The Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce is the leading business organisation in the local area, bar none. It represents the interests of an enormous amount of businesses and guarantees innovation across the region. Led by Alison Henderson, this Chamber of Commerce has been able to thrive. Named CEO of the Year, 2020 – the United Kingdom, we take a more in-depth look at Alison and her work to find out more.
In business, connections are paramount. A solid network of trusted contacts can transform the way in which a business works. In Dundee & Angus, the Chamber of Commerce is that hub that holds business together. Under the stalwart leadership of Alison Henderson, the team have pulled together impressive resources that have had a progressive effect on the industry.
The role of the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce is to see the connections which bind business together. These connections are designed to help business, help the team and help to develop the outlook for the city region and beyond. Local businesses and local people are the first priority of Alison and her team, and they work incredibly strategically to understand the big picture and deliver on the goals they set themselves.
Alison’s mission is to ensure that the region is always moving forward. She is incredibly ambitious in her intentions for Dundee & Angus at large, with the establishment of a thriving chamber of commerce being a vital component for success. Promoting the private sector, and enabling businesses to attract and retain the most talented people, is what will see the region as a place where people can prosper.
In many ways, this is reflected by the values on which she stands. They were reshaped in 2018 to reflect the newly scaled up ambition of the organisation. These are to be successful, supportive, approachable and engaging. Every action that is taken by the team is designed to assist the organisation to stay on track and follow these principles.
One of the challenges of running the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce is finding ways in which to engage members from all different walks of life. The membership of the organisation is its lifeblood, and vital to creating change in the region. Naturally, the more members there are, the more effectively, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce can do its work, but it also means that engaging everyone involved is more of a challenge.
The team have been able to grow its membership successfully over the last few years, creating a service that businesses want to use. Alison has been key to this overhaul, examining what products are on offer and innovating to ensure that the organisation remains as appealing as it always has been. One of the most rewarding aspects of working for the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce is the way in which it is able to communicate. Marketing is very strong and the team deliver an exceptional events programme that allows members to be inspired, engaged and grow their businesses.
The team supports business in a number of different ways, allowing them to increase their profile in a positive and effective way. This has been achieved through a number of different methods to suit the needs and requirements of the business. Face-to-face visits have been extremely helpful, but the team are able to work through online channels equally effectively. Allowing people to make the choice of how they connect has been a boon to all parties involved.
The nature of the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce’s work has allowed the team to develop unique values for its company culture. Every member of the team is encouraged to be inclusive, engaged, supportive and strong. Instead of focusing directly on one task, and not looking outside of a specific niche, colleagues work closely to support new initiatives that will develop better ways of working. Personal development is incredibly important in this environment, and the team ensure that any projects take into account what the business is good at and where it is weakest.
A relatively flat team structure allows everyone to perform to the best of their ability, as well as stepping out of their comfort zone with the knowledge of total support from the team. It means that individuals can work in a self-directed way, while also seeing clearly how individual success plays into the business as a whole. Encouraging this holistic approach in everyone has given Alison’s team an insight into what the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce can really achieve and ensures that everyone is listened to.
Because the staff play such a vital role, Alison has ensured that recruitment is handled with a great deal of care. The right person brings not only the correct skills for the role, but personal attributes that will support the team and the business too. Those who will uphold the values of inclusivity, engagement, support and strength can be taught many of the other more specialist skills used by the team.
What is clear is that Alison has seen Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce modernise to meet the needs of the day. While the model that the organisation is based on is one of a longstanding business membership, it has been vital not to let things slip. As a smaller city, it can be difficult to ensure that Dundee’s voice is being heard in the larger sphere, but the ambitious approach championed by Alison and her team have ensured that they are in a strong position moving forward.
The future looks bright for the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, with plans in the works to make it even brighter. The team have made significant investments in digital systems processes and platforms to work better on an internal level. It’s an approach that has allowed members to operate on a five-star platform. Similarly, Alison has begun the process to put a Flexible Working Policy into place to attract and retain talent. Investing in people is a priority, and a reason behind her enviable success. Finally, the organisation is delivering services which place green recovery and international trade at the heart of the team’s success.
Alison has led a quiet revolution in an organisation that has been at the heart of the business community in Dundee for years. The results speak for themselves, however. Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce remains a stalwart of the region, inspiring and encouraging new growth. Under Alison’s impressive leadership, the team set the standards by which industry should operate.
To contact, please visit:
Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce. Alison Henderson.