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To support people, organisations and business to understand the value of collaboration and the benefits achieved through collaborative working.

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  • 2 Sep 2021 2:51 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the successful official launch of ICW Australia, run by Brett Ackroyd and his team. The Webinar this week, supported by our Chairman Lord Evans and David Hawkins, together with several of our corporate members who have a footprint in Australia, was the jumping-off point for this new venture. The UK's relationship with Australia is longstanding so it has been one of our key areas for ICW development that started some time ago and is now formally established with the formation of a not-for-profit company and the start of a local steering group of likeminded organisations and individuals.

    We are seeing the green shoots of adoption for structured collaborative working and this latest step provides a foundation for growth. Due to the lockdown requirements the event was held virtually, however over 60 organisations and individuals joined the launch, which is very encouraging for the aims of ICW to share our thought leadership via our various overseas branches. For those that were unable to join on the day there is a recording below. Our good wishes and support go out to the ICW Australia Team.

  • 16 Aug 2021 10:41 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    HOW A NEW STANDARD IS HELPING SMALL FIRMS THINK BIG

    Originally published by Ann Brady on 12 August 2021 on iso.org

    Better buying power, greater efficiencies and more innovative ideas are not just for big businesses. The publication of ISO 44003 is helping smaller players flex their collective muscle by making the most of strategic partnerships.

    How many of us cooped up at home during the lockdowns and travel restrictions of the past year haven't dreamed of seeking out a simpler life, with easy access to nature, in a warm climate, sleeping underneath the stars? Some residents of a village in Jordan near the ancient city of Petra have done just that, leaving their bricks-and-mortar homes to live illegally in the caves of this UNESCO World Heritage Site hidden among the pink sandstone cliffs of south Jordan.

    Their move, however, was driven more by economic necessity than realising a fantasy. These are Bedouins who used to make their living from the thousands of tourists who flocked to the "Rose City" daily - the café owners, the donkey and camel owners, the jewellery sellers. A report in The Times newspaper highlights their plight, saying the unfolding pandemic has been an "unmitigated disaster" for the small businesses of the region as tourism quickly dried up.

    99% of all businesses in OECD countries are SMEs

    DRIVERS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH

    Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the bread and butter of an economy. They comprise anything from tradespeople to hairdressers, freelancers to larger companies with a turnover in the millions. Some have bigger workforces; others employ fewer than ten. Stephan Klingebiel, Director of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, speaking at a webinar in July 2020 co-hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Korean International Trade Association, described SMEs as driving national output, jobs and capital flow.

    "Unleashing the capacity of the private sector would have been impossible without SMEs," he said. "But global challenges, like the COVID-19 crisis, affect businesses and livelihoods and it is in all our interests to address these challenges."

    In these unpredictable and uncertain times, businesses large and small have taken a battering, but the prospects for many MSMEs around the world look cloudy at best. A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs finds that, from being at the centre of the disruptions at the start of the pandemic, one year later "they stand in an even more precarious position, in particular young firms and start-ups, the self-employed, as well as women-led or minority-owned businesses".

    This point was underscored in a session at the World Economic Forum's virtual Global Technology Governance Summit in April this year. Before the health emergency, SMEs in OECD countries represented 99% of all businesses, 60% of employment, and up to 60% of value added in the economy. Yet, despite the crisis, their potential remains untapped.

    BUILDING TRUSTED RELATIONSHIPS

    So how can we build back better and create an environment that facilitates access to finance and continuous investment in MSMEs to realise their full potential? If we have learned just one lesson from the past year, it is that collaboration, working together and building trusted relationships have never been more important. That is why the publication in April this year of ISO 44003, Collaborative business relationship management - Guidelines for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises on the implementation of the fundamental principles, could not have been more timely.

    The standard is the latest in the ISO 44000 series which includes ISO 44001, Collaborative business relationship management systems - Requirements and framework, and ISO 44002, Collaborative business relationship management systems - Guidelines on the implementation of ISO 44001.

    The importance of SMEs to economic growth and employment is crucial.

    CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

    David Hawkins is Chief Operating Officer at the Institute for Collaborative Working and Chair of ISO/TC 286, the ISO technical committee for collaborative business relationship management that developed the standards. He acknowledges the challenges ahead but also sees a silver lining in the many examples of larger organisations that are adopting a collaborative approach to help where they can.

    "Clearly, many SMEs have struggled and the degree to which all are, to some extent, interdependently linked to their business communities has helped them pull through. The encouraging sign through COVID has been greater recognition of the benefits that collaborative working can provide," he says. He goes on to explain that those organisations that already had "structured approaches to their relationships" were better prepared and were therefore able to react and respond more quickly. "The importance of SMEs to economic growth and employment is crucial, so the introduction of ISO 44003 will, we hope, encourage more MSMEs to consider how they can harness collaboration."

    A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH

    This last point is worth making as the introduction of ISO 44001, he says, was seen by many smaller organisations as something for big companies. The business environment is a tough one these days and MSMEs struggle to avail of the opportunities in working together collaboratively. Hawkins says ISO 44003 addresses this issue.

    "The introduction of ISO 44003 is something which can introduce a degree of structure to help build more sustainable relationships and thus opportunities for the MSMEs. At the same time, many larger organisations equally recognise the value MSMEs bring, so later this year we hope to publish a parallel guide for larger organisations to show how they can engage better."

    Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School and an independent adviser, author and speaker in sustainable business policy and practice, also sees the value of the new ISO standard in promoting collaboration. He says: "The majority of businesses worldwide could be classed as small to medium enterprises and many public procurers around the world have an ambition to do more business with them. Collaboration is key to maximising value from these buyer-supplier relationships."

    Collaboration can undoubtedly bring a wide range of benefits to businesses but, as McCarthy points out, the dynamics of a small business are very different from a large one. That is why ISO 44003 can give SMEs an extra boost. He says: "The ISO 44000 series provides essential guidance on managing these relationships in a way that demonstrates you don't have to be big to be collaborative."

    CREATING A NEW LEVEL OF DIALOGUE

    It is clear that ISO 44003, along with the rest of the 44000 series, can play a significant role in helping MSMEs adjust to the "new normal". Hawkins says that while technology has helped, COVID-19 has shone increased light on organisational resilience, so confidence in external providers will be a key factor going forward.

    Sustainable relationships will be important and adopting a structured approach helps build confidence; and ISO standards provide the necessary frameworks for these relationships. "At the institute," he details, "we are piloting a programme based on ISO 44003 so we can encourage MSMEs to develop their approaches and larger organisations to create a new level of dialogue."

    David Murray, publisher of The Business Magazine, based in the UK, says that the SME sector is where enterprise, innovation and productivity are at their best. With the help of an International Standard like ISO 44003, the sector stands a greater chance of building a stronger recovery, thereby getting the economy moving again and helping us all to realise our dreams.

  • 7 Aug 2021 9:57 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER PARTNERSHIPS

    Finalists announced for the KTP Awards 2021

    Partnerships looking to address climate change and social issues, or improve the UK economy with cutting-edge R&D and innovation, will be celebrated once again at the KTP Best of the Best Awards, held online on 23rd September 2021.

    Among the finalists is St David's Children's Society with Cardiff University Business School, who have together created a best practice model for the recruitment, preparation and support of adoptive parents. This has already led to the adoption of 23 children.

  • 29 Jul 2021 10:24 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    On 1st August 2021, Dave Macdonald will be handing on the baton for the continuing development of ICW in Australasia. Since the initial meeting in London between ICW (UK) and Dave back in 2014, Dave took on the mantle to establish ICW in both New Zealand and Australia, and since then has had a leading role with ICW (UK) in the development and implementation of collaborative working both corporately and individually in New Zealand and Australia. Dave is a great advocate for collaborative working and has taken an active role in ICW's thought leadership, which was one of the reasons Dave was drawn to ICW.

    Through his energy and enthusiasm he established an ICW footprint in both New Zealand and Australia. Leading the charge he was responsible for achieving the first certification to ISO 44001 in the Southern hemisphere, and with our friends at Downer in New Zealand, also developing and delivering the first ICW training courses in that part of the world. Both Bill Taylor and David Hawkins have worked with Dave and his ICW team in supporting their activities.

    Despite the time difference Dave never appeared without a smile at the many early morning or late night meetings that have taken place over the years.

    Dave has decided it is the right time to hand over the baton to others to take ICW - in both New Zealand and Australia - to the next level. Chris Olson and Erik Barnes are taking up the baton for ICW New Zealand, and Brett Ackroyd is doing so in Australia. They are all looking forward to building on Dave's legacy and taking them forward to the next level.

    Brett will be working closely with ICWNZ team while he builds his ICW Australia team.

    Dave is not going to disappear entirely - he will still be championing his passion for collaboration wherever he is needed.

    David Hawkins, Chief Operating Officer ICW (UK), commented that ICW would like to pay tribute to Dave and thank him for all his hard work in supporting and promoting collaborative working under the banner of ICW in both Australia and New Zealand.

  • 27 Jul 2021 8:41 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    ICW welcomed Kerrie Greenall, Chris Alton, Rob Latham, and Chris Woodcock to Warwick University this past week to take the ICW ISO4001 Leaders course, lead by Leigh Lawry.

    All four passed the course and have all signed up to be Members of ICW. So, congratulations to all four for passing the exam and also for becoming the newest MICWs.

    (Also in the photo is Dave Hawkins of ICW and Dr Paul Connor of Warwick University, the course invigilator).

  • 21 May 2021 12:56 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Leigh Lawry and Paul Connor of Warwick University are pictured with all 6 successful candidates at this weeks Leaders Course held at Warwick University.

    Rachel Heaps, Karen Draper, Lianne Owens, Faye Traud, Richard Slack and Mark Orpin all successfully passed the ISO 44001 Leaders Course, and we now look forward to welcoming them into the Institute as members.

  • 19 May 2021 1:26 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)


    The Frist ICW face-to-face course is taking place this week at Warwick University, as 6 delegates are doing the ISO 44001 Leaders Course.

    Under the watchful eye of the Warwick University staff the course is being delivered by ICW's Leigh Lawry under the University's 'Keeping you safe' Covid policy.

    We look forward to being able to welcome other delegates on the Leaders courses, which are being run in July, September and November this year.

  • 14 May 2021 12:28 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Following our Annual reception yesterday we are pleased to announce that the registration platform is open for submissions.

    Go to the sign-up page

    Awards Schedule

    • Nominations open 14th May 2021
    • Submission closes 31st July 2021
    • Shortlisting notification w/c 10th August 2021
    • Judging sessions w/c 28th September 2021
    • Awards event 16th December 2021

    Hopefully the December Awards presentations will be live at the House of Lords.

  • 13 May 2021 10:14 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the publication of this year's The Partner with its focus on Collaborating in Crisis. It is now available on the ICW website.

  • 10 May 2021 10:35 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    In parallel with the publication of ISO 44003 ICW has initiated a programme in conjunction with its Executive Network members to enhance their engagement with Micro, Small and Medium size Enterprises. Following the work done by our SME Special Interest Group we have introduced a stepped approach to incorporating a structured approach to collaborative working. This approach has been designed to work through the procurement arms of our executive member companies enabling them supported by ICW to evaluate and recognise collaborative capability of their supply chain partners. Whilst initially this pilot is supported by ICW members discussion are underway through a variety of public and private sector organisations to expand the approach later in the year.

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