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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chime are a social enterprise offering NHS Audiology Services in Exeter East & Mid-Devon – from hearing tests and hearing aid fittings to balance and tinnitus treatments.
Its Managing Director, Jonathan Parsons, started working with Craig Carey of Bubble Chamber in February 2019 and was interviewed about his experience to date in March 2022.
An article by Craig Dearden-Phillips (founder of Social Club), suggesting that there was never a better time to invest in one’s self as a leader of a company.
I understood and liked the principles of having some coaching help, so for me it was a question of whether I could get on with Craig Carey... We had a session, he was typically challenging in the questions that he asked and we got on well.
It has been more about preparedness for growth really. Reshaping us to best meet the needs of what a service 3 or 4 times as big could look like and being ready for when the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) hopefully press the button to decide to do that.
I’d say, I think that’d be a very wise choice. We’ve benefited massively from the work and look back three years and think, ‘How were we surviving in terms of the structure that we had for decision making?’
You get far more back than you actually spend in terms of finance. You can’t afford not to really.
I think that the level of clarity meant that I was able to achieve absolutely everything that I’d set out to achieve...
It has been immensely valuable to be supported and challenged by someone who works hard to ensure an understanding of our specific needs...
It has changed how we work, how we judge objectives and business objectives on a weekly basis, and go after those things and make them happen...
My sessions with Craig have given me great insight... and not only enabled me to determine the action I need to take, but also formulate a clear, confident plan to implement it...
Bubble Chamber has supported me to step out of the business and take a strategic approach giving me, in turn, the confidence to let my team step forward and take responsibility...
You won’t gain clarity about your social enterprise’s purpose and strategy without challenge, and that’s what Bubble Chamber helped me with...
Bubble Chamber has provided great clarity and direction throughout, which really benefits our stakeholders...
I have really enjoyed first feeling understood and then challenged to find the most productive path forward for everyone...
Bubble Chamber helped me to be clearer and more confident about what I want to achieve as a Social Entrepreneur as well as how to get it...
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to any Social Enterprise looking to grow their social impact...
Craig was a pleasure to work with at all times...We would strongly recommend him to any charity or social enterprise which is preparing to scale-up...
Their coaching approach has ensured that we feel listened to and understood at all times as we have developed our strategy for growth...
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