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Northern Ireland

Heather's October Round-Up!

01 Nov 2019

Ghouls, ghosts and scary witches – and that is just the IoD office!

As October closes in, we have come to the end of one of our busiest months this year.  

There is no getting away from the fact that a significant proportion of our time was spent on Brexit related activities. We were back on the road with our Brexit Ready clinics, funded by BEIS and run in conjunction with KPMG. We held clinics in L/Derry, Cookstown and Belfast. Hearing first hand from businesses what their real issues will be post Brexit.  Many NI businesses are heavily invested in Brexit preparations, especially around goods/ services and people, but in light of the constant changes and new deadlines, there is a degree of apathy around how useful these preparations continue to be. IoD will continue to provide timely, practical and objective advice and guidance to ensure our members remain informed.

  Click here for Brexit updates

One of the major highlights this month was our Young Directors Conference (YDC) on 11th Oct.  This year’s theme was ‘Achieving Competitive Edge’… and this was so nailed with our extensive array of speakers. The two panel sessions, one made up of young directors  - ‘Ones to Watch’ and the other panel, representing the more experienced director in ‘View from the Top’  was truly reflective of the challenging role of being a director. The candid comments and honest perceptions from the speakers had the audience nodding in agreement and understanding as the messages, advice and humorous story telling of their director journey hit a cord with most of us in the room.   And who says business people can’t have fun… the conference was brought to an end by our YD committee member, Gavin Annon, spinning the decks on the rooftop terrace! We have definitely set the bar high for the 2020 conference following the success of the YDC this year!

On the 18th Oct, NI was strongly represented at the national Director of the Year Awards (DOTYA) in London.  NI member, Sarah McAnallen lifted the Student of the Year award for her range of mobility  products to help individuals live a more independent life. Well done Sarah! We look forward to watching you continue to develop your business and your profile in this area. 

Other events this month included an interactive and informative breakfast, delivered by Eversheds Sutherland, on Reputation and Crisis Management.  The big take away from this event – is brand awareness, reputational risk and crisis management is not an add on to your company’s strategy and planning - but rather an inaugural part of senior decision making.  Definitely food for thought – given some of the examples of disasters the speakers shared when this area is put to the bottom of the pile or at worst ignored.

The business dinners delivered this month saw an eclectic mix of speakers, including Microsoft Ireland’s MD, Cathriona Hallahan; Dale Farm’s CEO, Nick Whelan and SONI’s new MD, Jo Aston.  All representing very different industries but with a commonality in their message that being a director is not easy and the importance of a strong network and team is paramount to continued success and growth.

Coming up in November, a few events to put on your radar.

Our last New Member Lunch for 2019 is on 14 Nov. If you haven’t had a chance to attend one of these lunches throughout the year then please do get in touch.  The lunch is an excellent opportunity to broaden your IoD network and contacts and to hear more about member benefits and professional development. There is also a lovely lunch provided by Pinsent Masons!

  Book here 

Our Director’s Drinks on 13 Nov in Malmaison, will be relaxed and informal with the emphasis on making new contacts, hearing from prominent business people who have gone through IoD’s professional qualification journey and an opportunity to catch up with the local IoD team.  All this over some drinks and canapes and a chance for networking before the madness of Christmas begins.  

Remember: "Networking is not about just connecting people. It's about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities." 
Book here

Our last drop in clinic is being held in Bangor, at SERC on 27th November. This is an opportunity for members and non-members to catch up with some of the IoD team and hear more about membership and professional development. If you are in this area please do get in touch – it would be lovely to see you!

As always, please get in touch if you have any queries or want to talk about IoD membership.

Heather White 

For more information, please contact the IoD NI Office on: 

028 9694 6740


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