Impact Executives Annual Change Leadership Event
On Wednesday February 12th, Impact Executives hosted our Annual Leadership and Business Change Event at the Soho Hotel.
Christine de Largy opened the evening by presenting the results of our Annual Change Leadership Survey, discussing the complexity and ever increasing pace of change and what this change looks like. A key finding was that 62% of respondents expected their key focus to be growth rather than driving out business efficiencies. Also that technology was driving the most change which in turn transforms customer behaviours. Interestingly leaders were not focused on the impact of Gen Y, a slight contradiction.
The evening continued with a keynote speech from Lucy Marcus. Lucy is a board chair and non-executive director who is challenging conventional wisdom inside and outside the board room, she has emerged as a strong voice setting the agenda on future proofing boardrooms around the world.
When survey results showed that businesses feel the importance of considering Gen-Y’ is the same as it was 5 years ago, Lucy was reminded of a time when the board room was a mysterious creature to the rest of the business and world. But as Lucy went on to explain, with Gen-Y, technology and social media becoming a stronger force, this is no longer the case. Nowadays with people tweeting live from the boardroom, and the consumer having a louder voice than ever, those proverbial walls are coming down and need to be taken much more seriously than before.
This tied into Lucy’s next point that executives now need to be focused in two ways being Grounded, looking at where the business is now and that it’s fulfilling all of its corporate and legal requirements. But also Star Gazing, looking 5, 10 even 20 years down the line at where and what the business should be. Lucy emphasized the need for both Grounding and Stargazing and the importance of the board to ask hard hitting questions and actively engage with the organisation. Getting this balance right is rare but when done properly, with the help of a diversified advisory board, ensures the company is doing what it needs to prepare itself for the future.
Businesses are being challenged and boards need to transform and diversify their boardrooms if they want to stand the test of time. But we are not facing anything new, we know the basics. And Lucy likened the challenge we face in today’s businesses with an anecdote about skiing – she’d done it before but sometime ago, with very different equipment, in a very different context. She made her way to the top of a slope she thought was quite doable but it was a white-out and in those conditions, very stretching. Physically, she knew what to do and how to get down the mountain in one piece but was mightily relieved when she saw the children’s group halfway down and followed them the rest of the way.
Lucy felt that perhaps the story was stronger without conceding she was helped from this group. But actually we feel that the theme of the night was ‘future proofing your business through transformation and having the right advisors in the business’. If in this instance the children’s group were the best advisors and were able to provide the help needed, then having the foresight to listen and learn to the most unexpected or unlikely sources, is a skill of great leaders.
Annabel Lewis-Grey with Lucy Marcus
About Impact Executives Ltd Impact Executives is a leading interim management provider to organisations of every size in the UK and globally. Originally formed as a specialist practice within PA Consulting Group, over the past 25 years Impact Executives has helped over 2000 companies, including more than two-thirds of the FTSE 250 – find the very best executive interim management talent. Clients choose to work in partnership with Impact Executives because of our proven ability to offer clients immediate solutions to improve their organisation’s performance.
With offices covering the UK, continental Europe, Nordics, Asia Pacific and Australia, Impact Executives is part of the global services consultancy Harvey Nash Group plc, giving clients and interim managers the confidence that we have the resources, expertise and focus to deliver results – fast.
For further information on Impact Executives, please contact Steffany Young, Impact Executives, Tel: 0044 20 7314 2011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When: February 12, 2014
Where: The Soho Hotel