Chairman's Update

Monthly 'Abstracts' that provide updates on BBN's objectives, business plan and the latest initiatives.

Abstract 2:

Partner optimisation plan

In the last abstract, we reviewed the progress on the first two ‘ruthless priorities’ which has been significant and positive. The third priority – Partner optimisation plan – though being progressed, was flagged as a distinct challenge in terms of delivering against partner expectations.

More than in the first two priorities, the subcategories are diverse and require considerable planning and resources to implement fully. As a first step then I have rationalised and prioritised an initial 14 sub categories into five groupings as follows:


  1. Learning and development

a. Training and methodologies

b. Wider delivery of training E.G. online training

c. Talent acquisition

2. Recruitment of like-minded agencies

3. Faster decision making (and implementation)

4. Fostering collaboration

a. Supporting regional initiatives

b. 24/7 shared services

c. Benchmarking between agencies

d. Commitment (level setting) and tracking

e. Revitalise task teams

f. Centralised procurement power

5. BBN leading the B2B standard globally

Items 1 and 4 - These warrant a dedicated abstract in their own right and those will follow. However, as a heads-up on these, you will soon receive:

  • A L&D survey which will be the start point for defining the whole future BBN strategy and plan for people development.
  • A proposal for a more formalised structure for partner resource support in conjunction with BBN Central. This is not fundamentally different to how we currently operate. Its objective is to create and enhanced and more equitable model.

Item 2 - Recruitment of like-minded agencies – I would like to think this is something that is already done in a highly effective way. Certainly, all the new partners over the last two years have demonstrated a high level of alignment, engagement, enthusiasm and commitment. A very structured process for recruitment exists for vetting and assessing all prospects. As with all things BBN this is subject to ongoing revision and improvement. We are currently in both early day and advanced conversations with seven agencies. Not all will run the course so we are always looking for more to reach our target of 25 partners by the end of 2019.

Item 3 - Faster decision making (and implementation) – No one wants to see things move faster than me. And actually, they are. It has to be said that it is not solely the speed of decision making, which needs to improve, but also the discipline of everyone in the implementation chain to do what they said they would do. There is still, an unacceptably high percentage of our central resource taken up reminding and chasing, at the direct expense of more positive activities.

Item 5 - BBN leading the B2B standard globally – If ever there were an example of an ambition being dependant on the sum of its parts this is it. As time goes on, BBN is more and more visible in the industry and subject of greater scrutiny. Our web traffic alone has more than doubled in the last few months. Much of how we are currently marketing ourselves is contributing to this cause. We do many things well and should be proud of that, but there is a long way to go to fully secure this position. That will require raising our level of innovation as well as the rigorous and timely delivery of the many initiatives that are the subject of these abstracts.


Feedback and contributions are always welcome.


Kind regards,


Clif Collier

BBN Chairman