Inaugural National Chartered Director Conference a Success

The inaugural national Chartered Director Conference held earlier this month has been declared a success.

Hosted by the IoD’s South West region and staged at Aerospace Bristol, the conference shone a spotlight on issues facing UK businesses, with the theme ‘Building Success Through People’.

The Chartered Director Qualification promotes lifelong learning, part of the IoD’s mission to create better directors for a better world. The conference brought together chartered directors from throughout the country, those on their journey to CDir status and IoD regional ambassadors to learn from leading experts.

The brainchild of South West chair Steve Hill and Robert Varley, Ambassador for chartered directors in the South West, themselves both chartered directors, the conference aimed to equip current and aspiring chartered directors to be better directors through learning from experts and peers about building organisational success through people.

Robert Varley said: “When I became an ambassador in 2019, my ambition was to build a special experience in the IoD for chartered directors. Building on the great feedback we received from last year’s South West Chartered Director Conference, we worked with the IoD events team to stage the IoD’s first national event to bring together both chartered directors and those aspiring to the qualification.”

Fifty six delegates attended the conference from around the UK, from as far afield as Aberdeen, Cornwall and Northern Ireland.

Robert continues: “I am passionate about developing people and the purpose of the conference was to equip directors with the knowledge and skills to do their job more effectively. Coming out of the Covid experience, last year’s event focussed on resilience in the face of a volatile future but the key takeaway was that the lynchpin to success is recruiting and developing the right people with the right skills and motivation, to do the right things in the right way. Hence this year’s theme ‘Building Success Through People’.

“Businesses talk about people being their most important assets but so many employees continue to feel unappreciated, pushed to achieve ever great things without being given the skills or inspiration to achieve them. It is a real gap in leadership and corporate governance that not all businesses see the value of creating a great workplace experience and paying equal attention to this as other important areas of the business such as marketing and the accounts.”

The afternoon of keynote speakers, workshops and an expert discussion panel was followed a by a reception hosted by the CEO of Aerospace Bristol, Sally Cordwell.

Keynote speakers included Kathryn Stone OBE, chair of the Bar Standards Board and previously Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards; Oliver Cummings, CEO of board search specialist Nurole; Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the Institute of Directors and Mark Bishop of wealth management and professional services group Evelyn Partners which sponsored the event.

The workshop leaders were governance, risk and assurance specialist Michael Lucas; Carolyn Clarke of Brave Within; Workplace Culture Consultant Marita Price; Andy Hawkins, founder of Business on Purpose; and wellbeing expert Criag Fearn.

Robert adds: “After our success this year, we hope the baton will be taken up by another region to stage the next conference. Two key challenges for business came out of the panel session with which we concluded – the huge consequences of continued hybrid and remote working on businesses and AI which will profoundly affect everything in our society. I suspect we will see much more about these topics at future conferences.”

Steve Hill said: “I would like to thank the delegates who travelled from across the UK to attend the conference.

“Successful organisations work together with purpose to strengthen individual, team and organisational performance. There is no one simple solution but a range of brilliant speakers shared a wealth of knowledge and I hope that delegates will be inspired by their collective ideas and use them to good effect within their own organisations.”

Roisin Sweeney, IoD Director of Membership Services, added: “It was a truly impactful event for both the South West region and the CDir community. The packed programme of speakers shared their inspiring stories and well-evidenced advice. Meanwhile, the workshops encouraged self-reflection, the sharing of experience and created a collaborative environment for our members to help each other discover solutions to their current business challenges.”

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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