Kent February breakfast roundtable

By Anwen Cooper, Kent IoD Ambassador
Mission Director & Co-founder, Thrivall

On 20th February, I chaired the first in-person Breakfast Roundtable event for the Kent IoD. Organised by our Chair Sweena Badhan and kindly hosted by Martin Kingman at his Pro Legal Group HQ, the event sold out within a couple of days of going on sale, showing the high demand from Kent-based business leaders to meet up and talk with their peers about current issues.

With a packed roomful of IoD Members, we started the morning’s discussion with an introduction from Louise Rochford, Enterprise Coordinator with Kent & Medway Careers Hub. Louise shared details about the opportunity to become a schools Enterprise Advisor, which then opened into a dialogue about the Future of Work, both opportunities and risks, plus the importance of positive and inspiring role-models, mentors and support for young people.

The topic of People and Culture then naturally followed with a number of those present giving insight into how they were building trust and flexibility in their teams through remote and hybrid working. Joe Milner, Partner & Solicitor from Loch Associates brought his professional expertise to bear by highlighting the upcoming changes to the law, which will mean that all employers will now have statutory obligations to offer flexible working from day one of new joiners being with their organisation.

Generational differences were also talked about, with many of those in the room recognising that the younger ‘Gen Z’ want to work for a business that stands for something, with a clear purpose beyond profit and an employee value proposition plus coaching support to build their resilience and develop potential.

Before the session ended, the discussion turned towards the ongoing challenge with cost of living, energy and wages bills and the question of whether AI could replace people in some organisations to produce a better ROI was thrown into the mix.

In closing, Sweena reminded us of the many resources freely available to members via the IoD website and also the Chartered Director programmes and CPD opportunities.

We look forward to the next event being announced in due course and anticipate it will be another popular one!

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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