This has been drawn from the Public Benefits Organisations Act passed by the National Assembly (2012) and assented to by the President of the Republic of Kenya (14th January 2013 but yet to be commenced by the Cabinet Secretary of Devolution and National Development). This version was adopted after considerable debate by 50 members of the CSO Reference Group meeting on March 3rd. It was agreed that this will be circulated widely for comments until March 21st after which it will become a more formal document. At this point, it will be circulated for individual members of PBO staff and governance to sign. Comments on this document can be sent to annet@penkenya.org

The Charter

We, the Staff and Boards Members of Public Benefits Organisations recognize the important duty we have to the people, County and National Government of the Republic of Kenya. We exist to promote the public good, support democratic development, social cohesion andtolerance within society and respect for the rule of law. We complement the primary duty of the County and National Government to provide essential public services.

Effective and efficient self-regulation is the basic foundation for an effective working civil society sector. For this to work, we have to maintain and be seen to uphold the highest standards of governance, transparency and accountability. It is both a legal requirement and a matter of integrity for all PBOs whether we work locally, nationally or internationally.

 We undertake to transform the sector by undertaking the following actions;

  1. Initiate and maintain open, respectful and an informed dialogue with citizens, County and National Governments;
  1. Upon commencement of the Act, we invite you to hold us accountable to this PBO Act and voluntary service charter;
  1. Keep all documents required by law available to the public in our offices and on our websites. This will include audited annual accounts and reports, current annual budget, list of the Board members or Directors and principal registered Officers;
  1. Make the PBO Act and this charter available to the public in both Kiswahili and English in our offices and websites;
  1. Align our constitutions and practices with the provisions of the Act especially as regards to disclosing the source and use of funding, maintaining integrity in our all systems including sound Board oversight;
  1. Individually as organisations, publish conflict of interest guidelines to ensure that the personal interests of our members, the staff and volunteers do notconflict with those of the organization;
  1. Act inclusively and not discriminate against any person or groups unless in the interest of assisting targeted populations who are marginalized;
  1. Ensure that every person who serves on the governing body serves on a voluntary basisand shall only be eligible for the reimbursement of costs;
  1. Maintain a high standard of professionalism in service andinteractions and dealing with people through honesty, fairness, integrity,respect for confidentiality, objectivity,care, diligence, prudence, timeliness and straight forwardness;

10. Actively identify and report corruption, sexual harassment or any other behavior that is against the spirit of the Act;

11. Use our income solely to support the public benefit purposes for which the organization was established;

12. Intentionally both international and Kenyan PBOs,build the capacity of local Kenyan organisations who are registered and compliant with the PBO Act or other laws that regulate the activities of community based organisations;

13. Ensure that at least one third of our Board Members of our governance bodies are Kenyan citizens resident in Kenya;

14. Only apply for work permits for positions necessary for the proper function of the organization, where no persons with comparable skills are locally available and such employees shall contribute towards the skills-building of Kenyans;

15. Actively research, educate and support citizens to express their views and advocate in the public interest and express our views on any issue or policy in the course of a political campaign or election. We shall not engage infundraising or campaigning to support or oppose any political party or candidate for appointive or elective public office.

16. Following commencement of the Act in its current form, we shall immediately register and fully comply with the provisions of the PBO Act of 2013

17. Until then, we invite our beneficiaries, partners, members of the public and public officers to read and hold us accountable to this Public Charter.



Name, Position, Organization



Njuki  Githethwa & Faith Mwende of  KCOMNET TEL: +254 00202379949

Email: njukig@yahoo.com/   faymwe@yahoo.com

Website: www.kcomnet.or.ke

a paper presented during a counter human trafficking symposium for the faith based and grassroots organizations in east africa held at shalom house nairobi, 22nd to 24th november 2011


Established in 1995, the Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET) is a national network of individuals, media practitioners, community communication groups, media professionals and non-governmental organizations committed to the promotion of community media and development communication in Kenya. KCOMNET advocates for the creation and sustainability of community-based media owned, controlled, and produced by, for, and about communities.

Our Vision

To be the key driver of the national community media movement and voice of social change in Kenya.

Our Mission

To champion and popularize community communication initiatives through representation, capacity building and policy advocacy for transformative social change in Kenya.


“Community Communication-Giving Voice to Communities”

Our Key Objectives

The Kenya Community Media Network has, but is not limited to the following three key objectives: –

(i)     To lobby for the establishment of a dynamic communication regime in Kenya that includes community media as a third sector after public and private media

(ii)  To execute a rigorous training programme for community communication groups to make them strong and vibrant

(iii)      To act as a capacity building arm for individual groups and for zonal joint communication groups efforts.

Our Programs

KCOMNETS main programs include:

1.      Community Radio and Radio Listening & Production Groups

2.      Community based Information Resources and Documentation Centers

3.      Community based Folk Media i.e. art, drama, puppetry, song and dance

4.      Community driven Video Production

5.      Community Newsletters

The role of Community Media in Society

Community media is any form of media that is created and controlled by a community, either a geographic community or a community of identity or interest. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), The World Bank, and the European Commission recognize community media as a crucial element in a vibrant and democratic media system.

Community media is a platform which enables the “voiceless” to have a “voice”. This kind of media exists in many countries in all continents, and in media systems they usually stand in-between public broadcasting and private media outlets.

Experience has shown that participation is the key defining feature of community media; it is what places community media outside of traditional media models, in which audiences are passive receivers of messages. In the community media model, senders and receivers together create messages and meaning through participatory processes.

Community media enables marginalised communities to speak about issues that concern them at the local level, creating linkages between development, democracy and community media. This presents a snap-shot of community needs and aspirations and allows a community to map its future using the bottom-up approach. The historical philosophy of community media is to use this medium as the voice of the voiceless, and the mouthpiece of oppressed people, or by communities that have not been served by conventional communication structures.

More so, community media offers space for creativity and is also a tool for empowerment. Besides this, community media is able to integrate different mediums of communication e.g. drama, song and dance, storytelling, puppetry, radio listenership groups and community radio stations.

The role of Community Media Groups in tackling Human Trafficking

An effective media can raise the awareness level and can also bring reduce vulnerability to human trafficking and other crimes. Community media is capable of performing the following roles in preventing human trafficking:

§  Education and Training: This can take the form of workshops, songs, drama, dance, storytelling, poetry, live music, bands, community newsletters puppetry and radio listenership groups among others.

§  A Channel for Communication and Discussion: One of the roles of media is to open the channels for communication and foster discussions about human trafficking and implications on women, girls, men and boys. Addressing human trafficking in the community radio program can have an enormous impact on the society.

§  A vehicle for Creating a supportive and enabling environment: Community media can be instrumental in breaking the silence that envelopes the practice and in making positive changes in the society. For example, Radio Mang’elete which use the Kikamba language to address issues of the community.

§  Education through entertainment: For creating an efficacious awareness about human trafficking, the messages need to be informative, educative as well as entertaining as these are mutually exclusive.

§  Mainstreaming: Broadcasters need to mainstream the human trafficking issue across a number of programs. A coordinated, multifaceted campaign has greater impact than a single programme. Documentaries, concerts, songs, drama, public service announcements, competitions, hotlines, books and websites can be linked together to reinforce awareness, information and messages about human trafficking.

§  Putting human trafficking on the News agenda and encouraging leaders to participate: The more the leaders see and hear about human trafficking in news the greater the resources they invest in anti-human trafficking strategies, which in turn leads to increased media coverage of the issue and helps to sustain public awareness which again has an impact on leaders’ priorities.

§  Making every citizen a “reporter”: Citizens reporting like journalists may be the only way for human rights abuses and other violations of a criminal or environmental nature to be brought to face broad public scrutiny.

§  Encouraging participation: From an audience perspective, it means that it can influence the content in a very proactive way and it enables individuals to access a readymade platform through which they can share their opinions.

  • Policy Advocacy Work: Through campaigns against human trafficking aimed at raising public awareness, to give chance to women, men and young people to contribute to activities against human trafficking and to lobby government response to human trafficking issues. Awareness raising can also be pursued through the production and distribution of information education materials, using the media for a wider reach as well as visual materials, using the media for a wider reach as well as visual materials in public areas.
  • Organizing regular dialogue forums at the grassroots to disseminate relevant information on human trafficking.


Community media is a very essential tool for development and can be used to disseminate information on human trafficking. Additionally, community media plays a crucial role in addressing issues of the community and offers a chance for debate on everyday community issues. There is need therefore to collaborate and create linkages in order to use community media as a means to report news differently from the mainstream media.

2012 The International Year of Cooperatives and Brief History of the Kenyan Cooperatives Movement

By Muko Ochanda

2012, the International Year of Cooperatives

The UN declared that the 2012 will be the International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC). In launching the year, the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon said “Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.” It is also a fact that the cooperative movement has been an important vehicle of empowerment and liberation from economic misery to many poor people across the world.  The world cooperative movement has approximately one billion people making it one of the largest constituencies in the world. On the other hand, 3 billion people do benefit from the cooperative movement.

The IYC has important significance for Kenya and Africa as a whole. According to the International Cooperatives alliance 2012 statistics, in Kenya, 1 out of 5 is a member of a co-operative or 5.9 million and and 20 million Kenyans directly or indirectly derive their lives from the Co-operative Movement. Secondly co-operatives are responsible for 45% of the GDP and 31% of national savings and deposits. They have 70% of the coffee market, 76% dairy, 90% pyrethrum, and 95% of cotton. The cooperative movement in Kenya also employs more than 250,000 people. On the other hand yhe increased HIV prevalence has affected membership in many cooperatives.

The statistics above are very important and speak loudly to policy makers. In Kenya the cooperative sector is considered one of the most regulated. The government has always been keen on this sector because of its influence on both the formal and informal and micro and macro sectors of the economy. This underscores the fact that  the contribution of the cooperative sector  in building the Kenyan economy’s  and in stimulating the spirit of enterprise and personal development cannot be overemphasized. The movement has played and continues to empower communities and individuals both socially and economically. Hence the government needs to recognize their role in a special way and continue to strengthen them. Cooperatives are important agents of the  third sector (economic agents with a humane- face)  and a bigger diffusion of the third sector helps address in a bigger way the dis-empowering dimensions paving way for eventual grassroots driven economic development.

In Kenya the cooperatives have always played an important role in the lives of the people since time immemorial. During the colonial era, cooperatives played a political mobilization role against  colonialism. Today cooperatives continue with their empowerment agenda. Quite a sizable population of Kenya is involved in the cooperative movement and have either been enriched, educated and helped to do so many things for themselves.

The cooperative nature of the Kenyan people can be traced to the the traditional society where people cooperated in many ways such as hunting, farming, caring for livestock, building houses and in performing many other  important chores etc. The cooperation in the traditional societies was devoid of financial expectations but was done solely for mutual assistance. These traditional cooperation endervors were embodied in the conventions and customs and were accorded different names  and meanings by various communities across Kenya. The traditional cooperation gave way into the spirit of Harambee  that has been considered one of the pillars of Kenya’s social economic and political progress today. It is important to note that this traditional cooperation contributed strongly to the  later embracing of the cooperative movement.

The beginnings of the formal efforts to establish cooperatives in Kenya could be traced to  1908, when the European settlers formed the Lumbwa Cooperative society. This society was restricted to the settler population in Kenya.  Africans on the other hand were only allowed to establish cooperatives after 1930’s.

The first legislation to look at the cooperatives on Kenyan soil included the cooperatives societies ordinance Act of 1931 which was replaced in 1932 and 1945. In 1946 the colonial government started supporting the idea of cooperatives by natives and established the Department of cooperatives and the office of the registrar of cooperatives. The first Cooperatives Societies Act, Cap 490 of Kenya was formulated in 1966 based on the recommendations of ILO. The Cooperatives Societies Act 490 was eventually repealed and replaced by the cooperative societies Act, No 12 of 1997.

In the following section I have summarized the important landmarks in the history of the Kenyan cooperative movement.

Landmark Processes/ Papers in the Growth of Kenyan Cooperatives

1904: The wheat grain growers started their cooperative activities through incorporating the Unga Ltd.

1908: Lumbwa Cooperative established by colonial settlers around the present Kipkellion area as a strategy for marketing, dealing with individual technological constraints and for helping provide farm inputs at subsidy rates.

1919: The first maize growers association under the name British East Africa Maize growers association (BEAMGA) was established.

1923: A second maize growers association named as Plateau Maize Growers Association (PMGA) formed.

1923: BEAMGA renamed Kenya Farmers Association (KFA)

1925: Second diary cooperative formed around Naivasha; Kenya Cooperative Creameries

1927: The wheat farmers established the Wheat Grain Growers Association (WGGA) and incorporated Kenya Grains Mills in 1928

1927: PMGA is dissolved and joins KFA

1928: Unga Mills acquires the controlling shares of the Kenya Grains Mills Ltd leading to the weakening of WGGA. WGGA disolves and merges with KFA. Hence in 1928 all the grain growers were operating under the KFA.

1928: The third diary cooperative formed in Nanyuki known as Nanyuki Cooperative Creameries

1930: Enactment of the Kenya Cooperative Ordinance of 1930 leading to the registration of KCC and KFA in 1931.

1931: All the cooperative creameries were united under the Kenya Cooperative Creameries

1937: The Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) was formed by coffee growers at Ruiru as a stockist and processing organization. With time KPCU found that it was limited by the cooperative registration, it hence sought a second registration as an incorporated company. It was eventually incorporated in 1945 as a limited company. Hence it effectively has double registration.

1944: Door opened for Africans to form and Join the Cooperatives. The post of a registrar of Cooperatives suggested

1945: Cooperative Societies Ordinance enacted allowing African participation in the cooperative movement.

1946: Department of cooperatives established and  the registrar appointed

1950-1952 Great support of the cooperative idea by the colonial civil servants. 160 cooperatives formed during this time.

1952: Mau Mau rebellion: Cooperative members withdrew to join pro independence forces

1954-Swynnerton Plan of 1954 on developing African Agriculture and improving land tenure

1958- Over 400 registered cooperatives

1963-1000 Cooperatives formed

1964-The reorganization of the coop sector into a tier structure by the new post independence government. The four tiers were at the bottom the grassroots/primary coops, cooperative unions, national cooperative organizations (NACOs) and the National apex body. Hence an apex body was created under the name Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC).

1965 The government saw the cooperatives as vehicles to introduce African Socialism and strengthen ties between the people from different regions of Kenya and accelerate the development process in its Sessional Paper 10 of 1965 on African Socialism and its application to planning in Kenya.

1965: The Cooperative Bank of Kenya is established, another important structure in the development of the coop movement in Kenya. It was formarlly registered as a bank in 1968

1966-Enactment of CAP 490 the cooperatives societies Act.

1966: Office of commissioner of cooperatives established replacing the formal colonial structure of the registrar of cooperatives

1967- Kenya Nordic Cooperative Development Programme (KNCDP) and assistance from the World Bank, US and Germany: Purpose Building Human Capital and Capitalization Boost. The KNCDP assistance helped in the building of the cooperative college in Karen. Gvt on its part provided subsidies and free access to government credit and free extension services to the movement.

1970-Sessional Paper 8  on cooperative development. The paper urged primary coops to view government parastatals as collaborators instead of competitors.

1973: An association formed to respond to the needs of SACCOs known as Kenya Unions of Savings and Credits; to promote SACCOs, forster trainings, consultancy and research, representation and risk management.

1974-Full ministry formed on cooperatives development. Producer cooperatives directly linked to parastatals and statutory boards which were run by the state (state corporations). Government protected the cooperatives from competition by any other market agents

1978 An important step taken to initiate an insurace agency to address the insurance needs of the cooperative movement by initiating the Cooperative Insurance Services (CIS Insurance) as a company owned by the movement.  In 1999 the company changed its name to Cooperative Insurance Company of Kenya (CIC Insurance) motivated by the need to adopt agility and dynamism as dictated by the liberalization wave.

1979: The National Cooperative Housing Union (NACHU) was registered in response to the rapid urbanization and proliferation of slums. NACHU had the vision to improve the housing conditions through the cooperative model and was formed by trade unions, faith communities, civil societies and the cooperative movement.

1980- SAPs introduction accelerating reform through liberalization and structural reforms. The SAPs introduces transformation in wide ranging trade and macro economic policies impacting  on production costs, incentive structures and sector competitiveness. They also allowed market entrants into the areas that were previously protected. Coops were forced to become competitive in order to enhance their survival.

1982-An attempted coup . The performance of the government began to be questioned on a number of spheres such as human rights, economic performance and increasing corruption. The cold war  after WWII ensured great support for Kenya as a pro western capitalist democracy.  Some pressure began mounting on political reform  and particularly introduction to multi party politics. There were dwindling donor flows. This too weakened the movement.

1986- Sessional paper on renewed growth and economic management of the economy. It removed all government monopolistic tendencies, divested government investment in commercial activities and encouraged private sector to run and invest in the government owned organizations and parastatals.

1987- Sessional Paper No. 4 on renewed growth through cooperative movement

1990- Promotion of regionalization and globalization policies; key being removal of tariff and non tariff trade barriers, withdrawal of direct and indirect protection to domestic competition. Adverse economic conditions, collapse of many financial institutions and coops.

1997-Sessional paper no. 6 of 1997 which came up with a policy to provide for a member based, autonomous and member controlled movement. A new legislation developed. Liberalization during the 1990s saw many mergers , disputes and splits in various cooperative societies into small and uneconomic units on one hand and on high level of mismanagement.
Cooperatives Society Act 490 repealed and replaced by Cooperatives Society Act No 12 of 1997.
1998: Kenya Rural Savings and Credit Cooperatives Societies Unions (KERUSSU)  was registered to respond to the needs of rural SACCOS.
1999-Ministry of Cooperatives reduced to a department in the ministry of agriculture and rural development. This led to staff and budget cuts within the movement. 7000 cooperatives formed. This was the era of liberalization, structural adjustments and privatization
1999-National poverty eradication plan: A charter for social integration setting out rights and responsibilities for the citizens, communities, businesses, civil societies and policy makers. Improving access of the poor to basic services such as health, education, water and sanitation. Broad based economic growth, especially in the rural areas where a majority of the poor people live.
2002: New goverment under NARC comes to power replacing an incumbent 38 years old KANU government.
2003: Ministry of cooperatives revived as Ministry of Cooperative Development and Marketing (MoCDM). Registered cooperative societies totalled to 10,297 with a membership of 5.9m and an income of about 7.4 billion contributing to 30% of national saving
2004:  Draft Sessional Paper on Cooperative Development in Kenya indicating that the country had 10700 registered coops with a total membership of 5.9m and total turnover of Kshs 7.9 billion contributing 30% of the GDP.
2004: Cooperative Amendment Act enacted that paved the way for various changes within the movement
2007: Vision 2030 published  recognizing the contributions of the coop sector in reducing social exclusion and in strengthening of the agriculture sector.
2008: SACCO Societies Act enacted providing for the formation of SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) and other procedural issues.  Cooperatives development policy also developed to expand the space for sustainable growth of cooperatives and in reinforcing their contribution in economic development. In the same year MoCDM developed a strategic plan for the period 2008-2012 using four pillars of customer orientation, financial viability, business effectiveness and skills building.
2009: MoCDM developed a cooperative marketing strategy to as a sub-strategy to the 2008-2012 strategic plan focusing on coops revitalization through professionalization, competitiveness and strenghtening value addition activities.

Economy of Communion XIV: Construction of Economic Democracy

Spirituality of Unity

The case of Loppiano Prima underlines how pillars of communion, instru­ments and aspects are strictly interrelated and how they contribute to develop respect with the construction of economic democracy using the spirituality of Unity inside and outside of an entity. In fact, living aspects of commun­ion without dialogue, trust and reciprocity, can create a simple organizational structure which could overwhelm people. The company proves to be consist­ently socially-oriented in regard to the centrality of human beings and the quality of relationships it develops both internally and externally, along with the environment, as well as the actual re-examination of its operating in light in this direction. To this end, instruments of communion are useful to renew options and make it continuously effective. In fact, it must be kept in mind that communion is not achieved once and for all, but it is necessary to rejuvenate it, improve it and, where necessary rebuild it once more. In this way, the cor­porate mission extends into society, so that entrepreneurs and managers can find a broader sense or logic to their work that is not the exclusive fulfilling of enterprise’s legitimate and dutiful economic purpose.

The firm has both a social mandate and a social vocation

Nowadays it appears that the crucial element on which to focus the atten­tion, that is if the firm wants to achieve a lasting success, is the person and the modality of relationship adopted inside the firm along with the outside. Therefore, it cannot be disregarded that, the adoption of an integrated social orientation can constitute a convenience for the firm, both from an internal and external point of view. From the external perception, it is important to consider not only the product/service the business can offer to the clients and the perspective that the social community has, but also the quality of relation­ships the business is able to build with the stakeholders. On the other hand, with regard to an internal point of view, it is enough to say that, in the present social – economic context, where the resource knowledge is the main aspect upon which to build the competitive advantage, firms need to use all the pos­sible strategies to employ and maintain the best human resources. This way, the firm answers not only to the ever new and pressing social and sustainable demands, but also to that insuppressible social vocation which springs directly from its own nature.

I have learnt the importance of Communion and expounded my understanding of the firm’s purpose

The training was successful and to me it has increased both knowledge and made me learn the importance of communion. And that the feeling of personal comfort is found in social relations, living in common, means that we are one united, the others joy, success, failure is mine and what they go through I go through too.

From this I strongly believe that not so long a lot of companies assumed something quite different about the purpose of business, they said, quite simply that the purpose is to make money but that proved a vacuous  as a saving, that the purpose of life without eating is a requisite not a purpose of life, without eating, life stops, without profit, business stops. Thus profit is a requisite not a purpose of business.


Paul Kisolo: Executive Consultant KARDS

Millicent Agutu: Administrator KARDS

Francis Owino: Administrator REG

Economy of Communion in EA XIII: Judging Experiences thro Spiritual Theory

By emphasizing the difficulties that also business with a clear ethical mission can face, our objective is to transmit the awareness of the problems to operate in the actual social-economic context, characterized by complexity. The use of ethical references can’t be considered as a reduction of complexity, but if it is clearly adopted, correctly integrated in the business management, and coher­ently practiced in the daily activities it can become an instrument of govern­ment of the business and of the complexity itself. In the following sentences we offer some examples.

Dilemma: should we invite the technicians into the cooperative board?

For a business that produces wine, the possibility to plant new vines is im­portant as the choice of producing red or white wine. The interaction among technicians and the administrative manager and the following confrontation between the administrative chief and the responsible person for the technical area is operated according to a principle of collaboration and communion. This preface helps the dialogue among everybody, because it creates a demo­cratic context, in which all the people are open to listen to what the other has to say. In other words, everyone is free to express their own ideas whether from a technical point of view or a professional one. The objective is impor­tant along with the way it is obtained.

PILLAR: Dialogue;

INSTRUMENT: Communion of experience through the proposals of technicians and confrontation;

ASPECT: Light blue; the management and the organizational structure is flexible and not based on a hierarchical structure, but allows for eve­ryone to contribute.

Dilemma: The business acquired a cooperative that had already existed. Take on the ex-farmers or not?

One decides to take on the farmers (ex. Sharecroppers) who had lived there with their families for over 100 years and where there was a sort of a special relationship between both religious and non-religious or atheist people. Which difficulties will be present? Which instruments will be used?

PILLAR: trust, the choice is made on the basis of trust in the ex-farmers, that otherwise could have changed their behaviors towards the coopera­tive and worked less.

INSTRUMENT: communion of experiences.

ASPECT: Indigo, people improve not only professionally, but also per­sonally.

Dilemma: Weed killer or natural disinfestations?

The choice of disinfestations would have saved a lot of money and this would have had an enormous advantage on finances that were already small. But an option of this type would have been against the general objective of respect of human beings and the environment.

PILLAR: Dialogue

INSTRUMENT: the pact on the mission of the business and the anthro­pological vision.

ASPECT: green, one decides for the wealth of the people, whether hu­man and environmental

Dilemma: in a working community we need to consider the needs of the family and all employees?

The Loppiano Prima decides to take into consideration the family of every employee and to distribute a salary that reflects their conditions.

PILLAR: Dialogue; trust; reciprocity – people are not equal, however they are distinctive persons and you can institute a special relationship with them.

INSTRUMENT: The private talk, with the objective to understand the personal situation.

ASPECT: red- also the economic aspect has its importance.


Paul Kisolo: Executive Consultant KARDS

Millicent Agutu: Administrator KARDS

Francis Owino: Administrator REG

Economy of Communion in EA XII: Aspects of Communion

Communion can be carried out daily, both in personal and business life. To represent it through a metaphor, the light can be considered. When a light beam passes into a prism it is refracted in seven colors (red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, indigo, violet). So, to consider the person at the centre of the business has infinity of concrete implications and nuances. Rainbow Score (Golin and Parolin, 2003; 2006) is a management tool based on a balanced scorecard approach. Rainbow Score also goes one step further. It assigns a value to each aspect which is not solely dependent on the effect of financial performance – financial performance being regarded as only a part of overall performance. It highlights and defines all forms of wealth produced, espe­cially those supported by ethical motives or ideals. Through the seven color frame we describe seven business and human aspects and present an explicit value creation structure – both stock and flow – which can inspire effective strategies, managerial methodologies, accounting and reporting methods.

  1. Economic dimension – Red. The economic and financial dimension is the first business aspect we consider: this indicates a company’s health and is the combined product of the commitment, professional competence and skills of the entrepreneur and employees. We can include a financial analysis but we must also look at other processes and information involved in value creation. Planning and account­ing for healthy company growth requires us to consider different aspects beyond just profits and profitability, e.g. new job opportuni­ties – considering quality and amount, salaries and benefits – and solidarity inside and outside the company.
  2. Relational Capital: Orange. The second aspect is relational capi­tal seen as the combination of all real and potential external rela­tionships of the company. Here we highlight a basic dimension for the company – the customer and supplier network. Total Quality Management and Stakeholder Theory (Rusconi, W. P. 2008) have already focused their attention, embedded in management practices, on various customer interests, indicating different ways of identify­ing and answering specific needs. Relational capital can be consid­ered in three ways: as direct relational capital, basically needed in trade exchanges, for instance when participating in fairs; as indirect relational capital, i.e. all the sets of relations which help develop the company reputation, e.g. public solidarity actions; and as relational goods, referring to the contents of human relationships, independent from any immediate financial benefit, i.e. as in friendship between colleagues.
  3. Corporate culture Yellow: Describing corporate culture is the first step towards rediscovering the original reasons behind the forma­tion of the company, and involving people working at the company in this process arouses enthusiasm and the search for practical ways to align stated values with company life. Managers know that val­ue alignment and trust increase both efficiency and effectiveness, whilst controls and sanctions can fail and be costly. This is why it is worth evaluating ethical effectiveness by analyzing whether mana­gerial behavior, strategic choices, internal and external relations are consistent with the business mission ethical commitments.
  4. Social and environmental quality Green: It examines what contrib­utes to well-being in the company and in some ways represents both welfare and a well-being health index. A challenge facing manage­ment lies in creating more responsible and less stressful workplaces. Empowerment and engagement can help generate organizational trust which results in real well-being in the company. Moreover so­cial quality is strictly connected to environmental quality: both need to be planned and accounted for to maintain deliberateness and con­tinuity. In this way company initiatives can be models for the civil society.
  5. Human capital and working community – Blue. The fifth dimension considers human capital and the working community in all organi­zational forms and expressions, the ultimate aim being to harmonize them. The organizational setting through which the company out­lines its manufacturing and working teams is not complete by itself but is already a clear expression of the value given to the people working within it. In this way the organization has a strong influence on the company’s development, not only regarding process efficien­cy but also process contents. Moreover, the organizational style can­not be separated from the relational style and the corporate cultural identity, but expresses them in daily management: the organizational role might assume the functional role by allocating everyone to the right place so that they are at ease and can give the best of their pro­fessional and human competences and skills.
  6. Intellectual capital: education, training and innovation – Indigo: Intellectual capital is linked to talent exploitation and in the organiza­tion evolves from the supply and demand of various stimulations oriented towards the development of the company which come from both external and internal sources. Frequently, the scenarios that managers deal with are those of innovation and know-how growth. It is a context exposed to risks of individualism and intellectual capital concentration on one or few people which can increase competitive­ness and be of detriment to the work climate.
  7. g. Communication – Violet: The last dimension is a cross key to many of the topics discussed above: corporate internal and external com­munication. The meaning of communication may sometimes appear to overlap with that of information so that one might be distinguished from the other.
Good Communication results in New Behavior

Nevertheless, etymologically, communica­tion is more than just an exchange of information; when applied in its broadest sense it assists the information to become operational, eventually resulting in new behavior. Moreover, effectiveness in communication is due to the obvious possibility of speaking the same language and being in harmony with the addressee’s aims and values. This demands a similar, shared experience to create the “we” feeling. This might require adapting the language to that of the stakeholders involved. A result is seen in active feedback and general participation.

Rainbow score considers the production and relational aspects of the firm

Real and effective strategy becomes operational whenever it can be both a guide and a process of analysis. From this perspective the seven colors report­ing system, which is a natural implementation of Rainbow Score, helps ex­plain the reasons for the company’s success and suggests actions to improve it. Meanwhile the inner connection among various aspects makes manufacturing processes and relational dynamics comprehensible (Golin and parolin, 2003 and 2006). Giving each aspect a value in itself permits us to consider every single aspect as a stepping stone to others. In the same way that the seven colors of the rainbow come from the same light, inside the company all choic­es, events and problems are integrated and inter-dependent with each other.


Paul Kisolo: Executive Consultant KARDS

Millicent Agutu: Administrator KARDS

Francis Owino: Administrator REG

Economy of Communion in EA XII: Communion Instruments

Communion in Corporations, as well as social orientation generally consid­ered needs to be continuously fostered. It is unrealistic to think that it is pos­sible to achieve it once and for all. Adopting instruments or tools which can help people to improve is very relevant, and in some cases can reconstruct it. The Instruments of Communion are: The Pact on Corporate Mission; The Communion of Soul; The Communion of Experience; The Moment of Truth; The Private Talk.

(i) Pact on Corporate Mission. Signing a Pact, in which the Cor­porate Mission is clearly defined, means identifying the purpose of the business and how it is going operating into the market place and in relation to the Stakeholders (internal and external alike). Defining and signing a Pact on Anthropological Vision is also very important. This allows the consideration of relationships not only from a tech­nical point of view, but also from a human perspective. Therefore a «productiveness» (Blum, 1956) concept is underlined, which in­cludes productivity, and the climate from how such a production is carried out, along with the quality of the relationship.

(ii) Communion of soul sharing: with someone at the beginning of the day can be very rewarding. In fact ones joy can be shared with others, and problems can be shared and solved. Of course, it must be done with tact and discretion in order to avoid hearsay spreading or trust being betrayed. As Barnard emphasized, every individual asks for consideration as a person, which means his personal life can­not be left outside the door of the business (Barnard, 1938). This is simply unattainable, and a effective manager should be aware of this and take it into account.

(iii) Communion of Experiences: The Communion of Experiences is also a cornerstone of these instruments of Communion. It means that it is possible to share our knowledge and our experiences with others. This form of narrative could be considered an integral part in shaping personality, and in general terms, making sense (Weick, 1995). Sharing experiences can be considered, in a metaphorical way, like the action carried out by a forerunner. He can be a role model to others, and they can feel encouraged to surpass difficulties or they can simply find relief in the fact that others have had similar encounters, enabling them to find a way forward.

(iv) Moment of Truth: An important instrument to strengthen com­munion inside the firm could be the so called “Moment of Truth”. Thanks to The Moment of Truth it is possible to articulate both nega­tive and positive attitudes in people’s behavior, in order to help over­come negative viewpoints and to be strengthened and encouraged in acting on the positive ones.

(v) Private Talk: Through private Talk, it is possible to share, among people with more experience and/or responsibility in work or in spiritual life, our mind, concerns and conditions at a certain mo­ment in time. In the case of the person who receives or gives help, it is very important to do so practicing dialogue, trust and reciprocity, with open mind and soul, in order to allow the other to express one­self in his mind, and offering what can be useful and activated.


Paul Kisolo: Executive Consultant KARDS

Millicent Agutu: Administrator KARDS

Francis Owino: Administrator REG

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