Martin Ellis and Harriet Finch from the RSE Group have teamed up to start an innovative networking group aimed at those people who will be leading businesses in the next 10-20 years. Typically this means first level managers and people that are starting or have young businesses now, who want to learn and develop their skills and support each other. But in fact anyone that is interested in leadership development can attend.
There was a real mix of ages and experience level at the launch event. For example, one lady has been six months in post on the management team of a printing business, another works for a lift company, two people are young partners in an accountancy firm and one man has a relatively new wholesale pharmacy business. I spoke to a lady who was an events organiser for a major venue who said: “I don’t normally get out of the office but this network will give me the chance to learn and develop my presentation skills. It will be great to meet other local like-minded and local business people.”
So what was the inspiration behind this new network?
Harriet explained that she had recently attended an event discussing the impact of technology on future business. She could really see how her job and others would be so different in the next 15-30 years. She went on to say: “What concerned me was that 75% of the people in the room would be retired in that period. At 25 years old I was by far the youngest person in the room. We need to ensure that our future leaders, who will feel the changes, are part of the discussion now and ensure they develop their skills to match the new business environment.”
Harriet is chairing the meetings and brings the ‘young’ perspective, while Martin Ellis (at 62) brings his experience to the table. A great combination for everyone attending the events.
Martin added: “I recently read in The Economist that, ‘Britain’s problem is not that it has too many fat cats but that it has too few good bosses; the real enemy is David Brent. Britain has too many second-rate, sloppy, oafish managers of the sort characterised by Ricky Gervais in The Office.’”
We need good leaders and this network is aiming to address that in Sussex.
The likely agenda for each event is:
7.30am start and networking (coffee, tea and pastries)
60 second round to introduce your business
Expert guest speaker and discussion
Seven minute member presentation
Optional 15 minutes additional networking
The speaker at the launch event was Huw Merriman MP. He gave a fascinating insight into the leadership challenges he faced and top tips from his investment banking career. The group talked about key issues they are facing at the moment which included major cost rises with purchasing raw materials, difficulties in hiring good people, keeping staff happy and loyal, life balance/wellbeing and knowing what the right marketing tactics are.
Location: The Johns Cross Meeting Room, Battle Road, Robertsbridge, TN32 5JH
Frequency: Last Friday of month
Time: 7.30am - 9am
Lock out: no
USP: developing future leaders
Minute round: yes
Speaker slot: yes
Cost: £12 per meeting
Do you know any ambitious people who would love to learn new skills in a supportive network to enrich their career in the years ahead? I’m sure you do. Let them know about this network so they can get on the mailing list! Email
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.