IoD Norfolk Ambassador Introduction
Your name: Chris Cliffe
Your title/role and company name: Director, CJC Procurement Ltd
Your IoD branch: Norfolk
Your IoD Branch Ambassador role: Procurement
Your social media handles
Q: How long have you been involved with the IoD?
I joined the IoD in June 2017 whilst working in London and got busy straight away attending every City of London branch, Central London branch and Policy team event that I could as well IoD HQ events like the launch of the Good Governance Report 2017.
Recently I’ve been working in the Midlands and have attended some West Midlands branch events too.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your career to date?
I gained classic retail and manufacturing experience through jobs to support me through university. Before I found procurement, I spent time in recruitment at British Airways and with Hays at the opening of their King’s Lynn office. I discovered procurement when I joined the Civil Service in 2003 in Norwich. I gained MCIPS before moving onwards to lead a greenfield Category Management team in the Social Housing sector in 2011.
I took the opportunity to establish CJC Procurement Ltd following a housing association merger. Within a year I was supporting multiple clients, awarded Fellowship of CIPS and then was honoured to be ‘Highly Commended’ in the New Director category in the 2018 IoD East Director of the Year Awards. I’m very grateful for such a good start.
Q: What do you hope to achieve as an IoD Branch Ambassador?
I am passionate about the evolving role of procurement from the old-fashioned back office purchasing function to the modern, outcome facilitating profession that it increasingly aspires to be. I hope to share my passion for the procurement profession through the branch and regional events and ideally shake the hands of increasing numbers of CPOs taking their seats on Exec teams and in Board roles in the region,
Q: If you could give your 21 year old self some advice what would it be?
When you get advice repeated about how important networking is, do not arrogantly ignore it. If so many successful people do it and advocate it, perhaps you should actually listen to them and get busy. Do not let fear, or lack of confidence stop you from going to that event. When you realise that ‘most’ people at any networking event are just as apprehensive, you can relax and enjoy it!
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
I work away from home a lot during the working week, so weekends are precious family and friends time.
Q: Are there any business related or policy issues that keep you awake at night?
I’m very concerned by the impact that the rollout of off-payroll working regulations is having on the small business and freelance community. The ‘IR35’ rules seem principally fair, but in practice damaging. With the undeniable working trend being towards the ‘gig economy’ and freelance working, these rules seem counter to supporting entrepreneurship in professional services.
Q: Why do you think business leaders should join the IoD?
Speaking from my own experience, I have met some incredibly interesting people through the IoD events which I find hugely energising. I get personal satisfaction in connecting people that can help each other and in providing advice and guidance where I can.
Membership organisations are as successful as the members make them. If you’re primarily thinking what’s in it for me, then I feel perhaps you’re missing the point. If you, as a business leader, have something to offer then perhaps the IoD is an external avenue through which to offer it. Payback doesn’t need to be sales, or at least not immediately.