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My IoD experience: Phuong Skovgaard, IoD99

01 May 2019

Phuong joined the IoD in 2018 and is an active member of the IoD East of England region and Cambridgeshire branch, as well as the IoD99 community

What was the main challenge you experienced as a business leader before joining the IoD?

I didn’t have a supporting network to help me develop my business. I signed up to a number of networks and institutions without great results, as I didn’t feel comfortable asking for help.

I am looking for like-minded business people, who are passionate about what they do and look out for collaborative partners in order to provide a better service or product to their clients. The IoD provides just the networks and platform for that!

I have been member for 2 years now. I wish I had listened to my partner and joined earlier - he has been member for decades.

What is your favourite thing about being part of the IoD community?

There are so many benefits being members of IoD from services and support to premises - I can’t choose a favourite! Having said that, I appreciate the effort the IoD puts into helping members in networking and collaborating rather than just selling. There are breakfast meetings, social events, evening events, Open House events, in-house support, premises and more, a unique platform for across industries. Furthermore, the IoD staff provide excellent service, who sincerely want to help my business grow. For example, when I come to an event, I’d be introduced to people they think could work with me. They make me feel welcome and wanted.

What are three other benefits you’ve enjoyed as a result of being a member?

I enjoy the opportunity to be able to have meetings in 116 Pall Mall when I’m in London.

I enjoy the attention I get as a member, we are remembered by name and our businesses are remembered.

I enjoy meeting some great speakers and other members, who are also supportive. Most importantly, all or most of the events are free for members, so they arrange them because they want to, not because there is a profit aspect.

How has being a part of the IoD helped you in business?

I’ve had initial discussions with a few members that I think I can do business with. I’ve interviewed some great people I’ve met through IoD events in my webinar series.  I’ve got a network of people, who’d like to work with me or introduce me to the people they think could do business with me. The collaborative culture feels powerful.

What do you think of the events and support offered by your IoD region?

The events are beyond expectations, the support is always great - such as getting a meeting room if I need one urgently while I’m there. There are great guest speakers at breakfast meetings and evening meetings. Local business visits have been arranged, and other general IoD events such as Open House are also available. Helpfully, I'm also reminded and encouraged to sign up for events that might be of interest to me that I might have missed, so I don't miss out. The atmosphere is inspiring and warm.

What does being a director mean to you?

I have to create a vision for myself and the people who help me. I connect and facilitate the board with the team to meet business target without compromising customer satisfaction and people well-being.

Performance depends on judgement, decision and delivery. A director needs a healthy mind and charisma to have good judgement, a great ability to make decision and a strong team to deliver. I like to consider myself as a conductor conducting orchestras to create beautiful concerts!

What would be your advice to anyone considering becoming an IoD member?

IoD membership has been the best investment I’ve ever made. I’ve been member of many institutions and networks, but the IoD has been the most supportive one. The IoD is not only an institution but a community of business people who want to collaborate and grow. it is thanks to the people who run the IoD that we have a working network and a platform to keep it evolving.

If you could give one piece of advice to fellow directors, what would it be?

I have a lovely family, a creative sister, a supportive life partner and an appreciative son, who have helped me through hurdles on the way. I am grateful to the incredible people who’ve helped me through a series of career changes, personal changes and ups and downs. I’ve learned to receive, I stay in touch and share experiences, which seems to be enough as return. I do the same to the people who need help, and it seems to work that way. The learnings and decisions I’ve made have got me here, and I’ll continue striving to make things better, which I'd recommend to all directors. We are unique individuals with unique skills and experience, mine is just one of many. We all are capable of doing great things if only we believe enough in ourselves and take advantages of the support we get including the support from the IoD.


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To find out more about joining the IoD as an IoD99, Full or Advance member, visit our membership pages here.

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