Simon Feary, CEO of the Quality Management Institute, talks to the National Business Awards about what it means to be a true business enabler.

Having identified the emergence of a new support sector among finalists for the National Business Awards in 2010, a new category was created to recognise excellence among those B2B providers helping their clients to achieve their core objectives. One of four judges for the new BlackBerry Business Enabler of the Year award, Simon Feary shares some perspectives on the importance of such organisations and individuals — and what he will be looking for from this year’s winner.

NBA: How would you define a true ‘business enabler’?

SMBusiness enablers are like internal entrepreneurs, they are hugely important to the effective functioning of the organisation, but more importantly they provide an innovation mindset. A true business enabler is someone who is able to identify, and instigate, opportunities for key business improvement. These individuals involve themselves not just in one off projects, but have the ability to continuously challenge and look for ways to improve another business’ systems, processes and practices to ensure the long term success of that business. They add value to all businesses by putting the customer at the centre of all their decisions. The scope of their work extends to all corners of a business, providing reassurance of resilience, profitability and corporate reputation.

NBA: Why are more enabler businesses good for the UK economy?

SM: By making businesses more efficient and by increasing profits the whole UK economy benefits from an increase in direct foreign investment in the UK. Not only this, but currently the UK is experiencing tough economic times and our ability to emerge from the crisis will be dependent on our ability to achieve growth generating value for consumers in the UK or abroad, through export. We ought to recognise business enablers are exemplars and ensure all our products and services are competitive and of the highest quality.

NBA: What will you be looking for from this year’s winner?

SM: One of the often ignored elements in businesses is the analysis of all operational systems as a whole. I will be looking for business enablers that can prove that they look not only at one aspect of the business but that they look at the whole, understanding that tinkering with one element can have a significant effect on another. I will also be looking for evidence of a more empowered workforce and a more engaged customer base. While increased profits and efficiency will be very important I will also be looking for evidence of resilience and sustainability; when quality improvements have been implemented effectively, efficiency and innovation should go hand in hand.

NBA: Why is it important for the National Business Awards to have an award dedicated to business enablers?

SM: Business enablers are hugely important to the effective functioning of the organisation. Every business is under pressure to grow and develop, and enablers are those people who catalyse change. On that basis, they and their efforts ought to be championed and are well worthy of a special award.

Simon Feary will join an esteemed judging panel for the BlackBerry Business Enabler of the Year that includes Stephanie Hussels, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at The Cranfield School of Management; Phil Lander, Senior Director, EMEA, BlackBerry/Research in Motion; and William Montgomery, CEO, TEN. The winner will be announced on 8th November at the Gala Dinner. To book your place or reserve a table call 0207 234 8755, email or visit for details.