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IOD Norfolk: 2012 Economic Conference

by Claire Martinsen on Wed 01st Aug 2012 02:26

I was totally honoured to be asked to be a speaker at the IoD Norfolk 2012 Economic Conference – held at City College.  The speaker line up was a mixture of established and new businesses across a variety of sectors to explore how the recession had impacted on business and how businesses had reacted to the economic climate.

My fellow panellists were:

Issy McDonald – MD John Lewis, Norwich

Lyndon Wilde – Product Development and Operations Director, Bespak

Howard Ingleson – MD Syfer Technology

I did slightly feel like new kid on the block – speaking on the same line up as some really well established and high successful Norfolk businesses – but hopefully I was able to give a perspective from a start-up business.  I started Breckland Orchard in a recession and so therefore have never known what its like to operate in ‘good times’!

My fellow panelists must have taken a second blink as I turned up in ‘scruffs’ having spent the afternoon lugging bottles and building pallets ready for dispatch.  A quick wonder-woman change and I looked completely different in my dress and high heels………unrecognisable from my arrival.  That’s the reality of being a small business owner  and needing to be very hands on!  Sometimes the transitions between the various things I do at Breckland Orchard can be very surreal and even I chuckle, but I can scrub up well [honest!].

Love this quote from Henry Ford that Issy used in her presentation!

What was most obvious from the various presentations that despite the differing sectors and experiences, the message was very similar: to stick to what you are good at and to use the current economic situation to flex and make yourself even more distinctive at what you are great at.

After the presentations there was a lively question and answer session from the floor – many interesting points raised from training, CSR to what would the panel change if they were PM for a day.

Great evening, I learned lots and hopefully everyone came away having picked up some nuggets to help them navigate through the current financial climate too.

Thank you to Stuart Turner, who leads the IoD in Norfolk with such energy and arranged such a great evening/debate.  Issy, Howard, Lyndon – you were fabulous….I was honoured to share the same platform. It stimulated lots of thought for me, which I’ll share in some future blogs – watch this space!


Posted in: Speakers/Meetings


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