Anne Marie Forsyth, CEO, CCA
The glorious summer sun has provided some welcome relief from wall to wall Brexit news - it’s too nice to sit indoors and the barbecue beckons. I’ve even been saved by my iPhone glare making it hard to read in the sun - a sort of summer digital detox!
June has been a particularly busy month for CCA events, where around 400 professionals in our network have attended educational sessions in all corners of the UK and Ireland.
This week we hosted CCA Future Thought Leadership Forum in London looking over The Tower of London. The landscape with ancient historical buildings interspersed seamlessly with The Shard, Gherkin, and other new icons mirrored our agenda of understanding how elements of new start-up business models can be merged to help traditional ones from becoming extinct. There was agreement that it’s not a binary choice but that there are well-worn traditions and good practices which start-ups ignore at their peril, whilst conversely traditional business needs to sense and respond faster to survive and thrive.
We discussed the subject of energy in the workforce; do your teams deplete energy like an iPhone battery without charge, wiped out by lack of motivation and recognition, or are they regularly charged to leave work inspired to be the best they can be?
On Wednesday we hosted the latest in our series of leadership in diversity lunch discussions, ironically a stone’s throw away from Westminster where Parliament ‘voted down the amendment for parliament to have a meaningful vote’. In isolation this headline seems a strangely undemocratic thing to do. Had the sun not been shining I would have been more up to speed on the twists and turns of the Brexit debate leading to this latest revelation.
There was certainly no shortage of meaningful debate on the specific topic of how organisations become more democratic in listening and responding to their diverse workforces and customer bases. Do the majority of citizens and customers feel their views are being reflected in the services we purchase, either by tax or commercially? Do organisations understand the pressures put upon often young millennials in their first role handling difficult calls with mentally ill customers (including suicidal calls in all sectors not just helplines) and those with dire financial and social situations?
Unless leaders are tuned into these situations they are hardly likely to comprehend the need to build resilience and to offer real opportunities to download rather than go home with stressful scenarios haunting their minds. Leaders from FCA, BBC, Which?, Yorkshire Building Society and others shared a host of really helpful experiences around mental health in the workplace and I’ve no doubt lots of actionable follow ups will happen.
For those still to register for our final event in June at Etihad stadium there’s still a window of opportunity before we showcase our award-winning members at the Summer Convention on 26 June. Members can still register here.
Just as Brexit can sound unintelligible when you dip in and out, the language around our industry can be tricky. Boards, like The Cabinet, like quick headlines which have impact, and so it’s vital that clarity of articulation becomes the goal if investment is to be successful for the things that really make an impact for most of the people, most of the time.
In the time that I’ve written this blog there are clouds on the horizon, hopefully they won’t spoil our weekends too much. Whatever you are planning this midsummer weekend enjoy the long daylight hours!