Quakers and Business Group
Promoting Quaker values in Business and the Workplace

News Update - March 2010

...for the Quaker business community

Hi, I’m Alan Kirkham.  I have been prevented from attending the Quakers & Business Group Management Committee for some time through illness and now on my return I find a group, which was surprisingly active, is just moving on up to another level. This is quite the most involved and involving group to which I belong!

Here’s just a few of the things we covered in a single afternoon:

1.  Public Profile

We heard that the Q&B members have been actively involved in the Cadbury’s takeover discussion, on the radio and in print. Particularly we thanked Winston Duguid for his work on this issue.  For more, see the website or contact Winston

2.  Our Powerhouse

• Are Constitution changes boring? Probably and I expect these to be no different but there are some changes to our constitution heading to our AGM. You can see all about them on the Q&B website.  Main one:  we’re bringing back the Elder role to keep us on track as we gather pace and size.  Another organizational change (but not needing constitutional change) we’ve brought in is Working Groups for Events, Media, Membership services, to add to Noms Com.  For more see last time’s Newsletter.  To join in, contact Jo Poole.

• Two people have been nominated to serve on the management committee (Adrian Melia and Alistair Russell) and John Lovatt has been asked to be the next of our Elders, when he steps down from a loving run as Membership Sec.  For more on getting nominated, contact Paula Kingston  . Sue Dawson, thank you for your service and we wish you a full speedy recovery.

• Er, there was a discussion about raising the membership fee. Seems it hasn’t changed for some years. In that time bread has nearly doubled - and petrol was 85p a litre back in 2000. The reason we need the increase now is that our activity has gone through the roof – five membership events in 2010 alone apart from all the other new things. We need to build a more secure financial base if we are going to take the risk of significant financial loss on our events.  We aren’t discussing a 100% increase - not even 50% -  a mere and lowly additional £5.00 this year and maybe some more the year after. This is all going to the AGM so you’ll have you chance to have your say there.  And cost saving is happening too, via teleconfs not travel.

3.  Coming Events

• Fri 23 Apr, Bristol - Now interestingly the day before our AGM there is a follow up workshop on Functional Fluency, run as a friendly follow-up to the sessions at the November Conference in London by Susannah Temple. Susannah invites you to come and learn how to practice and apply the life improving personal effectiveness & harmony ideas & practices of Functional Fluency. It costs a mere £40 and you can contact   Susannah on 0117 979 1519, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Sat 24 Apr - Spring Gathering &AGM, Redland Meeting House, Bristol - Our theme:  Building Truth and Integrity through our Businesses, inside the company and inside the economy too.  With Ian Christie of Surrey Uni, John Bennett of Pack-IT and Tania Pascoe recently of Givaudan and now The Commitment Company, we’ll be studying the business of sustainability and the sustainability of business:  what can it do for you and yours and for the community too?.  Bookings are flooding in;  its made more possible by the secure PayPal payment button on the Q&B website. If you are not there I think you’ll miss a fascinating day. Read more about it here

• Evg Mon 24 – end pm Tues 25 May, Quaker NxD meeting at Woodbrooke – Luke Wilde and colleagues will be running the annual non-executive directors’  workshop - you will be able to book on the web site any day now.  Meantime, keep the dates free and book via Luke on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Fri 28 – Mon 31 May – BYM in London will have Quaker business community presences again this year.  Jo Poole and James Bromley will run our stall at the Sunday evening groups fair.  Do go join them!  We have the kit – bring your enthusiasm!  Join in and contact Jo Poole.

Also, Alan Kirkham and Bob Tilley will run the Sunday lunchtime (present schedule…) Quakers and Business discussion meeting, which will be relevant to Area Meeting trustees and officers, as business people in BYM’s new dispensation.   To join in, just turn up.  It helps to contact Alan on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Tues 20 July, 14.00 – 20.00 Malvern, Worcs:  Come and see the Green Conferencing Centre.  Willow constructions, open air layout, community emphasis, 21st C camping… next to the river – a beautiful, creative venue available for events in July and August.  What could Q&B run there in 2011?  See www.greenandaway.org

• Evg Tues 16 – all day Weds 17 Nov, Quaker Business Conference 2010, Friends House, London I need help!! I said I would be happy to join the committee organizing the November Conference. In this I will be supported by our Events Working Group but at the moment the Organizing Committee consists of me! Now this will make decision making very easy but …………………..
Have you a few hours to spare beforehand or on the day?  A door keeper, record keeper, clerk for the day are needed, plus a good organizer or two beforehand.
Help!!

Anyway, do diarise the dates right now. Come along to leave behind the negatives of recent crises - and look to the future with strands including:- ownership, wealth sharing, employee engagement, building successful business models, and being part of the community, ie:-  Engaging and Growing to Last with Practical, Principled Business Ethics.  For more, contact me on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Evg Wed 3rd – Thu  PM 4th  Nov, Getting to New Light, Charney Manor, Oxon A coaching skills programme with a spiritual core and foundation.  For all those who coach others as part of their work, whether as owners, coaches or line managers.  Offered by Sandra Goddard and Alasdair Russell.  For more and to book, contact Eoin McCarthy

And, Planning for 2011

• Friday 1 April 2011 – Management Committee meeting,  EDINBURGH FMH
• Saturday 2 April 2011 – Spring Gathering & AGM, also in EDINBURGH FMH
In line with our policy of holding events around the UK, this will be Q&B’s first foray North of the Border, where we will be working with the Scottish Quaker business community and be within Scotland General Meeting.
Please diarise it all now (and NB:  Easter 2011 is 24 April).  We will be sending out the B&B list supplied by Edinburgh Friends, and much else besides.  Our theme will continue in the territory of leaving yesterday’s appalling crises behind us and focusing on:  New Economy, Old Ethics – successful ethical business practices in an online age, combining practical business ethics with an economy level perspective.
For more, contact Tim Phillips

• Local Quaker business community groups – numerous widely spread Q&B members have asked for help in setting up a local group of Friends in or interested in business, to meet face to face from time to time, for mutual education, innovation, enthusiasm, business coaching and building some new business opportunities too, no doubt.  Our 21st C version of the Lunar Men, and down your way too, is what we want to help you catalyse!  We’re experimenting with one centred on Birmingham to start with, as there are 35 members near enough to meet periodically for a meal and discussion.  If you’d like to take some initiative locally to you – just do it!  To help spread best practice, do ask Eoin for some sage advice on practicalities or ideas.

4.  21st Century Electronic Media

• LinkedIn is a no-charge interesting on-line group for Q&B members – if you are not a member then it would be worth thinking about joining it.  Type Linkedin into your web browser and seek Quakers & Business Group’s centre.  Yes, yes, its not face to face, but it is a powerful connecting network tool!   So, to join the Quaker business community anywhere in the internet, whether on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, etc etc, contact Jo Poole

• Q&B website:  The forum in the website’s members area is closing on 30th June, with all conversations moving to the Quakers & Business Linkedin group. 

• And, the Q&B Facebook group is moving up to being an organisation page, which has several business benefits… hey, why not go and see?  Or, ask Jo Poole.

5.  Business Ethics Materials ‘n Stuff

• The city doesn’t need ethics – like bees don’t need honey!  Come to the rescue “Ethics Man” in the shape of our own Eoin McCarthy and his trusted band of ethics warriors. A new business ethics training programme for individuals is in the process of being devised and your thoughts would be highly valued by this group – contact Eoin McCarthy to talk about this. 

• Ethics in the Evening:  A related outreach idea we’re working on is designing short, midweek, evening discussions for senior non-Quaker business people with an interest of some sort in business ethics, probably spiritually based rather than contingent, (in London maybe, or wherever there is an interest).  We’ve been talking with Jonathon Porritt (hah!  Name dropper!) about this, and have aroused some interest.  So, to join in the design etc thinking, contact Tim and Eoin .

• Reprinting our business ethics book - Good Business Ethics at Work: Advices & Queries on Personal Standards of Conduct at Work  (ISBN 0-9539706-0-4, pub. AD2000, copies from Friends House Bookshop for £5).  We’re updating the Introduction with a contemporary Preface, and revising the Useful Contacts list.

Please will you suggest appropriate Muslim groups, and other Useful Ethical Contacts for Business Ethics, Management, Religious Groups, Co-operatives, Investments, Bullying, Whistle blowing etc.  Contact Bob Tilley on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Do you speak Latvian? Q&B Quaker Business Principles is being translated into all sorts of new languages – Russian and Latvian are the latest. Do you think Roman Abramovich (of Chelsea fame) would be interested in a copy?  Would be fascinating to see one of our top football teams (after Arsenal) run on Quaker Business lines.

• Are your stories interesting? If so we would like to hear from you. We need good case studies, maybe with a business ethics edge to them, maybe with some other edge, about Quakers in Business to go into the web site, so please tell Tim Phillips about yourself . Even if you don’t think your stories are interesting I promise Tim will help you find the interesting within  . JYM really got their teeth into the from-life business ethics case studies we set them last year – lets keep ‘teaching by living the dilemmas’ alive – that’s Testimonies, to you & me.

• Tax Justice: the Play - Elanora Ferry, Mike Casey, Arthur Pritchard, Richard Murphy and others have started developing a drama on contemporary tax abuse and justice – its a Q&B sponsored project.  To get involved speak with Mike, Arthur or Elanora at Q&B Spring Gathering, or email Eoin .

6.  Members, Members

• We grow and grow and grow. At the start of March we had 78 paid up members and 37 people who have not paid up. If they all do bring themselves into right ordering financially then we will have a record membership. So if you have not paid, and don’t want to be the person who stops Q&B reaching new heights please pay now. Thank you

And now for the best bit!

7.  NEW MOVE

We were asked to consider a new project connected with bullying at work, called the Tim Field Foundation. I thought there was lots of help out there (and in fact I Googled it during the meeting) but it seems that what support is available is thinly spread and of varying quality.  The project working group, which includes our website manager Adrian Melia, has been entrusted with the late Tim Field’s website bullyonline.org which has information about workplace bullying and the origins of the Foundation. Q&B are going to support the project spiritually and practically.   In addition to our help to get them off the ground, it was suggested that the same concern should also be taken through the usual channels for Quaker support.  So, whether it is now, or in time to come via BYM, we would urge you to offer them whatever help you can.  For more information or to offer help, contact Adrian  and keep a lookout for developments on the forthcoming website timfieldfoundation.org  .

That’s about it.  See you at one of the events.

Next Management Ctte is Monday 6th September 2010 at Friends House, from 1.30 to 4.30, preceded by lunch from 12.30 in the FH resto.  Do come and join as an observer, with full participation rights.  Just let Eoin know.

Alan

PS  Member David Grimshaw writes:  No Tech Day challenges gadget addicts to give up their favourite tech toys for one day to raise awareness of Practical Action, a charity that uses innovative technologies to tackle poverty in the developing world.  More on: www.notechday.org and on my blog:
...and, if you are feeling particularly generous...and agree with what I have said...you can vote for me as a tech addict…..
PPS  Member Godric Bader writes:  The first in a series of public forums discussing Alternative Ways of Governing Our Society, - Thursday 8th April, Friends Meeting House, London, 6:30pm – 9:30pm The Green Party, The Venus Project, SIMPOL (Simultaneous Policy), A World to Win (Paul Feldman) will be there. For more & to book, see the facebook group