The Chamber can sometimes appear complex. Like any membership organisation it’s important that there is a proper structure in place supported by acceptable rules to make sure that members feel part of the organisation and understand how they can get involved.
At last week’s AGM a new version of the Articles of Association – the rules of the business – were passed and replaced the set that had been in place for the last few years.
I won’t bore you with the finer points of Chamber governance but one of the major changes was the change made to launch the Chamber Assembly to replace what was the Chamber Council.
As you will know over the last few years there has been a great deal of work done in making the Chamber not only more representative but more capable and confident in being able to take action on behalf of its members. The Campaign for Business 2015 is proof of this. But why in this modern day and age do we still need something like the Assembly?
The ability to gather members to discuss important issues and also identify possible future activity that the Chamber can take action on is crucial. It’s networking, it’s campaign work, it lies at the core of what the Chamber is.
Whilst the 42 Action For Business forums undertake this role successfully in the 10 local areas the Assembly is the overarching body that pulls all this together at a strategic level. Ably supported on specialist areas and issues by the Policy & Campaign Committee means that the Assembly can focus on digging deep into what the real issues are and, more importantly, what members want doing about it. My job and that of my colleagues right across the Chamber is to make sure we do this successfully.
Without this top level of discussion and decision making there would simply not be the ability to deliver anything like the campaign work we have done recently in terms of accuracy, relevance or scale.
And the name change? To be honest using the name Council implied a connection with the public sector and local authorities. We are not and never have been part of either – we are fully and firmly part of the private sector. Amongst various definitions of Assembly is this from Google - a group of people gathered together in one place for a common purpose. I think that says it all.
PS. read more about Assembly here - Chamber Assembly.