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IOD winter cover_Layout 1 12/11/2010 11:30 Page 2


winter 2010

future challenges ahead...

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IoD suffolk


winter 2010



winter 2010


IoD events


Thoughts from the chair

5 - 11

Across the region


Member profile

12 13 future challenges ahead...

front cover A tranquil moment at The Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest

IoD news


Corporate news


A word from the accountants


Corporate news



18 - 21

Economy feature


s we approach the end of the year there is much to reflect on. The new Government is busy ripping up the rule book... Where will it lead? To gain some insight we take a look at Suffolk’s response to a changing economy, and seek responses from five key business sectors to garner a consensus of opinion.

container port.

The outlook seems positive on the whole See pages 18-21

and among the genuine concerns for the business community there are really

Image courtesy of the Port of Felixstowe

encouraging stories of growth and profitability. Additionally we speak to two local business


Publisher Tilston Phillips Magazines Limited Printed by Micropress Printers Ltd Halesworth, Suffolk

leaders whose businesses are bucking the recessionary trends.

23 - 25

Company profile

Elsewhere in the magazine we examine how



business is portrayed in the media. Do the


Corporate events

endless caricatures on prime-time television of

28 - 29


business ‘celebrities’ do anything to aid our


IoD member benefits

credibility especially as it looks like we are the


Olympic developments

ones charged with saving the economy!


Commerical property

Our regular contributors spotlight pertinent


Festive giving

business issues and the across the region



section brings you up to date with the latest business developments. With the festive season upon us it seems fitting to thank all our contributors and advertisers as well as our readers – whatever stage of business you are at – and wish you a great Christmas and a genuinely

All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without the prior consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. The content of this magazine is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time of publication. All times, prices and details of events were correct at time of going to press. The views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers, proprietors, the Institute of Directors or others associated with this production. © Tilston Phillips Magazines Limited 2010

prosperous new year.

37 Jonathan Tilston




Business books


Mind your own business


IoD committee and new members

IoD events To help Suffolk Branch members to plan ahead and organise their diaries, this programme summarises the last two events planned for 2010. We hope the wide variety of our events gives you ample opportunity to entertain partners and guests and to get full benefit from your branch membership. All events are open to IoD members and non-members. For further information regarding our events visit or call Caroline Kearney, Suffolk Branch Administrator on 07917 699498 or alternatively email:


our treasurer retires 18.11.10 Real Beer Real Food Tasting Evening Greene King Brewery, Bury St Edmunds 6.45pm for 7.00pm (finish 10.30pm) Join the IoD Suffolk branch for an evening tour


fter 20 years’ distinguished and dedicated service to IoD Suffolk, our Treasurer, Graham Reid, retires at the end of the year. Well-known in the Suffolk business world,

of the Greene King Brewery. Guests will arrive

Graham arrived here from London in 1977 to

in the visitors’ centre at 6.45pm to meet the

set up the regional offices for Grant Thornton

tour guide and enjoy a welcome drink while

Accountants. He joined the IoD in the 1980s,

exploring the brewery museum. The tour will

getting valuable business sector news and

start at 7pm with a visit to the mill room, malt

contacts throughout the business community

stores, mash-tun floor and the fermenting

as well as the chance to meet new clients. He

rooms. You will then enjoy a tutored tasting in

became a local centre committee member and

the Brewery Tap where you will be served your

in 1990 took on the role of Treasurer when

meal while continuing to sample Greene King’s fine cask ales.

december 7.12.10 Members’ Open Evening

Suffolk became a full IoD branch.

Suffolk business, with its natural entrepreneurial base and considerable

During the 1990s Graham helped the branch

engineering and design skills, is well placed to

widen its activities, funded by the introduction

move from past high reliance on the services

of sponsorship (Suffolk was one of the first

sector into areas such as carbon reduction and

branches to involve sponsors). In 2002 he

green energy technologies, where financial

retired from practice but continued as Branch

support is likely to be on offer during the

Treasurer and a committee member and was

difficult years ahead.

instrumental in developing the extensive and fully-funded annual event programme. He saw

In terms of social capital in the community he

Saints Winebar, Ipswich

branch membership grow steadily over the

reflects: “Many of us are highly involved in our

5.30 – 7.30pm

years and pass the 600 mark in 2007,

local business and residential communities,

Join us at Saints winebar cafe in Ipswich for a

doubling the original size.

sharing whatever expertise we have to offer

Christmas drinks party with wine and canapes.

where we can. Voluntary support is particularly

Come along and listen to our brief

Known for his dry sense of humour, Graham

necessary in rural counties, like Suffolk, where

presentation highlighting the key benefits of

answers the question ‘What have you got out

village life depends on active residents. We all

being a member of the Institute of

of business life and the IoD in Suffolk?’ with

need to contribute – and to find time for

Directors. Also learn more about the Suffolk

‘Money!’ In reality, he takes a modest view of

some fun along the way.”

branch activities and the services and facilities which are available to IoD members. We will also be launching our events

his 20 years’ voluntary and consistent hard work as Treasurer, crediting his employees at

Now, Graham plans to spend more time on

Grant Thornton with much of the support for

his narrowboat and travelling overseas with

the years before he retired.

his wife, but he has no intention of straying

programme for 2011. This is a member-only evening with the opportunity of bringing

for too long from his beloved home village Graham feels it’s high time for younger blood

of Rattlesden where he values the enjoyment

along guests who would be keen to learn

to take the lead in rebalancing both the

of watching the abundant local wildlife in

more about what the IoD has to offer.

national and the local economy. He believes

his garden.

2010 programme is kindly sponsored by:

IoD suffolk

winter 2010


thoughts from the chair


s 2010 draws to a close it is a good opportunity to look back on what has been a successful year for Suffolk Institute of Directors. A full and interesting programme was well-received by our members, with many events sold out. A particular highlight was the annual conference. With a refreshing new format, it was overwhelmingly well-received. The year has brought about some of the biggest changes in politics for decades, with the first coalition Government since the Second World War. It remains to be seen whether it will last a full term and whether it will survive with a majority when difficult issues come before Parliament. The comprehensive spending review has taken place and we now know what cuts there will be in the next few years. It is clear that we should expect the next few years to be difficult. For the first time in over a decade growth in the economy is going to come from the private sector rather than money being poured into the public sector. However, I remain confident that Suffolk businesses are well-placed to withstand this and IoD Suffolk will help wherever it can – both businesses and business people. I would like to thank our sponsors and Caroline Kearney and the committee members who make everything happen. The programme of events for 2011 has many new, exciting events and I look forward to meeting many of our members throughout the coming year. Finally, please accept my best wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy new year.


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IoD suffolk


winter 2010

across the region group focuses on Sizewell plans On the day the Government confirmed

has now reduced the list of suitable sites for

Sizewell as a suitable site for another nuclear

future nuclear power stations to eight,

power station, Suffolk Coastal’s new task

which includes Sizewell. His announcement

group met for the first time.

should not be misunderstood as being the

‘too much hype’ over equality act

final go-ahead as there are still many hurdles The Sizewell Task Group is the council’s latest

to jump, not least his insistence that any

initiative to ensure it is ready to represent the

future developments must occur without any

interests of local communities if and when

public subsidy.

plans for the development are submitted. “We have long recognised the potential The group’s chairman, Councillor Andrew

benefits of a new Sizewell, which could mean

Nunn, said: “The Energy Secretary Chris Huhne

up to 5,000 construction jobs for six or seven years, and employment at the new power station for up to 900 people. “However, there are also significant local concerns that must be positively addressed – such as the fact that Sizewell is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Heritage Coast and close to internationally-important sites for wildlife. The choice of the design of any proposed station, and the overall effect on the landscape, must fully take this into account.“

Business owners and HR professionals are facing too much hype about the implications of the new Equality Act 2010, according to an employment law specialist. Simon Quantrill, managing partner at Quantrills Solicitors, said that many commentators have suggested the Act was introducing fundamental changes at work

Denise offers power to the people…

and, in his opinion, such comments were very unhelpful.

illustrating the benefits of accessible, inclusive and interactive online consultation during the

He said: “Spreading misinformation like this

planning and build phases.

creates a fear of employment law changes and makes business owners and HR

Denise has more than 15 years’ brand and

professionals vulnerable to unnecessary anxiety

product development experience with blue-

at a time when most are already under

chip clients including BP, Santander, Land

enormous pressure to perform well during

Rover and Macmillan Cancer Support.

difficult financial times.

With the Government’s commitment to

“While the Act is very important it does not

encouraging more people to become involved

radically change discrimination law. There

in decisions about their local environments

are a few changes which all employers need

and neighbourhoods, Consense has developed

to be aware of – one of the most important

a practical solution to help the construction

being the ban on an employer asking health

industry manage public consultation

or medical-related questions (save for a

more effectively.

few limited exceptions) before a job offer is made.”

Denise said: “The ‘Open Debate’ system has been used extensively by renewable energy

The Essex, Ipswich and East London branch of

Consense has appointed Denise Parkinson as

developers – a sector which has very strong

the Chartered Institute of Personnel and

business development manager – a role aimed

anti-groups to consider – and more than 70

Development (CIPD) called in Quantrills to

at developing the company’s client base in the

per cent of the 94 live consultations are

explain the implications of the Act at a series

construction and property industries by

running in support of proposed plans.”

of employment law update events.

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IoD suffolk


winter 2010

across the region law firm’s new managing partner

East Anglian law firm Ashton Graham has elected Alan Brown as the firm’s

big tea contract comes to boil

managing partner. He said: “I would like to thank Mark Merriam for the enormous contribution he has made to the firm over the past nine years as managing partner – successfully navigating the firm through the recession and working with me over the past 12 months to ensure a seamless transition. “The success and strength of the firm is also due to the dedication and commitment of our talented staff.” One of Alan’s first priorities as managing partner is to oversee the recently-announced

Tea and coffee merchant, Taylors of Harrogate,

merger talks with Kester Cunningham John

has awarded PD Ports a 10-year contract to

and to develop further and maintain high

handle all its tea and coffee imports, securing

standards of client service.

around 10 jobs.

top tourism award for Stoke by Nayland

This follows a successful 12-month trial, handling 50 per cent of Taylors’ tea and coffee UK imports through PD Ports-owned Teesport on the north-east coast. The family business will now import 100pc of its tea and coffee through Teesport, rather than southern UK ports with further transportation via road to its production facility at Harrogate – saving about 100,000 road miles a year. Keith Writer, commodities director at Taylors, said: “Not only does the move to Teesport help us greatly improve our environmental footprint,

The family-owned Stoke by Nayland Hotel,

conferences and corporate business to the

it also reduces costs. We’re committed to

Golf & Spa won the award for Business

region. Its golf and leisure facilities were a key

buying the best tea and coffee the world has to

Tourism at this year’s “Tourism in Suffolk”

factor in its success, for combining business

offer for our Yorkshire Tea and other blends,

with pleasure.

and the partnership with PD Ports ensures

Awards dinner in Ipswich.

we’re able to maintain these high-quality It won the accolade for its excellence in

At the awards ceremony Choose Suffolk’s

standards throughout the import and

service, catering, staff training, customer care,

tourism manager Alex Paul said that tourism is

warehousing process.”

marketing campaigns, sustainability and

now worth £1.75 billion to the county’s

involvement with the local community.

economy and added: “The county is gaining an enviable reputation for its high-quality

The hotel was praised for its new website and

accommodation and attractions, which

for attracting both national and local

combine to make Suffolk one of the UK’s premier tourism destinations.”


PD Ports invested more than £350,000 in upgrading two warehouses to store the sensitive products. PD Logistics offers warehousing and distribution services at UK locations, including Felixstowe.

winter 2010 /suffolk

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IoD suffolk


Winter 2010

across the region be prepared for new VAT rate

now Ensors goes global with advice

building for the future

Ensors Chartered Accountants has joined CPA

West Suffolk College has exchanged contracts on

Associates International (CPAAI), a worldwide

the premises of CML Innovative Technologies in

association of independent accounting and

Beetons Way. The premises will be renamed The

business consulting firms.

Milburn Centre in honour of college governor Betty Milburn and will house construction and

Danny Clifford, Ensors managing partner, said:

building services training.

“As the world gets smaller and advances in technology encourage businesses to expand their cross-border activities it is essential to be on hand with up-to-date, quality advice to support clients. “In the UK alone we have an ever-increasing Business adviser Grant Thornton, which has

quantity and complexity of accounting and

offices in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, is

taxation legislation for which we have

urging Suffolk businesses to prepare now for

specialists providing clients with the highest

the January VAT rate increase.

levels of service and advice. We are proud to now be able to provide this level of service

The rise, from 17.5 to 20 per cent, will affect

across the globe.”

any business that sells or buys goods or

A period of refurbishment will follow, including

services that are subject to the standard rate

asbestos removal. The target date for the

of VAT. These businesses will need to make

buildings to be ready for occupation by the

sure their computer systems, budgets and

college is the end of May.

procedures are adapted accordingly and that staff are aware of the right code to apply to

David Howells, deputy principal, said: “The

avoid complications arising from different

college is recognised as one of the leading

sales and invoicing scenarios.

centres in the region for construction and

Grant Thornton's VAT director for the East

with the potential to grow that provision in

Anglian region, Anne Holt, said: “The rise

the future.

engineering training; the facility will provide us

presents a potential minefield for businesses which are not prepared. If you are in doubt,

“A significant advantage to us is that there is

seek expert advice from a professional who

ample parking space and grounds that can be

can help you navigate the difficulties and

used for recreational purposes. The site is close

avoid unnecessary risk and costs.”

to the main campus and on a bus route.”

fantasy turns to reality for EWS

nine years ago. There are now 27 teams who regularly take part, representing a wide range of businesses in the town. It’s obviously a bit

Gotelee Solicitors has given EWS Chartered

of fun, but on a more constructive note it

Surveyors cause for celebration with an award

creates a great networking opportunity within

for the Gotelee Fantasy Football League Team

an informal environment. “

of the Month. Paul Edwards, who received the award on Jonathan Ripman presented the award

behalf of EWS, said: “We are delighted to

to EWS at a breakfast event at Gotelee’s

win as competition is always fierce and the

Ipswich offices.

overall title, as ever, will be fiercely contested. The award will be taking pride of place in

He said: “We took on responsibility for

our offices and we hope our winning streak

running the league from the Bank of Scotland

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IoD suffolk


winter 2010

across the region leadership skills for tough times

new forum for county issues Gotelee Solicitors has launched a Suffolk Business Dialogue initiative, with a lunch forum to discuss the impact of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on the local economy. Business leaders from the county’s construction, logistics, business services and manufacturing sectors debated whether funding cuts and structural changes to the public sector would have an adverse effect

University Campus Suffolk (UCS), in

The cuts will slash an average of 25 per cent

or if, in fact, it would create business

partnership with Ipswich Borough Council, has

from department budgets, placing greater


launched the 2010/2011 Executive Master

importance on the leadership skills of those

Classes – aimed at executives and senior

guiding public-sector businesses.

managers who hope to lead tomorrow's public-sector businesses.

The majority of those attending were optimistic, but there were some concerns.

The classes are designed to develop

One was where new private-sector jobs will be

leadership, motivational and strategic skills.

found for those leaving the public sector. It

With the Government aiming to reduce

Delegates will learn through the knowledge

was generally considered that without the

public-sector spending by £83 billion by 2014,

and experience of resident chief executives

creation of a Local Enterprise Partnership

UCS hopes the classes will help prepare

from the public sector. The programme will

which included Suffolk it would be difficult for

individuals for the tough times ahead.

run over six days and these can be booked

the county to be recognised in UK plc. The

individually or as a group.

majority of new jobs nationally are expected to come from the largest companies. In Suffolk, the jobs will have to come from smallto-medium enterprises. The forum chairman, Brian Morron, senior

hospice funds boost is on the cards…

partner at Gotelee Solicitors, said: “We’ll be holding these lunches five or six times a year to sound out views and concerns about issues

St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich will benefit

affecting our region. The response from

this Christmas thanks to a new e-Christmas

everyone who attended this first event was

card package developed by Itineris, the

extremely positive and while people did

Suffolk-based digital marketing agency. This will allow businesses that support the hospice to send a branded e-card instead

express a number of concerns, it was Matt Horsup, business development manager at Itineris (right) and Carl Brooks, business income generation manager at St Elizabeth Hospice (left) are collaborating on a new e-Christmas card service, designed to raise funds for the charity over the festive period

of a paper version to customers and

businesses to support us in an

suppliers – saving time, money and waste.

environmentally-friendly way.”

Carl Brooks, business income generation

Matt Horsup, business development manager

manager at the hospice, said: “We have

at Itineris, said they have developed three

never run a Christmas e-card scheme

options: Basic – a card and message from a

because of the costs involved. As we are a

set template list; Custom – where a design is

charity, this is the perfect solution for us; we

created from scratch and Bespoke – a special

don’t have to spend a penny and our

animated landing page online.

supporters can send a card to help raise funds for the hospice. “The scheme will provide us

For further information go to

with a new income stream and allow

reassuring to find a generally high level of optimism about the future.” The next lunch will be in January.

member profile

Kevin Robertson Sales Director for Glasswells demographic which offers an excellent environment for independents to flourish and yet at the same time thrive alongside multinationals. Q: Is salesmanship purely second nature or can it be taught? A: If someone possesses a natural, friendly and open personality then it’s possible that they’re more likely to thrive in sales than someone without those qualities. However you can nurture and coach in sales techniques, and indeed someone with the right credentials will still need training. Kevin Robertson (left) pictured at the IoD Suffolk’s 2010 Annual Conference


evin Robertson, Glasswells’ Sales Director, is out to create a better shopping experience for Glasswells’ customers.

Q: How do you keep your staff motivated? A: By making sure they enjoy their work and learning about what motivates everyone as

With stores situated throughout East Anglia, including the largest in the East of England at Bury

individuals, one size definitely doesn’t fit all

St Edmunds and their new state-of-the-art Ipswich store, Glasswells offers more than high-

when it comes to managing people. Some

quality, affordable, handpicked home furnishings. It also offers a contracts division, commercial

people in sales for instance are motivated

and domestic storage as well as home and international removals. Kevin shares with us the

purely by money and target-related rewards,

challenges of retail and commercial sales in these ever-changing economic times.

whereas in other areas it may be loyalty or taking pride in being part of our heritage.

Q: In light of the current spending

Q: Has experience helped to improve

Q: What's the most important quality to

review how do you think it will affect

your decision-making?

be a successful salesman?


A: Definitely, but as with everyone else, new

A: Quite simply open-mindedness and the

A: Clearly cuts to public expenditure wouldn’t

experiences bring with them new

belief that the customer is there to buy and

be helpful for retailers. For us working in the

improvements. An important lesson I’ve

will, providing they’re sold the right product

retail sector it means we will all have to work

learned throughout my career, however, is to

for them.

harder to maintain sales and keep our fair

be more considered and less dictatorial,

share of customer spend.

especially when making the larger decisions. I

Q: How important is community to

insist on discussing all aspects that will help


me determine such decisions with the people

A: Very important we look upon ourselves as

sales techniques changed since then?

it will affect, that way I attract support and

part of the local business network where

A: I started out in 1986 in Allders department

buy-in from the team from the start.

support from everyone involved is crucial to us

Q: What was your first job and how have

stores as a YTS trainee in the menswear

all being a success. All our staff live locally,

department in Croydon, eventually becoming

Q: What is important when managing

who in turn support communities and local

merchandise controller. From there I moved to

customer service?

charities with full encouragement and backing

DFS in 1996 and from there on to Glasswells

A: It is important to remember who may be

from Glasswells.

in 2008. Sales has become much more

affected down the line by a decision to keep a

sophisticated nowadays. It’s a profession that

customer happy. An off-the-cuff judgement

has started to be taken more seriously and as

may have a knock-on effect on a loyal

balance in business?

a result has had a positive effect on the

manufacturer or our staff for instance. Getting

A: I don’t believe it’s always about how many

standards and commitment of the people

the balance right, however, maintains integrity

hours you work but about what it is you

pursuing sales as a career. Training is also

with everyone whose relationship we value.

achieve during those hours. People with

better, resulting in an improved all-round

Q: Is there such a thing as work-life

happy and stable lives outside work bring that

consumer experience by emphasising the

Q: What advantages are there to being in

to the workplace and are often much more

importance of customer dialogue and truly

business in Suffolk?

successful in their careers as a result.

understanding their needs – a website still

A: Suffolk has an intriguing, possibly even

can’t replace a person with those skills.

unique retail landscape and customer

IoD suffolk


winter 2010

IoD news

business briefing with Jackaman, Smith & Mulley


e were delighted to welcome solicitors, Jackaman Smith and Mulley, to our Suffolk branch Breakfast Briefing last month. Active supporters of the IoD, they were invited to share some advice and to answer delegate questions about employment and commercial law.

leaders need to be clear about the basics of employment and commercial law many will need specialist support to take them through the myriad of associated nuances as they adapt their business to best fit the law and their commercial needs.

“Legal language is so precise it can be very trying to read and digest if you are not trained to interpret it. A number of business leaders had

Together with four other sponsors, Jackaman

questions for us at this business briefing and I

Smith and Mulley have sponsored the local

trust we were best able to answer those in a

branch this year, enabling them to continue

language that made sense of the jargon and

to run a very successful events programme

could be tailored to meet their needs.” The

during 2010.

business briefing events give members and nonmembers the opportunity to network at a very

Stephen Firmin: said “The Institute’s work in this

high level, with the opportunity of meeting

region is important to the region’s commercial

directors of some very high-profile businesses

development. Whilst the majority of business

within the region.”

For more information regarding the events programme you can visit

social media activity language and our subconscious can influence perceptions of character and ultimately the outcome of conversations. Mills, a psychotherapist, discussed with the group the role that the subconscious plays in the relationships we have with other people and how body-language and facial expressions can influence the behaviour of those we’re speaking to.


usiness leaders learn to finetune the human psyche and social media activity for more effective networking...

Guest speaker Ian McKendrick, founder of

Caroline Kearney, Suffolk Branch Administrator, demystified social

for the IoD, said: “So many businesses

networks and led delegates through those most

understand the importance of networking both

suited to business.

online and at events and our speakers helped

With networking playing an important role

Providing practical tips, McKendrick offered

in business, it’s vital that time spent doing it

advice on how to maximise the use of the

is as effective as possible and offers the

different networks available and demonstrated

greatest return.

examples of companies that are using social

make both options more palatable for the delegates – it was a very well-attended event.”

The IoD Suffolk programme is kindly sponsored by

networking channels effectively and imaginatively.

Jackaman Smith and Mulley Solicitors, London Stansted,

The latest breakfast networking event presented

Ensors Chartered Accountants, Leema Risk Management

by IoD Suffolk covered the subject of traditional,

Tim Mills spoke next on the subject of

and White Space Public Relations. For details of

face-to-face networking and the opportunities

communication and how understanding the way

forthcoming events and membership of the IoD contact

available through social networks.

we receive and convey messages through body-

Caroline Kearney on 07917 699498

corporate news

minority reports by Andrew Fleming, Partner, Blocks Solicitors Andrew Fleming

henever two or more parties enter into a corporate joint venture, consideration needs to be given to the weaker party or parties and its or their contractual rights and protections.


distribution of profits; • rights of access to accounting and other information; and • rights of exit from the joint venture in given circumstances.

usually contained within that document . Factors to take into account include: the public nature of articles of association and the confidential nature of shareholders agreements; whether there are personal aspects of the relationship between shareholders which do not

These rights are typically included in the articles of

relate directly to the governance of the

association of the relevant joint company and/or in

company itself; the likelihood of changes being

Minority shareholders need to have legal

a shareholders agreement between its members.

needed in future and the formalities required to

protection in order to reduce the risk of possible

Careful thought needs to be addressed as to the

effect those changes; and whether class actions

misuse by majority shareholders within the

most appropriate document to place these rights.

or derivative claims by the company may need to be taken against directors.

company. They will therefore need to agree a raft of contractual rights at the outset, which

Key provisions of the running of the company,

commonly include:

such as appointment and removal of directors,

Although care should be taken to try to make

• right of representation on the board;

conduct of board and shareholder meetings, class

the documents compatible, if there is any

• rights to be counted in the quorum of a

rights and pre-emption provisions for transfer of

conflict between their provisions, it should be

shares, tend to be contained within the articles.

clearly stated which document prevails.

• rights to block or veto major decisions;

Because shareholder agreements are private,

For more detailed information or for advice.

• protection against dilution of their

funding arrangements, distribution policies,

tel: 01473 230033


shareholding and voting rights; • rights to insist upon an appropriate

covenants and contractual arrangements between


members, deadlock and winding-up provisions are

employment law training for people managers keeping you awake! Simon Quantrill


ave you sat in a training session wondering how long before it ends because you are falling asleep? If the content is not suitable or if the presentation is simply uninspiring it is not surprising if you start to feel your eyes close. You then wake with a jolt and hope no one has noticed.

emphasis is on “how to” rather than “this is

concentrating on understanding the true

the law”. Even though we are employment

implications of the new Equality Act

law solicitors we are good at avoiding giving

provisions. We made sure we did not overly

law lectures and putting delegates to sleep!

complicate, scare or exaggerate the risks and

It seems there is a stream of new employment

this approach was reflected in the feedback.

law each year to keep up to date with. Some

As one delegate said: “An excellent overview –

is more important than other changes. The

I can stop panicking now.”

new Equality Act 2010 is an example. While important, all the hype that surrounded it

To find out more of how our hrlegal training

made many HR professionals view its

can help you call 01473 688100 or go to

introduction with trepidation.

feeling motivated, more knowledgeable and

Quantrills was delighted to provide a series of

For a free copy of our Equality Act 2010

confident. These are our goals we set for every

employment law updates for the CIPD Essex,

Briefing Notes please email

employment law training event we give. Our

Ipswich and East London Branch,

Done well, a training event will leave you

IoD suffolk


winter 2010

a word from the accountants

as if the recession wasn’t enough… By Malcolm McGready, partner – Ensors Chartered Accountants


f you’ve either not heard of iXBRL or haven’t a plan to deal with it I would recommend that you read on. The timing could hardly be worse for ‘under-pressure’ SMEs.

after March 31, 2010 will need to comply

• Remember that you only need to comply

with the new requirements if they file their tax

with HMRC’s minimum tagging

returns after March 31, 2011. It does, of

requirements (which HMRC have

course, present a window of opportunity that


if you can get your tax return in before this date you have effectively deferred

• If you use an accountant to prepare

implementation by 12 months.

your accounts and tax return it is worth checking that they will be ready

Despite this, implementation is looming. HMRC are allowing some leeway on

for iXBRL.

In a nutshell, HMRC will require corporate tax

implementation where they will not penalise

returns to be submitted electronically from,

tagging errors, provided that the company

If you are doing it yourself or have any doubts

March 31 2011. It sounds innocuous enough.

can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable

about whether or not your accountant will be

But they also require the data to be

efforts to comply with the new requirements.

ready it is worth considering outsourcing conversion to a third party. iXBRL is something

electronically tagged using inline XBRL (or The headline messages for companies are:

iXBRL). XBRL is a standard for reporting can interpret. The ‘data’ means both the financial statements and tax computations

that Ensors is prepared for and if you need further information please contact

financial data that uses ‘tags’ that computers • File your tax return before March 31,

Malcolm McGready on 01473 220072 or

2011 to avoid having to use iXBRL.


that accompany the tax return. All of a sudden it doesn’t sound quite so innocuous.

• If you produce your accounts and tax computations yourself using a software

Accounting and tax software providers have

package, make sure that you have a

been busily upgrading their packages to

version that supports iXRBL.

support iXBRL. If you use one of these don’t take it for granted that it will be compliant.

• If you produce your accounts and tax

And for those who produce accounts and

computations in Word or Excel you can

computations in Word or Excel, these won’t

look at an iXBRL conversion program.

be compliant either. The go-live date is March 31, 2011. This means that those companies with year-ends

Bury St Edmunds 01284 722300 Cambridge 01223 420721 Huntingdon 01480 417800 Ipswich 01473 220022 Saxmundham 01728 603005

corporate news Gary Riches, Director,

will you minimise inheritance tax?


n recent months there has been a significant increase in activity in the area of inheritance tax, no doubt due to the ‘freeze’ on the inheritance tax (IHT) threshold at £325,000 until 2014/15 and the realisation that the Government is no longer able to increase the IHT threshold to £1m, (due to the state of the public finances). We have seen great interest from clients in IHT planning and the release of a raft of innovative inheritance tax solutions that as independent financial advisers, we are able


value of the family home, plus investments and chattels, (such as contents, cars, jewellery), means many are facing tax deductions before their estate is passed to beneficiaries. So what can be done?

An example of one of our solutions – rather

• Ensure you have made a will. Dying

than retaining e.g. £2,880 and suffering 40 per

‘intestate’, (i.e. without a will) virtually

cent IHT on death, pay this into children’s,

always results in a complex and

grandchildren’s and/or great grandchildren’s

unsatisfactory financial mess. It is

pensions, (e.g. stakeholder). This is increased to

important to consult a solicitor to have a

£3600 (108pc increase, without growth),

will drawn up properly.

compared to no action.

• Consider using annual exemptions, (£3,000 each), plus small gifts, weddings etc.

to consider for clients. • Consider ‘gifts of surplus income’ directly A couple can transfer £650,000 free of inheritance tax on second death. However, the

to family, friends, etc., or to a trust. • Seek professional advice.

No longer is it necessary to have to lose access to capital or income, or use trusts etc., in order to save inheritance tax; we have many solutions, so it is essential to seek professional, fee-based independent financial advice from a specialist in this area of IHT planning.

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IoD suffolk


winter 2010


personal liability of directors – an alternative to wrongful trading by Lisa Keane | Dispute Resolution


t is well known that a director who allows his company to wrongfully trade, can be made

personally liable. However, the number of wrongful trading cases

used statutory law from the early 19th century.

a document which contained a promise that the

Section six of the Statute of Frauds

company would pay for goods to be ordered in

(amendment) Act 1828 states that: “no action

the future. The trial judge found as a matter of

shall be brought whereby to charge any person

fact that the company did not have the ability

upon or by reason of any representation or

to pay, nor had it any chance of doing so in

assurance made or given concerning or

the future.

which actually get to court are

relating to the character, conduct, credit,

perhaps surprisingly few.

ability, trade or dealings of any other person to

The submission on behalf of the director was

the intend or purpose that such other person

that he had signed the document on behalf of

In part, this is because the action has to be

may obtain credit, money or goods upon,

the company, rather than in his personal

brought by a liquidator who will, almost

unless such representations or assurance be

capacity. However, it was clearly established in

inevitably, be bringing the proceedings from a

made in writing, signed by the party to be

the House of Lords Standard Chartered Bank v

position of weakness. The more insolvent the

charged herewith”.

Pakistan National Shipping Corporation [2003]

company, the less money he has to commence

that a director cannot avoid liability for his own

proceedings against delinquent directors.

The language used is archaic and certainly not

fraud by claiming he was acting on behalf of

Moreover, there is little or no incentive for a

the easiest to understand, nor is it helped by

his company.

creditor who feels himself to have been

being expressed in the negative. However if it is

wronged to offer to fund the proceedings, as

changed into the positive, its significance

The Court of Appeal accordingly found the

any recovery made by the liquidator goes into

becomes more apparent: “an action may be

director personally liable on his fraudulent

his pot, which is for all creditors. The court has

brought where a person has made a

deceit. Clearly this is a useful case as it is now

no power to target the award in the direction

representation in writing and did so

open to sellers to consider asking directors of

of a specific creditor, i.e. the one who funded

fraudulently; as to the ability of another person

companies buying goods or services from them,

the action.

to be in a position to pay for goods or credit

to write a letter confirming the ability of the

supplied to that other person”.

company to pay. In the event that the company

In very specific circumstances the Court of Appeal has recognised the possibility of a

was ultimately unable to pay its indebtedness In Contex Drouzhba Limited v Wiseman [2007]

creditor suing a director and recovering for his

the court was faced with the following facts.

own benefit. This right appears under a little-

W, a director, signed on behalf of his company

then the directors could personally be liable. Lisa Keane | Solicitor, Dispute Resolution T: 01473 232425 | E: This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. You should not act or rely upon this information. Ashton Graham is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Ashton Graham Solicitors is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 50075.

Ipswich: Waterfront House, Wherry Quay, Ipswich, Suffolk IP4 1AS | T: 01473 232425 Bury St Edmunds: 81 Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1PZ| T: 01284 762331 Felixstowe: Anglia House, 22/24 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7AN| T: 01394 277188


can Suffolk’s private sector deliver growth and employment?

Entrepreneurs have been the bedrock of our civilisation and they are the life-blood of our future economy; it is through the development of an enterprising economy and the inspiration of a new generation of inventors and innovators that the UK will once again help to lead the world in new idea generation.”* Europe and the USA are facing some of the most trying economic situations in living memory. Unemployment figures in the UK are predicted to soar as the effects of worldwide slowdown, spending review cutbacks and the banks’ reluctance to lend conspire to thwart business growth. Nonetheless, the UK’s new coalition Government is looking to the private sector to take up the slack. Some estimates suggest as many as 1.6 million jobseekers will enter the market in the next five years (not allowing for those entering for the first time), a situation exacerbated by the raising of the retirement age. Recruitment agencies and HR departments are already reporting overflowing inboxes. But with the private sector facing tough times itself, how well is it able to take up the employment challenge? The IOD Suffolk magazine consulted a number of different – and well respected – industry sources. We then spoke to successful local business people in diverse industry sectors to ask how well equipped they were to tackle the challenges ahead.

* according to an IoD blog published on 4th November 2010

IoD suffolk


winter 2010

Robert Peston, business editor of the BBC,

In Pall Mall, the mood is more upbeat. The IoD

blogged on October 20, as the details of the

has broadly welcomed the spending review and

spending review unfolded:

the Government’s tough stance on the economy. Its expert team dismisses the view of the CIPD as

“Well, the Chancellor confirmed today that he

overly pessimistic, believing that the private sector

expects public sector job losses to be 490,000

is perfectly capable of taking on the burden of

or around eight per cent of all public-sector

extra employment.

employment. In its own blog, published on October 28, it “That is a substantial reduction in public-sector

suggests: “The Office for Budget Responsibility

employment. But it will take place over four

predicts that around half a million public sector


jobs will be lost as a result of the spending review. This is undeniably a large number of

“Now the private-sector employs just over 23 million people, almost four times as many people as the public sector. So private-sector employment needs to rise by ‘just’ two per cent,

Vanessa Penn

people, but if we look at the period between 1991 and 1997 a similar number of jobs was

plants. This has been replicated in Ipswich to a

lost, and yet this period saw sustained economic

lesser degree by the closure of Cranes and British


Sugar, leaving sites ripe for regeneration,”

to absorb all the jobs lost in the public sector.

she said. “The economic position is not as favourable now

“Which doesn't look absurd, so long as the economic recovery is sustained. But there are three important caveats.

as it was then, but we still believe the private

“In the meantime, Felixstowe continues to

sector is capable of creating the growth, which

expand and has seen an upturn in business with

will create new jobs.

higher volumes coming in and out of the port. Substantial sites have been let in and around

• First, not everyone made redundant by the public-sector may be wanted by the

However, its experts warn: “The private sector

the port in recent months, with the prospect


will have to lead the recovery, and it can only

of new jobs. At the same time there are

do this if the Government provides a stable

new opportunities in renewable energy

economic climate.”

being created.”

those the Government wishes to

One hundred or more miles away from

She reports that demand for commercial property

‘encourage’ off benefits and into work

Westminster, Pall Mall and Broadcasting House,

remains strong in some sectors. “There are still a

Suffolk faces its own problems.

few seeing some activity – mostly food, with the

• Second, those made redundant by the public-sector will be in competition with

• Third, in the past year employment of nonUK people has risen by 114,000, whereas employment of UK nationals has fallen by 15,000 John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), speaking early in November, said that the private sector needs to create 300,000 new jobs a year to offset his forecast 1.6 million job losses over five years. He said: “If the coalition Government completes its planned fiscal consolidation with unemployment no higher in 2015-16 than it is today, it will have made a significant achievement.”

supermarkets hungry for sites with or without Suffolk County Council has made national news

planning consent. At the same time, many

with radical plans to outsource services and pare

retailers and public-sector departments are taking

staff numbers to the bone. Thousands of

advantage of the lower rental values by

jobseekers are set to enter the local jobs market,

negotiating shorter leases and lower rents with

some with little private-sector experience.

their landlords across the country.”

At the same time, private-sector posts are

While new employment opportunities may be on

also being lost. Some of the area’s largest private

the cards, how are Suffolk’s existing employers

employers have been shedding jobs – albeit more

feeling about their own prospects?

quietly than their public-sector counterparts. In many ways, our respondents – drawn from But according to Vanessa Penn, who launched

across the region and its industry – reflected

Penn Commercial property agency three years

the view of the IoD. They recognise there will

ago, Suffolk has proved itself to be very resilient

be pain, are realistic about the situation but,

in coping with significant job losses in the past.

at the same time, are concerned about the impact on business.

He believes that it is only achievable if the economy grows faster than 2.5 per cent a year on average.

“Some parts have suffered seriously already in recent years. For instance, Lowestoft has suffered

The immediate past chair of IoD Suffolk, Tim

from closure of three major manufacturing

Ryan, who is managing director of one of


operation with 25 offices, 220 staff and a

Nowadays the region’s economy is affected as

turnover approaching £40 million, agrees. He

much by global factors as local conditions. We

says: “We need to give it time, but I do believe

have only to cast our thoughts back to what many

that sound decision-making is taking place.”

believe sparked the recession – the banks’ involvement in the toxic American ‘sub prime’

John is in a sector that is feeling more upbeat than a year ago, and he believes that business has turned the corner. He has significant expansion plans under way with the opening of two new offices in 2011. Tim Ryan

Paul Milsom, managing director of Milsoms

Ipswich’s leading privately-owned businesses,

Hotels, which has luxury hotels and restaurants

Ryan Insurance Group, summed up the feeling

in Dedham, Kesgrave and in Harwich, agrees

of many business figures.

with Vanessa that the region has a bright future.

“Anyone who tells you that things are good is

He said: “East Anglia has perhaps suffered less

not telling the truth. National and local

than other areas. It has a good business mix with

property market – to recognise that. Brussels, too,

economies are struggling,” he said.

lots of small entrepreneurial companies rather

has a huge impact on some market sectors.

than big traditional employers.”

David Barker, farming in a quiet part of Suffolk,

Within the catering and leisure sector, though

because of outside pressures – not always within

prospects are very variable, he says. “It’s a mixed

the control of the management.

John van Bergen

believes the success of businesses is often –

For things to change, he says, banks need to play their part. “They are not delivering at the moment, as most

picture with the best places still doing well. Pubs

ventures seem too risky and therefore fall outside

in particular are faring badly unless they

He explained: “Farming is very much at the mercy

their acceptance criteria. This lack of confidence

are doing good food.”

of world commodity prices and currency

stifles spending and makes price the prime driver

fluctuations these days. They have a huge impact

in the decision-making process,” he added.

on the industry’s viability.

“Standing still in the current climate, for any

“To farm well is not always good enough. Selling

business, is a good result.”

wheat and purchasing fertiliser at the right time can have a bigger impact on the farm profitability

Despite his concerns, Tim welcomes recent

than striving for higher crop yields. And because of

Government moves. “It’s good to see the new

global droughts, the price of wheat has increased

Government rising to the challenge of managing

from around £95 a year ago to £150 today.”

the country’s debt. They have no choice and I But one man’s meat is another’s poison.

admire them for facing up to responsibility David Barker

without sugar-coating our position.”

“Livestock farmers that rely upon wheat and

Statistics bear this out. Earlier this year the British

other cereals for their main feed supply will have

David Barker, who farms 1,250 acres at

Beer and Pub Association reported nearly 40 pub

a difficult time,” he added.

Westhorpe and Great Ashfield, is a partner in an

closures a week, although that figure was slightly

environmentally-aware, award-winning business,

lower than in 2009.

Paul Milsom believes that the county’s farming heritage plays an important part in its economy

EJ Barker and Sons. He echoes Tim’s assessment. “Generally the industry has done better in this

now and for the future. “Agriculture is a key

“There is not much more that the Government

recession than the last, because dining out is

component of our economy and it has done

can do other than follow the present policy. We

now part of people’s lifestyle and not just a

reasonably well, so that has helped all the

do not want high interest rates or rampant

luxury,” he added.

related industries.”

to have the country steeped in the debt left by

He sees a difficult year ahead despite his plans to

David added: “Increased prices will help the local

the last Government,” he said.

peg prices. He said: “The region depends on the

economy because farmers will invest in newer

inflation and it is not fair on the next generation

public purse less than other areas, but at the

machines and repairs to existing machinery, as

John van Bergen, managing director of Cory

same time if disposable incomes fall then our

well as farm buildings. This should reflect in the

Brothers, a worldwide ship-related services

business will naturally be more difficult.”

2011 Suffolk Show. Farmers will attend with a

IoD suffolk


winter 2010

Paul Milson

view to investing and absorbing new ideas from the large number of agricultural stands that take space at the show.” Despite an overall positive assessment of the future, few of our spokespersons could say with confidence what the future holds. Tim Ryan, like others, is looking to Government to create the conditions that will enable business to rise to the employment challenge. He summed up his strategy and cautious optimism. “The challenge of working well in such an environment is in controlling costs, managing debt and investing in sales and development,” he said. “Most good businesses in our sector are already doing that. So when the economy recovers and banks release money again we can hit the ground running.” So, Government has thrown down the gauntlet. The IoD believes it is possible. According to its experts: “We cannot predict that growth over the next few years will be the same as in the nineties, nor can we say exactly which sectors will provide the jobs. IoD members, however, think the private sector is capable of creating the employment and they are supported by the hard data we have.” The Government has undoubtedly set a brisk pace with new initiatives, which have been broadly welcomed by local business. However, the efficacy of these is yet to be seen. As part of the South East – the UK’s economic power house – much is expected of businesses here in Suffolk. Whether they can keep pace with the rate of change, rise to the challenge, take advantage of new opportunities and make the contribution demanded of them, only time will tell.


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IoD suffolk


winter 2010

company profile

spirit of success


pirit Yachts recently won ‘Best Sail Boat’ at a boat show… that’s good I hear you say, but when you find out it’s the third largest boat show in the USA – the 40th Newport International Boat Show 2010 to be precise – you’ll probably change that to WOW! In a worldwide economic slump this is a remarkable achievement for a UK business – Sean McMillan is the MD, yacht designer and businessman… we caught up with him to find out more about his success. Sean McMillan says he is often asked how Spirit Yachts has been affected by the recession. He says: “At Spirit Yachts we were

company profile

fortunate in having a good long order book

Such an example was at the recent prestigious

Kent childhood where his mother and aunt

before the world economy began to be hit

Antigua Classics, where the 100-foot Spirit

were part of one of the first all-girl dinghy

and this saw us through a period that was

Yacht ‘GAIA’, the largest built by the team,

crews in the 1950s. “I was thrown into it. I

certainly tough for some. We were able to

secured an impressive third place in her first

learnt to sail before I can remember learning

retain our highly-talented workforce and

ever race, proving her ability beyond doubt.

to sail.” In his teens he made the transition to

indeed are now recruiting more boat builders

While building boats from wood may seem a

crewing on bigger boats and later became

and engineers to handle the increased

rather old-fashioned approach in a world of

enthused with the idea of building a boat he

workload. At the same time we have

carbon-fibre and glass-reinforced plastic, Sean

could live and travel on. In a former canal yard

continued to further enhance both

quickly makes a strong case for the natural

in Uxbridge, Sean set about constructing a 48-

specifications and build quality…

material. “We’re not making traditional

foot yawl. “It became my home for eight years

replicas of wooden boats, but using multi-

and took me all over Europe.”

laminate technology to produce very lightweight hulls, which gives our boats the

Spirit Yachts started building yachts some 18

reputation for being very quick. Weight is

years ago and now the company is going

crucial for racing success. They are lighter than

from strength to strength in its waterside

glass and about on a par with carbon-fibre.

setting at the Ipswich Haven Marina, winning

Cost, and environmental considerations are

the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2008,

other plus factors for the material. Wood

being selected as James Bond’s yacht of

comes from a renewable resource, certified by

choice in the biggest-grossing 007 film

the Forestry Stewardship Council, while carbon

‘Casino Royale’ – it has placed Spirit Yachts as

is very expensive, rather unpleasant to use and

one of the world’s leading design and build


yards for modern classic yachts.

…2010 has brought more orders for new Spirits than any previous years, most but by

“Then, of course, there’s the unassailable

no means all being for various versions of our

beauty of Spirits material of choice. We use

new Deckhouse range. Whilst we would

traceable and valuable timbers from around

never dream of being complacent, we cannot

the world: cedar, teak and mahogany. We also

help but feel fundamentally bullish about the

believe that just because we’re building

long-term future of this company, of which

modern boats, they don’t have to be fat,

we remain inordinately proud.”

white and ugly. At boat shows, when you have wooden boats in a sea of plastic, you

Leaning on the railings at Ipswich Haven

will see people stroking them. It’s entirely

Marina, looking down onto one of his

subconscious, but there’s something deep in

lovingly- crafted wooden yachts being buffed

our souls that relates to wood. I’ve never seen

and polished in the sunshine, it’s difficult to

anyone stroke a fibreglass boat."

argue when boat-builder Sean McMillan says:

For Sean, however, it is the thrill of producing world-class wooden yachts that, in Spirits

"I’ve got the best job in the world - I love it."

Of course, such creations don’t come cheap,

18th year with the 50th yacht in build,

and the cost varies between hundreds of

continues to float his boat. And sailing them

As designer and managing director of

thousands to upwards of £5 million. Who,

is an equal pleasure. “It’s an extraordinary

Ipswich’s Spirit Yachts, Sean and his team

then, is buying these floating works of art?

sport – it’s the least efficient, most expensive,

build stunning wooden boats that combine an

They’re always very experienced sailors who

sometimes the most unpleasant way of

irresistible elegance with state-of-the-art

are looking for something special, fast and

getting from A to B ever devised by man. But

technology. Much more than mere vessels,

very beautiful. Inevitably, they are very wealthy

when the weather is right, and the wind is

Sean rightly talks about his yachts as works of

as these boats are extremely expensive to buy

sending you hurtling along in one of these

art. These boats are pieces of sculpture, but

and then run.

boats that you wear like a second skin, there’s

pieces of sculpture that have to function, sometimes in very difficult circumstances.

nothing like it.” Again, it’s difficult to disagree Sean’s own love of sailing stems back to his

with the man.


Images used in this article Š Spirit Yachts 2010. All Rights Reserved.


using air-conditioning all year round


sing your air-conditioning in the winter months has many benefits. It removes moisture from the air which aids visibility by preventing windows misting up.

system and damage to the components. To prevent this, Lindacre recommends that you have your system checked periodically. At Lindacre our full air conditioning service includes: Re-charging the system with gas;

By controlling the relative humidity in the vehicle

checking for leaks by injecting a special dye into

you can enjoy warmth without being stuffy.

the system; disinfecting the system to neutralise

This cleaner, fresher air will enhance driver

odours. Lindacre has recently invested thousands

awareness and help prevent drowsiness, making

of pounds in a state-of-the-art air-conditioning

It is worth remembering that a service will

for safer journeys.

service system which is totally environmentally-

prolong the quality and life of your system – so

friendly and to comply with recent legislation it is

whether you are cooling in the summer or

certified in F-Gas handling.

heating in the winter, treat your vehicle to a

So it is vitally important that you keep your airconditioning in good order. The rubber seals in

Lindacre air-conditioning service.

your air-conditioning system dry out after a

It is capable of pressure-testing the vehicle

period of inactivity and the gas in the system

system, using oxygen-free nitrogen, ensuring that

Telephone Sally or Gary on 01473 461751 for

can leak out. This can lead to failure of the

no refrigerant gases escape into the atmosphere.

more details and competitive prices.

IoD suffolk


winter 2010

corporate events

the thinking behind conference staging


here is an awful lot to think about when organising a conference or a seminar but all the hard work to make it a perfect event could go to waste if you fail to engage fully with your delegates.

may mean your presentation is excluding a large

There’s no question that with all the marketing

Anyone who has undertaken a VAK learning

efforts and the time it takes to pull in attendees

style test will know that they fall into one of three

and heighten the satisfaction of your delegates.

proportion of your audience. AV Unit’s tips for audience engagement: It’s a fact that some people prefer just to listen to the presenter speak and yet other people like to have visual prompts or interact and get involved.

• Use all three modes in any presentation; visual, auditory and kinaesthetic • Use slides to support the key messages with strong images and photographs

to an event that you want them to leave as

categories of learning, either visual, auditory or

satisfied as possible, and that’s particularly

kinaesthetic or more simply put, seeing and

pertinent if they’ve paid to attend – your

reading, listening and speaking or touching and

reputation could depend on it.


It’s true that a memorable experience can be

As a general rule, the population is split into

key points and break up the delivery of the

achieved through selecting the correct venue,

thirds in respect of learning styles, so it’s probably


• Limit the use of text on slides and avoid lists of bulleted text • Use video film and animation to highlight

providing great food, having an excellent speaker

fair to suggest that if you adopt only one style,

and presenting your audience with spectacular

around two thirds of your audience will benefit a

staging, outstanding lighting and impressive

lot less from your presentation.

punctuate your verbal messages. Not the other way around

screens. They’re all important but that approach alone can be somewhat shallow if the majority of

In providing event support, AV Unit’s role is to

your delegates leave remembering little else and

ensure that an event delivers and so considers it

the key messages are missed.

absolutely vital to begin at the centre of what is

If that is the case, has your event delivered

• Use visual aid to support and

• Involve the audience by asking questions, seeking

most important – the objective for the event and

feedback or participating in

the messages to be communicated.

interactive sessions

on its promise? When working with clients on the principle of the

• Ensure the lighting and

However you dress it up, the information that’s

three learning styles, AV Unit can help develop a

viewing of the presenter is

being imparted at an event is the most important

presentation with various layers to help enhance

correct so that body language

reason for attending and indeed running the

the audience’s overall experience.

and facial expressions can be read

event in the first place, whether that information is a sales message or training instruction, and yet

By introducing balanced and strategically-placed

this element is often overlooked.

soundtracks and videos, opening up for

The mistake that is repeatedly made is assuming

electronic voting handsets, for instance, you can

communication is clear and

that the method of delivery of information being

begin to make a presentation or lecture engage

the audience don’t have to

used is the most engaging and therefore

the whole audience and create a much richer

listen hard

memorable for everyone. Or in many cases, the

learning experience. Using a mixture of

many different methods of delivery aren't

techniques throughout your presentations will

considered. As human beings we all absorb and

resonate with people of varying learning styles

Tel: 0845 678 0390

and will help add that final level to your events

discussion and encouraging interactivity through

retain information in different ways. Ignoring this

• Use quality vocal sound reinforcement so auditory

AV Unit



ith reality TV shows such as The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den a permanent fixture on our screens, how is this affecting people’s perceptions of the world of business? Do these shows give a taste of reality or are they just entertainment? Reality TV shows focusing on the nature of business are not exactly a modern phenomenon. In the 1990s, Sir John Harvey Jones, who was chairman of ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) and voted industrialist of the year in 1988, became well-known for Troubleshooter, a programme that involved him giving advice to businesses across the country. In the past 10 years or so, reality TV shows have exploded in popularity and now reach all corners of the globe. Although no doubt gaining high viewing figures, business-based shows such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice have come under fire for being unrepresentative and giving airtime to people who simply want to be famous.

with regret, you’re fired…

Indeed, many people admit they watch such programmes because most of the candidates seem to have very little business sense. Of course, it can be said they are featured for this very reason: put simply, their failings and floundering make good TV. These days it seems everyone can be a celebrity. Lord Sugar, Duncan Bannatyne and other famous entrepreneurs are much betterknown for their appearance on these shows than their day-jobs. Personalities increase popularity and thus, businessmen and women in the media have grown into caricatures, having a brutal, merciless and power-hungry image. Take Lord Sugar for example. His most famous phrase is: “You’re fired” – not something a real manager would want to say as often as once a week.


Although sometimes seen as farcical or

situations. In the real world, however, no one

virtues of apprenticeships and match

satirical fiction, do these shows tell viewers

excels at everything.”

employers with the right apprentices.

anything about how real businesses work? Many understand that the X Factor is not the

So, although not entirely accurate, are these

way most artists go about trying to secure a

programmes doing businesses any good?

record deal, but do they appreciate that the

Perhaps surprisingly, many believe the

same goes for businesses, too?

answer is yes.

The ‘journey’ involved in real apprenticeships

The key to succeeding well in business is

and business-pitching is very different from

essentially a mix between working hard and

that portrayed on Dragons’ Den and The

being extremely competent. While this is not

Apprentice. Real entrepreneurs do not enter a

perhaps the main message in entertaining shows such as those mentioned, they do promote motivation, creativity and forwardthinking to the masses. Famous faces such as Jamie Oliver have also The Home Learning College survey showed

helped. His apprentice-chef scheme, named

that 21pc of viewers feel more ambitious

Fifteen after his famous restaurant, has taken

when watching The Apprentice. One third

on a considerable number of Neets (Not in

also said that watching The Apprentice

education, employment or training) since it

makes them feel better about their current

began, helping shape their lives for the better.

job and colleagues – not surprising when

In 2002, the first group of young trainees

you see the arguments exploding on some

were filmed for a TV series and since then the

of these shows.

scheme has gone from strength to strength. Showing the value of such apprenticeships,

Last year, Alan Sugar spoke out against what

not only to the individual but to the employer,

‘dragons’ den’ with only a two-minute pitch

he thought was a ‘scandalous neglect’ of

has helped demonstrate to other businesses

to deliver to investors who are sitting in front

apprenticeships. This year, however, the

how they can invest in their future workforce.

of cameras, preparing to make or break

number of apprenticeships and companies

dreams with their “I’m in” or “I’m out” (or

offering these training schemes has increased

Essentially then, while we have to remember

“oot” in Duncan Bannatyne's case). Indeed,

considerably, perhaps as a result of the

these TV shows are there to provide

what these shows do not always show is the

popularity of these shows. In the

entertainment and to make money, they also

hard graft and research that has to go into a

comprehensive spending review this year the

act as a walking, talking advert for motivation.

successful pitch. Nor do they always show the

Government pledged that this increase would

Women all over the country will be pleased to

work that goes into the process after money

be maintained and has upped spending on

see a strong and successful female sitting next

has been invested; they simply screen the

apprenticeships schemes, promising that up to

to Alan Sugar week after week in the

most entertaining snippets.

75,000 extra people will be able to get on-

boardroom during The Apprentice, and the

the-job training.

success of all these characters shows what we

Commenting on results of a survey that

can potentially achieve, even if not in such

found that 42 per cent of the 3,000 working

With university fees set to rise dramatically

adults asked wouldn’t want to work with the

under the coalition government more and

elaborate terms.

candidates on The Apprentice, Dave Snow,

more people are turning to apprenticeships

It seems that although popular culture may

academic director at the Home Learning

and this is particularly true in Suffolk. Local

not help the audience understand the exact

College, said: “Watching The Apprentice can

companies have reported increases of seven

nature of business, it does encourage more

give the impression that the best way to

per cent or more in the number of young

people to discover the nature of business for

progress in business is to shout louder and

people wanting to undertake apprenticeships

themselves. This alone must be a positive and

be pushier than anyone else. In reality, there

and there seems to be a growing focus on

almost makes watching the catfights on The

are far better ways to get noticed in the

helping people into work. Services such as

Apprentice worthwhile.

workplace …The show is designed to test a

free apprenticeship-listing services (available

wide range of skills, albeit in often unrealistic

to Suffolk employers) can help promote the

IoD member benefits

Suffolk members to benefit from even more…

Creative thinker - Dr David Hall speaking at this year’s IoD Suffolk Annual Conference


hether you have been taking advantage of IoD benefits or not, the Suffolk committee has been working hard to introduce additional perks for members to enjoy.

audiences and customers, which has obvious

opportunities, the IoD Visa Gold Card, IoD

benefits in a period where stand-out is vital.

Chairman’s lunches, health and fitness

It has also been decided that members will be

discounts as well as office resources.

Following the success of this year’s annual

“A number of our events are over-subscribed.

benefits extend well beyond the office to

conference and in particular the interest shown

We feel that it is important that non-members

your personal life as well. Tracy Hendron,

in the Creativity Club techniques explained by

are made welcome as this broadens the

director of Hendron Wood, said: "IoD

our keynote speaker Dr David Hall, we have

networking opportunities, but we thought it

membership isn't something I've considered

decided to run a series of Creativity Club

only right that our members should receive the

before now as I hadn't realised the extent of

sessions. These will run in parallel to our usual

first option to reserve their places.”

member benefits and how that might add value

given priority booking on all of the events within our usual programme. As IoD Suffolk

The reason this benefits package works so

Chairman, Paul Winter explains:

well is because it can be adapted to your business no matter what the size and the

programme of events and will be strictly available to members only. The Creativity Clubs will help you gather

to my recruitment business. These new creativity The IoD website fully details all the benefits of

clubs would be ideal for my team and I'm going

membership but you may not realise you can

to take a closer look."

take advantage of entitlements designed

techniques for generating ideas which are both

especially for directors, such as travel, personal

For more details on Suffolk IoD membership

novel and useful and will at the same time

indemnity insurance, loans, corporate finance,

and the new benefits please contact

energise your team. The way the various

business news, exclusive network opportunities,

Caroline Kearney on 07917 699 498

methods are structured often results in

the LinkedIn IoD forum, specialist business

or email

producing a fresh approach in how you take

advice and support, free listings for your

The Suffolk IoD can be found at

your products and services to your key

business, Pall Mall meeting rooms, promotion

IoD suffolk


winter 2010

olympic developments

Bruizer provides film resources for London 201 2


he London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games offer a wealth of opportunities for businesses, large and small, across the whole of the UK.

opportunities for London 2012 and provides

policies in place which proved extremely

access to business-support services.

beneficial when it came to registering on

Tim Wright, director at Bruizer, said: ‘'It's very

us to respond to relevant contract

CompeteFor. This has subsequently allowed rewarding to be involved with such an exciting

opportunities that we would not have

project. It's been a pleasure to be able to

had access to otherwise.

One company that is benefiting is Bruizer Ltd

document the progress of young athletes for

from Suffolk, which won two contracts, putting

the Get Set films, but also to see how excited

“The contracts have been hugely advantageous

it on the roster to provide film resources for

and motivated young people around the

to us and we feel that we will benefit

LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the

country are about the Games, especially on the

significantly from our work for the Games. They

Olympic and Paralympic Games), including the

Young Leaders programme, which is supported

have been vital in providing future security for

Get Set Education programme. Bruizer employs

by BP and is designed to give a group of

the organisation and if the opportunities

eight full-time staff and has a turnover of

disadvantaged young people the chance to

continue to grow we may need to employ

approximately £1million.

make a positive change to their lives.

more staff to improve our capacity.

The contract was posted on the CompeteFor

“We found the registration process for

“I’d recommend CompeteFor to businesses

system, a brokerage service between buyers

CompeteFor very straightforward. As a

whatever their field of expertise. There are still a

and potential suppliers. CompeteFor offers

company, we have always been vigilant in

lot of opportunities appearing on the system

businesses the chance to find out about

ensuring that we have up-to-date and effective

and many more contracts to be won.”

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IoD suffolk


winter 2010

commercial property

prestigious office space meets current demand in Ipswich


ondon-based Sint Asset Management is one of the most active development companies in Ipswich, speculatively refurbishing office buildings to suit the needs of today’s occupiers.

splendour. The facade, entrance hall, large reception room and staircase all have high ceilings and original period features, while staff will be accommodated in modern and flexible open-plan space over three floors. The 18,500 sq ft (St Mary’s House 6,885 sq ft

Investment director, Neil Sint, said: “Low rents make it difficult to justify new buildings, so we target best of breed with potential. The market in Ipswich is changing with tenants recognising the need for modern space. Good natural light and generous parking are essentials, along with refurbishment to the highest standards.” St Mary’s House and St Mary’s Court, both in Museum Street, are prime examples excellent open-plan space with all the key

and St Mary’s Court 11,700 sq ft ) are available as individual buildings or together. Sint Asset Management has also just bought the

work in progress

Friars Courtyard complex of seven buildings on Princes Street in Ipswich and is refurbishing this attractive town centre site. Two bright, selfcontained, open-plan office suites offering 650 and 1,325 sq ft – with parking are now ready for occupation.

services. More than £1million has been spent on equipping these adjacent buildings with Daikin

Next up is the “old” Savills unit, which fronts

VRF air-conditioning with heat recovery,

Princes Street, one of the most prominent

passenger lifts, underfloor and perimeter

buildings in the town with an exceptional

trunking, new entrances, double glazing and 30

frontage and display windows. It provides just

plus parking spaces.

over 4,000 sq ft of office space over three floors,

work in progress

plus parking and extensive storage. “Cost-saving environmental issues were key,” he said. “We’ve used the latest WRAS approved

Elsewhere in Ipswich, Sint Asset Management

water-saving fittings, added insulation to the new

has fully let St Vincent House, turning it into a

roof and ensured every tap or toilet can be

prestigious office location. A major refurbishment

isolated. We’ve retained state-of-the-art server

is now under way creating a prestigious meeting

rooms with independent electricity, air-

room suite for occupiers and members of the

conditioning supplies and fibre optic telecoms –

St V Club.

something tenants really value.” By reconfiguring the interior, client-facing rooms in St Mary’s

Ipswich-based Penn Commercial is the letting

House have been returned to their original period

agent working alongside Sint & Co.

01473 211933

for a personal and proactive service

work in progress

Stimulate your senses

Dine in our boutique restaurant where Simon Barker and his team prepare modern British food sourced locally.

Wherever you sit you can enjoy the hotel’s collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures and interesting nic-nacs. In summer, dine alfresco and watch the harbour from our courtyard. Book a table now and enjoy. Reserve by telephone 01473 226789.


Creative thinker - Dr David Hall speaking at this year’s IoD Suffolk Annual Conference

01394 385678

Seckford Hall Hotel & Restaurant

IoD suffolk


winter 2010

festive giving

wines of interest...


gift of wine at Christmas is always a good idea, isn’t it? Well, it depends. Your gift needs to be drinkable. That might sound obvious, but every year thousands of bottles of wine given at Christmas are poor because they were bought with only cost in mind.

goes down the sink. That’s so counterproductive that it would have been better not to bother. So what do you do then? The budget has to go that much farther than last year, but the answer is actually very simple: buy fewer, but better, bottles. It works because excise duty and the fixed costs are all about the same for

We all have a budget to work to and three

dearer bottles. VAT and the profit element will

bottles for a tenner in the local supermarket

be a bit higher but the vast majority of your

may sound like a cracking deal – it’s only

increased spend will be going on the quality

£3.33 per bottle after all, but what are you

of the wine, and it will show. The sums show

actually buying? Not much wine that’s

that optimum value for money lies between

for sure!

about £5 and £10 a bottle.

Even before VAT goes up to 20 per cent in

Of course, if you don’t think the people you’re

January, a huge proportion of your spend is

giving the stuff to can tell the difference you

taken up in tax. 50p is VAT and a further

can try giving them any old dross, but one day

£1.69 is Excise Duty, so £2.19 goes straight to

it will backfire. No-one will ever tell you,

Mr Osborne, leaving £1.14 for the wine, an

maybe it already has…

element of profit, shipping, the cork, bottle, label, capsule and any bond charges. Knowing

If you’d like the confidence of giving super

these costs, we reckon that bottles selling on

wines to suit your budget, why not see what

the ‘3 for £10’ ticket ought to be empty (or

we can do?

contain free juice), because there’s nothing left for the wine. Even at £4 the wine is

Wines of Interest

worth only a few pence.

46 Burlington Road,

Still sound like a good deal?


The unlucky recipient, initially grateful for the

(01473) 215752


gift, opens the first bottle to discover that

they have actually been given three bottles of

badger’s widdle, and then blames the giver. They feel they can’t palm the remaining

Ipswich’s last remaining

bottles off on someone else and the whole lot

Independent Wine Merchant


promotion not hibernation


s the cold weather has finally hit us we begin to think of the opportunities or potential threats to our businesses. Should we be cutting back or developing further? For some there will be additional opportunities over the winter months but for others their most prosperous part of the year may have already passed. Although at this time of year daylight hours are

your game all year round at a floodlit driving range. Some even have heated bays to make Stuart Robertson

the experience more comfortable, especially for ladies and juniors.

(ideally after consultation with their local golf professional), with their games of golf, so that

For the types of business who have an ‘off peak

they can start the new season with an

season’, this winter period could be the time to

improved, more consistent game.

analyse your business, to ascertain what worked

Stuart Robertson

and what didn’t, areas where things can be

Head PGA Golf Professional

improved and ideas put into place for the

The Doctorgolf Academy

forthcoming season with mail-shots, advertising

Best Western Ufford Park

campaigns or specific press releases.

Hotel Golf & Spa

reduced, and assuming your local course is still


playable, the opportunity for most people to

The more competitive golfers will seek

IP12 1QW

play golf is now only at weekends. However,

opportunities to improve their game in the off

01394 383480

there is still the chance to practise and develop

season, by combining a detailed practice regime

Christmas & New Year at Best Western Ufford Park Venetian Open Party Nights from £38.95pp (Fri 3rd & Thurs 23rd Dec. remaining) Christmas Day Lunch £62.95pp Boxing Day Lunch £21.95pp Bed & Breakfast over the festive period from £69 per room per night Burns Night - Saturday 22nd Jan 2011 Includes a traditional 3 course meal with live music from Inertia Reel & a Piper.

Call Events on 0844 4771832 or visit Yarmouth Road, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1QW

Gateway to Suffolk Suffolk’’s Heritage Coast...

IoD suffolk


winter 2010


destination gold


ocal businesses get behind Suffolk’s brightest 2012 prospects.

Once adopted, the company will allow and encourage staff to raise money to help the athlete. It takes commitment, dedication and a large of amount of money for a sportsman or

‘Destination Gold’ is an innovative approach by

woman to reach the top with some talented

the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation to use the

athletes slipping through the net because of lack

excitement of the London 2012 Olympic and

of funding. An aspiring athlete spends on

Paralympic Games to raise money to support

average £5000, a year on equipment, training

some of the most talented athletes in the county.

and travelling. At the very highest levels it can be

The Suffolk SportsAid Foundation is a joint

much, much more.

initiative between Suffolk Sport, the national charity for sports people and ‘Rising to the

We asked those businesses who had already

Challenge Suffolk’, the campaign to maximise

‘adopted’ an athlete why they decided to get

the benefits for Suffolk from London 2012.

involved with ‘Destination Gold’

This exciting initiative has already grabbed

Customer Services Direct:

the imagination of five local businesses that

Adopted Helen Decker – Marathon Runner

are supporting some of Suffolk’s brightest

Sue Garbett, Customer Services Direct

2012 prospects.

“We are delighted to be associated with the

Adopted Joshua Tonner – Rowing

Destination Gold Initiative. As a company we

Vicky Le Fanu, Ufford Park

Ipswich Building Society, Adnams, Prettys

want to help our people improve their health

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to

Solicitors, Ufford Park and Customer Service

and well-being and encourage participation

support a local athlete who has the potential to

Direct (CSD) have all seized the opportunity to

in the local community. We decided to get

attend a UK-based Olympics. Joshua Tonner is a

associate themselves with a world-class athlete,

involved on the back of the Healthy

superb rower and our involvement with him and

to support them and raise money to help them

Ambitions Programme, motivating staff

his success is a great way for our business and

on their journey to 2012.

through fitness activities.”

staff to connect with the Olympic Games. We

The concept is simple, a business, and their staff

Ipswich Building Society

Destination Gold Business Supporters

Ufford Park

are proud to support him.” officially ‘adopt’ one of the Suffolk SportsAid

Adopted Caroline Maclean –


Foundation’s aspiring athletes. “It is an ideal way

Wheelchair Basketball

Adopted Abbie Thorrington - Triathlete and

to engage your businesses workforce in the

Paul Winter, Ipswich Building Society

Brian Allldis - Wheelchair Racer

excitement of the Games”, commented Adam

“Ipswich Building Society are heavily involved in

Emma Hibbert, Adnams

Baker, Suffolk County Council’s Project Manager

the local community and we see this as a way to

“Adnams has committed to support two of

for the London 2012 Games. He added:

leave a lasting legacy to Suffolk. Our local athlete

Suffolk’s brightest 2012 prospects - triathlete

“Destination Gold is your opportunity to be part

is Haverhill-based women's wheelchair basketball

Abbie Thorrington and wheelchair racer Brian

of a team effort, have fun whilst raising money

player Caroline Maclean. Caroline is an

Alldis. This is a fantastic project, which Adnams

and align your business to one of these

enormous inspiration both as a motivational

is proud to support. London 2012 presents

incredibly talented individuals. In return, the

speaker and on the basketball court. Our staff

many opportunities for businesses in Suffolk and

Suffolk SportsAid Foundation will provide

and the whole organisation get great enjoyment

by ‘adopting’ Abbie and Brian, Adnams will feel

companies with a fantastic motivational tool,

from following her events.”

very much involved in the run-up to the Olympic

team-building opportunities and the chance for staff to work towards a common goal.” Andy Wood, Adnams with Brian Alldis and Abbie Thorrington

and Paralympic Games.” Prettys Adopted Harry Martin – Hockey

Want to get involved?

Georgina Raymont, Prettys Solicitors

There are still a few athletes awaiting adoption!

”We are supporting Harry Martin as he’s a local hockey player and it has really enabled our staff to connect with the run-up to the Olympics themselves in 2012. Prettys have always been keen to support campaigns and initiatives to further develop local sporting talent and it’s great to be part of Harry’s future from the grass roots up!”

Interested? If you would like to get involved with ‘Destination Gold’ contact: Adam Baker, Suffolk County Council’s Project Manager for the London 2012 Games, on 01473 260821 or Sonia Shelcott, Suffolk SportsAid Foundation Board Member, Millriver Publicity, on 01473 410278 or email Alternatively full details can be found at

business books

business books for winter... Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Levitt, the original rogue economist, and

Steven D. Levitt and

terrorist; are people hard-wired for altruism or

Stephen J. Dubner.

selfishness; which cancer does chemotherapy

Published November

work best for; and, why is saving the planet

2010, Allen Lane,

easier than we think. With this illustrated


edition, Levitt and Dubner bring alive their

Family firms are to be found in every sector of

unique analysis and storytelling with an

commercial activity, and their special strengths

Stephen Dubner look deeper, question harder

Family Businesses: The Essentials

and uncover even more hidden truths about

Peter Leach.

our world, from terrorism to shark attacks,

Published March

cable TV to hurricanes. They ask, among other

2007, Profile Books.

things: what's a sure-fire way to catch a


Bigger, better and more controversial, the

explosion of visual evidence to reveal the

mean that they flourish best where their

international bestselling "Freakquel" is here in a

world in a bold, new way.

advantages can be fully exploited. "Family

super-deluxe, super-illustrated edition. Steven

Seeing is believing...

Businesses: The Essentials" is a comprehensive guide to every aspect of managing a family-

Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay

paying for it. What went wrong? And will we

John Lanchester.

but are the sort of person who finds it hard to

Published October

tell the difference between a CDO, a CDS, an

2010, Penguin Books.

MBS, and a toasted cheese sandwich, John


Lanchester has mastered the finer points of

learn our lesson - or just carry on as before, like celebrating surviving a heart attack with a packet of Rothmans? If you want to know,

We are, to use a technical economic term,

finance so you don't have to. In "Whoops!" he

screwed. The cowboy capitalists had a party

explains, in language everyone can

with everyone's money and now we're all

understand, what really happened - and what on earth we do next.

owned firm, from day-to-day issues to longterm planning for future generations. This new and completely revised version of the author's previous "Guide to the Family Business" (Kogan Page; last edition 1999) provides an accessible introduction to newcomers, and also offers knowledgeable business people fresh insight and solutions to the special problems they face. All family businesses are different, but it is critical for each to define its shared family values, vision and purpose. "Family Businesses:

100 Great CostCutting Ideas

successful business. It’s not about saving

Anne Hawkins.

increasing profitability. A saving in one

costs, Hawkins reminds us; it’s about

Published June 2010,

isolated area could damage service levels or

Marshall Cavendish.

even increase costs elsewhere in the business.


The book reminds us to keep the bigger picture and the core objectives always in mind and, most importantly, to get the whole

Intelligent, highly readable, and full of sound,

organisation involved. The ideas presented

workable ideas drawn from the real

range from the simple but effective to the

experiences of companies of all shapes and

complex but potentially transformational.

sizes, 100 Great Cost-Cutting Ideas is also a

Every one of them will help you to run a more

refresher course in the essentials of running a

profitable business. What’s not to like?

The Essentials" shows how to achieve this, and how to allow each generation to reinterpret and revitalise that vision. Fresh, updated and more sharply focused, packed with real-life case studies, and drawing on the author's extensive research into thousands of family businesses, this is essential guidance for every stage of a family business development.

Please join us at our

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IoD suffolk


winter 2010

mind your own business

should employees come first?


ecent research into what motivates key people to stay with their company has identified a significant gap between the views of employers and those of their employees.

So how can companies combat such debilitating low morale? They could start talking more to their workforce – and listening to them – about what they feel. And by talking, I don’t mean talking down to them. All too often corporate communication is

Bosses believed that the main reasons for

still a one-way channel with no meaningful way

people staying put were the influence of

to reverse the flow. This simply reinforces the

corporate brand and culture, plus the benefits

“management knows best” mindset among

package offered. Workers, on the other hand,

those who have their hands on the company’s

valued the level of remuneration, training and

control levers. Of course some organisations go through the motions of introducing communications

Why does this disparity not surprise me?

great talkers, but they do have to be great listeners.”

development, a good career path and flexible working conditions.

successful they will be. CEOs don’t have to be

systems that purport to make two-way dialogue a reality. Sadly, most of these are doomed to

Because, in my experience, many companies

failure because they remain hierarchically

are notoriously bad at knowing what their

weighted, with staff in the lower echelons

employees think about anything. I have lost

reluctant to say what they really think.

The proof of the pudding? HCL’s sales and operating income have tripled over four years and it now has five times the number of lucrative contracts than in 2005. Some years ago a consultant with a successful track record in implementing change projects

count of the number of times I have heard a senior manager enthusing madly about the

Many years ago there were moves to champion

latest initiative, oblivious to the fact that what

a genuinely bottom-up approach and there was

was being proposed would go down like

enough empirical evidence to suggest that this

the proverbial lead balloon among those

could be a highly potent way to liberate latent

on whom the ultimate success of the new

knowledge and talent hitherto suppressed by

scheme depended.

the stultifying structure of the organisation.

across disparate disciplines in large organisations advised me that the most valuable act any manager could perform before trying to persuade staff to do anything differently was first to put him or herself firmly in the other individual’s shoes (trying as much as possible to imagine truthfully what the world

The fear of being thrown out of work –

Such freer thinking is not always popular with

especially prevalent these days – means that

those in supervisory roles who do not take

many workers are increasingly compliant and

kindly to any perceived threat to their authority.

must really look like from their perspective) and then ask: What’s in this for me? All managers should try this some time. I

afraid to be seen to be rocking the boat. That does not mean, however, they are happy with

More recently, Vineet Nayar, chief executive of

their lot.

HCL, India’s largest IT services company, has revived the concept of reverse accountability in

Interestingly, another survey conducted at the

his paradoxically-titled book Employees First,

same time found that the UK’s workforce was

Customers Second.

guarantee they will be amazed at how, on reflection, their precious plans – a product of their own very personal paradigms – will often not seem quite so universally compelling. It may seem like an uncomfortable option to

the second most dissatisfied in Europe – topped only by the Irish. It found that 47 per cent of

Nayar observes: “My view is that CEOs in the

employees in this country said they intended to

traditional sense are fast becoming irrelevant,

look for a new job by the end of the year.

and the sooner they realise that, the more

contemplate, but it could pay dividends in the long run. G C Armstrong

introducing the IoD committee

Paul Winter

Chris Johnson

Chairman tel 01473 278403 email

Sponsorship Officer tel 01473 279175 email

Ian Johnson

Graham Reid

Branch Membership Officer tel 01284 767670 email

Branch Treasurer

Neil Prentice

Dawn Carman-Jones

Public Relations, Marketing and Magazine Liaison Officer

Education Liaison Officer and Regional Professional Development Co-ordinator


01473 228811


01449 737661 tel email


01379 873181


Dean Willingham

Catherine Chambers

Vice Chairman

Education Liaison Officer and Regional Professional Development Co-ordinator tel 01473 226645

01473 283283 tel email


Caroline Kearney

Leigh-Ondrea Bendall

Suffolk Branch Administrator mob 07917 699 498 email

tel 01440 711400 email

new members to suffolk branch

IoD Pall Mall, London

IoD Suffolk Membership Benefits • IoD Travel Services

Added Zest

Kpi-insight Consulting Ltd

Debbie Anne Hills

Effendi Yuwan

Barker Gotelee Solicitors

Raspberry Software Ltd

Nicola Furmston

Simon Hopper

Chemring EOD Ltd

Raspberry Software Ltd

Jonathan Earey

Andy Jeff

Daregal Gourmet Ltd

Raspberry Software Ltd

Martin McIlroy

Peter Jarvis

GMK Consulting

Suffolk New College

Tshikuya Kayembe

Orville Gardener

Great Yarmouth & Wavency PCT

Sean Perry IBOS

• IoD Car Rental • IoD Director’s Liability Insurance • IoD Professional Indemnity Insurance • IoD Home and Contents Insurance • IoD Health Plans

Tim Blogg

To find out more about joining IoD Suffolk branch... Please call Caroline Kearney, Suffolk Branch Administrator mob: 07917 699 498 email:

For a complete list of the current affinity member benefits, please see

Institute of Directors Suffolk Branch, 25 Wilding Drive, Grange Farm, Kesgrave, Ipswich IP5 2AE

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IoD Winter Issue  

The premier business to business magazine in the Suffolk and North Essex region, mailed directly to key business leaders and with a high pro...

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