In 2017, EP is launching the NED Panel which aims to bring together a number of the leading players from over the last twenty years who wish to still play valuable roles to both growing businesses and with the changing nature of the market and Industry. As we stand we have around 30 senior Industry players and Chairman as part of the panel drawn from the fields of hotels, food service, restaurants, sport and leisure.
The last year has shown that the world is changing. Even the Bank of England has openly accepted its own faults in understanding both the 2008 crash and the fallout from Brexit.
There is a question in the air over whether thinking has become narrower over the years and that many have become lazier in their approach to business. Many say that business dynamics have changed but often the fundamentals have just been lost along the way. For example, how long has HR not being focused on developing the Human Asset? How long instead has it been focused on other issues? How many cultures are almost strangled by internal processes?
The hard truth is that this is a time for experienced and serious people to deal with serious issues. The traditional structures are struggling with the changes taking place. Business is positioned to lead change. The stage is set and there has never been a more important time to bring together boards and experience and knowledge.
Some argue that this is one of the most difficult times but the truth is that many of the Industry’s proven leaders have seen many crisis’s over the years from the 3 day week in the 1970s to the Miners strikes, recessions of the 80s and 90s, the Crash of 2008/9, the Gulf war of 1990.
Today, the real difference arguably is that:
- We are experiencing a period whereby young talent is leaving the education system with less leadership and life skills than those of previous eras. Many universities acknowledge the problem as do many businesses struggling to find the next generation’s leaders.
- We are experiencing a new Industrial revolution that is changing the business world just as radically as the first Industrial revolution did in Victorian times. All businesses will need to change.
- There is a recognition that the traditional structures are struggling – whether institutions, or politics – and arguably business needs to act as the leaders in social and economic change. This could be a time for both supporting the social entrepreneurs that are rising, the creators that are inventing and business that needs to act as social leaders.
- There is recognition that there is a need to focus more on culture and the development of talent again. There has been arguably too much focus on brands, processes and systems. As the great quote so aptly states: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
- It is very difficult to judge change to come (as 2016 so clearly illustrated) but Brexit will happen and Europe will need to change plus there are new markets to be competed for. The experience of those that experienced such times before and understand the global markets could be invaluable
- Great people will become a premium again and there is a need to mentor/coach the emerging talent.
The NED Panel could therefore play an important role for Industry.
EP is developing a number of core discussion themes this year which include:
- Support of growing businesses through Industry experts and NEDs. Knowledge and experience is at a premium and our aim is to make access an easier process.
- The marriage between proven leaders and emerging talent. There is a new exciting generation emerging but they need support as they do possess a different perspective on business, culture and people. Arguably this is the first time when both generations need the skills of the other.
At the same time there is a wealth of knowledge and experience that wants to give back to industry and young businesses.
- There is a need to look at some of today’s problems in different ways and through experienced eyes. This group can be a very important both on thought leadership but also in mentoring boards and emerging leaders.
On this basis, EP will be running a strong programme that brings together this group on a regular basis and to promote the importance of using those with experience.
There has never been a more important time for business to use NEDs.