Brilliance is shining right across North
Today, New York will be celebrating the Fourth of July, which dates back to the Declaration of Independence of 1776.
But tonight, in our own historic York, I’ll be joining business leaders from across Yorkshire and the North East to celebrate the very best in leadership and entrepreneurship at our Director of the Year Awards..
Just around the corner from our celebrations, our future Prime Minister will be taking part in the latest leadership hustings. Let’s hope that regional business is at the heart of that debate because, five years after its creation, the Northern Powerhouse still feel more like a power cut – the furnace needs to be relit.
Despite this, our business brilliance across the north is shining brighter than ever before.
It is more than a decade since I first had the privilege of being involved with our prestigious awards and, this year, the judges’ feedback is that the quality of entries is higher than ever.
One of the themes of tonight’s awards dinner will be the need to constantly stay on your toes in a fast-changing economic, political and technological climate. Evolution is also a theme for the IoD itself, as our organisation starts a new chapter in its long history.
The IoD was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. Our heritage is incredibly important to us and means we are a strong and well-recognised brand for professional business leaders.
But, just like any other business, we must evolve. After a challenging year we have reflected on the changes required, shown resilience in the face of adversity and emerged as a more agile organisation. We are fortunate that our resilience is our members.
Our chair Charlotte Valeur, who will be with us for our awards this evening, recently said: “For over a hundred years, the IoD has supported, developed, and represented our directors. I want to set it on the path for the next hundred years. If we truly embrace change, we can achieve this and breathe new life into the organisation’s founding values.”
One of the areas in which we are strongest is professional development. As those who regularly read this column will know, I am an advocate of lifelong learning.
On 8 November this year, we are returning to the Principal York, the venue for tonight’s awards dinner, for a fantastic day of professional development. Topics will include strategic decision making and practical tips for becoming a non-executive director.
It was a great personal honour to speak about ‘Resilience During Change’ at the recent Turnaround Management Association Regional Conference at Aspire in Leeds.
Aspire is a building rich with historic interest that has stood the test of time and shown resilience during times of change. It stands where the original Leeds General Infirmary was built in 1771 and later became the original head office for the Yorkshire Penny Bank.
What a shame that a region with such banking history is set to lose the Yorkshire Bank name as part of the rebrand to Virgin Money.
- Learn more about the IoD’s plans in this region at our professional development day on 8 November in York or IoD Open House at the Grand Hotel, York, with interim director general Anna Daroy on 2 October.
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Natalie Sykes, Regional Director, Institute of Directors Yorkshire & North East