date, over 250 business-owners are participating in these innovative programs. Paul Cripps, Director of PK Solutions (Member of both the CBD Sydney Chamber and Business Alliance NSW) says that "these are the best forums I've been involved with since this (COVID-19) all started - I definitely see the value as a Member of both the Chamber and Business Alliance."
Both programs represent collaboration, calibrated by the impact of COVID-19.
The benefits - convenience, opportunities to connect either through video, messaging, email and phone follow up and expanded geographic reach as businesses located within the CBD to Norwest and beyond - are clear. Creating and expanding these circles of trust invariably lead to business opportunities and new relationships.
Photography by Michael Thompson, Instagram: michael _ thompson _ photography
Set The Bar Even Higher: 300% Higher
The current business challenges are not likely to dissipate quickly. The consensus is that Virtual Expert Speaker & Networking and Business Formula events must expand to connect more businesses as a vital way to provide both connectivity and support.
The CBD Sydney Chamber and Business Alliance have set the challenge to expand the number of participants in these two programs by 300% as quickly as possible.
Why? A larger forum can assist identify even broader and bigger client opportunities.
How? By harnessing the current level of advocacy among current participants by:
- Asking each current event participant to introduce just one guest each week to either/both the Expert Speaker & Virtual Networking or Business Formula events
- Providing an opportunity to be their host within the virtual group event
- Each guest will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and their business
- Request current participants do this for 4 consecutive weeks, introducing a new guest per week
- Encourage each new, weekly guest to register to attend successive weeks events
John Howard, Smoothstream Business Intelligence says "It's a no brainer. Let's expand the group and we'll all have an opportunity to discover more ways to potentially work together."
Beyond Virtual Networking
This collaboration is a platform for opportunities to sustain and grow opportunity.
CBD Sydney Chamber and Business Alliance NSW Members also have access to the BiziNet Magazine, the Pink Envelope program which Involves the distribution of every BiziNet Magazine issue to a database of business operators and C-suite level executives, and the Business Visits program that explains how to leverage BiziNet Media Group capabilities to target business advertising. For more information on these contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership Counts. Be A Member.
This Chamber connects, engages and supports businesses and people in business to achieve the best possible outcome - whatever the business conditions.
Right now, these are probably more difficult than at any time in recent memories. By providing access to clear information, business support services, upskilling opportunities, the roundtable specialist series and the Women in Business Network, the Chamber can be a valuable support in moving through the current economic challenges.
That's why Membership Counts.
Contact Peter May - Executive Officer CBD Sydney Chamber on 02 9350 8103 or
0437 872 052.