President's Message October 2015
October proved to be an action packed month at the Chamber. Firstly, we started the month with our fabulous award nominees and fellow Chamber members gathering for our annual Business Awards evening at Aldwickbury Golf club and I took great personal pleasure in presenting the video clips on the evening and also handing out the well-deserved awards to the ultimate winners. Secondly, our October business breakfast hosted by St Michael’s Manor featured an excellent presentation given by Chamber members Pat Strods and Jon Hussey on behalf of their respective firms Rayner Essex Accountants and Lumin Wealth management on the very important topic of Auto Enrolment.
Finally, we ended on a high at the end of the month with a networking lunch at the award winning Thompson at Darcy's. We are extremely fortunate to partner with so many of our members throughout the year to deliver professional content at first class venues and this seems a good opportunity to thank everyone who has partnered with us throughout this year for your support.
In my own professional life, I am getting ready for a whole week of events dedicated to driving growth through innovation. Innovation is a word which often conjures up images of high-tech robots completing complex tasks or life changing technology breakthroughs which transform the business landscape in any given industry. Whilst technology does play a key role in innovation, I would argue that growth through innovation demands a much wider definition. For instance, recent research undertaken by my own employer has highlighted that whilst the vast majority of businesses have traditionally focused their sales efforts on the domestic market, many are now exploring export opportunities in order to seek out more lucrative and higher growth markets. Similarly, attitudes to recruitment and staffing are constantly innovating with the growth of apprenticeships, flexible working arrangements, home working and flexible contract terms. Other areas in which innovation is playing an ever important role are supply chain management, sourcing of raw materials, distribution channels, routes to market, advertising, marketing, PR and the list goes on.
In preparation for these events, one common theme which has been key to our deliberations has been how do we provide the most effective support to businesses to stimulate and encourage innovation and consequently drive growth? At the Chamber our purpose is to drive the growth agenda locally and stimulate activity in our local economy. Given that we do not possess all the answers, it would be great if you were to share with us how you are innovating within your own business and industry and what impact this has had on your own growth aspirations and outcomes.
So, as we move in to the pre-Christmas period and I am madly trying to diet in anticipation of a few nights out in December, I am looking forward to seeing many of you at our November events and particularly at the glamour event of the season, the Chamber ball! Until then …