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Building community capacity by developing regional business networks: A case for business coaching. Dr Anna Blackman James Cook University. Introduction. Tourism is often proposed as a strategy for community development, especially in rural and remote regions

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building community capacity by developing regional business networks a case for business coaching

Building community capacity by developing regional business networks: A case for business coaching

Dr Anna Blackman

James Cook University

introduction
Introduction
  • Tourism is often proposed as a strategy for community development, especially in rural and remote regions
  • Unfortunately, these regions do not always enter into the business of tourism with a clear understanding of the associated difficulties and challenges.
  • The challenge is to critically examine the links between tourism development and the impacts this has on community wellbeing in more detail and to identify ways in which tourism can make a positive contribution to community wellbeing.
the tourism system
The tourism system
  • To examine the potential for tourism to contribute to community wellbeing it is important to consider tourism as a system which stresses the interconnectedness between the demand side (the market) and the supply side (including transportation, attractions, services and information/promotion) as well as with external elements such as the natural environment and cultural resources, social structures including organisation and leadership, community attitudes, availability of finance and entrepreneurs, competition and government policies (Gunn, 1988).
coaching as a tool to help build capacity
Coaching as a tool to help build capacity
  • There are claims that there are over 50,000 coaches worldwide
  • Organisations invest over $2 billion in coaching annually
  • It is one of the fastest growing fields in business to date
what is business coaching
What is business coaching?
  • business coaching is defined as a formal relationship with a designated coach, “in which the coachee and coach collaborate to assess and understand the coachee and his or her leadership developmental tasks, to challenge current constraints while exploring new possibilities, and to ensure accountability and support for reaching goals and sustaining development” (Ting & Hart, 2004:116).
business coaching in tourism
Business coaching in tourism
  • There is very limited literature available on business coaching in the tourism sector
  • Only one book chapter has been published on this topic (Blackman, 2008).
  • There is a developing trend for research in the area of management development and the importance of networks and the ability to share knowledge
challenges
Challenges
  • Time (business owners are busy and those already working in tourism often operate businesses 24/7)
  • Distance (related to being rural and remote)
  • Relevance (the combining of tourism with other activities, that is tourism is not their core business)
  • Must have strong leadership
  • Must have access to business networks
case study
Case Study
  • 1 day workshop with 14 small business operators
  • 3 volunteers conducted one-on-one coaching sessions with the researcher over a 4 month period
  • Evaluations were conducted at the end of the workshop and then again after the 4 month period with both those that participated in the one-on-one coaching and those that participated in the workshop only
opportunities
Opportunities
  • Participants had some experience or skill set that they could utilize to expand their business
  • They could capatilize on the uniqueness of the location
  • Providing services in demand by locals to national and international visitors
challenges1
Challenges
  • Lack of funding/cash flow
  • International markets were a major concern
  • Unsure of how to access the market
  • Lack of skills and training
  • Time management/workload
  • Lack of networking
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Importance of business networks
  • Coaching adds value to tourism businesses by providing the opportunity for businesses to interact with others
  • Skills learnt in the workshop allowed the participants to develop capacity within their businesses
  • Those that completed the one-on-one sessions were better able to implement the learned knowledge into their daily work routines