It was back in 2010 that I joined the Institute of Directors, having decided to embark on their Continuing Professional Development by studying at Leeds Business School, which is part of Leeds Metropolitan University. In July 2011 the Institute of Directors notification arrived, which said that Mike Beckett was to be awarded a Certificate in Company Direction, with Distinction.
So it was a real honour for me when yesterday Barbara Colledge, the Dean of the Faculty of Business & Law presented me with the certificate. The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Director of the IoD, Kenton Robbins, introduced me to receive the award with some very kind words, saying “Cllr Michael Beckett from Caring for Business Ltd is a promising young entrepreneur of whom we are expecting great things”. On a personal note the best part for me was that my wife and parents were able to be present to witness this.
The awards winners were Hayley Erner of High Flyers Business Coaching Ltd was awarded the Business Advisor of the year (sponsored by ABDN), for impressive achievements in increasing the size of client businesses. Gareth Barker from Sheffield Forgemasters was awarded the Young Director of the Year (sponsored by Totally Exec) for leading an efficiency drive in making the business profitable. James Lambert from R&R Ice Cream received a Lifetime Achievement award (sponsored by Grant Thornton). Kenton had earlier said that as an austerity measure there was no desert today, so James raised smiles from everyone by agreeing to provide ice cream for next years event. Peter Roberts of Pure Gym, providing no-nonsense budget gyms, received the Judges Special Award (sponsored by The Insurance Partnership). Christopher Hopkins of Ploughcroft was awarded Small & Medium Size Enterprise Director of the Year award (sponsored by The Alternative Board) for growing his business and for innovation in solar roofing technology. Christopher has also receiving support from an encounter with the Dragons Theo and Deborah from Dragon’s Den.
Innovation is the game changer for each of us personally, for our shared ventures and for businesses and government globally. By working smarter we can achieve more, through specialisation and adaptation to our environment and adaptation of our environment.
Our economy’s growth rate and the rate of employment are functions of Innovation. I define Innovation as to conceive new ideas and adaptations and the subsequent implementation of these concepts.
Individual’s potential when optimised through self-awareness enables self-fulfilment. The more control and ownership they have of their life journey the more potency they can have to meet new challenges. We all need to work to achieve, to create, to make a difference we can be encouraged when we see for good or ill the impact our actions have. It is not enough to fear failure or to give up so as not to fail. It is in this struggle that the process of personal growth is engaged. By developing individuals and teams we generally become more efficient and effective. While some may go on a road trip of self destruction before hopefully tuning in and accepting a work ethic. Engaged creative individuals devoted to being and growing as innovators. This change is the prerequisite for dynamic economic growth for our society.
Ways to assist this are environmental, providing access to resources such as learning, team dynamics and finance. Interventions and motivation to help stimulate this can be to focused and rigid or to loose and unfocused. Individuals need personalised support and challenges to perform optimally and differing environments will favour differing outcomes. Certainly the most creative and game changing ideas and individuals are usually external to traditional large steady enterprises including governments. To be adaptable and innovative does require a vision that is invested in at all levels of the organisation to achieve success.
My fear is that if as a nation we do not do this and our national debt continues to rise. Then sooner or latter we will default on our debt and then I think the nation will face a stark choice bankruptcy or something as radical as the mass nationalisation of property to give to the creditors. In the past when this nation has needed to raise money Henry the Eighth did undertake the dissolution of the monasteries and then sold the estates. I see no reason, why this won’t be repeated, unless the Economy improves markedly. If I was a creditor of UK Ltd (I note we are no longer UK PLC) and I feared the nation would go bankrupt I would most likely threaten sanctions if we went bankrupt and demand the nation seizes and hands over collateral in payment. In a property-owning democracy I see this as the real underlying dilemma and the only palatable way to avoid it is to grow innovators now.