Case Study

Catalyst Choices logo

Catalyst Choices is an employee owned community interest company based in Warrington that provides services for adults with additional needs including learning disabilities, those with dementia and older people.

Its Managing Director, David Osborne, started working with Craig Carey of Bubble Chamber in May 2019 and was interviewed about his experience to date in December 2021.

David Osborne, Managing Director of Catalyst Choices
What was it that initially attracted you to working with Bubble Chamber?

I felt that I needed something that sat outside my relationship with my Chair to develop my role to be beneficial to the growth of the organisation.

How would you say things matched up with your initial expectations?

It exceeded them, especially looking back at where we are now. Straight away I found that working with Craig was very different than any relationship I had experienced before. He encouraged me to reflect, self-assess and really focus on personal as well as professional role development. Things like the Harrisons Assessment were really useful in identifying where I was happiest in terms of my behaviour and decision making.

What would you say are the top 3 benefits you have gained in terms of your personal leadership?
What have been the top 3 gains for the organisation as a whole?
Catalyst Choices senior leadership team
How would you say it has impacted on your financial growth?

Our financial growth has been incrementally positive over the last 2-3 years giving us a strong and sustainable platform to develop our services and increase our impact.

This also means as an employee owned organisation, we have been able to share a dividend payment with our team members for the first time while still being able to invest in growth.

How fundamental has your work with Bubble Chamber been to your growth?

Working with Craig has been fundamental to that success. I had a lot of the stuff we have done in my head but didn’t really have the mechanism to plan and think it through.

The input we’ve had from Craig, and through him The Creative Conversation Company, has been crucial. I don’t think we would have been able to deliver half the stuff that we’ve done without that.

If someone said “I’m thinking about making a commitment to work with Bubble Chamber”, what would you say to them?

It‘s invaluable. In a role like this it can be a really lonely job, stuck at the top of the organisation between your Board and your senior team. I would say it‘s essential to have somebody else, not just to bounce things off, but who can mirror stuff back to you so you can see it in a slightly different way. And it helps to have somebody who’s outside so you’re not constrained by the power balances.

And if they said they couldn’t afford the time or financial investment?

I’d say you can’t afford not to. There is a cost to doing it but I think there’s a bigger cost to not doing it in terms of the risk of your organisation not fulfilling its potential or not growing in the way it needs. I would say to really consider it, it‘s highly beneficial, both personally and organisationally.

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