High streets in villages, towns and cities are being reshaped by change – political, environment and economic. HMV, Blockbuster, Jessops and Woolworths have disappeared nationally while pubs and village shops are turned into residential accommodation. Where does this trend take us? The adverse economic conditions, the online revolution and out-of-town shopping malls get the blame, but some businesses and communities embrace the change and move with it, recognising it’s consumers who now have the power. Didn’t they always have it?
In Mary Portas’s report the retail guru said “I want to breathe economic and community life back into our high streets” and that only reinforces the belief, or perhaps the fact that communities need businesses to be healthy communities. It is the equation of survival, of growth, of longevity and of prosperity.
Whilst we deal with change in the UK, elsewhere in the world we are helping to build communities. At home we take safety for granted, but the primary reason for our presence in other countries is to create a safe and secure environment for the local community. Once our armed forces make an area safe, the first thing that happens is that traders come out of hiding and start supplying goods wanted and needed by the community. Trade, collaborative behaviours then take over and the recovery begins.
What lessons can we learn here?
Politicians in the UK fly the flags of – One Nation, Big Society, All in it Together – but whatever political party has the platform, whatever label they choose to call it, they all have the same concept – they are a collaboration as we all know that working together is the best policy. We may know it but common sense is rarely common practice.
One company taking collaboration as the theme and putting it in practice is doobi – a commercial but socially motivated enterprise. doobi is designed to engage and unite residents and businesses in the mutual goal of community support and rebuilding through ‘keeping the local pound in the local economy’ and financially supporting local charities, schools and good causes through the redistribution of online profits.
Stephen Meir, Sales and Marketing Director of doobi said “Our business model is one of collaboration as doobi is an impartial guide of goods and services available from all local businesses.” When asked about the armed forces involvement he said, ” The Forces have instilled solid foundations in their personnel with strong values, unquestionable ethics and a desire to succeed. They have been building communities overseas, so what a great resource to retrain and help us build our communities in the UK. With Mind Fit for Civvy Street, they will learn to channel their experiences and develop behaviours more befitting their new environment and our own training programme will help make them achieve quick and long lasting success. The only difference is this time they will be our local hero, and live the long term rewards for helping to build their own community.”
Mind Fit soldiers to lead High Street growth
doobi and its partners have recognised that developing people needs to consider the person, their attitudes and behaviours as well as the business context. The Mind Fit for Civvy Street programme starts the process of change and then business focused development is easier and more effective.
“make every day a doobi day”
They have clearly taken their business model to new levels of engagement as the people who have helped build communities abroad are actively being recruited to help doobi in the UK. As ‘The Sun’ article demonstrates.
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Mind Fit has a range of development programmes and has specifically designed a leadership programme – Mind Fit for Civvy Street – for ex-forces personnel.
The doobi.co.uk service offers a range of ethical, efficient and cost effective online and mobile media services that deliver consumers a central local source of constantly updated deals, discounts, offers and promotions from both local stores and businesses.
By reinvesting profits back into the community, doobi will support local charities, schools and good causes whilst offering a valuable and rewarding local service to all.