A hundred years ago, Great Britain and Europe were on the brink of a deal that would impact the future of relationships on the continent and throughout the world.
The signing of the Armistice on the 11th of November was to be a ‘deal’ that would end the war to end all wars. Sadly, the way in which history played out during the last century demonstrated this was not to be the case.
The ongoing negotiations for the deal or no deal to leave the European Union will, whatever the outcome, inevitably change the way in which the UK and Europe evolve their relationship during this century and beyond.
Of course, the enormity of what had occurred before the Armistice and the unimaginable suffering and trauma of the so-called ‘Great’ War puts our current position into perspective - without wishing to diminish the huge importance of the current situation.
It is at this time of year, with the launch of the 2018 Poppy Appeal fresh in our minds, that we might take a moment to think of the sacrifice that those who have gone before us made for us and also to recognise the amazing contribution those who serve in the Armed Forces continuously make to keep us safe in a fragile world.
This is why, in the IoD in Wales will be signing the Armed Forces covenant at our annual Christmas party on December 14th.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve or who have served, and their families, which says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day to day lives.
To do that, the Armed Forces Covenant relies on the people, communities, and businesses of the UK to actively support it to make a meaningful difference. In order to harness that goodwill the IoD has an opportunity to influence and educate them about the benefits of employing members of the Defence talent pool in their organisations and tell them how they can contribute real value to a business, bringing a plethora of skills and experience - some of which they didn’t even know they needed. In turn the Armed Forces Covenant encourages the Armed Forces community to do their bit to promote and encourage this symbiotic relationship.
We need to remember and help and support those who serve or have served on our behalves and also their families who have made the necessary sacrifices to enable them to do this.
It's at this time of year that we pause and reflect on the past but in business, and whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations may bring, we must seize every opportunity to build relationships, cement friendships and create economic opportunities both on the European continent and on the wider world stage.
During this Remembrance season, I will be wearing my poppy with pride.
Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Director of the Institute of Directors in Wales