Throughout the year the IoD has focussed on helping businesses to meet the challenge of thriving in a changing world.
Casting my thoughts back to the early hours of 24th June, as the results of the EU Referendum began to come through, it became clear that we’d be talking increasingly about ‘Brexit’ and leaving the European Union.
It was then that ‘thriving in a changing world’ became more relevant than we’d anticipated.
How can we look back at 2016 without mentioning this topic that has caused the most debate and discussion for businesses?
In the absence of a clear plan for exiting the EU, the IoD and most business organisations favoured delaying the triggering of Article 50.
With a newly appointed Prime Minister and government ministerial team we were told that it will happen in March 2017, subject to the outcome of legal challenges regarding whether the government or parliament has the authority to decide on Brexit.
Away from the politics however many businesses have remained in a quandary over how to prepare for Brexit.
It’s important that they analyse where any changes to market access could be impacted, and ensure that B2B and B2C relationships are compromised as little as possible through pre-emptive conversations now.
Embracing the opportunities presented by Brexit, while recognising and addressing the difficulties, will be crucial in ensuring Britain and its businesses thrive in a changing world.
It’s pleasing to know that despite warnings of poor business performance arising from the Brexit decision, most business leaders have reported that it’s been ‘business as usual’ and that’s undoubtedly helped boost UK economic growth this year.
In fact, output rose for the first time in November after almost 18 months of decline.
While the economy has stabilised, there have also been warnings that it won’t last and that businesses could face a bumpy road ahead in 2017.
We were very pleased that Darren Crookes the Managing Director of Lincoln based APSS, a company he set up in 1997, was named as our East Midlands Director of the Year at an awards event in June. Darren also won the Mid-Market award.
The company is privately owned and operates in the construction and interior fit-out sector.
Additional good news was Lincolnshire being recognised as the most successful county for the awards that also saw the Public/Third Sector award go to Malcolm Barham, Chief Executive, YMCA Lincolnshire; and the Non-Executive Director award go to Chris Trigg, Managing Director, Crucis Consultants Ltd.
This year has also seen the successful recruitment of our new Director General, another Lincolnshire based business leader!
Stephen Martin, currently chief executive of the Clugston Group, has been selected to replace Simon Walker.
He has led the Clugston Group, a large privately owned construction, logistics and property company based in Scunthorpe, since 2006.
During this time, the firm has featured in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100, The Sunday Times Top Track 250, and been celebrated in the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies To Inspire Britain report.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Stephen took part in the Channel 4 TV show, Undercover Boss, which saw him going incognito in his own company to learn what employees really thought of the firm. Stephen will take up his appointment in January.