Chris Sargisson of Norfolk Chamber: Take a look around - it’s still the best research tool out there

The chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Chris Sargisson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Chris Sargisson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


Given my recent columns on talking and listening, it seems to me it’s worth pursuing the theme of our human senses. So now I’m taking a look - at ‘looking’.

Frankly, there’s a lot of looking to do. First off we’re bombarded with 24/7 news nowadays. It comes to us through multiple media and platforms and can be overwhelming at times.

But, successful organisations are always watching, looking at the bigger picture to see how it might impact on their business, and what opportunities might be out there.

From Tweets from the White House to a paragraph in the local press, from Facebook postings to emailers and website links, all the media are providing you with information. Look at it. Decide what’s useful. Act on it.

Simply being aware by looking at what’s going on around you is one of the oldest, and still most valuable, business skills. Why has that new start-up opened in premises near you? Are they a competitor? Are they a potential customer? Take a look.

All of this is directly relevant to us at the Chamber. We have to make sure we’re as informed as we can possibly be, in order to help, support and guide members.

Right now, because so much data gets poured into the knowledge funnel, I’m looking at how the Chamber can sort, filter and present back what’s relevant to our customers. Considering their needs are based on factors such as size, sector, skills, funding, policy and training we need to be able to simplify the ‘looking’ so that members get content relevant to them.

I’m in no doubt about the value and strength that comes from being part of Norfolk’s largest business community. We speak with a collective voice that’s heard, respected and relied on. We make connections and deliver unrivalled support that enables businesses to thrive and grow.

But, we must evolve by using the best brains and the latest digital tools to build this virtual knowledge filter and put it on the desktop of every Norfolk business.

In doing that we will enhance the process of ‘looking’ by refining and targeting the content and material to be looked at.

The more you look, the more you’ll learn. The trick is to recognise what’s relevant to you and your business; to gain some understanding and insight.

As the man said: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Makes sense doesn’t it?

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