The BID Board directors give their time voluntarily and without payment to help govern the BID and champion the work of the BID team.
Meet Daniel Baker…
Please give a description of you and your company / the company you work for.
I work for Fujitsu within the UK&I Property Team – my role plays into my interest in information technology and continual improvement so I’m truly in my comfort zone! Working for an IT Service provider with focus on sustainable development and growth together with an ongoing drive to work smarter not harder really captures my interest and allows me to make a very direct contribution.
Tell us a little bit about your background/working career.
I have worked for Fujitsu for 21 years and have developed my career in and around the Property and Facilities Management community. I take an active role in the mentoring and development of our Apprentices plus I am often invited to help remote Team Members to develop their skill sets. I also co-ordinate our input and participation in the ISO Standards from the perspective of both the Management System and helping Teams to prepare for Assessments ensuring any follow up action is completed and shared. Collaborative working has become increasingly important, and this is something I actively promote as part of my role.
How has your company adapted during COVID?
I have been very involved with the transformation and take pride in the way in which our buildings responded to support both the internal and external Customer. To explain, we are an internal service provider and recognize the value of the internal Customer so act as enablers to those who support our external Customers. We took the decision to close some of our operational buildings following a Company-wide initiative for those who could work from home to do so. This meant we were in a better position to focus on our Key Workers – i.e. those who were unable to work remotely for business continuity reasons. My role meant I took an active role in developing the approach and implementing the arrangements ensuring our buildings were Covid secure and our people were adequately supported. This is of course ongoing and something we actively monitor on a regular basis.
How are you planning to return / how have you returned?
As a business, many of our employees continue to work remotely although we have started to invite a small number back into our buildings. Importantly, the business has used the opportunity to introduce a flexible working initiative following a successful and fast track transformation, which means where it is possible, our people now have a choice around their working location – remote working, office based or more likely, a combination of locations. On a personal note, I have found working remotely without the need to travel has increased my productivity as I make much better use of my time.
Any advice for other BID businesses around COVID that you can give based on your experiences?
Continue to focus on safety and wellbeing – unfortunately, Covid is with us for the long term, and it is important to adapt to the way in which we now live and work. This world health emergency really has been a game changer – I do wonder however, if it has escalated an increasing trend towards more flexible working, which I believe was starting to happen prior to the pandemic anyway.
Why are you a BID board director/why do you volunteer your time for the local business community?
Initially, my manager started to share her own interest in the benefits of a collaborative organisation existing for the benefit of businesses within the area. I therefore got involved by default but quickly realized that the concept of a BID played into many of my own views around collaborative working, skill sharing, sharing of resource, information and knowledge. So I made a decision to join the committee during the years of planning, participated in arranging and co-hosting some of the pre-ballot events, and took an active role in supporting the BID Champions. It was therefore very natural for me to join the Board as a Director given how much preparation went into this initiative prior to formal Ballot.
Why are you passionate about Bracknell BID area?
I think my response above partially explains and the very concept of a BID plays into my own professional values and morals. I have also worked in Bracknell for some 21 years now and seen many different businesses become established over the years. Enhancing the environment for business can only benefit those already located in Bracknell and hopefully, more organisations will come to realise it is a very strong base given close proximity to major motorways. The development of the town centre has also helped to make the environment more attractive, but from a community perspective as well. I was not born in Bracknell although I did live in Bracknell for some 4 years before moving to Basingstoke. However, travelling to/from Bracknell for some 21 years does result in an element of passion and loyalty!
Do you feel passionate about business growth in the area?
Yes absolutely for the reasons explained – I am very loyal to the area given a long term affinity due to my time at Fujitsu. Although the way in which we live and work is going to change, the business environment is perhaps going to increase in importance and I do believe the BID has an import role to play in bringing the business community together for wider and mutual benefit.
What skills and experience do you bring to the BID board?
My personal values as these are absolute. I also have knowledge of the area, some of the businesses within the area due to the many years of preparation leading up to Ballot plus I have the ability to manage multiple workstreams and deadlines together with my background in operational management. My knowledge, values and skill set all enable me to make a contribution to the BID Board, plus I have learned a significant amount since become involved with the BID.
What difference do you hope the BID will have made in the next five years?
The business community has spoken – through many interviews, events, discussions and feedback sessions, the business community has collaborated and stated what it would like to see happen. This has enabled the BID to develop a Business Plan and this will be our measure – the BID needs to continue to focus on delivery. I also think the BID has, is and will continue to encourage more collaborative working which will bring a much stronger community to feel to the area. I am personally looking forward to the time the BID can again hold an event and encourage the business community to talk, to network and perhaps establish many more trading relationships.
Most likely to be found in/at?
I have a wide variety of interests and these have served me well during the last 14 months. I have enjoyed reading and spending more time watching films, which often capture my attention. I do enjoy the outdoors but of course opportunities have been limited but being able to go for a walk with my wife and enjoy the countryside is something I will never again take for granted.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel quite right, be curious and don’t accept – take a step back and start to look at the situation. At best, there will likely be something to be improved or shared.