Turning inspiring vision into practical steps
“There are times when you ask for a piece of consultancy work and they don’t quite get it and end up doing work that’s unnecessary. I didn’t want that. Eleanor got it. She understood the assignment from the very first conversation. With Eleanor it’s like having a team member, a director who is churning out what the organisation needs: things that are alive and are used and are then part of the organisational strategy.”
Jennifer Ogole, CEO, BANG
BANG is a youth-focused organisation that encourages young people to become community leaders who will build sustainable communities, diverting vulnerable, at risk young people away from crime and negative influences by providing targeted support for them and their families through early intervention programmes. Jennifer Ogole, BANG’s inspiring CEO, has received an OBE for her work.
The charity had naturally grown and matured and they knew their strengths. This presented an opportunity to extend their services from Brent in London to other areas, but Jennifer also recognised that the global changes that had taken place from 2020 had created a need for some self-examination and re-evaluation of vision and mission.
Jennifer approached Action Planning for help in articulating her vision. “Having worked in the sector for so long, I’d known about Action Planning for a very long time,” she said. “In terms of quality, range of services, the consultancy that they’re able to give, there is a level of assurance, and the process from getting in touch and the way that I was dealt with was to my liking. I didn’t have to spend ages explaining. They seemed to be in touch, respectable, accessible, affordable. I was assigned Eleanor Mitchell and from the very first meeting I just loved her. I felt she got it, she listened, she understood. She’s absolutely brilliant.”
Eleanor’s brief was to undertake a business planning and governance review and to then produce a theory of change. “The question of the moment,” says Jennifer, “is who are you? What drives you? So we had to answer that question as an organisation. It became crystal clear: we stand for young people and their power. It made sense inside my head and my soul and my heart but how was I going to get this out? Our values are based on love but how was I going to present this? That was Eleanor’s task: translating that into a document that made sense.”
Eleanor undertook the reviews primarily with support from Jennifer, the COO and the Chair of the Board. From meeting with them and other staff she was able to assess exactly what was needed within the organisation in order to develop excellent management practices that would support the staff and growth during this period of expansion. She reviewed all of BANG’s systems, policies and processes and wrote the review alongside a scheme of delegation.
Following on from this work, Eleanor was asked to review and amend the business plan to 2025, with a strategic action plan for undertaking the theory of change.
Eleanor’s work gave BANG the support it needed to develop internally and ensure that it is not only ready to expand but that the necessary quality of management and support for its core team was in place. Her report highlighted areas of need and how to improve on existing practice.
The theory of change grew from the review and was devised with input from the senior management team and Chair to show how BANG will fulfil its aims and mission as an organisation.
As a result of Eleanor’s work with BANG, Jennifer asked Action Planning to help in supporting other organisations working towards the same ends. “As the plan became clearer I saw that there would be other organisations that need Action Planning but can’t afford it. I need to stand for those organisations. When I look at grass roots leadership, people with a real passion but not experience, who’s supporting them? There are so many businesses like this. Imagine if every community had some leader who could be developed. I suggested a partnership to David Saint and he just said yes, let’s do it.”
We’re now working in partnership with Jennifer to develop a programme to support grassroots community leadership, which will be offered across London, starting with Brent.
This is an exciting time for BANG and it was really helpful for them to harness their plans and ideas and see them come to life in a structured way through the planning work and theory of change. BANG has diligently undertaken the suggested actions and, working together, we have made sure the deadlines for steps along the way are met.
BANG is now able to grow into BANG Worldwide, bringing its much needed services and youth voice to other areas outside of west London. They have begun this by branching into other London areas alongside projects in Jamaica and Nigeria.