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Franchise networks invest in advisory councils as a formal mechanism for franchisor-franchisee dialogue. Nous works with franchises to design and review advisory councils, and maximise business success.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank engaged Nous to undertake a review of the Community Bank® Strategic Advisory Board (CBSAB) – the key interface for the development of strategic issues between the Bank and the Community Bank® network. The Bank and the Community Bank® network of companies operate under unique franchise partnership with more than 300 bank branches across Australia. The Community Bank companies are led by diverse, volunteer directors and invest some of their profits back into their local communities. The CBSAB had not been reviewed since it was established in 2008 and there were a range of views across the network on how the community companies should be represented and the matters that should be covered in any representative forum.
Nous led a comprehensive research and stakeholder engagement process over two successive stages, working directly with a governance group of Community Bank® directors and a Bank employee. Initial consultation with CBSAB members and senior Bank employees identified preliminary issues with and opportunities for CBSAB.
Nous then engaged with the 1900+ Community Bank® directors through multiple engagement mechanisms which included an online survey, written submissions and workshops in each state and territory. Nous developed an online engagement platform to undertake two-way communication with the network and provide a ‘one stop online shop’ for stakeholders to participate in the process. We underpinned this with research into success factors and alternative models of 15 high performing franchise advisory mechanisms from other comparable franchise networks.
The comprehensive engagement process enabled the vast majority of companies to participate in the review, which will help to build support for any changes. Nous recommended enhancements to the CBSAB to better align its role, form and operation with high performing mechanisms and to resolve the concerns and opportunities raised by stakeholders during the engagement process. The bank is in the process of implementing the recommendations.