Chairman's Spooky Update

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

Abstract 3:

Learning, development and collaboration

When we previously looked at the third ‘ruthless priority’ it was clear that far from being one topic it was the sum of numerous sub categories.


Sorting these sub categories created five groupings. Of those five, two in particular were highlighted as groups requiring significant resources  in their own right, these were learning and development and fostering collaboration.


Learning and development


Each agency will have received our 2018 L&D survey by now, which will provide us with much needed understanding of the level of partners’ commitment to L&D and the resource they currently devote to this.


The deadline for survey responses is 31 October. Responses will be combined with the wider research we have carried out and used in the preparation of proposals on how we take forward our whole approach to L&D as a group.



Fostering collaboration

Looking at the sub topics of this grouping:


  1. Supporting regional initiatives
  2. 24/7 shared services
  3. Benchmarking between agencies
  4. Commitment (level setting) and tracking
  5. Revitalise task teams
  6. Centralised procurement power


Though we would wish to be further advanced in all areas, I can report that significant progress and indeed tangible results have been made with regional initiatives, particularly in APac and the Nordics. There will be more provided on this in the upcoming edition of Inside Scoop, our internal BBN bulletin. The valuable learnings we have amassed to date from the formation of these two regional groups will help our envisaged European and US groups gain traction in a short period.


Items 2-6 quite simply require dedicating hours to make them happen, whilst at the same time ensuring the other priorities are not let slip. These are hours that BBN Central simply does not have. However, with the assistance of all partners, not just in these areas, but across the whole gamut of our 'ruthless priorities', we will be able to achieve the majority of our priority goals in a timely manner.


Collaboration and a fundamental generosity of spirit have always been two of the greatest attributes of BBN. Partners have consistently given of their time and expertise to both BBN Central and their co-partners. This has never been conducted on a formal basis and has often been decided by who ‘put their hand up’ first. Detailed consideration has also been applied by BBN Central in terms of who was best positioned to provide such support at any given time. That judgement has also extended to paid for commissions from partners, which have increased steadily over the last few years. In both respects, we see that approach continuing, enhanced by being able to draw upon a wider base of support hours provided on an equitable basis by all partners. We shared a table, which is based on the five partnership levels as used in the traffic light report, which proposes the apportionment of hours.


Kind regards,



Clif Collier

BBN Chairman