Mike Southon is a former mobile DJ, musician and singer as well as an astute businessman. He was co-founder of The Instruction Set in 1984, selling training in computer services, later selling on out to Hoskyns (now Cap Gemini Ernst & Young). He’s collaborated in and helped set up numerous companies, and is a published author several times over – and is regarded as one of the most experienced entrepreneur mentors in the UK. His original book from 2002, ‘The Beermat Entrepreneur’ has been updated for 2018. He says one the secrets of entrepreneurial success is to ‘find a foil’ – someone who compliments what you do, and be nice!
Peter Aiers is Chief Executive at the Churches Conservation Trust, and he has had a life-long interest in history and conservation. His organisation maintains over 300 historic places of worship and he manages 80 people and a multi million pound fundraising pot. He’s spent 12 years at the organisation and took over as CEO seven months ago. He’s always worked in conservation (apart from a stint working in a chippy!) and says it was refreshing being given ‘the push to make something happen and to prove myself’ when he was appointed the first conservation officer for the Church of England. He loves the outdoors, Manchester rock music and new challenges.
Adam Cox is joined by Calum Brannan, tech start-up entrepreneur and CEO of “No Agent”: a new app designed specifically for landlords. They discuss frustrations that Buy-to-Let landlords have with working with letting agents, and how “No Agent” can make a difference. Calum explains his experience of letting agents as inefficient and overpriced, and how he intends to disrupt the old-fashioned market in the same way that Uber transformed the taxi industry.
Adam Cox talks to Michael Shapiro, Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution at GSC Solicitors LLP, about one of the most visible parts of the legal process: litigation. Michael explains that a lot of litigation comes about as a result of poor planning at the start of a business relationship, and that prevention is much better and cheaper than the cure. He talks about why factors such as ego, stubbornness and revenge can drive a case to court – and why there are much better, and far less risky, ways to seek resolution. Would you take your business to court to prove a point?
In the last of her four discussions with writer and consultant on responsible business Tom Levitt, Linda Lewis probes further into what it means to be a responsible and sustainable business in the 21st century. The two discuss what it is that engages employees within a business setting, the growing phenomenon of “social enterprise”, and how such businesses differ from the mainstream. The role of “purpose” in business is explored; as is the changing nature of investment, which is increasingly being used to support businesses in creating positive social and environmental outcomes. The discussion is further explored from a historical perspective – what can we learn from hindsight that could improve business today?
Helen Brand is Chief Executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the global body for professional accountants – yet admits to not having trained in accountancy! She maintains that a career choice in the industry is a terrific grounding for any business. Her personal interests lie in politics and international relations. She enjoys travel, and is a supporter of gender diversity in business. Having spent time working in the children’s shoe department of a store, she says we shouldn’t shy away from jobs which might not necessarily boost a CV – because they can be career- and knowledge-enhancing all the same! Helen was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2011.
Adam talks to Anthony Coumbe, Senior Environment Manager for the HS2 – the UK’s largest ever infrastructure project, about why making environmental concerns a priority are so crucial to the process. They discuss how communities have been involved in environmental decisions and how animals, trees and organisms unique to specific towns and areas are being fully considered throughout construction.
Ardi Kolah is director of the GDPR programme at Henley Business School, and the author of a recent guide to implementing the much-discussed regulation. He’s a lawyer by background, and a graduate of King’s College in London. He worked in corporate law before joining the BBC as a trainee, and later became one of the first voices on BBC Radio 5 (now 5 Live). Ardi has also taught law – even teaching Nick Clegg at Westminster School – and has run his own communications and PR agency. He says his track record may not look ideal, but it’s exactly the approach he would encourage anyone embarking on a career today to take. He says it’s all about taking chances and following your heart!
Adam Cox talks to business strategist Clive Daley, who is committed to helping retailers evolve and adapt to the dramatic changes that have occurred on our high streets and retail parks. Clive highlights that, while many retailers have been hit hard by the growth of online alternatives, there is still a place in the market for “experiential retail”. He talks about the rise of online market places – including the fast-growing online service Mano Mano, which intends to create a new way for people to buy and sell home and garden products; an industry that currently remains a place where most people still expect to physically see bricks-and-mortar retailers. They discuss why the DIY and home improvement industry is ripe for a seismic shift: could this potential “DIY disruption” be a good thing? Find out more at www.cfdstrategicsolutions.com.
As Wimbledon 2018 enters its second week, Wimbledon fever is at its peak – but how are the people behind the spectacle working to make sure the UK’s most famous tennis championships live up to the hype? Adam Cox is joined by Alex Willis, Head of Communications, Content and Digital at the All England Club; and Sam Seddon, the IBM Wimbledon Client and Programme Executive, to talk about how artificial intelligence is changing the way fans experience Wimbledon – both on and off the courts.