What is Commercialism?

Towards a definition

From The Beginning

We began our journey into Local Government around 4 years ago on Kent Science Park.

Our M.D. David Robson was giving a keynote to a group of local MSMEs and in the audience were a couple of Local Authority Directors.

The biggest question coming from the room was “What is Commercialism?” Cutting to the chase, we were asked to introduce our structured business re-engineering methodology to their Senior Management Teams. Since then, we’ve worked with more than a dozen Councils, re-engineering their management mind set and perspective, then helping them to become more self-sufficient – via the execution of Commercialism.

We’ve worked in several areas:

  • Leisure & Lifestyle
  • Economic Development
  • Residents Services
  • Adult Care

COMMERCIALISM: the efficient exchange of value for reward

What Does That Really Mean?

In business, this usually means selling a product or service. One that customers value more than it costs us to deliver and they pay us to deliver it. But that’s an incomplete picture. Even in business, reward can be expressed as:

  • acquiring a new prospect
  • building greater trust & credibility
  • capturing market analytics
  • and so on . . .

Of course there are many more rewards, but you get the idea. The key principle here is that reward may not equate to immediate cash. However, those above are definitely convertible into cash. Given the right strategies, tools and techniques and combined with the act of implementing and executing them – doing words again. This principle is important for Council management to understand and it leads into three related propositions to consider:

  • “You can’t run a Council like a business”
  • a Council can run businesses
  • you can’t run a business like a Council

The first statement is in quotes because this was somewhat aggressively put to us at the very first Local Authority that we worked with. However we’ve now recognised the validity of that comment, but not in the universal way it was intended. Of course a Council has obligations and responsibilities that a business does not, so literally speaking you can’t run an entire Council just like a business. But we hijack and adapt many business principles even within those areas of Local Government that may not be entirely run like a private business.

Now we’ve answered the question “What is Commercialism?” within a Council environment, take our Enterprise Health Check to find out if it’s right for your authority.