The second of a community’s 24 agencies is the Stewardship Agency, which is part of the Human and Financial Capital Department. Its primary role is to facilitate business between participant stewardships by setting up the frameworks that make this possible.
The Stewardship Agency does this by establishing forums through which participants can engage others to transact business, as well as by facilitating contact with other community agencies that can offer financial and technical help.
The Stewardship Agency also works to improve participants’ business acumen and competitiveness by offering business consulting services through online forums as well as through the Village Bureau’s agents, the village presidents.
In the participant-centered service that defines a NewVistas community, the Stewardship Agency sets up the systems that enable participants to utilize community infrastructure to access the help and services they need.
Where need be, village presidents can offer in-person services. The agency is meanwhile occupied with setting up the automated system that provides these services. It also adjusts the system to reflect participant needs, changing trends, and the community’s own economic interests.
After the Human Relations Agency–administered systems complete vetting a candidate’s skills and human-capital capacity, the Stewardship Agency provides the mechanisms that vet the candidate’s compatibility with the community’s business model and current realities.
The agency specifically looks at whether the participant’s presence in the community will further or compromise the economy. For instance, an oversupply of certain professions in the community is not desirable and leads to lower wages and disillusionment.
To avoid this, the Stewardship Agency has to maintain a perfect mix that promotes full employment.
The Stewardship Agency facilitates a number of roles, either by itself or in coordination with other community agencies. These roles are all geared towards providing an enabling business environment and improving the business opportunities, abilities, and performance of participant stewardships.
The Stewardship Agency’s main roles are as follows:
- Administer participant vetting for business compatibility
- Facilitate businesses’ access to community services and business opportunities
- Provide business consulting and training
Vet prospects for business compatibility
After the participant has applied and been vetted by the Human Relations Agency’s vetting systems, the next stop is the Stewardship Agency. Here, the participant’s desired profession or business aims—in other words, his or her stewardship—are detailed.
The prospective participant also indicates other details related to their professional or business qualifications, including their previous business experience and present occupations.
This information is thereafter synthesized by the agency’s systems to ascertain whether the participant’s skillset, coupled with their experience and personal attitudes towards living and working in the community, are compatible with the community’s interests.
The vetting system at the Stewardship Agency stage also examines the potential participant’s financial ability and credit rating to make a decision on whether the participant should be assisted in repaying their debts or whether they present too much financial risk to be admitted into the system, among other possible decisions.
Facilitate access to community functions
Once participants have started working and operating their stewardship in the community, the Stewardship Agency provides platforms that allow them easy access to community services. Such services include funding, advice on where to set up a business, and what they need to do to access these functions.
The automated system that the agency uses is highly simplified, but village presidents can personally help participants who need it.
The agency’s facilitation continues throughout a participants’ time in the system, whereby they access advice on how to operate a business and what skills they need to better compete.
Provide consulting and monitoring
In addition to helping participants access community services, the Stewardship Agency’s systems also assist participants with various services, ranging from business training to performance improvement.
This process is a two-way affair. While participants can consult the agency’s system for help regarding their businesses, the community’s village presidents also monitor businesses and offer advice where needed.
In this way, the community ensures that no business is left behind owing to failure to utilize the system or lack of assistance from the village presidents.
In their business-monitoring work, the village presidents use sophisticated data analytics that indicate the health of the community economy at large, as well as individual industries and businesses.
The Stewardship Agency is then able to make informed decisions and adjustments to the vetting system to reflect these realities.
As part of its functions, the Stewardship Agency extensively collaborates with other agencies to effectively meet participants’ needs. This collaboration focuses on improving the ability of participants to exploit the economic opportunities that the community offers. The agency’s coordination is categorized into three main dimensions:
- Horizontal coordination (with other agencies in the Village Bureau)
- Vertical coordination (with agencies in the Business Support Vertical)
- Diagonal coordination (with additional agencies)
The Stewardship Agency coordinates with the Human Relations Agency (agency #1) as it vets applicants. The Stewardship Agency only vets those participants who have passed through Human Relations Agency vetting and been found to have the proper qualities required to join the community.
The Stewardship Agency receives information from the Human Relations Agency that it uses to offer sound advice to participants on their business and professional plans.
The Stewardship Agency also liaises with the Asset Leasing Agency (agency #3), so that the Stewardship Agency only approves those participants that the community can support by providing equipment, as well as living and working space.
The Stewardship Agency works with the Investment Bank Agency (agency #7) to facilitate funding for startups in the community.
The Stewardship Agency liaises with the Intellectual Property Agency (agency #13) so that IP developers can be equipped with the right business skills needed to achieve commercial successes.
The Stewardship Agency coordinates with the Accounting Agency (agency #16) so that businesses can be advised on the importance of financial reporting and bookkeeping and how these can be leveraged to allow for better planning and business operations.
The Stewardship Agency also liaises with the Accounting Agency so that participants can be trained on management accounting, reporting standards, and bookkeeping basics as applicable to the community.
The Stewardship Agency liaises with the Business Planning Agency (agency #19) in providing a system to assist participants to draw up business plans. The Stewardship Agency is armed with all the necessary information regarding participants, which it shares with the Business Planning Agency to enable it to advise participants as they formulate their plans.
The Stewardship Agency coordinates with the Life Planning Agency (agency #5) as participants draw up their life plans. The Stewardship Agency advises them on the most viable business and career paths they can chart to have the best chances of success.
The Stewardship Agency liaises with the Community Bank Agency (agency #9) to provide financial assistance to existing businesses that may wish to expand operations.
The Stewardship Agency liaises with the Marketing Agency (agency #20) so that the system can give participants marketing skills needed to make their businesses more visible within the community and beyond.
The Stewardship Agency’s positioning in the Village Bureau gives it an important role in the entry process. Entry into the system is guided by social and economic conditions. The agency’s main aim is to facilitate business with an automated system that guides businesses as they navigate the community infrastructure to derive the highest benefit from it.
These roles require the Stewardship Agency to collaborate with several other agencies whose services participants need to prosper economically. The agency also fulfills its role through training, consulting, and working with other agencies to create a healthy business environment.
- The Stewardship Agency uses web-based consulting to enable participants to quickly access the information they need. Research has shown that this mode is similar to, if not more effective than, in-person or classroom learning and consulting (see Means, B., Tokoyama, Y., Murphy, R., & Baki, M. . “The Effectiveness of Online and Blended Learning: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature.” Teacher College Record, 115, 1-47).
- In modern human resource management, organizations prefer having automated systems that give the personnel the lead in processing their issues. The community’s systems are geared with such a concept in mind (see Seethamraju, R. . “Effectiveness of Using Online Discussion Forum for Case Study Analysis.” Education Research International).
- For the economy to be at full capacity, there needs to be a perfect mix of conditions. These include accessible and operational financial and physical infrastructure, access to quality human capital, and the opportunity for participants to acquire the skills needed to take advantage of available economic conditions. The Stewardship Agency facilitates participants’ access to economic opportunity and assistance, as well as to opportunities to improve themselves to compete favorably (see Mishel, L. Here’s How to Achieve Full Employment. 2015).
- Industry experts have increasingly highlighted the importance of attitude and values, sometimes even over skills. When accepting a participant into the community, it is important that they have the right skills required to increase their chances of success. More importantly, however, they must be ready to use the chances provided to them by having the right attitude and work ethic (Davis-Staffing. Value Attitude over Job Skills).
- A credit rating usually shows how financially responsible a person is. This measure is employed in the community because financial performance is one of the main requirements for success in the system (see Sanghvi, D. Credit score could impact employment prospects. 2018).