Venture 150

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What is Venture 150?

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What is our Vision for the Future?

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What are our Venture 150 objectives, and what progress has been made?

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What can I do to help?

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What is Venture 150?

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In early 2022 NDAR completed work to determine its Vision for the Future. The target timescale for achieving the Vision was assumed to be 4th April 2027, this being the 150th anniversary of NDAR’s founding.  Therefore, the project to determine NDAR’s Vision for the Future was called Vision 150.

To achieve NDAR’s Vision for the Future the Vision 150 project made 24 specific recommendations and, in concluding, considered the following quote:

“Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture.
It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” (Vaclav Havel)

In spring 2022 the 24 Vision 150 recommendations were accepted by the Standing Committee, so these are now 24 objectives for the Association, and the project to achieve these objectives has been named Venture 150.

Therefore: Venture 150 is about NDAR members ‘stepping up’ to achieve our Vision for the Future


What is our Vision for the Future?

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Our Vision for the Future is that:

By the 4th April 2027 (i.e. the 150th Anniversary of the NDAR’s founding), we might reasonably imagine:

    • An NDAR that has put behind it the issues that were affecting its fitness to operate as a functional organisation

      For example:

      • It has moved away from its traditional modus operandi based on ‘Committees’and ‘Sub-Committees’, each focussed on schedules of meetings, and now operates using an appropriate number of teams, each focussed on achieving specific objectives

      • It has rationalised both its financial arrangements and its framework of governing Rules, and has aligned its Rules with its current reality

      • It has established direct (internal) communications with all of its members, is actively engaged (in one way or another) with the majority of its members, and – when necessary – is able to recruit volunteer staff from a growing pool of ‘active’ members

    • An NDAR that is better able to provide support to its members, particularly with regard to “the challenges currently facing ringing”

      For example:

      • It has established better (external) communications with the wider community, and is actively generating awareness and interest in ringing

      • When requested, it is able to guide and assist members with their recruitment activities

      • It has both:

        • a detailed understanding of members’ ringing abilities, their aspirations and (therefore) their training and development needs, and …

        • a detailed understanding of where/when opportunities exist for practice at certain levels and the range of available ‘bespoke’ training events

        and so, where appropriate and when requested, it is able to support members’ training and development by: (where possible) directing available ‘helpers’ towards their practices; (and/or) guiding them to other suitable opportunities; (and/or) co-ordinating/targeting the provision of ‘bespoke’ training events

    • An NDAR that has moved beyond the changes recommended from the Vision 150 project and is established in a state of continuous improvement

      And so continues to be a ‘fit for purpose’ organisation

The above Vision for the Future was an output from NDAR’s Vision 150 project. That project, which ran from late 2021 to early 2022, involved a series of three group ‘Workshop’ sessions and resulted in a Summary/Final Report to NDAR’s Standing Committee. Full details of NDAR’s Vision 150 project are available in the following:


What are our Venture 150 objectives, and what progress has been made?

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Note: The “priorities” given in the following tables are intended to highlight current issues rather than suggesting any chronological plan (i.e. “Priority 1” objectives address more immediate issues than “Priority 2” objectives … etc.) The chronological order in which objectives are actioned will depend upon several factors (inc. ‘priority’, available help, dependencies on other objectives … etc.)

PRIORITY 1: Essential Evolution of the Association’s MO

To become fit for purpose, and establish a state of ‘continuous improvement’ in order to remain fit for purpose, NDAR needs to evolve away from its traditional modus operandi (MO) based on ‘Committees’ and ‘Sub-Committees’ focussed on mandated schedules of meetings, towards an MO based on ‘Teams’ focussed on achieving specific objectives

REF OBJECTIVE STATUS
1.1

Drive specific objectives and teamworking into NDAR’s administration to create a more active/dynamic Association

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work is in progress to establish relevant Teams beneath the NDAR’s Standing Committee and to allocate these objectives as/when appropriate

1.2

Revise the format of the AGM to include a review and development of the Association’s current strategy and (annual?) objectives

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Complete. A review of Strategy and Objectives was included in the 2022 AGM and will become a standard feature of the AGM Agenda

1.3

Define a clear and concise “Purpose” for the Association and use this consistently as part of NDAR’s brand

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Complete. In summary, the purpose of the Association has been defined as “Supporting bellringing in Norfolk”, and more detail has been defined to expand on this ‘strapline’ (the 07 Apr 22 Standing Committee Minutes refer)

PRIORITY 2: ‘Reasonable and Proper’ Changes to the Association’s Governance

NDAR has struggled to adapt its governing rules and processes to keep up with changes in the wider environment. Therefore, if NDAR is to remain credible as a functional organisation, our governing rules and processes must be brought into line with our current reality

REF OBJECTIVE STATUS
2.1

De-regulate the Branches (i.e. allow Branches to appoint Officers and hold meetings as they see fit and/or are able, rather than mandating Officers and meetings on them, whilst continuing to provide the Branches with the opportunity for representation at ‘central’ level)

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work (amendment of the relevant NDAR Rules) is in progress as part of rationalising our Rules (objective 2.2, below, refers)

2.2

Rationalise the Association’s Rules

STATUS (at 24 May 22): A Governance Review Team has been formed and work is in progress to rationalise NDAR’s Rules

2.3

Establish a central Register of voting members’ details for general administrative purposes, and as a precursor to moving away from ‘cascade’ communications and engaging directly with individual members

STATUS (at 24 May 22): NDAR’s Standing Committee has work in progress to establish a central electronic Register of members’ details

2.4

Simplify the process for election of members by moving to a two-step process whereby:

  • ringers who are formally proposed and seconded join NDAR initially as “Associate” members, subject to …
  • … their “Full” membership being ‘ratified’ (or not!) at the next AGM

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Amendment of the relevant Rules is in progress as part of rationalising our Rules (objective 2.2, above, refers), and work is in progress within the Standing Committee to establish an appropriate process for administering this as part of maintaining a central Register of members’ details (objective 2.3, above, refers)

PRIORITY 3: Realistic, Achievable and Low-Risk Improvements

Whilst the objectives in the tables above are focussed on how NDAR operates, the objectives in this table focus more on what NDAR does, particularly with regard to engaging with members and – collectively – supporting each other in the face of ‘the challenges currently facing ringing’ (for example: recruitment and training/development)

REF OBJECTIVE STATUS
3.1

Move away from automatically providing members with costly hard-copy Annual Reports to providing subscribed members with soft-copy Annual Reports

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Complete. The default for distribution of Annual Reports to members is now by ‘soft’ copy, with a ‘hard’ copy available to members on request, and a ‘hard’ copy available to non-members at a cost/copy

3.2

Establish an Internal Communications Officer/Team with a focus on promoting engagement with members

STATUS (at 24 May 22): A few members have volunteered to help with internal communications and an Internal Communications Team is being set up. This team will have a key role in facilitating engagement with members and it is expected that – in due course – it will be responsible for a range of internal communications activities. This team will require more help, see What can I do to help? below

3.3

Establish a regular (Quarterly?) central newsletter and distribute this direct to members

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Not yet started. It is expected that the Internal Communications Team (objective 3.2, above, refers) will be able to start this work soon. Note: The Internal Communications Team will require more help, see What can I do to help? below

3.4

Provide new members, on joining, with a ‘pack’ of information about the Association

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Not yet started. It is expected that the Internal Communications Team (objective 3.2, above, refers) will be able to start this work soon. Note: The Internal Communications Team will require more help, see What can I do to help? below

3.5

Use ‘branded’ merchandise to promote a ‘sense of belonging’ and ‘team spirit’

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Not yet started. See What can I do to help? below

3.6

Define critical posts and actively advertise staff vacancies

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work is in progress within the Standing Committee to define the roles of NDAR Officers and to establish Terms of Reference for the various Teams

3.7

Establish an External Communications Officer/Team, with a focus on promoting/supporting recruitment activities

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Not yet started. See What can I do to help? below

3.8

Determine, define and clearly communicate to members (and subscribers to the Parish Affiliation Scheme) the limits of NDAR’s practical (i.e. non-financial) capabilities with regard to supporting work on bell installations

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work is in progress within our Belfry Advisory Team to determine and define our current capabilities

3.9

TRAINING DEMAND: Establish a mechanism for engaging directly with members regarding individual training/development needs

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work is in progress within our Training & Development Team to establish a process for this. Note: NDAR is aiming to steadily increase the amount of support it can offer members with regard to their training and development, but this will only be possible if members ‘step up’ to support this work – see What can I do to help? below

3.10

TRAINING SUPPLY: Establish a mechanism for targeting and co-ordinating training/development opportunities

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work is in progress within our Training & Development Team to establish a process for this. Note: NDAR is aiming to steadily increase the amount of support it can offer members with regard to their training and development, but this will only be possible if members ‘step up’ to support this work – see What can I do to help? below

3.11

Improve communications regarding the Parish Affiliation Scheme

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Not yet started. This objective has a dependency on the clarification of our current ‘belfry advisory’ capabilities (objective 3.8, above, refers)

3.12

Actively encourage change ringing on handbells

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work is in progress to actively promote handbell ringing. NDAR has purchased three sets of electronic handbells (‘eBells’) and these were made available for use during the 2022 AGM. Efforts are also being made to establish a Method-ringing Handbell Group within NDAR – see What can I do to help? below

3.13

Monitor the work of the new Diocese of Norwich Church Buildings Commission and engage with this Commission as/when appropriate through the Association’s Bells Advisor to the Diocese

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Work is in progress within the Standing Committee to register NDAR’s interest in the work of the Diocese of Norwich Church Buildings Commission

PRIORITY 4: More Complicated and/or Less Urgent Improvements

We are committed to these objectives, but recognise that – whilst important – they are not immediate issues and/or will require more detailed consideration and planning

REF OBJECTIVE STATUS
4.1

Simplify the administration of NDAR’s finances by consolidating (as far as practicable) its Charities structure

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Not yet started

4.2

Actively promote compliance with Regulatory requirements (e.g. Safeguarding, Health & Safety, Data Protection … etc. to encourage best practice and as an aid to recruitment

STATUS (at 24 May 22): Not yet started

PRIORITY 5: Opportunities that NDAR should Continue to Bear in Mind

These objectives do not currently require any specific work, but reflect opportunities discussed during the Vision 150 project which remain available and, therefore, should not be forgotten

REF OBJECTIVE STATUS
5.1

As part of driving engagement with members, the Association will continue to evolve the format/content of the Annual Report as/when appropriate

STATUS (at 24 May 22): This objective is being considered by the Standing Committee as part of the recurring compilation of Annual Reports

5.2

The Association will remain pragmatic about the option to charge for specific training/development activities

STATUS (at 24 May 22): This objective is being considered by the Training & Development Team as part of growing NDAR’s training/development capabilities (objectives 3.9 and 3.10, above, refer)


What can I do to help?

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It is clear that there is some work to do if we are to achieve our Venture 150 objectives (above), but the earlier Vision 150 project concluded that all of this work is realistic and achievable within a few years (i.e. well in advance of our ‘target’ date of 4th April 2027), as long as we can engage enough active support from NDAR members.

Therefore, how far we get and how long it takes depends upon how many members ‘step up’ to help share the load.

You do not need to be an experienced ringer, nor do you need any specific administrative skills. Our association is all about us working together for our collective benefit – if we can each put a little more into NDAR then we can all get a lot more out of it!

To offer your help, or to find out more, please contact the Association General Secretary.


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