Sunday, 4 March 2012

The WildeHeads Ethos

Welcome to WildeHeads!

First the name... blame relatives of mine, but I liked its quirkiness and the implication that we strive to think outside the box to do things a little differently.

Second the nature of the business is to facilitate, to enable. What it does not offer is business advice services. The information contained in the forthcoming WildeHeads blogs is merely my associates and I sharing what we have collectively learnt from professional business advisers (always look for their accreditation and history when seeking one), from our collective experience, networking, training courses and from what is freely available on the internet.

When coming up with concept of WildeHeads my first step was to list everything I could already do, everything I was interested in doing and everything I could think of regarding what I could turn my skills to. Then I did the same for everyone I was likely to employ or contract in its first year. It was a very long list! From the grandest of ambitions to the smallest part of any task in any job undertaken, it all went down on the list.

Interesting to note the grand ideas, for they quickly indicated what the long term aims are. “Aim high and be prepared to drop” is a maxim an Art teacher told me at school. Those dreams of the future are good to have as an overall direction to head for and provided me with the first foundation stones of WildeHeads’ ethos too. This is not to say that the direction might not alter, but it shouldn’t deviate from core values. In the case of WildeHeads it was to provide support facilities and services to companies, organisations and groups with a social ethic.

The social ethic is the core value behind WildeHeads. It simply means that it is here to provide assistance to the community, be it to an organisation requiring business services or a disadvantaged group needing motivational or creative workshops. I am passionate about the concept of social enterprise in its broadest sense and the role of Arts in the community. Not wanting to opt for one or the other, WildeHeads the business was born to support both while not being entirely either. Throughout my working life I have been switching jobs between the two and now I get to do both.

There is much debate about what is and isn’t a social enterprise. To me it is simply any organisation that provides direct support to the community, be it by using its profits as a donation to a community group, or being directly involved with supplying services to it. In this sense then WildeHeads could be said to be a social enterprise as can any and all Arts organisations. On another level Wildeheads is not, at least not yet, as it needs to prove itself to be financially viable in this, it’s first year.

It may surprise readers to learn that there is virtually no legal structure to any company that would preclude it from being a social enterprise. For more information on that contact your regional social enterprise (see links below). If considering setting up a social enterprise yourself, the advice is always to focus on what you want to do before deciding upon the legal structure of your business. Your activities, products and services will determine the best legal structure for it. (A tip I learnt from my time at Social Enterprise East of England). What I’ve learned most from working for many years in the Arts industry is all things are possible, we are only limited by our imaginations and possibly a bit of funding!

Without my passion in both these areas WildeHeads would not be viable. To attempt to be an entrepreneur of any kind is to me a pre-requisite.

If nothing else I hope what we at WildeHeads shares proves useful to all out there.

My very best wishes to you

Mel Dixon

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