Meet Jeff Lee, IoD Ambassador for Productivity
Jeffrey Lee is the director of a leading chassis fabrication business and is an IoD Fellow. In his role as an ambassador he will have a particular focus on the manufacturing sector, drawing on experience gained throughout his 30+ year career in industry. His key area of interest is understanding the thoughts and concerns of manufacturing and engineering business leaders in the region – not just in the context of their business, but also how the IoD could best provide the support they require.
Q: How long have you been involved with the IoD?
Twelve years – I originally joined when I was appointed to my first director level role as Managing Director of a medium sized business and realised that I was desperately in need of training and support to ensure that the role was a success.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your career to date?
I started my career in process engineering, originally in construction plastics and later moving into tier 1 automotive component supply where I progressed through a series of roles, ultimately leading UK operations for a Toyota group manufacturing business. In recent years I have left corporate life behind and become established as a management consultant, assisting businesses in becoming more streamlined and efficient, particularly following periods of rapid growth.
Q: What do you hope to achieve as an IoD Ambassador?
To help new and existing members to be fully engaged with the IoD and assist them in maximising the value they achieve from their membership. To encourage boards to view improving productivity as an essential strategic business goal which will increase resilience, capacity and profitability.
Q: If you could give your 21 year old self some advice what would it be?
Take advantage of opportunities, focus on what you enjoy and be willing to recognise and take action when something isn't working.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
With four school age children, two dogs and a large garden keeping busy is rarely a problem - however when I do get some free time I enjoy restoring classic cars and clay pigeon shooting, as well as helping our local Air Cadet squadron in my role as treasurer.
Q: Are there any business related or policy issues that keep you awake at night?
I am concerned that so many organisations seem to view improving their productivity as an optional activity; the most successful businesses are those which are constantly looking at how they can improve, and it is no coincidence that the most productive companies are also the most profitable and resilient.
Q: Why do you think business leaders should join the IoD?
Anyone who is serious about leading a successful business should be constantly striving to be better informed, better connected and better educated, and I believe that membership of the IoD can provide all of this and more.