Trading groups


Is there only so far that a trade group can go before it has to reinvent itself? I think so, mainly on the back of conversations that I have been having over the last few weeks as I continue to try and develop the Dynamo cyber work stream.

What is bothering me is that I find myself talking to the same people and as one of the participants in last week’s Think Tank said, ‘we get this already, you (we) are preaching to the converted.’

What then is to be done? I am a member of two digital related groups in the region:

  • Dynamo is a volunteer led group set up with the core mission to ‘Grow the North East IT Economy’ through collaboration, innovation, skills.
  • Digital Union has the aim to ensure that national and international business leaders are engaged with the North East sector and champion and facilitate a collaborative approach to working in the North East.

According to Wikipedia (I have made a contribution), in a trade association all of the businesses work together to help solve problems and come up with solutions to industry-related issues. Basically then this boils down to how can we respond to legislation, how can we cut costs, how can we work better in collaboration and how can we attract customers.

It is the last point that is the most important. Growing the trade requires finding more customers or selling more product. This is obvious but what has not been obvious to me, at least until recently is that if the purpose of all trade groups is to do the same then the best thing that they can do is to talk to each other. Doh!

I need to be preaching to the unconverted, those who work in different sectors and in particular those in which the North East has the ability to excel. Aligning regional trade groups allows those with need to come together with those who can supply.

It sounds simple. Now all I have to do is find out where those trade groups are.

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