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BLOG Me and my livery company – giving and gaining

On the anniversary of joining WCoMC - what does Freeman Dr Simon Davey now think.....?

I'm not a big fan of institutions so I surprised myself in joining a centuries old tradition, albeit in this case a modern livery company. On the first anniversary of my application I took some time to reflect why I wanted to join in the first place and what I have got out of it.

Why I did it

·         I joined because I wanted to become part of a community of socially committed like-minded experts in the field of management consultancy. I was also seeking an opportunity to offer my skills and expertise pro bono through a more structured programme (similar to the support I offered through ProHelp London in the early 2000s).

·         I want to learn from other members in the company and share my own knowledge and experience. I want to create effective sustainable change at organisational and individual level leading to greater impact in the longer term (and I want to do it better).

·         I wish to make a contribution to education (both as the profession of management consultancy and within schools to influence educational settings and young people). The Company would provide an outlet for me to make a bigger contribution through pro bono work. I hope to be able to mentor younger consultants and in due course to make a contribution to the governance of the Company and become more involved in the affairs of the City.

But what does it involve in practice and how is it working right now? For me it's about a number of things:

Education - harnessing ideas, connecting with people and being able to create collegiate projects. I’m already working on ideas with Pradip and Lee, had the chance to speak at an Education event and am now leading the Education and Schools Panel in the Company (of which more next month). The Master and First and Second Wardens have been very supportive in this and given me time as well as their wisdom.

Information management – one of my key skills in my day job. Coming in, identifying what isn't quite right and helping resolve it. Sometimes technology, sometimes process, sometimes culture. Helping make a difference to the Company and ironing out a few problems. (Watch this space, we won’t fix everything overnight.)

Pro Bono - the opportunity to give back to charities in need. Meeting great people and being able to make a difference with my skills and experience. I’m about to start my second project and have attended an excellent seminar on strategy. The feedback from my first project was heartwarming and I could see a visible impact from what I did.

Collegiality – I’m not a fan of grand dinners but I do like meeting people and having an intelligent discussion, chewing over ideas. The smaller, less formal Company events are ideal for this and I get to meet people I can then follow up with one to one over coffee and lunch or the phone. This has increased my sense of belonging, helped me learn new things and kick started an exciting project. It also emphasizes the power of ‘weak ties’ – for me the Company is a big asset because I don’t already know most of the people in it, or the people they know, but I do know enough of them for it to feel familiar, social and supportive.

Not quite the Master’s three legged stool – more like a four legged chair for me!

I've also been fortunate that the organisation is small enough that I've been able to get involved at a high level. I feel involved rather than being on the sideline. Part of the fellowship of the Company rather than just a membership number.

I'm part of something, able to use my skills and develop new skills and above all to make a difference. Change through wisdom indeed.








Freeman Dr Simon Davey