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The Chair's blog - December 2018

21 Dec 2018
charlotte valeur

In another busy month, my first 100 days “discovery tour” came to a close.

In my opinion as a leader when you enter a new organisation you can spend the first 100 days going “oooo” and “aaaah” as you find out what is going on. This is an important phase, enabling you to get a feel for how things operate.

Once you reach Day 100 however, you own it thereafter. You put a line in the sand and go forward based on insight and knowledge. So this is it for my discovery period and now the work begins in earnest.

Our mission is an exciting one: to cultivate and support better leaders, which in turn fosters better business and even a better society. I want to see this great institute, its board, council, staff, volunteers and members move forward together with great clarity and confidence to achieve this.

We are in a unique position to influence society in key areas such as governance, leadership, and enterprise. By standing together on common goals and values with an aim to always move forward, we have the opportunity to grow together and individually.

We have a seat at the table with government. Both locally and nationally we play a prominent role shaping policy, in round tables, committees, research, initiatives – the list goes on.

One of the government initiatives I represent IoD members on is a working group with the Department for Business focussed on Business, Diversity and Inclusion, involving Business Secretary alongside a number of people from various industries. The group function as a sounding board for new ideas and a forum to share best practices and identify any challenges in promoting inclusivity.

I think this issue strikes a particularly strong chord at this time of year. As we enter the festive period, many people’s thoughts will turn towards stories of that evince the theme of inclusion.

But it is also a theme that resonates as we celebrate the New Year, which always gives us pause to look back and consider progress made to date, while also looking ahead to where we want to be. Conversations around diversity have moved a long way in recent times. The world at large is now keenly aware of issues around gender inequality, but the debate today has broadened out to encompass other forms.

How do we achieve societies where everyone has equal access to opportunities, where all our children, no matter their social background, ethnicity, or gender can look up and see that the route to the top is open?

For me it starts with the leaders! We have to lead the way, not simply embracing the idea within our organisations, but also among ourselves, within the leadership community we are a part of. If all of us start that journey by consciously widening the variety of our own circles, then we have already moved the dial.

As an institute together we make a significant impact on society. By sharing knowledge, ideas, and experience, we help each other develop. By speaking as one voice we influence society. Through our events and fora we bring leaders from across difference communities together. These are just a few of the impacts we have together. The list is long but it’s worth taking a moment to consider it on a regular basis.

Reflecting on this impact with more attentiveness is important for all organisations, and particularly pertinent at this time in the year. It’s one of the many aspects of our institute that excites me for the next 100 days beyond.

With wishes of a joyful December and a blessed New Year to all of you.

Charlotte

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