We talk to our new IoD South chair and Founder of Serious Readers, Alex Pratt, about his many failures and mad ideas.
Why are you proud to represent the IoD?
In the end, everything we
hold dear is a function of someone’s leadership. My own economic starting point
tends to be ‘blessed are the wealth creators, for they shall inherit the bill’, because our way of life as a civilised democracy needs to be paid for.
The IoD, in standing for ever improving leaders is here to make the case for
better businesses and higher standards of leadership across society. It’s a
great honour to be able to work with a group of such committed members, active
branch chairs and professional executive team players.
What is the IoD’s role for business leaders in your region?
We are here to keep setting
the bar higher and to encourage you as great leaders to reach ever higher. We
do this through our events and debates, and by stimulating us all to
share and question ideas, perceived wisdom and experiences.
Tell me a little about the members you represent.
IoD South has about 8,000
members from business services to manufacturing, from pharma to space
technologies. We are young, old, small, male, female, hands-on, strategic and
all other points of the business compass. What unites us is that we all hold
leadership positions and have major potential to make a big impact on the world
What’s so unique about your region?
There is a substantial
economy in the South which runs independent of London. In point of fact, the
South is the only region of the UK outside of London which is a net contributor
to the Exchequer. This net contribution is in reality delivered by our highly
competitive, innovative and productive business base, all sectors of which are
represented in the IoD through our broad membership base of Directors.
What does your region offer business leaders?
There are good reasons why
the South prospers as one of the most competitive regions in the world. At the
heart of our productivity engine sits a talented, well-educated, diverse
workforce with a global innovative mindset. There are just as many reasons why
this talent congregates here, such as our proximity to the world’s No 1 City,
our incredible lush green environment, and our position at the heart of many
global trade channels from the Commonwealth to Financial markets.
What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?
Hopefully thriving in what
many expect to be one of the most turbulent periods of the modern era. We
are certainly living in interesting times.
Finally, what's your personal business ethos?
Hire people better than me
and getting out of their way. This seems to work, as long as we set a clear
compelling direction of travel that is worth everyone getting up for in the