Reflecting on a Dynamic February: A Business Leader's Journey

Reflecting on a Dynamic February: A Business Leader’s Journey

February was far more than just Valentine’s Day and stacks of pancakes for me. It was a whirlwind of events and engagements that set the tone for what promises to be an incredibly productive year for businesses like mine. Allow me to take you through the highlights of my month, packed with insights, inspiration, and invaluable connections.

NorDev: A Gathering of Minds

Kicking off the month with NorDev was an absolute pleasure. Alex Scotton, Matthew Surtees, and their team orchestrated two days filled with enriching discussions and thought-provoking presentations. Garth and Eamonn’s contrasting views on Enterprise IT sparked conversations on ‘what is the modern developer’ that echoed in our office for days. Elle’s keynote on embracing mistakes and sharing her personal journey through ultimate frisbee left a lasting impression, reminding us that vulnerability is a strength. Andrew’s exploration of the future of AI, and the potential for human-AI collaboration, brought humour and enlightenment to the forefront. Somdip’s insights into minimising food waste and fostering energy-efficient AI solutions underscored the importance of sustainability in technology. Maryleen’s caution against AI-washing resonated deeply, urging us to tread carefully in our pursuit of innovation when incorporating AI technology.

Generation Growth: Nurturing Small Business Success

Attending The Small Business Manifesto at Mansion House, London, hosted by Goldman Sachs, was a privilege. What did we learn:

  • 55% of SMEs can’t access the talent they need to grow
  • 75% of SMEs believed the UK is a great place to start and scale a business
  • Only 12% of SMEs feel that formal education is equipping young people for work

Charlotte Keenan led an engaging conversation with industry luminaries like George Osborne, Ed Balls, Kevin Hollinrake, and Rushanara Ali, among others. Kevin Hollinrake’s reflection of Winston Churchill’s words, “Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is – the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.” – small businesses are the backbone of the economy and this is a reminder of the indispensable role we play in driving growth.

Be the Change Consortium: Championing Diversity and Inclusion

The Be the Change Consortium provided a platform to champion diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. Maria Onyango’s conversation on neurodiversity underscored the value of embracing cognitive differences in the workplace. Gary Stannett’s insights into attracting underrepresented talent highlighted the importance of proactive recruitment strategies. Dr. Naeema Pasha’s exploration of workplace equity and the impact of AI sparked discussions on the future of the hiring process. Hearing firsthand from young students about their experiences and aspirations reinforced our commitment to fostering opportunities for the underrepresented community.

Business Leaders’ Event with Rachel Reeves MP: Advocating for Change

The month ended in a gathering of over 100 business leaders from Suffolk and the East of England, hosted by Jack Abbott and sponsored by PLMR Genesis. Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, provided invaluable insights into the government’s strategy for bolstering the economy. As a small business leader, knowing that our voices are heard is integral to shaping policies and that help to create a thriving UK economy.

Reflecting on February, it has been a month filled with inspirational experiences and building meaningful connections. Each event reinforced the importance of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity in driving business success. Here’s to a year of growth, resilience, and positive change.

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