It's good to talk By Jarmila Yu, Chair IoD Surrey branch
IoD South relaunched the Coffee & Connect virtual networking events earlier this year.
These events are now run monthly in most regional branches, usually hosted by the branch Chair and with some of the branch Ambassadors also attending. They are open to all IoD members to attend, including members from nearby branches.
As I write this, the summer holidays have just ended, and everyone is back to work. Having just hosted our September IoD Surrey branch Coffee and Connect online I can confirm the spirit was one of being fully focused on business and I’m pleased to report that after several months of falling business confidence there was a sense of rising optimism. This tracks with recent reports from a range of business membership organisations including the IoD Directors’ Economic Confidence Index.
Now, unsurprisingly given the summer break allowing for personal reflection, the conversation turned to professional development needs to support ambitious business plans and goals. There was also much discussion on how to influence management teams and boards to help them adopt a growth mindset too.
Unlike some other networking events, (and many of the IoD’s renowned educational/training focussed events), our Coffee and Connect ones normally have no set agenda, no theme. We purposely want to allow members to bring to the fore what is on their mind. A facilitated free-flowing conversation allows a discussion theme to naturally appear. In September, five topics naturally evolved from those in the room.
- “Innovation” – what does this mean and can it truly be achieved with hybrid working?
- Rhythm of business – has seasonality left us now for good as we operate “always-on”?
- Could “adaptability” hold the key to winning in business?
- Have we turned a corner and now understand and value business coaching, mentoring and consultancy to add fresh perspectives, plug gaps and benefit from experience
- From “lean” to “mean”-ingful – having become as lean as possible, it’s now time to protect the value and prepare for sustainable, meaningful growth.
The emerging theme for the September event was clear: “What’s needed in today’s business world to encourage growth and drive success?”
It was refreshing to see that despite massive ongoing economic headwinds, the entrepreneurial spirit embodied in IoD members was thriving and vibrant.
As many attest to business being a team sport and that environment dictates performance, joining professional business communities and being a generous networker can give you a valuable boost.
To book your place on one of our next events, click here.
This is a guest blog which contains the views of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of the IoD.