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From passionate and ambitious 99 members, CorpCru is born

08 Nov 2017

IoD 99 member shaking hands with another business leader at an event

IoD 99 logoYou may have noticed a bit of a buzz around the place at 116 Pall Mall lately, or maybe you’ve heard mention on social media channels of a new movement, a network of entrepreneurs on a mission to bring two worlds together for the greater good.

I wouldn’t be surprised, that will be the waves being made by the IoD 99 CorpCru (Corporate Crusaders); a virtual team of entrepreneurs from the IoD 99 network on a mission to help larger companies within the IoD’s Business network become more entrepreneurial.

It was last year’s IoD Annual Convention that sparked the origins of the CorpCru, when a number of 99ers attending the event saw clearly the opportunity to become more pro-active in providing the thousands of members running larger businesses with access to our entrepreneurial thinking.

“Business resilience is about flourishing not surviving, essential to that is agile leadership, a more entrepreneurial mindset and an operating model that can keep pace,” said the BSI Group representative who hosted a seminar at the convention.

There was a core theme within the event around “Business Resilience” and a number of trusted advisors, including Howard Kerr and the team at BSI Group, made it clear that large businesses need to become more adaptive and entrepreneurial. It seemed like the solution was right there in front of everyone, they just didn’t know it!

“The IoD99 is a fantastic community of entrepreneurs brimming with energy and ideas, the problem is there is no opportunity for them to engage the wider IoD membership on the issues they face as Directors of larger companies”

Mike Orchard, Founder, Skills Hive, IoD 99 member and Founding member, CorpCru

A group of 99ers came together and started to plan an event that would be a catalyst for conversations between Directors of larger companies and the IoD99 community, structured to accommodate an ongoing dialogue that could lead to action.

The idea was then pitched to Alex Mitchell, Chair of IoD99, Tomasz Letniowski, Chair of IoD Young Directors Forum, and Jamie Kerr, Head of External Affairs in the IoD policy team, their enthusiasm was quickly sparked and we got their commitment to run a test.

The pilot event took place in June and attracted almost 100 attendees, a mixture of 99ers and YDFers wanting to help our three speakers explore the challenges they face in their respective sectors.

Each speaker had 10 minutes to explain what they are finding difficult about running a larger company in these times of rapid change, and we then broke out into three discussion groups with the audience joining the group they felt they could contribute most value to.

The results were amazing, our speakers were literally overwhelmed by the volume and value of the ideas being generated. Contributors found themselves being naturally generous with what amounted to “billable advice” thanks to the collaborative structure of the event.

“By far the best IoD event I’ve ever been to in terms of value and relevance, I can’t believe the level of understanding and engagement on the issues we are facing”

Jane Ollis, Director, Quvium and Chair, IoD Kent

Everyone who participated was invited to join the CorpCru in forming working parties to continue the dialogue with each speaker. The various individuals have donated their time and specific skill sets to begin transforming those conversations into a more commercial dialogue.

As things stand, we have initiated a project with one of the speakers and have proposals on the table with the other two that are expected to reach fruition early in the new year.

The first CorpCru event in Café Duke at 116 Pall Mall was such a success, there are now plans to take the format out to the regions in 2018, and run three more events in London.

Before then we will be taking over one of the IoD’s co-working spaces to host the next event, which will be in London on 7th December. This is a chance for us to refine the design and content slightly, giving it more of a sector based focus to keep the numbers manageable and generate more value for the speakers.

The sector under the spotlight next month will be Construction and the Built Environment

“With large projects typically going 20% over time and 80% over budget, the construction industry is ripe for disruption”

McKinsey & Company

So, if you’re interested in coming along to contribute ideas, join in with the debate or even take on a speaker role – just get in touch with the CorpCru!

You can register to attend the next IoD 99 CorpCru event here.

Want to learn more about the exciting and innovative IoD 99 community? Get in touch via or check out

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