IoD Cambridgeshire Branch Ambassador Introduction
Your name: Vanessa Landreneau
Your title/role and company name: Principal, Hummingbird Consulting Limited
Your IoD branch: Cambridgeshire
Your IoD Branch Ambassador role: Human Resources (Employee Reward)
Your social media handles e.g Twitter, LinkedIn etc LinkedIn
Q: How long have you been involved with the IoD?
I have been attending meetings since April 2017
Q: Can you tell us a little about your career to date?
Before setting up my own consultancy in October 2015, I was the Head of Reward for CSR plc, a global high tech business based in Cambridge. I was responsible for the design and implementation of our global employee reward strategy, including pay, incentives, shares, benefits, recognition etc. During my time there we grew organically and through acquisitions and I was closely involved in the M&A activities. Prior to CSR, I was a reward consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, working with clients across a range of sectors and business sizes.
Q: What do you hope to achieve as an IoD Branch Ambassador?
I would like to get to know the business community in our region, share my expertise with them, and learn about their businesses and challenges. Employing people is a significant challenge for many organisations, especially as they scale, and I have a lot of experience to share that could help people.
Q: If you could give your 21 year old self some advice what would it be?
There are so many more possibilities in life than you are aware of and every experience is valuable, even if you can’t imagine how in the moment (especially mistakes!). The best way to success is to keep an open mind, work hard and keep learning.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
I love garden and interior design; my husband and I enjoy buying and renovating houses inside and out. There is something so satisfying about working to bring a property to its full potential! The gardens are my particular favourite – I love the challenge of creating something that is beautiful every day of the year, working with the quirks and uncertainties of living plants and the British weather. I am also a certified colourist, having studied colour psychology, and I use that knowledge to help with branding and design for businesses. The colours you choose say a lot about your business, and can affect both your customers and your employees in a positive way when used with knowledge. I’ve also been doing research into workplace design, which combines my interests in employee reward, design and colour. Creating a workplace that helps your employees work effectively, and fits with who you are as an employer, is a great way to create engagement and it doesn’t have to cost the earth!
Q: Are there any business related or policy issues that keep you awake at night?
Engagement and empowerment of employees and good organisation design. I find it frustrating that so many people check their best selves at the door of their workplace. The most powerful thing we could be doing as employers is to give people the direction and the flexibility they need to make good decisions for our business. It’s a tricky balance to find, because control and risk management are also essential in today’s business world, but the benefits of allowing some space to find that balance are enormous in terms of the effort and creativity people will give you when you treat them like adults.
Q: Why do you think business leaders should join the IoD?
I have found the IoD a fantastic way to get to know other members of the local business communicate, share ideas, and learn about the wider political, commercial and economic pressures that are affecting us all. No business operates in a vacuum, and the IoD gives me a way to keep on top of all the important issues. It’s also a great networking opportunity, which is a great investment to help my own business grow.