‘Transformational talent development’: An insightful Nottingham Partners lunch for Nottingham’s business leaders

Around 100 Nottingham business leaders attended the latest Nottingham Partners business lunch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday 12th July 2019. The lunch event was themed around ‘Transformational Talent Development’ and was sponsored by legal and professional services group, Gateley.

The attendees, composed of representatives from many of Nottingham’s leading businesses, enjoyed networking over a drinks reception before sitting down to lunch.

Paul Southby, Chair of Marketing NG, welcomed guests to the venue, including new members HeX Productions, Yu Energy and DP Online Marketing. He spoke about the building activity and developments taking shape around the southern end of the city and what this would mean for Nottingham, amongst other updates.

He then handed over to Helen Webster, an associate solicitor at Gateley Legal, who showed guests a short, but impactful video which introduced Gateley and their forward-thinking and straight-talking approach, which sets them apart as a business.

The main speeches were from business psychologists Dr Zara Whysall and Dr Charles Jones from Kiddy and Partners, a leadership assessment and development firm, and part of the Gateley Group. They discussed how businesses can develop talent and leadership skills within their organisations, encouraging workforces to step up and deliver in challenging, changing contexts – a pertinent issue for Nottingham during this time of great transformation and regeneration.

Zara began by explaining the context, showing research demonstrating that an astonishing 68% of businesses questioned considered themselves to be undergoing a ‘significant change’ and 29% a ‘moderate change’ – suggesting that virtually all organisations are in a state of constant flux. She attributed this in part to the rate of technological change and how it is outpacing humans, who may struggle to keep up with new advancements.

These statistics, she explained, provide a strong indication that workforces need to be agile, adaptable and able to develop new skillsets more quickly. Zara outlined common mistakes made when developing employees’ skillsets, and provided solutions to each of these pitfalls, encouraging attendees at the event to “think critically about [their] people development practices”.

Having explained the wider context, Zara handed over to Charles, who encouraged the business leaders in attendance to consider their own individual business contexts and how it relates to the mindset and skillsets of their own workforces.

He stressed the importance of the human element of a business, saying that although “there’s no doubt that we live in an age that is incredibly digital”, that businesses are ultimately about human beings. He championed the importance of motivation, recommending that business leaders take the time to ask their workforce how they are feeling. He explained the purpose, mastery and autonomy framework and how this is integral to fostering a sense of motivation in employees.

Business leaders then heard a brief talk from Chris Henning, Economic Development Director at Nottingham City Council, about the upcoming celebration of Nottingham’s 50-year friendship with German city Karlsruhe and how this important milestone would be celebrated with events and international visits this year. Chris explained that in this challenging time of global uncertainty, “it is more important than ever that we are looking overseas” and strengthening international friendships. He described Nottingham and Karlsruhe’s strong ‘ABC’ (Academia, Business, Civic) relationship before outlining the sponsorship opportunities available during the celebrations.

The Leader of Nottingham City Council, David Mellen, then took to the stage to outline some of the exciting developments happening in Nottingham and his own priorities as the new leader, including the challenges currently faced by the city and the steps being taken to tackle them.

The event finished with a brief talk from Melanie Currie, Deputy Dean of Nottingham Business School, who spoke about the School’s upcoming 40-year celebrations and graduation week, which will be kickstarted with a spectacular and ambitions Red Arrows flypast on Monday 15th July at 1:10pm. She explained that they will use these celebrations not only as an opportunity to look back at how far they have come, but principally to “look forward” at their ambitions and aspirations for their 50th anniversary.

She said, “Together with our partners, stakeholders, alumni and friends we want to ensure we continue to develop a transformative educational experience for our students.”

Paul Southby then closed the event, notifying guests about the next Nottingham Partners lunch event, which will be held at 12 noon on the 13th September at the Hilton Hotel. This lunch will be themed around ‘Connectivity / 5G / Future Tech’ and will be sponsored by Mason Infotech. The main speaker will be Paul North, Head of Sales from CityFibre (wholesale), and Andrew Bullock from UniDays.

Please click here to book your place.

We have a great calendar of events lined up for 2019 and there’s never been a better time to find out more about Nottingham’s premier network. Contact Annette Thornley, our Commercial Partnerships Manager for more information at annette.thornley@nottinghampartners.co.uk or 0115 962 8311.