"2021: Challenging but positive" (JEP - 22 December 2021)

In the 55 years since the IoD Jersey was established, our society and economy has never had to face the challenges that we’ve seen in the past two years.

Our organisation exists to support our business community members, lobbying on their behalf, and also setting the highest standards of corporate governance. That role has never been more important than now, as we all face unprecedented economic and social pressures. Despite the challenges, we’ve had a productive year in 2021, and are very much looking forward to working with members and the wider community in 2022.

Members are the heart of the IoD

I’m proud to say that we are one of just two branches in the UK and internationally with the highest growth rate in membership numbers. That’s a testament to the work of our fifty or so volunteers, who represent and reflect the interests of our business community.

A major element of serving our members is communication, which has never been more important in our current fast-changing situation. We have been able to send over a hundred briefings to members, keeping them up to date with the latest advice and regulations and ensuring they have the relevant information needed to run their businesses.

We have also continued with our series of informative talks and workshops in the areas of diversity and inclusion, technology and innovation, environment and industry. Some of the highlights have been our ‘A Brave New World’ panel, which looked at the lessons learned from the first pandemic year. Sharing best practice and innovative ways to not only survive, but thrive is a key chracteristic of our community. Likewise, another event, ‘Unlocking the Island’s Potential: Social Mobility’, helped address not only the issue of diversity in our community but also the need to build the best team possible in order to realise potential.

This year, we have also continued to play a pivotal role in lobbying and liaising with Government on our members’ behalf. It is critical that this two-way conversation is maintained and respected so that informed decision making can take place and businesses are enabled to succeed.

Working for our Island

As part of our commitment to informed decision-making, we launched a successful campaign to encourage more people to stand in the 2022 elections, in order to increase the diversity and quality of candidates. We will continue with this twelve month campaign, and to encourage everyone to turn out and vote in June, further to our recent Leaders’ lunch entitled “Your Island, your voice, your choice”. While we are a business organisation, we all live and work in our society, and the success of businesses directly impacts people’s jobs and the economy’s tax revenues, so whatever we do at the IoD is for the benefit of the Island as a whole.

The future

IoD Jersey has continued to focus on nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. We do this through our Future Leader’s Scheme, which gives Sixth Form students the opportunity to spend one week ‘shadowing’ a director or senior manager.

We have also continued with our flagship Professional Development courses, which are critical in ensuring we are training and supporting new managers and rising leaders to ensure they have the best corporate governance skills. We have to invest in our managers. The pandemic has proven that good leadership skills are absolutely essential in aiding decision making and navigating organisations through uncharted waters, while also bringing all the staff on that journey.

Recognising success and achievements

One of the highlights of our year is always the Director of the Year Awards, which celebrate those who are making a real difference. We got together in September to showcase an expanded ten categories of award nominees and winners. It was a wonderful opportunity for our community to socialise after Covid restrictions, as well as highlighting the talented individuals we have in the Island. It is the strength and skill of individuals that help lead organisations through the Covid crisis, and in recognition of that, I gave three discretionary Chair awards this year, instead of the usual one.

Looking forward to 2022

We have plenty to look forward to in 2022, despite the ongoing Covid challenges. We are forging ahead with our event planning, and we will continue to focus on the election campaign, encouraging all those we can to get out and vote.

The issues we face as businesses, such as rising costs and difficulties recruiting, aren’t just a Jersey problem. These are world-wide challenges which also include global warming and the environment. Covid proved that working together really does make us stronger and at the IoD we will continue to seek opportunities to support and work together in the interests of Jersey.

My sincere thanks not only our members and the IoD team but also our sponsors and all those we have collaborated with during 2021. These include: Jersey Finance, the Jersey Good Business Charter, Lean In Jersey, The Diversity Network, Leadership Jersey, Jersey Business, and the local media.

I’m looking forward to working with you all again in 2022 and wish you, your families and colleagues a good and relaxing festive season in the interim.

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