I posted a piece about assets a short while ago. Whilst at the Tackling Broken Britain conference yesterday it was clear that one of the challenges for the voluntary sector was getting a seat at the table in future consultations on local and national commissioning. There are numerous ways of doing that and some felt that moaning was a way forward, others clearly recognise the need to have more to offer in order to get heard.
The irony is that many of the assets that the voluntary sector has today (localism, empathy, proven track record, low cost provision etc) are very much what government dearly needs. However, the assets lacking by the sector (speaking generally in terms of commercial skills and business practices amongst others) are letting it down as regards getting a seat at the table.
The last question at the event reinforced the desire to be heard and ‘participation’ really was one of the cries above some others. So I let the audience know that alongside some of the other elements I presented in my constructively controversial session, asset attractiveness was also essential. It’s another piece in the puzzle that helps build a capability to partner. In simple terms commissioners can’t engage everyone easily (despite rhetoric to the contrary) so they will only really want to consult deeply and engage the key stakeholders (high power and high interest) as well as those they need to keep satisfied (high power and low interest). Others will be kept informed or have minimal involvement. So put simply, whilst VCS has high interest, it doesnt always have high power. The only way to get that is to get attractive assets, period. So here is the alliance brand chapter on attractiveness of assets showing how to achieve that and make the most of what you have got. If we can harness the passion and desire in the room and wrap that into a more attractive asset than it is now, it wont be long before the top right stakeholder box (high power and high interest) is being enjoyed by some more of the VCS!
For those who also want to see the slides from my session excluding the pam platform images, here you go: rejuvenating Broken Britain. Anyone interested in learning more pam should please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 704500. Lets build that public service ecosystem and achieve more, together.