IoD Scotland January 2024

IoD Scotland membership magazine, business advice for directors

IoD Scotland membership magazine, business advice for directors


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The official membership<br />

magazine for the Institute<br />

of Directors in <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

iod.com/scotland<br />

Direction<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong><br />


Exploring<br />

Sustainability<br />

How small firms can<br />

make a big difference<br />

Aligning your business<br />

plans with ESG goals<br />

‘It’s time to join<br />

the revolution’<br />

Steve Dunlop explains how FOR:EV<br />

is putting <strong>Scotland</strong> on the right<br />

road to an electric motoring future

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> NEWS | DIRECTION<br />

Be bold, be confident: <strong>2024</strong><br />

can be the year of business<br />

In the six months I’ve been Chair of<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> in <strong>Scotland</strong>, I’ve spoken to dozens<br />

of business leaders, and the<br />

conversation always comes back to<br />

one thing – confidence.<br />

With a traditional new year behind us,<br />

and a financial new year on the horizon,<br />

now is perhaps the ideal time to examine<br />

the concept of business confidence a<br />

little more deeply. What conditions make<br />

business leaders feel confident, and can<br />

increased confidence put the 2023<br />

‘doldrums’ behind us?<br />

Most obviously, inflation and interest<br />

rates have the most significant impact on<br />

confidence. The twists and turns of the<br />

last 12 months have forced business<br />

leaders to be consistently reactive, when<br />

their time could be better spent planning<br />

for the future.<br />

The turmoil of interest rates and<br />

inflation require constant turning of the<br />

ship, but the wider political climate also<br />

has a significant impact on how positive<br />

business leaders feel about what’s down<br />

the road. However, it’s fair to say that the<br />

partnership between business and<br />

political leaders has left room for<br />

improvement – our engagement with<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>’s New Deal for Business<br />

has made an impressive start, and<br />

that alone will do business<br />

confidence a world of good, says<br />

Julie Ashworth, Chair, <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

members in 2023 told us as much.<br />

Thankfully, there are moves to put that<br />

right in <strong>Scotland</strong>, and 2023 saw some<br />

significant strides ahead with the<br />

announcement of the Scottish<br />

Government’s New Deal for Business<br />

(NDB), and later, the unveiling of an<br />

implementation plan.<br />

What’s different about this initiative is<br />

the real involvement of the business<br />

community on the NDB Group. There is a<br />

real commitment to work together to<br />

tackle everything from rates and<br />

wellbeing to the partnership between<br />

business, Holyrood, and policy.<br />

<strong>2024</strong> will be a crucial year for the NDB<br />

as we start to see some definitive action<br />

– and I am optimistic that real benefits<br />

will be seen in terms of investment,<br />

innovation, skills, and employment.<br />

Our members tell us that clear<br />

channels of communication and<br />

accessible engagement on incoming<br />

regulations are essential in order for<br />

business leaders to engage with decision<br />

makers. And this is why we have been,<br />

and will be, at the table with<br />

Government, working on behalf of<br />

members to achieve those aims.<br />

To succeed, the New Deal for Business<br />

must be realistic. The Government’s<br />

flagship policies of wellbeing and Net<br />

Zero must co-exist with business leaders’<br />

(and their shareholders) need for<br />

meaningful growth. One cannot be<br />

achieved at the expense of another.<br />

Doing business well is an ambition most<br />

leaders strive for, but the numbers need<br />

to add up.<br />

Within an environment of partnership<br />

and transparency, business leaders are<br />

also better able to plan. Coming off the<br />

back of a period where planning was all<br />

but impossible, the confidence boost<br />

from having a plan cannot be<br />

underestimated. Over recent months we<br />

have seen a step-change in planning,<br />

with more leaders asking the critical<br />

questions ahead of time and getting<br />

activation plans in place. It’s great to be<br />

proactive again.<br />

Finally, we have all seen and<br />

experienced the way in which business<br />

optimism rubs off on others. It really is<br />

catching. Which is why we’d urge you to<br />

tell us how confident you are about the<br />

prospects of the businesses and<br />

organisations you lead. You can do this is<br />

through our monthly policy voice<br />

survey, or our annual State of the<br />

Nation survey. The latter should have<br />

landed with you last week.<br />

Or, of course, speak to us at one of our<br />

many national and branch events<br />

planned for the Spring.<br />

I look forward to seeing you there.<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

12 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JE<br />

T: 0131 557 5488<br />

E: iod.scotland@iod.com<br />

W: www.iod.com<br />

Nations Director - <strong>Scotland</strong>:<br />

Catherine McWilliam<br />

Catherine.McWilliam@iod.com<br />

Branch Manager:<br />

Patricia Huth<br />

T: 0131 557 5488<br />

Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Commercial Manager, PD:<br />

Natasha Ure<br />

E: natasha.ure@iod.com<br />

T: 0131 460 7681<br />

Direction<br />

Direction is the official membership magazine of <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> and is published by:<br />

Chamber Media Services, 4 Hilton Road, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SK7 3AG<br />

Advertising sales: Colin Regan<br />

T: 07871 444922 / 01942 537959 E: colinregan001@yahoo.co.uk<br />

Production: Rob Beswick<br />

T: 0161 426 7957 / 07964 375216 E: rob@chambermediaservices.co.uk<br />

Editorial: Lisa Donnelly<br />

Please send press releases or editorial for consideration for future issues of Direction to Lisa at<br />

E: lisa@clarkcommunications.co.uk<br />

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material contained within this magazine, neither <strong>IoD</strong><br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>, Chamber Media Services nor Clark can accept any responsibility for omissions or inaccuracies in its<br />

editorial or advertising content. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the <strong>IoD</strong>.<br />

The carriage of advertisements or editorials in this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the<br />

products or services advertised.<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 03


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> is in a great place<br />

to make a real difference<br />

Welcome from Catherine<br />

McWilliam, Nations Director,<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

Welcome to our Winter edition of<br />

Direction Magazine. <strong>January</strong> is a great<br />

month for reflecting on the year gone<br />

by and looking ahead at what the next<br />

12 months may hold. After a lovely<br />

break over the holiday season, I’ve<br />

been doing just that.<br />

I’m immensely proud of our team and<br />

the work they’ve put in over the course<br />

of 2023. We held more than 70 events<br />

across our branches. These gatherings<br />

provide an opportunity to network with<br />

like-minded leaders, and build new<br />

connections, as well as learn more about<br />

specific issues and opportunities from<br />

specialists across a range of sectors.<br />

We also welcomed over 200 new<br />

members, and I’m pleased to see how<br />

much our membership is evolving.<br />

There’s no longer a stereotype; we now<br />

play host to a diverse range of leaders<br />

from across <strong>Scotland</strong>’s rich tapestry.<br />

More women, increased cultural<br />

diversity, and a range of ages allows <strong>IoD</strong><br />

<strong>Scotland</strong> to mirror the dynamic essence<br />

of our nation’s business landscape.<br />

We renewed our commitment to our<br />

rural communities last year, by<br />

appointing joint chairs for the Highlands<br />

and Islands branch, with Alison Wilson<br />

leading support for the Highlands, and<br />

Clare Winskill for the Islands. By<br />

tailoring our offering, we can better drill<br />

down into the issues affecting local<br />

business and push leaders’ priorities for<br />

change, such as adequate<br />

accommodation for staff, local tourism<br />

or access to national support for<br />

international trade.<br />

We continued to champion our<br />

members, and strived for a seat at every<br />

table where decisions are being made.<br />

Our involvement in the New Deal for<br />

Business group, which our chair Julie<br />

Ashworth discussed on the previous<br />

page, allowed us to advocate for leaders<br />

to become involved with policy making<br />

at the planning stage, rather than<br />

further down the line as the policy<br />

becomes reality and it is more difficult to<br />

exert our influence on it.<br />

We eagerly await the implementation<br />

of our recommendations at Government<br />

level, and will be monitoring this closely<br />

throughout <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

A challenging year<br />

Of course, 2023 was not an easy year,<br />

and leaders are still navigating the<br />

effects of the pandemic, along with<br />

additional issues caused by global<br />

unrest. Business confidence is low, with<br />

skill shortages still topping the list of key<br />

concerns for our members.<br />

Attracting and retaining talent is<br />

challenging, and the introduction of an<br />

additional income tax band at the<br />

Scottish budget in December has also<br />

cast a shadow on <strong>Scotland</strong>’s economic<br />

horizon. With six tax bands compared to<br />

the rest of the UK’s three, this<br />

divergence is disappointing, and may<br />

hinder <strong>Scotland</strong>’s ability to compete on a<br />

broader stage.<br />

We’re also set for the possibility of a<br />

change in leadership at UK level<br />

following the General Election later in<br />

the year.<br />

These factors all add an element of<br />

uncertainty to strategic planning,<br />

however <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> is committed to<br />

supporting members with advice, and<br />

amplifying the collective influence of our<br />

members at government level.<br />

We’re looking for your thoughts on<br />

the skills shortage, plus other business<br />

issues and opportunities, in our annual<br />

State of the Nation survey, which was<br />

issued last week. If you haven’t already,<br />

please do take time to have your say so<br />

we can use this insight to shape our<br />

dialogue with Government officials.<br />

Sustainability theme<br />

We’re going to have a different theme<br />

for each edition of Direction in <strong>2024</strong>,<br />

with this issue focusing on sustainability<br />

in business practice.<br />

Our Spring issue will be centred<br />

around artificial intelligence, so if you<br />

have any insights you’d like to share, or<br />

have any comments or questions, please<br />

do drop me an email, at<br />

Catherine.McWilliam@iod.com.<br />

In the meantime, I look forward to<br />

seeing many of you at our events, in our<br />

hubs, or for a coffee over the next few<br />

months.<br />

Wishing you all a happy, successful<br />

<strong>2024</strong>.<br />

“We also welcomed over 200 new members, and I’m pleased to<br />

see how much our membership is evolving. There’s no longer a<br />

stereotype; we now play host to a diverse range of leaders from<br />

across <strong>Scotland</strong>’s rich tapestry. More women, increased cultural<br />

diversity, and a range of ages allows <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> to mirror the<br />

dynamic essence of our nation’s business landscape...”<br />

04 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> NEWS | DIRECTION<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> Edinburgh & the Lothians<br />

Fiery FMQs and an insightful lunch with MSPs<br />

Members of the Edinburgh branch were given an<br />

opportunity to engage with key decision makers at<br />

Holyrood in November. The 30-strong group attended<br />

a lively FMQ session at Parliament before sitting down<br />

to a private lunch with Angus Robertson, Cabinet<br />

Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture<br />

(who was representing his Edinburgh Central<br />

constituency rather than his cabinet role) and the MSP<br />

for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Ben Macpherson.<br />

The group was able to put their questions to the<br />

MSPs and engage in open and insightful conversations<br />

over lunch at the Wedgwood. Assurances were given<br />

that open dialogue with business leaders was high on<br />

the agenda for MSPs, and members were encouraged<br />

to share their views on the challenges and<br />

opportunities facing Scottish businesses.<br />

We’d like to extend our thanks to Mr Robertson and<br />

Mr Macpherson for their time, and look forward to our<br />

next visit to Holyrood.<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> Central<br />

Handlebar heroes: From Calais to Cannes in 13 days<br />

Brian Williamson, vice chair of <strong>IoD</strong><br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>’s Central branch, completed a<br />

momentous 927-mile cycle with two<br />

friends in November, raising a huge<br />

£22,683.88 for charity.<br />

Former high school basketball stars<br />

Norrie Bairner, 71, Bobby Morton, 69, and<br />

Brian, 67, were aided by friend and<br />

another former basketball player,<br />

Campbell Ferrier, 69, who drove a<br />

campervan alongside them. The money<br />

raised has been split between the<br />

Strathcarron Hospice, Kidney Kids<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>, Pancreatic Cancer, Diabetes<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>, and The Melanoma Society.<br />

Brian, an entrepreneur who has backed<br />

many local businesses and start-ups,<br />

said: “We had a blast from day one and it<br />

was a great experience. Everyone was so<br />

supportive and welcoming everywhere<br />

we went – a French newspaper in<br />

Mercurey liked our story so much they<br />

interviewed us and published it.<br />

“The weather was definitely on our side<br />

and we didn’t have any issues apart from<br />

going onto a motorway at one point!<br />

“Some roads were terrifying at times,<br />

and we had a lucky break when we met a<br />

Quebec-born fellow cyclist just as we<br />

approached the horribly busy traffic on<br />

the verge of the city of Lyons. He gave up<br />

his lunchtime cycle ride to steer us a<br />

course through the heavy traffic and I<br />

doubt we could have managed without<br />

him.<br />

“The toughest part of the trip was<br />

climbing Mont Ventoux in Provence as<br />

every hairpin bend was followed by a<br />

steeper climb to the next hairpin bend.<br />

“If you had said to us a few months ago<br />

that we would have completed such a<br />

927-mile cycle from Calais to Cannes<br />

challenge, we simply wouldn’t have<br />

believed you.<br />

“It just shows that in life you can<br />

achieve a lot more than you think you are<br />

capable of doing. And we arrived one day<br />

earlier than scheduled!”<br />

The trio have not been fazed by the<br />

experience and are actively considering<br />

their next trip.<br />

Brian (left) with pals Norrie and Bobbie<br />

after their triumphant arrival on the<br />

French coast<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 05

DIRECTION | <strong>IoD</strong> NEWS<br />

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> Glasgow and the West of <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

Creating connections and understanding transport<br />

A number of transport-related issues<br />

meant that businesses in the West of<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong> faced a challenging time in<br />

2023. The M8 roadworks continued to<br />

create significant delays to across the<br />

city, and the new Low Emission Zone<br />

(LEZ) created further complexity and<br />

cost for some businesses.<br />

In the wider region, continued issues<br />

with the Aran Ferries, major roadworks<br />

in Inverclyde and Ayrshire, and a fire at<br />

Ayr railway station have also created<br />

challenges for business and travellers.<br />

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to<br />

have a significant impact on business<br />

footfall in Glasgow, directly impacting<br />

businesses and <strong>IoD</strong> members that<br />

support daytime business trade, and the<br />

reduction in face-to-face meetings<br />

continues to change how business<br />

connections are created.<br />

But despite all of this, businesses in<br />

the West of <strong>Scotland</strong> have continued to<br />

show resilience, and the <strong>IoD</strong> has also<br />

been playing its part. In September a<br />

new <strong>IoD</strong> members hub was introduced<br />

at the VEGA at YOTEL in Glasgow. This<br />

excellent facility is centrally located next<br />

to Glasgow’s Central Station, providing a<br />

perfect place to touch down to work,<br />

meet clients, enjoy a drink at the end of<br />

the day or, if you wish, entertain clients<br />

or friends at one of the two bowling<br />

alleys.<br />

Understanding and influencing the<br />

wider transport issues in the West of<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong> was seen as a key priority for<br />

the <strong>IoD</strong> in the region, and in October the<br />

Glasgow and West members were<br />

hosted at an event by Bruce Kiloh, head<br />

of policy and planning at the Strathclyde<br />

Partnership for Transport (SPT).<br />

Bruce took us all through SPT’s<br />

regional transport strategy, as well as<br />

insights into the challenges of running<br />

and developing a transport system in the<br />

post-Covid world which has dramatically<br />

changed how, when and why we travel.<br />

• To read the SPT report, click here<br />

West of <strong>Scotland</strong> members<br />

in the new <strong>IoD</strong> hub at the<br />

VEGA, YOTEL Glasgow<br />

06 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Glasgow’s world-renowned music<br />

festival, Celtic Connections, is brightening<br />

up these dark winter days with a host of<br />

sensational live performances across<br />

Glasgow.<br />

From the Barrowland Ballroom to the<br />

Pavilion Theatre, 1,200 musicians are<br />

performing at over 300 events until<br />

Sunday, February 4.<br />

Whether it’s traditional folk, jazz, soul,<br />

or rock that gets your foot tapping,<br />

there’s something available for everyone<br />

with workshops, dementia-friendly<br />

performances, screenings and intimate<br />

gigs on offer.<br />

On February 1, American banjo player<br />

Béla Fleck will showcase his incredible<br />

talent that earned him the 2022 Best<br />

Photo credit: Gaelle Beri<br />

Celtic Connections drums up excitement<br />

Bluegrass Album Grammy.<br />

While on February 3, the Traditional<br />

Music and Song Association will stage<br />

Scots Women: Generations o’ Change at<br />

City Hall to honour Scottish female folk<br />

singers through a collaborative musical<br />

journey.<br />

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for<br />

Celtic Connections, said: “A huge amount<br />

of effort goes into a festival of this scale,<br />

and everyone has been working<br />

extremely hard to make this year’s 18-day<br />

event one of our most memorable.<br />

“With a diverse line-up being staged<br />

across the city, world premieres and rare<br />

performances from some of the most<br />

acclaimed artists in the world, there’s<br />

truly something special for everyone.”<br />

A hole-in-one for the<br />

far North of <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

Lonely Planet has named the Far North<br />

of <strong>Scotland</strong> as one of the best regions to<br />

travel to this year.<br />

Home to some of the most breathtaking<br />

coastal scenes and sweeping landscapes,<br />

the area not only boasts unbelievable<br />

natural beauty but is home to the<br />

world-class Royal Dornoch Golf Club.<br />

The 18-hole course offers unspoilt<br />

mountainous views which have landed it<br />

a spot in Golf Digest’s top 100 courses.<br />

It offers tranquillity alongside challenging<br />

domed greens and strategically placed<br />

bunkers. The Dornoch Firth bay leaves a<br />

narrow strip of curving dune land for the<br />

parallel fairways, with hole 17 and 18<br />

finishing at the white sandy beach.<br />

For more information. visit:<br />

https://royaldornoch.com/<br />

For further details, visit: https://www.celticconnections.com/<br />

Photo: UNIQLO<br />

UNIQLO’s a perfect fit for<br />

Edinburgh’s High Street<br />

Popular fashion retailer UNIQLO is<br />

opening a new store in Edinburgh this<br />

spring.<br />

The Japanese clothing brand boasts<br />

high quality pieces as part of its LifeWear<br />

philosophy to create a wardrobe that will<br />

last forever. UNIQLO’s unique blend of<br />

style and comfort has allowed for the<br />

blossoming company to cater for all<br />

demographics and for every occasion,<br />

from school wear to office attire.<br />

The company also produces innovative<br />

HEATTECH thermal clothing with fibres<br />

one tenth the width of a human hair in<br />

place to retain body heat.<br />

UNIQLO Edinburgh will be located on<br />

Princes Street, a prime shopping spot in<br />

the city centre, and will span two floors.<br />

More at https://www.uniqlo.com/uk/<br />

Two Sisters takes centre stage<br />

The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh brings the thought-provoking and emotive<br />

play Two Sisters to the Scottish capital this February.<br />

This slice-of-life production is a new play by David Greig which follows siblings<br />

Amy and Emma as they return to their childhood ‘paradise,’ a seaside caravan park.<br />

The pair explore a changed resort and their own personal growth – or lack of it.<br />

A chance meeting with an old acquintance has memories flooding back to remind<br />

them that their old selves might not be as far removed as they might have thought.<br />

Directed by Wils Wilson, the story looks at who we were at 16, who we are now<br />

and the gap in between. It runs from February 10 until March 2. Tickets details can<br />

be found at https://lyceum.org.uk/events/two-sisters<br />

New Six by Nico shows he’s cooking with gas<br />

Fine dining mastermind Nico Simeone<br />

has expanded his ever-evolving set<br />

menu concept with a new Six by Nico<br />

location in Glasgow. The Merchant City<br />

joint with a ‘new look’ comes after six<br />

years of imaginative and affordable<br />

cuisine in Finnieston, Southside and<br />

Byres Road.<br />

The restaurant, which serves six courses<br />

paired with wines that tie into an overarching theme, launched on <strong>January</strong> 15 with<br />

its first concept of <strong>2024</strong>: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Impeccably presented dishes<br />

including ‘The White Rabbit’, ‘Paint The Roses Red’ and ‘Off With Its Head!’ make<br />

for a unique and playful Alice in Wonderland inspired dining experience in the<br />

heart of Glasgow. For bookings, visit: https://www.sixbynico.co.uk/<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 07


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong>’s Sustainability Ambassadors<br />

are here to help<br />

Sustainability is no longer viewed as a ‘nice to<br />

have’ in business strategy. The ability to articulate<br />

a clear position in respect to sustainability issues<br />

can give businesses the edge, help attract and<br />

retain team members in a difficult recruitment<br />

market, potentially offer new strategic<br />

opportunities and reduce business risks.<br />

Many businesses are using sustainability to<br />

drive growth and move to positions of a ‘new<br />

normal’ with a focus on continued but<br />

sustainable growth, resilience in supply chains<br />

and the ability to embrace new opportunities<br />

presented by the low carbon (net zero) and<br />

circular economy.<br />

Next steps<br />

Working out how and where to start can be a<br />

real challenge. For those companies already<br />

progressing, identifying the next steps can often<br />

seem bewildering. The world of sustainability is<br />

full of jargon and targets, but it need not be<br />

complicated. The drivers to incorporate<br />

sustainability in your business may vary but often<br />

include regulatory, investor and consumer<br />

demands.<br />

Formal systems and accreditations such as ESG<br />

(environmental, social, and corporate<br />

governance) and B-Corp certification, among<br />

others, can help, but may not be appropriate for<br />

all. The key is to articulate a clear and authentic<br />

position which can be reflected in the way your<br />

business operates.<br />

How the <strong>IoD</strong> can help<br />

The <strong>IoD</strong> is here to help its members. On a UK<br />

basis the <strong>IoD</strong> publishes papers and manages<br />

events focused on the sustainability issue. It has<br />

got off to an early start in <strong>January</strong> <strong>2024</strong> by<br />

publishing a paper titled ‘Grasping the Net Zero<br />

Opportunity’ and presenting a case study of<br />

Turley Advisors, ‘Empowering the whole business<br />

to achieve net zero’. These resources are<br />

available free of charge on the <strong>IoD</strong> website.<br />

Click<br />

here<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong>’s role<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong>, via a network of regional<br />

Sustainability Ambassadors, can offer support<br />

and can connect you to others that may be able<br />

to help. These Ambassadors have a broad range<br />

of experience and act as a conduit to help your<br />

network with other members.<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> members are encouraged to<br />

contact the National Lead and Regional <strong>IoD</strong><br />

Sustainability Ambassadors, or they can be<br />

accessed via the regional Branch Chairs who are<br />

happy to help.<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> Sustainability Leads working<br />

with the Regional Branches offer events, with<br />

networking opportunities and the chance to hear<br />

from experts in the field as well as case studies<br />

from members.<br />

Following on from the success of the seminar<br />

organised by the Aberdeen Branch in October<br />

2023, a second Sustainability Seminar and<br />

Opportunity saw the co-Chairs of the Highlands<br />

and Islands <strong>IoD</strong> Branch, Alison Wilson and Clare<br />

Winskill, meet up with members 24th <strong>January</strong>.<br />

The event included updates from the<br />

manufacturing, transportation, hospitality,<br />

renewable and finance sectors and concluded<br />

with a tour of Uile-bheist’s state-of-the-art<br />

sustainable distillery and brewery.<br />

Keep an eye on the <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> page of the<br />

website for future events focused on<br />

sustainability, to be organised across <strong>Scotland</strong> in<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

08 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


<strong>IoD</strong> Sustainability Leads in <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

Location<br />

Background<br />

Wendy Rayner National Lead Sustainable resource use, waste and circular economy.<br />

wendy.rayner@gov.scot<br />

Mark Wilson Aberdeen ESG, net zero and energy.<br />

mwilson@oeuk.org.uk<br />

Callum Cruden<br />

callum@ricruden.net<br />

Highland & Islands (Inverness) Green energy and net zero transition<br />

Lisa Lambie Highland & Islands (Oban) Green investment and finance<br />

lisa.lambie@marooninvest.com<br />

Paul Codd Edinburgh & Lothians Green energy and technology<br />

paul@flexergy.net<br />

If you are an <strong>IoD</strong> member and would be interested in becoming an <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> Regional Sustainability Lead<br />

please get in contact with your Branch Chair or Wendy Rayner.<br />

Callum Cruden<br />

Wendy Rayner<br />

“Sustainable and inclusive business growth is not only good<br />

for the planet... research shows that companies which integrate<br />

ESG into their growth strategies outperform their peers.<br />

Analysis by McKinsey & Co demonstrates that a strong ESG<br />

commitment adds additional shareholder value for companies that<br />

also exceed their peers in growth and profitability. The message is<br />

clear: not only can you do well while doing good, you can do better.”<br />

The <strong>IoD</strong> runs courses and training events<br />

throughout the year, focused on sustainability.<br />

Click the button below for more details<br />

Click<br />

here<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 09


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> Fife & Tayside<br />

Exploring sustainability: A journey<br />

through time at the RSGS<br />

On September 28, members of the <strong>IoD</strong><br />

were invited to embark on a unique<br />

exploration of sustainability, hosted by<br />

the Fife & Tayside branch. Held at the<br />

Royal Scottish Geographical Society’s<br />

(RSGS) historic Lord John Murray House<br />

in Perth City Centre, this event gave us<br />

not only a glimpse into <strong>Scotland</strong>’s rich<br />

geographical history but also an<br />

opportunity to learn from the past for a<br />

sustainable future.<br />

The event showcased the Climate<br />

Solutions Accelerator course, a<br />

collaborative effort between <strong>IoD</strong> and<br />

RSGS, designed to equip business<br />

leaders with the knowledge to navigate<br />

the challenges of a rapidly changing<br />

climate.<br />

Mike Robinson, RSGS Chief Executive,<br />

led discussions on sustainability, drawing<br />

on his vast experience in climate action,<br />

policy development, and collaborative<br />

initiatives.<br />

Unexpected Leadership in<br />

Sustainability<br />

Surprisingly, <strong>Scotland</strong> emerged as a<br />

leader in sustainability discussions. The<br />

RSGS, a dynamic educational charity,<br />

spearheaded geographical<br />

understanding and joined-up thinking.<br />

In the same way Mike Robinson’s<br />

visionary leadership not only revitalised<br />

the RSGS but also played a pivotal role in<br />

shaping <strong>Scotland</strong>’s climate change<br />

legislation and initiatives.<br />

Marlene Lowe, Chair of Fife<br />

& Tayside branch said : “The<br />

old explorers were storytellers.”<br />

The event, with its captivating<br />

narrative, unfolded as a<br />

tapestry of resilience, growth,<br />

and adaptation spanning 130<br />

years. Attendees found<br />

themselves immersed in a<br />

world of history, forgetting<br />

everything but the captivating<br />

stories of explorers and<br />

geographical pioneers.”<br />

Signing the same guest book<br />

as legends like David<br />

Attenborough and Neil<br />

Armstrong, attendees left with<br />

a profound sense of privilege,<br />

having witnessed the profound<br />

impact of the RSGS’s work on a<br />

global scale.<br />

The event was held in<br />

partnership with RSGS, Perthshire<br />

Chamber of Commerce, and Blackadders.<br />

A sincere thank you to the <strong>IoD</strong> team for<br />

orchestrating this enlightening<br />

experience. Together, attendees paved<br />

the way for a more sustainable and<br />

interconnected world.<br />

For more information on<br />

the Climate Solutions<br />

Accelerator course, a<br />

collaborative effort<br />

between <strong>IoD</strong> and RSGS<br />

Click<br />

here<br />

Lord John Murray House<br />

10 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


<strong>IoD</strong> Highlands & Islands<br />

‘Region offers a unique landscape for businesses who<br />

want to embed sustainability into their operations’<br />

As we begin <strong>2024</strong>, we thank our<br />

former <strong>IoD</strong> Highlands and<br />

Islands branch chair, Donald<br />

Forsyth, for his leadership<br />

over the years and wish him<br />

well in his non-exec roles<br />

with a range of businesses.<br />

Co-chairs, Alison Wilson<br />

(Highlands) and Clare<br />

Winskill (Islands) have taken<br />

on the mantle and look forward<br />

to representing and building our<br />

membership across the region.<br />

Our priority<br />

Sustainability is a key priority for our<br />

members, and we are delighted that,<br />

alongside Lisa Lambie, Callum Cruden has<br />

joined our committee as an additional<br />

sustainability ambassador (see page 9 for<br />

contact details).<br />

The Highlands and Islands present a<br />

unique landscape for businesses seeking to<br />

integrate sustainability into their<br />

operations. Opportunities abound in<br />

harnessing the region’s rich natural<br />

resources for renewable energy. At our first<br />

drop-in session last week, we heard how<br />

the Green Freeport will help realise a<br />

potential to become the largest European<br />

Alison Wilson<br />

hub for the development of the<br />

offshore wind industry and<br />

associated renewable energy<br />

technologies. With the<br />

creation of more than 10,000<br />

jobs and the draw of leading<br />

green technology and<br />

renewables, the importance of<br />

the Green Freeport cannot be<br />

understated in reversing population<br />

decline in our area.<br />

Our landscapes offer ideal settings for<br />

eco-tourism, promoting both environmental<br />

conservation and economic growth. The<br />

local agriculture sector has the potential to<br />

embrace sustainable practices, fostering<br />

resilient and environmentally friendly food<br />

production.<br />

Challenges<br />

However, the region’s journey towards<br />

sustainability will not be easy. The<br />

geography poses logistical<br />

challenges and costs in<br />

implementing green<br />

technologies and sustainable<br />

practices. Infrastructure<br />

development is crucial to<br />

connect businesses with sustainable<br />

solutions. Finding a balance between much<br />

needed economic growth and conservation<br />

is also a delicate challenge. For example, in<br />

the fishing industry, where sustainable<br />

practices are essential to preserving marine<br />

ecosystems, rural communities depend on<br />

fishing and jobs in aquaculture to prevent<br />

further depopulation. Similarly in tourism,<br />

high levels of debt, high energy costs and<br />

the effects of the cost-of-living crisis are<br />

making investment in renewables for many<br />

businesses impossible without financial<br />

support.<br />

Collaboration between businesses,<br />

government and local communities is key<br />

to overcoming these challenges.<br />

Investment in sustainable infrastructure,<br />

education and innovation will be pivotal in<br />

ensuring that the Highlands and Islands<br />

not only seize the opportunities presented<br />

by sustainability, but also address the<br />

unique challenges associated with our<br />

geographical and economic<br />

context.<br />

Clare Winskill<br />

“Investment in sustainable infrastructure, education and<br />

innovation will be pivotal in ensuring that the Highlands and<br />

Islands not only seize the opportunities presented by<br />

sustainability but also address the unique challenges associated<br />

with our geographical and economic context.”<br />

“The Highlands has the<br />

chance to become the<br />

largest European hub for<br />

the development of the<br />

offshore wind industry<br />

and associated renewable<br />

energy technologies...”<br />

Port of Nigg, Cromarty Firth<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 11


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> Aberdeen & Grampian<br />

How sustainable is your sustainability?<br />

A series of events dedicated to the<br />

business opportunities created by<br />

the sustainability agenda,<br />

launched by Aberdeen, are being<br />

rolled out across <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

There are big opportunities for Scottish businesses,<br />

including <strong>IoD</strong> members, on the subject of<br />

sustainability.<br />

That was made clear at the first sustainability<br />

event held in Aberdeen on October 31. The event<br />

was designed to outline the sustainability<br />

opportunities/ challenges, increase awareness and<br />

provide understanding of national and regional<br />

sustainability matters. The Aberdeen format will be<br />

rolled out across other Scottish <strong>IoD</strong> regions.<br />

The aims of the sessions are:<br />

n To highlight the opportunities (and risks) to<br />

business with respect to sustainability;<br />

n To articulate the key targets and actions for<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>/ UK;<br />

n To highlight existing support available to<br />

Members (and their organisations);<br />

n To inform using case studies and show additional<br />

value and expertise in the sustainability space to<br />

members; and<br />

n To seek new members to <strong>IoD</strong> operating in the<br />

sustainability market.<br />

For the first session, the <strong>IoD</strong> Aberdeen<br />

committee was keen that it was not dominated by<br />

those businesses that are related to the energy<br />

sector; given the Aberdeen location that would be<br />

very easy to do. As such we were keen to provide a<br />

varied team of presenters.<br />

The line up included:<br />

Arnold Clark: Pablo Levi, Group Sustainability<br />

Manager<br />

Robert Gordon University: Veronica Strachan,<br />

University Secretary and Vice Principal<br />

Port of Aberdeen: Roddy James, Chief<br />

Commercial Officer<br />

Aberdeen Football Club: Zoe Ogilvie, Board<br />

Director AFC<br />

Zero Waste <strong>Scotland</strong>: Kenny Taylor, Partner:<br />

Energy Infrastructure<br />

All the presenters gave their own unique view of<br />

sustainability, whether that be via the technology,<br />

innovation, people, skills, culture lens.<br />

What was very apparent was that there was no<br />

one approach, although the setting of business<br />

targets and communicating these to relevant<br />

stakeholders was a common theme.<br />

The diverse nature of the presenters certainly<br />

allowed for a thought-provoking session that<br />

generated many learnings that those attending<br />

could take into their own businesses.<br />

Other learnings included the importance of<br />

ensuring that investment is committed to your<br />

organisation’s plans; ensuring that you choose the<br />

right investment area; make sure the focus is on the<br />

big-ticket items that can influence behaviour and<br />

drive performance improvements; the role of<br />

leadership support and buy-in; how to link<br />

sustainability into the organisational vision/<br />

mission statement; and ensuring that feedback on<br />

how the initiatives has made a difference is<br />

communicated via a sustainable communication<br />

approach.<br />

The next sustainability session for the<br />

Aberdeen & Grampian Branch will take<br />

place in early March <strong>2024</strong> in Aberdeen to<br />

allow for those that wish to travel by train<br />

to do so via a day trip. Watch out for<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> updates with further information.<br />

12 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Navigating the<br />

path to corporate<br />

sustainability:<br />

A director’s guide<br />

by Pablo Levi,<br />

Group Sustainability Manager<br />

at Arnold Clark<br />

In an era where environmental and social concerns<br />

increasingly shape business landscapes, company<br />

directors find themselves at the forefront of a new<br />

imperative: sustainability.<br />

While the concept may seem broad and<br />

daunting, a strategic and focused approach cannot<br />

only mitigate risks but also uncover opportunities<br />

for financial growth. Here I will lay out three key<br />

principles that directors should consider when<br />

steering their companies toward sustainability.<br />

Materiality: Guiding sustainability efforts<br />

with the TCFD Framework<br />

Sustainability, in its expansive scope,<br />

encompasses a myriad of environmental, social,<br />

and governance (ESG) factors. Recognising that it is<br />

impractical for companies to address every aspect,<br />

directors should zero in on areas that pose material<br />

financial risks or opportunities. The Task Force on<br />

Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)<br />

framework is a valuable tool in this endeavour.<br />

The TCFD framework provides a structured<br />

approach to assess and disclose climate-related<br />

risks and opportunities. Even if a business is not<br />

mandated to disclose these, conducting a thorough<br />

TCFD analysis will help directors identify where<br />

sustainability intersects with the core financial<br />

aspects of their business. This focus ensures that<br />

efforts are not wasted on low-impact areas or those<br />

that are misaligned with the company’s long-term<br />

financial health.<br />

Integration of sustainability with operations:<br />

A prerequisite for success<br />

One pitfall that directors must avoid is the<br />

isolation of sustainability initiatives from the<br />

operational core of the business. Sustainability<br />

should not be a separate entity but an integral part<br />

of the company’s operations. To achieve this<br />

integration, collaboration between the<br />

sustainability team or committee and<br />

operational units is paramount.<br />

Operational feasibility is the linchpin that<br />

binds sustainability goals with day-to-day<br />

business functions. Directors must ensure that<br />

sustainability measures are not merely<br />

conceptual but are rooted in the practicality<br />

of implementation. By fostering a culture of<br />

cross-functional collaboration, directors can<br />

break down silos, making it easier to embed<br />

sustainable practices into the fabric of the<br />

organisation.<br />

Aligning sustainability plans with<br />

business planning cycles<br />

The third crucial element in a director’s approach<br />

to sustainability is understanding and aligning the<br />

timing of sustainability plans with the unique<br />

planning cycles of each business. Sustainability<br />

initiatives are investments in the future, and their<br />

success depends on congruence with the temporal<br />

dynamics of the industry.<br />

Different industries operate on distinct timelines.<br />

For instance, businesses in the oil and gas sector<br />

often contend with planning horizons that extend<br />

over three decades. In contrast, more volatile<br />

industries may need to recalibrate their strategies<br />

every five years. Directors must tailor their<br />

sustainability plans to harmonise with these cycles,<br />

ensuring that long-term investments are aligned<br />

with the business’s overarching goals and adapt to<br />

evolving market conditions.<br />

In conclusion, the path to corporate sustainability<br />

demands a strategic, focused, and integrated<br />

approach. Directors must prioritise materiality<br />

through frameworks like TCFD, integrate<br />

sustainability efforts into operations, and align<br />

plans with the unique planning cycles of their<br />

businesses.<br />

Sustainability can feel like a daunting task but, in<br />

the end, it is just another business issue that can be<br />

framed and approached by using tools and<br />

processes that are already in most director’s<br />

toolkits.<br />

“Sustainability<br />

should not be a<br />

separate entity<br />

but an integral<br />

part of your<br />

operations...”<br />

Pablo Levi<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 13

DIRECTION | <strong>IoD</strong> NEWS<br />

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Making a positive<br />

impact on the planet<br />

Participants look at a screen showing a<br />

world map with climate anomalies<br />

during the World Climate Change<br />

Conference at Le Bourge, France.<br />

When it comes to ESG, small businesses can<br />

make a big difference, says David Cox,<br />

Business Development at Rewired Earth<br />

Until recently, much of the pressure to<br />

become sustainable has fallen upon larger<br />

organisations. However, small businesses<br />

make up the greater part of the<br />

economy, and so it’s critical that they too<br />

are addressing global sustainability goals.<br />

Leaders already have enough on their<br />

plate with challenges like inflation,<br />

recession, and technological disruption<br />

to name just a few. We seldom have the<br />

resources in both talent and technology<br />

for a major investment aimed at<br />

addressing the environmental and social<br />

change needed to thrive in this modern<br />

market place.<br />

However, having a good sustainability<br />

strategy can improve reputation, create<br />

greater value, increase transparency, and<br />

navigate regulation. It can also be a<br />

growth engine and build resilience.<br />

In a survey by Rewired Earth, 78% of<br />

consumers agreed with the statement ‘If<br />

I could, I would only buy sustainable<br />

products’. This shows us that there is a<br />

huge appetite for sustainable products<br />

and practices, and not just from<br />

consumers. Data also shows that<br />

sustainability is a pivotal driver of<br />

employee engagement, and attracting<br />

and retaining talent.<br />

A sustainability strategy can also lead<br />

to improved operational efficiency.<br />

Larger businesses are being rightly held<br />

accountable for their supply chain<br />

transparency, but having a commitment<br />

to ESG is vital for any organisation<br />

operating as part of a supply chain.<br />

Renewable energy can reduce costs,<br />

while digitalisation can have a positive<br />

impact on the environment. Recycled<br />

materials can reduce wastage, and could<br />

lead to a new line of products.<br />

But implementing a sustainability<br />

strategy can seem like a cumbersome<br />

task – it doesn’t have to be. It should be<br />

simple and easy to execute.<br />

There are five steps to consider:<br />

n A purpose-driven business mission –<br />

focusing on people and planet.<br />

n A culture of sustainability led from the<br />

top.<br />

n A materiality assessment focusing on<br />

the greatest impact.<br />

n Operational transformation.<br />

n Reporting to stakeholders.<br />

First steps<br />

Begin by understanding what is<br />

important to your customers and their<br />

customers from a sustainability<br />

perspective. This will help focus on where<br />

“In a survey by Rewired Earth,<br />

78% of consumers agreed with<br />

the statement ‘If I could, I would<br />

only buy sustainable products’.<br />

This shows us that there is a<br />

huge appetite for sustainable<br />

products and practices...”<br />

you can add the most value.<br />

Focus on one or two of the UN’s<br />

Sustainble Development Goals, rather<br />

than all 17 at once. Remember that doing<br />

something is better than nothing, and<br />

when it comes to reporting, hone in on<br />

one or two key data points, not several.<br />

Impact is about quality, not quantity.<br />

For example, if vehicles are important<br />

in your operations, implement a clean<br />

vehicle fleet management programme.<br />

Maybe your board can be more diverse.<br />

If your employees are below minimum<br />

wage, increase their compensation.<br />

Increase training. Offer employees ESG<br />

investments in their pension plans.<br />

Create a network of like-minded<br />

businesses which support each other.<br />

Build partnerships to grow your business.<br />

Sustainability itself can become an<br />

engine of growth through a like-minded<br />

ecosystem.<br />

Ask for help, if you need it. Financial<br />

institutions can provide special financing<br />

services. Industry associations can offer<br />

advice and expertise. Policy makers can<br />

provide targeted incentives to encourage<br />

higher performance.<br />

Small businesses are an economy’s<br />

major source of innovation and growth,<br />

but it’s the larger enterprises that get<br />

most of the attention. Investing in small<br />

businesses through both private and<br />

public sources remains one of the most<br />

underrated investments. Without small<br />

businesses a more sustainable and<br />

inclusive world simply remains beyond<br />

our reach.<br />

If you are a small business, the time to<br />

start developing your sustainability story<br />

is now.<br />

14 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>



Education has the power to<br />

help everyone succeed<br />

Each issue, Direction catches up with a<br />

prominent Scottish leader to find out a<br />

little more about life in their sector, and<br />

what makes them tick. This issue,<br />

Marie Hendry, Chief Executive of the<br />

College Development Network<br />

What is the greatest recurring challenge<br />

you come across in your role, and what’s<br />

your strategy for dealing with it?<br />

The education sector, like the wider<br />

public sector in general, is facing a time<br />

of significant change and financial<br />

challenge. We need to ensure that the<br />

organisation is fit for the future and<br />

focused upon our core purpose –<br />

supporting the development of people<br />

and practice in colleges, and of its<br />

leaders, staff and board members in the<br />

sector and beyond. We are also focused<br />

on helping to improve colleges through<br />

the sharing of best practice and<br />

continuous improvement. Our newly<br />

launched three-year strategy is designed<br />

to support those ambitions.<br />

Who, or what, drives you or inspires you?<br />

I’m continually inspired by the people I<br />

work with: the staff and the board at<br />

CDN – and those working in colleges and<br />

sector organisations - all of whom have a<br />

real passion and commitment to<br />

providing high quality and life-changing<br />

education and skills.<br />

Personally, I’m driven by a desire to<br />

see everyone given an opportunity to<br />

succeed in life – and the transformative<br />

power of education to do that.<br />

What is your long-term vision for the<br />

organisation that you lead?<br />

CDN is an organisation valued and<br />

respected for its work in supporting<br />

colleges to develop their practice, their<br />

people, their governance and their<br />

learning and teaching methods. We want<br />

to build upon that and provide the<br />

further education and the wider post-16<br />

education sectors with the high quality,<br />

accessible and expert training,<br />

consultancy, advice and networking<br />

opportunities that will enable them to<br />

develop, improve and thrive in<br />

challenging times.<br />

What keeps you awake at night?<br />

Usually my cats Buddy and Dave<br />

looking for attention!<br />

What makes a good leader great?<br />

A great leader is one who has a vision<br />

and direction. Crucially though, they<br />

need to take people with them towards<br />

that end goal. The great leaders are<br />

those who listen, welcome challenge and<br />

provide opportunities for opinions to be<br />

shared but who aren’t afraid to make the<br />

final decision and stand by it. Authenticity<br />

in leadership is critical – knowing when to<br />

say “thanks”, “well done”, “help” and,<br />

when appropriate, “sorry”.<br />

Have you had a mentor, and what did<br />

he/she add to your development?<br />

I’ve had mentors at various stages in<br />

my career and I’ve been a mentor to<br />

others myself. I’ve found the advice,<br />

support and guidance provided by my<br />

mentors invaluable, particularly during<br />

times of change. The opportunity to<br />

receive trusted advice on a proposed<br />

direction of travel is one that is worth its<br />

weight in gold.<br />

Even leaders aren’t the finished article.<br />

What’s next in your leadership<br />

development journey?<br />

I’m a huge believer in lifelong learning,<br />

whether that be through formal courses<br />

and qualifications, by learning from<br />

others or learning through action. In<br />

times of rapid change, it’s critical to do<br />

them all.<br />

So, with that in mind, I’m going to<br />

undertake some of CDN’s own Executive<br />

Leadership courses. I’m also going to get<br />

out and about to meet leaders in and<br />

around the sector, so I can soak up as<br />

much learning as I can from them. I also<br />

want to lead my organisation in a way<br />

that fosters innovation and impact.<br />

I have the privilege of sitting on a<br />

number of Boards, and the opportunities<br />

to develop, learn from other organisations<br />

and support their strategic direction is<br />

one which I really value – I’d like to do<br />

more here.<br />

What is the ‘next big thing’ that will<br />

transform your sector?<br />

The emergence of AI will undoubtedly<br />

have a transformative impact on how we<br />

deliver learning, engage with students,<br />

undertake assessment and how we each<br />

undertake our day-to-day work.<br />

What piece of technology do you rely<br />

on most?<br />

Definitely my iPhone. The ability to stay<br />

connected while on the go is invaluable,<br />

particularly as I get out and about<br />

meeting people. Having an office in my<br />

pocket really helps get on with the day<br />

job while I’m on trains and in colleges.<br />

What is your favourite social media<br />

platform, and what does it bring to<br />

your business/organisation?<br />

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn as a business<br />

tool. The ability to keep in touch with<br />

people and find useful connections,<br />

insight and advice is really useful.<br />

As an organisation we utilise the<br />

platform as well as YouTube and X, to<br />

connect with our stakeholders and<br />

showcase the amazing work of our<br />

colleges, for example, our CDN College<br />

Award finalists showcases.<br />

What needs fixed?<br />

The idea that there is a one-size-fits-all<br />

education model that benefits everyone<br />

equally. We need to develop a system<br />

and funding that truly supports widening<br />

access to education and supports skills<br />

development, career changes and<br />

education whenever in life people need<br />

to access it and however it best meets<br />

their circumstances, background or<br />

life-chances.<br />

What leadership advice would you give<br />

your younger self?<br />

Take every opportunity to learn and<br />

develop, believe in yourself and do what<br />

makes you happy.<br />

16 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 11


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

As CEO of FOR:EV, Steve Dunlop is the man<br />

tasked with helping <strong>Scotland</strong> make the<br />

switch to electric-powered motoring, He<br />

talks to Direction’s Rob Beswick about the<br />

likely potholes in the road ahead – and why,<br />

with foresight and leadership from the top,<br />

ditching petrol and diesel for renewable<br />

electric should become the natural choice<br />

Powering the way<br />

to an EV revolution<br />

You don’t have to be the<br />

biggest Top Gear petrolhead<br />

to know that when it comes<br />

to the cars we drive, we’re in<br />

the middle of a revolution – and it’s<br />

all about electric-powered motoring.<br />

For the past decade the message<br />

from governments and manufacturers<br />

alike has been very clear: ICE is out,<br />

and electric is the future.<br />

It will involve a huge change to the<br />

cars and vans we drive, how we<br />

refuel them and how we think about<br />

them as assets. But if you’re not sure<br />

about whether this is a bandwagon<br />

on which you want to climb on board<br />

– or even if you are downright hostile<br />

to the idea – in many ways it doesn’t<br />

matter: as Steve Dunlop, CEO of<br />

FOR:EV, puts it, “the bets have been<br />

placed; vehicle manufacturers and<br />

governments have backed electric<br />

vehicles (EVs) as a key part of our<br />

response to climate change, and they<br />

are the future now.<br />

“Hydrogen and other technologies<br />

will also have a part to play, but<br />

electric-powered vehicles will play<br />

the dominant role in the future.”<br />

But let’s get the terminology fixed<br />

first, and set the scene. Since Messers<br />

Daimler, Benz, Rolls, Royce and Ford<br />

started tinkering around in their<br />

respective garages, our cars have<br />

been powered by petrol or diesel in<br />

an internal combustion engine –<br />

that’s the ICE bit mentioned above.<br />

But with climate change now a<br />

reality, and efforts being made to<br />

suppress our burning of fossil fuels<br />

and reduce carbon emissions, the<br />

vehicles we drive have been seen as<br />

the low hanging fruit of society’s<br />

transition to a low carbon economy.<br />

And that is where Steve and FOR:EV<br />

comes in. Based in <strong>Scotland</strong>, FOR:EV<br />

owns, installs and operates marketleading,<br />

user-friendly EV charging<br />

points across the UK and Sweden,<br />

working in partnership with a wide<br />

range of businesses and<br />

organisations to supply 100% fully<br />

accredited renewable green energy.<br />

Its goal is to use the latest<br />

technology to provide a stress-free<br />

charging experience for every driver.<br />

“I’m a passionate believer in the<br />

benefits electric cars, vans, lorries<br />

and even bikes bring to our<br />

communities and to our climate,”<br />

Steve says, “but it’s not a time for<br />

advocacy, it’s a time for delivery.<br />

We’re on a journey to end our<br />

reliance on fossil fuels and transition<br />

to electric motoring and that’s why<br />

FOR:EV matters now.”<br />

“Where we come in is making this<br />

happen by creating the EV charging<br />

infrastructure the public and<br />

businesses need. As the production<br />

and diversification of EV vehicles is<br />

ramped up, we must see the same<br />

18 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

ate of expansion of charging<br />

infrastructure to support this. We need<br />

to get our charging capability to the<br />

same level as the manufacturers have<br />

with the production and pipeline<br />

development of the electric cars they<br />

produce, and for the public to be able to<br />

support EVs with enthusiasm, without<br />

obstacles in their way.<br />

“But it’s easy to see that as far as public<br />

support is concerned, there’s work to be<br />

done. It’s going to require a big leap for<br />

the public, and for businesses, to get<br />

behind EVs. We need to help people<br />

make the switch by providing them with<br />

a comprehensive and accessible charging<br />

network. That’s where FOR:EV comes in.”<br />

Steve came to the company 2 1/2 years<br />

ago as Chair at what was a significant<br />

point in the company’s development.<br />

“We were six months into an initial<br />

investment of £2m from the Scottish<br />

National Investment Bank (SNIB), which<br />

had identified FOR:EV as an ideal<br />

business to develop the growth of<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>’s EV charging infrastructure -<br />

and as such has continued to significantly<br />

invest in the company. It was perfect<br />

timing: many businesses were<br />

developing their own net zero/climate<br />

change plans and looking at their vehicle<br />

fleets as part of a low carbon future. They<br />

needed someone to provide solutions to<br />

their vehicle charging needs.”<br />

With an increase in demand forecast,<br />

FOR:EV got itself into shape. “We<br />

restructured the business so it could do<br />

more, expanded our capability and<br />

developed a first-class management<br />

team. We set off on a really interesting<br />

scaling journey.”<br />

As part of this, a new chief executive<br />

was required, but the culture fit for this<br />

scaling business was crucial. The board<br />

quickly came round to the view that the<br />

best fit was to ask Steve to step in to the<br />

CEO’s role, and for a new chairman to be<br />

appointed.<br />

When looking at Steve’s recent career<br />

you can see the logic behind the<br />

decision. “My background is in<br />

placemaking through regeneration and<br />

investment projects, first with local<br />

authorities, working on a number of<br />

large-scale, complex infrastructure<br />

projects, then with Scottish Canals<br />

(previously known as British Waterways)<br />

where we transformed the waterways of<br />

the UK, and then more latterly with<br />

Scottish Enterprise, taking a more<br />

‘place-based’ economic development<br />

approach.”<br />

“I liked being in the heart of an<br />

infrastructure play that required a<br />

complex range of elements to come<br />

together. The chance to head up FOR:EV<br />

was a good fit with my skillset and<br />

interests. But more than that, there was<br />

this feeling that in the middle of a climate<br />

emergency, here was a business in the<br />

right place, at the right time, to make a<br />

difference. I was driven by the purpose<br />

behind FOR:EV - to help <strong>Scotland</strong> switch<br />

to a net-zero future more quickly.”<br />

So, has he been a long-standing<br />

advocate for action on the environment?<br />

“Very much so. The issue of climate<br />

change and the environment have<br />

always been important for me, but it<br />

came into particular focus with my role at<br />

Scottish Canals and British Waterways.”<br />

“The bets have been placed;<br />

vehicle manufacturers and<br />

governments have backed<br />

electric vehicles (EVs) as a key<br />

part of our response to climate<br />

change, and they are the<br />

future now...”<br />

The challenge of running the nation’s<br />

canal network was an acute one in the<br />

face of a changing climate, he recalls.<br />

“The impact was evident every day on<br />

the canal within the UK’s waterways. The<br />

issue of climate change and the<br />

consequences for infrastructure and the<br />

surrounding environments was a clear<br />

focus for me. Transitioning the canal<br />

network from a heritage environment to<br />

a sustainable resource for the future<br />

meant investment and modernisation,<br />

and there is a relevance of that skillset as<br />

we create an EV infrastructure for the<br />

future. It’s that changing of patterns of<br />

behaviour and systemic thinking that’s<br />

needed as we transition our motoring to<br />

electric.”<br />

“At FOR:EV the job is to change public<br />

behaviour by offering solutions. It’s easy<br />

to say our job is to get the charging<br />

infrastructure right, but it’s important<br />

that first we have a civic narrative about<br />

the transition, removing apprehension<br />

and make the public realise that there’s<br />

no barriers.”<br />

Steve’s the first to admit, though, that<br />

there are plenty of barriers to entry. He<br />

ticks them off: “The cost of vehicles, their<br />

availability, concerns over EV range, the<br />

gaps in the EV charging infrastructure,<br />

challenges of charging at home… they<br />

are all there to be overcome. We know<br />

the challenges the sector faces.”<br />

The good news is progress is being<br />

made on all fronts. “The cost of vehicles<br />

is falling every year, more affordable<br />

models are coming online, and range<br />

anxiety is being eased as new vehicles<br />

post 250-300+ mile ranges. There is a<br />

huge amount of work going in to make<br />

transitioning to electric easier. We’ve a<br />

long way to go on a number of fronts<br />

before buying an EV feels as natural as<br />

buying a petrol or diesel vehicle, but<br />

there’s exciting progress being made.”<br />

It is equally important that “the<br />

charging network develops at the same<br />

pace as these other areas. We know the<br />

infrastructure isn’t where it needs to be<br />

yet – but it will be.”<br />

Continued on page 20<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 19


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

“What works in Glasgow and<br />

Edinburgh won’t work in the<br />

Highlands and Islands ... it’s<br />

vital that those rural areas<br />

don’t get left behind...”<br />

Continued from page 19<br />

His message to businesses is that even<br />

if there are still obstacles, “don’t kick this<br />

into the long grass to deal with later. It<br />

needs to be addressed now.”<br />

How can FOR:EV help? “Our business<br />

model has two parts to it. First, we invest<br />

in charging points at locations that will<br />

serve the public well, teaming up with<br />

reliable partners in whom the public has<br />

confidence. We pinpoint accessible sites<br />

with people in mind, that are safe and<br />

easy to get to - because we believe this<br />

process is more about the people than<br />

technology. The technology we use is the<br />

best in kind, with outstanding reliability.<br />

Our charging points work off contactless<br />

payment, so you don’t have to access<br />

different apps depending on which<br />

charging site you are at, which is a<br />

common complaint EV owners have. We<br />

back all this up with great customer<br />

service.”<br />

“Second, we offer ‘Charging as a<br />

Service’ – providing a full turnkey offer to<br />

businesses who need charging on site or<br />

at specified locations. This is a fully<br />

funded solution partnered with a blue<br />

chip asset finance partner. We design the<br />

solution for your fleet, finding the best<br />

location for your charging points. It<br />

might be at your offices but if you don’t<br />

have a depot or base, it could be<br />

elsewhere. What’s important is how your<br />

drivers will use it.<br />

“We offer a fully designed service<br />

which will give you a roadmap to<br />

transition your fleet to EV with a full<br />

turnkey solution that will offer bottom<br />

line savings on fuel costs and increased<br />

productivity.”<br />

FOR:EV is targeting inter-model hubs<br />

with infrastructure that will serve both<br />

customers and the businesses that<br />

operate them, “where cars meet other<br />

services – at retail outlets, ferry ports,<br />

train stations, for example. The important<br />

thing is to de-stress the EV process – put<br />

charging points in accessible areas and<br />

create a comprehensive network of<br />

points across <strong>Scotland</strong> that eliminates<br />

range anxiety. Access needs to be<br />

consistent.”<br />

FOR:EV plan to have 3,000 charging<br />

points over the next 12-18 months, “with<br />

lots more in pipeline. We’re linking up<br />

with more businesses and organisations<br />

all the time. Starbucks is a good example<br />

of one of our partners; a customer-facing<br />

operation that wants to be associated<br />

with the positive messages around low<br />

carbon initiatives and climate change<br />

action.”<br />

On the subject of consistency, how did<br />

Steve view Rishi Sunak’s decision in<br />

autumn 2023 to push back the end of<br />

new petrol and diesel vehicle sales to<br />

2035? “We were thrown by it,” he admits,<br />

“and let’s put it this way, I wish he hadn’t<br />

said that. It caused confusion and made<br />

some people question the long-term<br />

future of EVs. There is already enough<br />

public confusion over what they have to<br />

do, and by when, and we didn’t need<br />

anyone exacerbating the problem.”<br />

“But what was crucial was the Prime<br />

Minister kept the rule that 80 per cent of<br />

new car sales, by 2030, had to be EVs.<br />

It’s this, in particular, that will drive<br />

innovation and there was no change in<br />

direction on it, so it’s still the same road<br />

ahead. It caused a wobble, but we can all<br />

live with it.”<br />

It’s not the first bump in the road the<br />

EV sector has experienced, and you feel<br />

it won’t be the last either.<br />

“In <strong>Scotland</strong>, the EV industry was<br />

20 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

kickstarted by the establishment of<br />

ChargePlace <strong>Scotland</strong>. This invested £10s<br />

of millions in EV charging points and got<br />

the sector going. This along with other<br />

government incentives created many<br />

reasons for the public and businesses to<br />

consider moving towards electric<br />

vehicles.<br />

“These policies however, did have<br />

some degree of downside. For example,<br />

local authorities providing free energy to<br />

EV drivers meant the business model<br />

was unsustainable for them and crucially<br />

a disincentive for the private sector to<br />

invest in a commercial way.”<br />

This situation is about to change,<br />

however. “Local authorities are going to<br />

market to find partners with whom they<br />

can develop an EV charging network for<br />

the future. It’s this private sector<br />

involvement that will upgrade existing<br />

charging points and increase the number<br />

and quality in public use.”<br />

While we can be confident that the<br />

most populated areas of <strong>Scotland</strong> will<br />

attract private and public investment, we<br />

need to ensure that all areas and<br />

communities will be served by a suitable<br />

EV charging network.<br />

“EV charging has to be for everyone,”<br />

Steve insists. “There must be equity in<br />

the network - a fairness for all. It’s not<br />

right to only invest in the prosperous<br />

areas of <strong>Scotland</strong> or just the central belt;<br />

we need investment in all areas from all<br />

social economic backgrounds.”<br />

It also needs to accommodate urban<br />

dwellers who don’t have driveways to<br />

charge at home, and those who live in<br />

flats. “That’s a particular problem for<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong> as we have a bigger percentage<br />

of the population living in flats and<br />

apartments than the rest of the UK. EV<br />

charging has to be built into new<br />

developments, and retro-fitted into<br />

existing blocks.”<br />

“We need accessibility fairness;<br />

investors will need to understand that<br />

the return may be slower from some<br />

areas, but it will be there.”<br />

Steve can see the progress being<br />

made on this issue and is confident the<br />

next few years will see the infrastructure<br />

map better balanced. But that’s not to<br />

say he doesn’t have real concerns over<br />

one major issue: the electric grid – or<br />

rather, its capacity.<br />

“When it comes to EV charging points,<br />

we are a long way from the numbers we<br />

need, but there are a lot of new projects<br />

coming online so that should help ease<br />

concerns. Where the challenge will be in<br />

the future is in accessing sufficient grid<br />

capacity to cope with increased demand.<br />

The number of projects waiting to come<br />

online is huge, but demand for grid<br />

capacity cannot be met at present in all<br />

locations. This is a significant challenge<br />

faced across UK as a whole.”<br />

While all this suggests Steve would like<br />

some kind of over-arching control of<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>’s EV charging infrastructure,<br />

he’s actually wary of that. “It’s important<br />

that we don’t have a top-down, one-sizefits-all<br />

policy on its development.<br />

Everyone’s needs are different. Some<br />

people will need access every day to a<br />

personal charger, as you’d have on your<br />

drive, but others will only need access to<br />

one for occasional charging. Some will<br />

need access to slow chargers, where you<br />

charge your car overnight, using cheaper<br />

off-peak electricity. Others will need<br />

access to fast chargers, which are more<br />

expensive but can charge your vehicle up<br />

to 80 per cent in 20-30 minutes. It will<br />

be a blend of options and a blend of tech<br />

too.”<br />

But there is a better way to run this<br />

than top-down control. “Government is<br />

there to stimulate and regulate, not<br />

control every facet. Local authorities are<br />

in the best place to know what’s needed<br />

and where local demand is. They know<br />

their communities and can create<br />

partnerships that work.”<br />

Another example of how the ‘one size’<br />

policy fails is when you consider the very<br />

different communities that live in<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>. “What works in Glasgow and<br />

Edinburgh won’t work in the Highlands<br />

and Islands,” says Steve. “It’s vital that<br />

those rural areas don’t get left behind.<br />

“One of the big issues for the<br />

Highlands is that there are many<br />

communities who aren’t even connected<br />

to the electricity grid, so you have to start<br />

with generating electricity before you<br />

can start installing recharging points.<br />

FOR:EV is in talks with a number of<br />

renewable power generators - wind,<br />

solar, tidal – to generate electricity for<br />

local EV use, linked to battery storage.<br />

We’ve got a lot of businesses really<br />

interested in working with us to develop<br />

the EV charging infrastructure the<br />

Highlands and Islands need.”<br />

Overall, it’s an exciting time to be<br />

involved in what is a dynamic and<br />

growing sector. “I can see nothing but<br />

fantastic growth for FOR:EV over the<br />

next 5-10 years. We are well positioned<br />

to be a leading player in <strong>Scotland</strong>, across<br />

the UK and into Europe too, and have<br />

exciting plans for <strong>2024</strong>. We are looking<br />

at collaborating with Network Rail<br />

(<strong>Scotland</strong>), and aim to develop stronger<br />

links with the maritime economy, at our<br />

ports and ferry hubs, etc.<br />

“<strong>2024</strong> will be about demonstrating the<br />

real ability and quality of the EV charging<br />

network.”<br />

And his message to business leaders<br />

thinking about switching their fleet - or<br />

their personal transport – to electric? “I<br />

go back to that earlier message, don’t<br />

put it off. This will only become more<br />

complex as time goes on, you need to<br />

get involved now. Talk to FOR:EV; we can<br />

create a package based around your<br />

needs that works.”<br />

An artists’ impression of a FOR:EV recharging station<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 21


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Tell government what you think<br />

Policy Voice is a monthly survey of <strong>IoD</strong> members who share their views on current<br />

business issues, providing statistical evidence and anecdotal detail on the issues<br />

that matter to business. Members receive monthly invitations to participate in each<br />

survey.<br />

Recent success stories<br />

n We pushed government to reconsider<br />

the Retained EU Law Bill based on<br />

member concerns. They are now<br />

amending the bill to provide business<br />

with better certainty.<br />

n 88% of <strong>IoD</strong> members favoured the<br />

development of a meaningful industrial<br />

strategy, so we called for an industrial<br />

strategy focused on innovation<br />

n Around half of business leaders believe<br />

that ESG is important. 42% stated the E,<br />

S and G were equally important, while<br />

26% emphasised governance above all.<br />

n We responded to the House of<br />

Commons Business and Trade<br />

Committee call for evidence on exportled<br />

growth, citing member data<br />

n 46% of business leaders told us skills<br />

and labour shortages are negatively<br />

impacting their business.<br />

n Our latest data on confidence in UK<br />

economy shows that 22% of directors<br />

are optimistic versus 55% pessimistic.<br />


When do you think inflation will peak?<br />

Do you measure your carbon footprint?<br />

How ambitious is your organisation for<br />

growth? Policy Voice is a key member<br />

benefit and we’d like to hear from you.<br />

Click<br />

here<br />

Policy Voice: Outlook for <strong>2024</strong><br />

When asked through Policy Voice at the<br />

back end of 2023, <strong>IoD</strong> members<br />

highlighted certain global risks that they<br />

felt were the most concerning for their<br />

business as they looked towards <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

The most common comment centred<br />

around AI and technological<br />

advancements, reinforcing the sentiment<br />

that many members view this as an<br />

opportunity, rather than a risk.<br />

“There are significant parts of the work<br />

that we do for our clients that could<br />

potentially be fulfilled by AI” said one<br />

respondent, but another said their<br />

concern around AI was “not so much the<br />

misuse of AI, but more failing to grasp<br />

the opportunities its presents.”<br />

Many members also noted that current<br />

domestic political instability, potentially<br />

exacerbated by the upcoming election,<br />

was a concern for them.<br />

“Far more than the global events, the<br />

biggest risk is continued political<br />

instability and chaos in the UK. We just<br />

need a stable, competent, professional<br />

and ethical UK government, which will<br />

then stabilise the UK economy. Top<br />

priority. Anything global is a long way<br />

behind this national problem.”<br />

Another said: “The instability and lack<br />

of focus in the UK government is a<br />

concern.”<br />

Members also mentioned the climate<br />

change, and the strain turbulent weather<br />

is having on their businesses, as being a<br />

worry. “Governments around the world<br />

seem to be getting cold feet about the<br />

actions required to avoid the impending<br />

climate meltdown.” A respondent from<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>’s water supply, sewerage and<br />

waste management sector said:<br />

“Extreme weather is putting enormous<br />

strain our business.”<br />

Skills shortages were also highlighted<br />

as a concern for business leaders. “Skilled<br />

resources are becoming scarcer to find,<br />

so internal development and apprentices<br />

are the main way we are addressing this<br />

issue. The short term (

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> NEWS | DIRECTION<br />

SQA signs Articulation Agreement<br />

with the Open University<br />

The Scottish Qualifications Authority<br />

(SQA) has signed an agreement with the<br />

Open University (OU) which will allow<br />

learners from across the country who<br />

have completed its Higher National<br />

Certificates, and Diplomas – including<br />

SQA’s next generation of Higher National<br />

qualifications (NextGen:HN) – to<br />

progress on to OU degree programmes<br />

at advanced levels.<br />

The Articulation Agreement between<br />

SQA and the OU means learners who<br />

achieve a SQA Higher National Certificate<br />

or Diploma will be able to progress, or<br />

articulate, on to year two or year three of<br />

a related BA/BSc Open Degree with<br />

Honours at the OU. Learners holding a<br />

SQA HNC who have amassed 120 credits<br />

on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications<br />

Framework (SCQF) will now be able to<br />

transfer those credits and gain<br />

exemption for modules at OU Level 1,<br />

granting them access to year two of an<br />

OU degree programme.<br />

Learners who hold a SQA HND and<br />

amassed 240 credits, will be able to gain<br />

exemption for modules at OU Level 1, and<br />

OU Level 2, gaining access to year three.<br />

The next generation of<br />

Higher National qualifications<br />

SQA’s existing portfolio of Higher<br />

National Certificates, and Diplomas have<br />

always provided learners with<br />

qualifications that meet the needs of<br />

employers, and this agreement enables<br />

Steven McGeever, Senior Partnerships<br />

Manager at Open University in <strong>Scotland</strong><br />

and Dr Gill Stewart, SQA Director of<br />

Qualifications<br />

those individuals to continue their<br />

learning journey with the OU.<br />

SQA’s NextGen:HN are the next<br />

iteration of Higher National qualifications<br />

and have been designed to give learners<br />

the skills they need to thrive in the<br />

modern workplace.<br />

The new certificates and diplomas<br />

support lifelong learning by promoting<br />

the acquisition of meta-skills – the skills<br />

necessary to learn and apply new<br />

knowledge quickly – while also<br />

developing critical industry, and subject<br />

specific skills. Currently there are 20 new<br />

NextGen:HN courses being piloted in<br />

colleges and training providers across<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>, covering subjects such as<br />

Accounting, Networking and Cloud<br />

Infrastructure, Social Services, and<br />

Software Development.<br />

Flexible approach to learning<br />

The OU is the largest academic<br />

institution in the UK and a world leader<br />

in flexible distance learning. Since it<br />

began in 1969, the OU has taught more<br />

than 2.2 million students worldwide and<br />

currently has over 205,000 students,<br />

including more than 21,000 in <strong>Scotland</strong>.<br />

Speaking about the agreement, Dr Gill<br />

“This agreement demonstrates<br />

the value of our Higher National<br />

qualifications, including the<br />

NextGen:HN, and recognises the<br />

skills, knowledge, and<br />

experience that the learners<br />

who hold them have achieved...”<br />

Stewart, SQA Director of Qualifications<br />

Development, said: “The Open University<br />

is renowned for its flexible approach to<br />

learning, and through its acceptance of<br />

the SQA HNC/D as an entry qualification<br />

into years two and three of its aligned<br />

degree programmes, we will hope to see<br />

wider access to higher education in a<br />

manner that suits learners’ needs,<br />

improves attainment, and ultimately<br />

helps learners achieve their career goals.”<br />

“This agreement demonstrates the<br />

value of our Higher National qualifications,<br />

including the NextGen:HN, and<br />

recognises the skills, knowledge, and<br />

experience that the learners who hold<br />

them have achieved over the course of<br />

their studies. We will work closely with<br />

our centres – schools, colleges, and<br />

training providers – to help them and<br />

their learners make the most of<br />

opportunities available to them through<br />

this partnership.”<br />

Steven McGeever, Senior Partnerships<br />

Manager at the Open University in<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong>, said: “We are delighted to be<br />

entering into this agreement with SQA,<br />

which highlights a mutual commitment<br />

to widening access to degree level study<br />

and providing pathways for students<br />

who want to build on previous study at<br />

college.”<br />

“At the Open University we recognise<br />

the value of SQA HNC and HND<br />

qualifications, which are designed to<br />

meet the needs of industry and prepare<br />

students for further study, and this<br />

agreement demonstrates how students<br />

who’ve completed an HNC or HND can<br />

use the credit they’ve achieved towards<br />

our BA/BSc (Honours) Open degree and<br />

study by flexible distance learning in a<br />

way that suits them.”<br />

To find out more about SQA’s next<br />

generation of Higher National<br />

qualifications, visit<br />

www.sqa.org.uk/nextgen.<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 23


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Artificial intelligence (AI) will soon be like turning on a tap or plugging into<br />

electric systems and, if we get it right, simultaneously contributing towards<br />

climate-related sustainable solutions, says digital commentator Bill Magee.<br />

Here he offers some more glimpses into our digital future<br />

AI: a gift for business,<br />

or a gathering storm?<br />

Emerging tech led by AI has certainly<br />

got our collective digital antennae<br />

twitching. We’re all operating in an era<br />

of hyperconnectivity and with it a<br />

growing threat landscape. Who can<br />

blame a busy company for having a<br />

profound feeling of it all being more<br />

than a little bit over their commercial<br />

heads?<br />

Smart technologies appear to spring<br />

up at us virtually on a daily basis and can<br />

have a profound effect on an<br />

organisation and an entire supply chain<br />

often crossing international borders. Also,<br />

never forget the customer, down the<br />

road or at the other side of the world.<br />

Digital transformation has been<br />

described as “evolutionary”, with the<br />

Cloud representing the digital glue<br />

holding everything together. Yet<br />

emerging technologies appear to<br />

develop at a rate of knots. Presenting a<br />

new set of commercial challenges,<br />

especially when it comes to an<br />

organisation’s precious data and building<br />

cross-functional AI teams.<br />

Forbes reports that AI promises to be<br />

more transformative than any other<br />

technology in recent memory, but<br />

cautions that organisations seeking to<br />

embrace the many benefits of AI must<br />

ensure they also make progress towards<br />

their sustainability goals.<br />

AI and sustainable outcomes can be<br />

viewed as a “symbiotic relationship”. A<br />

key hurdle is anticipated environmental<br />

costs of AI due to energy and data<br />

centre resources required to run larger<br />

computing models.<br />

It represents a serious issue but “when<br />

approached mindfully, AI infrastructure<br />

development and adoption...can provide<br />

a path to more sustainable operations,”<br />

says Forbes. Along with harnessing the<br />

tremendous potential for AI to support<br />

climate-related solutions.<br />

AI integration is no longer optional but<br />

a necessity and understanding its<br />

implications will be key over the next 2-3<br />

years, says Alasdair Hendry, managing<br />

director at Exception. The digital<br />

transformation experts have produced a<br />

timely White Paper aimed at<br />

demystifying AI positioning it as a<br />

strategic utility rather than a mere trend.<br />

Insights from experts involve AI, cloud<br />

and data specialists; practical guidance is<br />

based on overcoming technical<br />

challenges in AI implementation; and of<br />

strategic importance is explaining how AI<br />

fuels innovation and sustainable growth.<br />

The White Paper supports an<br />

“Those equipping themselves<br />

with the latest in tech<br />

expertise spend around 18 per<br />

cent less in day-to-day<br />

operations, managing costs<br />

without sacrificing long-term<br />

IT strategy goals...”<br />

informative AI Tool Kit aimed at helping<br />

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) unravel<br />

the complexities of AI implementation at<br />

enterprise level.<br />

Any ambitious organisation should dip<br />

into the paper that provides invaluable<br />

insights from Exception’s team of AI,<br />

cloud and data specialists, which includes<br />

director Scott McGlinchey, an <strong>IoD</strong> Fellow.<br />

Everyone needs strategic guidance to<br />

help navigate AI implementation “myths<br />

and realities” addressing technical<br />

challenges. In an era where it has<br />

become strategically vital for driving<br />

innovation and sustainable growth.<br />

MIT points out that technology should<br />

be all about “solving big thorny<br />

problems” but the question on AI is<br />

where to focus our efforts, particularly as<br />

generative AI will probably “bring about<br />

the biggest computing revolution ever<br />

experienced... since we all went from<br />

typing commands to tapping on icons.”<br />

Those aren’t my words; they’re tech<br />

multi-billionaire Bill Gates’s.<br />

Yet, latest surveys reveal UK-wide<br />

SMEs have the lowest levels of AI<br />

adoption and trust compared to the US<br />

and throughout Europe; IT professionals<br />

are anxious about genAI’s power; and<br />

employees, although largely willing to<br />

work alongside AI, want greater<br />

organisational transparency.<br />

A ZDNet report warns companies, of<br />

all sizes, to beware allowing such<br />

data-led initiatives to “sprout up without<br />

control”, giving AI a free pass. A study by<br />

takepayments of over 1,000 UK-based<br />

SMEs “across dozens of industries”<br />

reveals AI as their chief worry.<br />

Significantly, the same report a year ago<br />

didn’t mention AI.<br />

Yet far too many organisations continue<br />

stubbornly to go it alone, possibly as a<br />

reaction against the over-hyping of AI<br />

products. Back to Alasdair Hendry who<br />

points to a “paradoxical reality” hiding<br />

beyond the hype, in that it’s far from<br />

straightforward to implement AI in an<br />

24 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


established, governance-led enterprise IT<br />

environment.<br />

The future of AI must be all about<br />

separating myth from reality. Integrating<br />

AI into your digital roadmap is not just<br />

about jumping on the bandwagon, it’s<br />

now an organisational imperative. Failure<br />

to be part of AI transformation can result<br />

in competitive disadvantage, reduced<br />

operational efficiency and missed<br />

opportunities for innovation.<br />

Which? warns many AI-associated<br />

offerings lack effective cyber defences,<br />

making them ripe for exploitation by a new<br />

wave of convincing scams, potentially<br />

turning AI back on itself with an<br />

organisation caught smack in the middle.<br />

Here, the Chief Information Officer<br />

(CIO) has the go-to thought leadership<br />

role integral to ensuring a safe and secure<br />

digital transition, and the growing call for<br />

inspirational leadership for organisations<br />

eager to avoid being left digitally<br />

rudderless, was highlighted at a Glasgow<br />

Science Centre-staged Can Do Summit.<br />

NASDAQ-listed IT benchmarking<br />

researchers the Hackett Group highlights<br />

those equipping themselves with the<br />

latest in tech expertise spend around 18<br />

“The future of AI must be all<br />

about separating myth from<br />

reality. Integrating AI into your<br />

digital roadmap is not just<br />

about jumping on the<br />

bandwagon, it’s now an<br />

organisational imperative...”<br />

per cent less in day-to-day operations,<br />

managing costs without sacrificing<br />

long-term IT strategy goals.<br />

Some outfits can unwittingly fall short.<br />

This can range from a 50-person legal<br />

firm to 300-employee manufacturing<br />

concern, rapidly discovering they’re being<br />

digitally overtaken and left behind by<br />

competitors.<br />

At <strong>Scotland</strong>’s annual Data Summit<br />

staged by the Data Lab in Edinburgh,<br />

keynote Carissa Veliz, author of an<br />

Economist Book of the Year Privacy and<br />

Power - why and how you should take<br />

back control of your data, stresses how<br />

innovation is not the opposite of<br />

regulation “but inextricably linked to it.”<br />

An associate professor of philosophy<br />

and ethics at University of Oxford,<br />

Carissa’s book has been described as<br />

“essential reading for those of us who<br />

click ‘agree’ ten times a day.”<br />

She claims ChatGPT4 along with<br />

numerous other allied systems “are not<br />

built to be truth-tracking and are not<br />

based on empirical evidence or logic.”<br />

Rather: “they make statistical guesses<br />

that are often wrong.”<br />

Large language models do not inform<br />

users of this but present what are<br />

incorrect guesses with the same<br />

confidence as they present facts.<br />

“Whatever you ask they will come up<br />

with a convincing response, it is never ‘I<br />

don’t know’ even though it should be.<br />

She warns: “Query ChatGPT about<br />

current events it will remind you it only<br />

has information up to September 2021<br />

plus it cannot browse the internet.” For<br />

almost any other kind of question, it will<br />

venture a response “often mixing facts<br />

with confabulations.”<br />

So, the worry is not to get carried away.<br />

Emerging tech is a lot to take on board<br />

and it is claimed the board of every<br />

company should have an ‘AI ethicist’ to<br />

handle not only what represents an<br />

opportunity but also the risk involved.<br />

Step up a sustainability-minded CIO?<br />

New ideas are<br />

taking flight in<br />

farming sector<br />

Europe’s pioneer in agricultural/<br />

industrial drone technology, Hungary’s<br />

ABZ Innovation plans a commercial<br />

partnership with <strong>Scotland</strong> as it<br />

continues to challenge China’s global<br />

hegemony in the sector.<br />

ABZ provides cutting-edge<br />

technology aimed at reversing a<br />

UK-wide chronic farm labour shortage<br />

along with significantly boosting crops<br />

production and with it sustainability.<br />

A recent change-in-rules means<br />

farmers can now use drones to spray<br />

crops transforming how farms save<br />

time, money and resources to produce<br />

high-quality food.<br />

It has extra significance for a country<br />

like <strong>Scotland</strong>, where Stirling is twinned<br />

with the Hungarian capital’s town<br />

Obuda.<br />

Here, arable production includes<br />

significant numbers of cereal crops for<br />

both home and overseas markets.<br />

Unfortunately, great rural swathes<br />

including islands communities, suffer<br />

from inclement weather coming off the<br />

North Sea, making it inaccessible or<br />

difficult to crop spray.<br />

ABZ is the sole agri-drone company<br />

in Europe enabling farmers to gain<br />

from 50-and-90 per cent less water<br />

and chemicals while benefiting from a<br />

40 per cent increase in crop coverage,<br />

protection and production.<br />

Its spraying system’s pinpoint<br />

accuracy is within 1.5m, coupled with<br />

highly-optimised airflow from<br />

propellors that set its drones apart in<br />

the agri-business arena.<br />

An enhanced powertrain extends<br />

battery life to ensure lowest possible<br />

operating costs. Taking the drone<br />

concept a world away from a plaything<br />

toy or used in conflicts.<br />

Chief Executive Karoly Ludvigh says:<br />

“With the UK agricultural sector facing<br />

significant challenges our drone<br />

technology offers a practical solution,<br />

enhancing efficiency while adhering to<br />

the highest environmental standards.”<br />

ABZ drones are already employed by<br />

farmers in Estonia, Poland, Portugal,<br />

Greece, Slovakia, Finland, Cyprus,<br />

Bulgaria, Serbia, and North Macedonia,<br />

and more recently Ghana. Investors<br />

should take note...<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 25


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> membership and benefits<br />

We’re delighted that you have chosen the <strong>IoD</strong> to support you in<br />

your development as a director, and we hope you get real value<br />

from your membership. The <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> team is always looking<br />

to enhance your membership with exclusive discounts on<br />

products and services, helping make your role that little bit<br />

easier, kinder on the budget and – most importantly – more<br />

convenient.<br />

We have outlined some of the key benefits here: for a full<br />

summary and discount codes, contact patricia.huth@iod.com<br />

Hotels, dining and accommodation<br />

Unique offers and discounts for <strong>IoD</strong> members<br />


The George<br />

The George, a Grade-II listed hotel, is<br />

complemented by elegant interiors, from<br />

the bedrooms to the grand King’s Hall.<br />

All with the very best of Edinburgh’s<br />

shopping, restaurants and nightlife on<br />

your doorstep.<br />

To take advantage of <strong>IoD</strong> membership<br />

special discounts, present your <strong>IoD</strong><br />

membership card at check-in or when<br />

seated at one of the hotel’s food outlets.<br />

• Book ihg.com or see<br />

www.edinburgh.intercontinental.com<br />

Call 0131 240 7137, or email<br />

EdinburghTheGeorge Reservations<br />

@ihg.com<br />

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> members receive 15% discount on<br />

food, drinks and accommodation.<br />

There’s also a 15% discount on the<br />

Gym & Spa at the Charlotte Square Hotel.<br />

The George<br />

Quote <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> member when<br />

booking.<br />

Holiday Inn, Edinburgh<br />

Members receive 15% off best<br />

available rate. To book call 0131 314 7018<br />

or emailreservations@hi-edinburgh.<br />

co.uk, quoting IOD <strong>Scotland</strong>.<br />

Other offers:<br />

Malmaison Hotels – 20% off lunches<br />

and dinners in Edinburgh.<br />

Locke Apartments - 20% discount<br />

Cheval Collection- 12% discount<br />

Native ApartHotel - 15% discount..<br />

Call 0207 313 6146 or email:<br />

clientenquiries@nativeplaces.com.<br />

Angels Share Hotel, Edinburgh – 15%<br />

discount. Quote GLC15.<br />

Eden Locke – 20% off designer<br />

apartment. Visit lockeliving.com and<br />

enter code “LOCKEDIN” for 20% off<br />

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel<br />

Say hello to YOTEL<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> members are now eligible for the<br />

YOTEL Work Perk programme.<br />

This special offer gives you access to a host of great<br />

benefits, including 20% off retail rates and<br />

complimentary breakfast.<br />

To book at a YOTEL, the easiest method is by<br />

clicking on the below link and entering your dates/<br />

hotel of choice:<br />


YOTEL Glasgow<br />

Inset, VEGA , on the<br />

top floor of the<br />

YOTEL Glasgow<br />

Or you can enter your corporate ID straight into the<br />

Corporate/Promo code section of the website, at<br />

www.yotel.com<br />

Your Corporate ID is: INS002<br />

This rate can be shared at your discretion with<br />

members and company associates such as consultants,<br />

etc.<br />

You can cancel or amend reservations until 2pm on<br />

the day of arrival, giving you maximum flexibility for<br />

your travel needs.<br />

YOTEL Edinburgh<br />

26 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Hotel membership offers<br />

voco Grand Central<br />


Malmaison<br />

Up to 10% off accommodation and<br />

20% off food and beverages. See<br />

malmaison.com or call 01224 507097<br />

DUNDEE<br />

Malmaison<br />

Take your pick from 91 sumptuous<br />

rooms and suites spanning six fabulous<br />

floors. There’s so much to see and do in<br />

Dundee, and Malmaison is perfect place<br />

to stay in the City of Discovery.<br />

Up to 10% off accommodation<br />

bookings and 20% off food and<br />

beverages. More at malmaison.com or<br />

call 01382 339715.<br />


Kimpton Blythswood Square<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> members receive 15% off best<br />

available bed and breakfast rates.<br />

• See kimptonblythswoodsquare.com<br />

or call 0141 248 8888<br />

voco Grand Central<br />

Members receive a 15% discount on<br />

the best available rates for food,<br />

beverage and accommodation.<br />

• See grandcentral.vocohotels.com or<br />

call 0141 221 3388<br />

One Devonshire Gardens<br />

Members receive 10% off best<br />

available rate for accommodation when<br />

booked online.<br />

• Book via hotelduvin.com/locations/<br />

glasgow or call 0330 016 0390<br />

Citizen M<br />

Enjoy best rates at time of booking<br />

and a welcome drink.<br />

• See citizenm.com/directors-scotland<br />

or call 0203 519 1111, quoting <strong>IoD</strong> offer.<br />

Malmaison<br />

10% off best available rates for <strong>IoD</strong><br />

members.<br />

• See malmaison.com or call 0141 378<br />

0384<br />

Kimpton Blythswood Square<br />

“Just mention <strong>IoD</strong> when booking<br />

for confirm your exclusive<br />

discounts and offers”<br />

Members’ discounted<br />

consultancy support<br />

Where Now Consulting Ltd<br />

provides business advice and<br />

support to <strong>IoD</strong> members in <strong>Scotland</strong>.<br />

Where Now Consulting focuses<br />

on the development of business<br />

models for growth and would be<br />

delighted to support members in<br />

any of the following categories:<br />

Organic growth; In-organic growth;<br />

and Success Planning<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> offer<br />

Where Now Consulting Ltd will<br />

give members a complimentary one<br />

hour consultancy session to focus<br />

and develop key strategies for<br />

success with a further 10% discount<br />

on further support from Where Now<br />

Consulting, and a £35 discount on<br />

the Where Now Consulting Business<br />

Diagnostic Tool.<br />


Member discounts on<br />

products and services<br />

The <strong>IoD</strong> has arranged special<br />

discounts on a host of products and<br />

services that are required by<br />

directors and business leaders,<br />

including:<br />

Professional Indemnity Insurance<br />

Office insurance<br />

Data risks insurance<br />

Car and van hire<br />

Personal private health insurance<br />

Home and contents insurance<br />

Private client insurance<br />

Directors’ Liability/Cyber risk<br />

CLICK here for more details<br />

10% off training and advice on imports and exports<br />

St Andrews Management Centre is<br />

offering a 10% discount on its export<br />

and import services to <strong>IoD</strong> members.<br />

St Andrews Management Centre<br />

can handle your import and export<br />

clearances for an affordable flat-fee,<br />

with no additional charges for<br />

multiple commodity codes, as well as<br />

offer advice on customs processes<br />

and controls. It also offers<br />

consultancy support to businesses<br />

looking to import or export, with<br />

training and workshops of key issues.<br />

For a full list of courses, see https://<br />

stamc.co.uk/courses-tradenet/<br />

The TradeNet International Trade<br />

Support is available at two levels,<br />

making it an affordable solution to<br />

meet your needs.<br />

Silver Service is for the ‘casual’ user<br />

and offers on call access to one of our<br />

International Trade Advisors for<br />

around 90 minutes per month for<br />

£250 pcm (+ VAT).<br />

The Gold Service is for those with<br />

more complex trading arrangements<br />

and provides around four hours<br />

support per month for £450 pcm<br />

(+VAT)<br />


Contact St Andrews<br />

Management Centre,<br />

14 St Catherine Street,<br />

Cupar, Fife KY15 4HH<br />

E: tradenet@stamc.co.uk<br />

T: 03300 241316<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 27

DIRECTION | <strong>IoD</strong> EVENTS<br />

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Roundtable breakfast with Andrew Kerr OBE,<br />

Chief Executive at The City of Edinburgh Council<br />

Date: 5 February<br />

Time: 8.30am — 10am<br />

Venue: Edinburgh City Chambers<br />

Cost: Free<br />

Join <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong>’s Edinburgh and<br />

Lothian’s branch as we meet with City of<br />

Edinburgh Council Chief Executive,<br />

Andrew Kerr OBE for a breakfast<br />

roundtable.<br />

Born in Falkirk, Andrew Kerr was<br />

appointed Chief Executive of City of<br />

Edinburgh Council in 2015 and has since<br />

led the council with a focus in recent years<br />

on resilience during a challenging period.<br />

We’ll hear from Andrew on his<br />

thoughts on Edinburgh’s business<br />

engagement with a Q&A roundtable<br />

breakfast.<br />

If you’d like to post a question in<br />

advance for Andrew, please email<br />

PR-Comms.Ambassador.Edinburgh@iod.<br />

com<br />

This event is for members only.<br />

Event Organiser: Patricia Huth<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Roundtable lunch with<br />

Michelle Thomson MSP<br />

Winter Economic Update<br />

with the Bank of England<br />

Date: 5 February<br />

Time: 12pm — 1pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

On 5 February we will discuss the<br />

outcomes of the latest MPC report as it is<br />

released by the Bank of England.<br />

Keep up to date with the trends and<br />

analysis by listening to <strong>IoD</strong>’s quarterly<br />

economic updates with the Bank of<br />

England.<br />

This members-only event will be<br />

hosted by <strong>IoD</strong> Director for Policy and<br />

Governance, Dr Roger Barker, who will<br />

explore the latest UK economic outlook<br />

and what it means for directors and their<br />

businesses. He will be joined by Rob<br />

Elder from the Bank of England.<br />

This is an excellent opportunity for<br />

leaders to hear more about the UK and<br />

global economic outlook for 2023. This<br />

event will be run under Chatham House<br />

Rule. Joining instructions will be sent<br />

Friday 2nd February, when online<br />

registrations will close.<br />

Event Organiser: <strong>IoD</strong> events<br />

events@iod.com<br />

Date: 5 February<br />

Time: 1pm — 3pm<br />

Venue: Glenbervie Golf Club<br />

Cost: 2 course meal £40<br />

3 course meal £50<br />

The <strong>IoD</strong> Central <strong>Scotland</strong> branch is<br />

delighted to invite you to an in-person<br />

roundtable lunch with Michelle Thomson<br />

MSP.<br />

Ms Thomson, MSP for Falkirk East, is a<br />

member of the Scottish Parliament’s<br />

Finance Committee and its Education<br />

Committee. As such, she oversees the<br />

Scottish Budget and decisions on fiscal<br />

policy and devolved taxes as well as skills<br />

development. She is also a Convenor of<br />

several cross-party groups in the Scottish<br />

Parliament, including Women In<br />

Enterprise and St. Andrews Day.<br />

Before becoming an MSP, she was an<br />

MP for Edinburgh West, serving as the<br />

SNP Business, Innovation and Skills<br />

spokesperson in the House of Commons.<br />

Prior to her life in politics, she held<br />

senior roles delivering IT and business<br />

change at both Standard Life and RBS,<br />

and she has also founded and run her<br />

own small<br />

businesses,<br />

understanding first-hand the challenges<br />

that both corporate and small business<br />

leaders face.<br />

The focus of the discussion is likely to<br />

be on trading conditions, the economic<br />

outlook, and how government might<br />

assist.<br />

In addition to providing an excellent<br />

opportunity to engage with a prominent<br />

MSP, the lunch will also provide a timely<br />

opportunity to discuss with her the<br />

outcome of the Scottish Budget.<br />

The event is being held in the<br />

McCowan lounge at Glenbervie Golf<br />

Club, with lunch provided by Ciro’s<br />

restaurant – one of Falkirk’s most highly<br />

regarded restaurants.<br />

The ticket price is £40 which includes<br />

two courses (or you can choose to<br />

upgrade to three courses for £50), for<br />

members and non-members. Numbers<br />

are strictly limited, so book early to avoid<br />

disappointment.<br />

Event Organiser: Connor Osborne<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

28 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> EVENTS | DIRECTION<br />

How to build resilience and overcome<br />

challenges – a workshop with<br />

Lee Spencer BEM (aka the Rowing Marine)<br />

Date: 7 February<br />

Time: 10am — 2pm<br />

Venue: Maryculter House, Aberdeen<br />

Cost: Members - Free<br />

Join us in Aberdeen for this not-to-be<br />

missed workshop with Lee Spencer, best<br />

known as The Rowing Marine.<br />

This event is set to give our member<br />

directors the inspiration and motivation<br />

they’ll need to get through whatever<br />

<strong>2024</strong> has to throw at us.<br />

This interactive workshop will build an<br />

understanding of the key principles and<br />

practical methods of overcoming<br />

challenges which can be used both<br />

personally and in the workplace.<br />

Lunch & refreshments will be provided.<br />

The event is free to <strong>IoD</strong> Members.<br />

About Lee Spencer<br />

Lee joined the Royal Marine<br />

Commandos in 1992. He completed<br />

operational tours of Northern Ireland<br />

and Iraq where he led a section in the<br />

first wave on the assault of the Al Faw<br />

peninsula.<br />

Lee then served as a troop Sergeant<br />

before qualifying for special duties and<br />

subsequently undertook three tours of<br />

Afghanistan.<br />

In <strong>January</strong> 2014, while helping<br />

motorists who had crashed into a<br />

motorway central reservation, Lee lost<br />

his right leg below the knee having been<br />

hit by debris from a further crash.<br />

Conscious throughout, Lee was able to<br />

utilise his military training to save his<br />

own life by instructing a passer-by to<br />

apply a tourniquet. Lee was awarded the<br />

High Chief Constables award for his<br />

selfless actions on the night.<br />

In 2015 as a crew member of<br />

Row2Recovery’s all amputee crew of<br />

four, Lee rowed across the Atlantic from<br />

La Gomera in the Canaries to Antigua<br />

and into the Guinness world record<br />

books, as the first physically disabled<br />

crew of four to row any ocean.<br />

In <strong>January</strong> 2019, Lee set off from<br />

Portimao, Portugal to attempt rowing<br />

solo and unsupported from mainland<br />

Europe to mainland South America. 60<br />

days, 16 hours and 6 minutes later he<br />

rowed into Cayenne, French Guiana not<br />

only becoming the first physically<br />

disabled person to do so and completing<br />

the longest solo row of any disabled<br />

person, he beat the able bodied record<br />

by an astonishing 36 days.<br />

In December 2019 Lee was awarded<br />

the British Empire Medal for services to<br />

charity having raised over a quarter of a<br />

million pounds.<br />

A natural and engaging speaker, Lee’s<br />

incredible personal story of courage,<br />

determination leadership and<br />

overcoming adversity has captivated a<br />

range of audiences.<br />

Event Organiser: Patricia Huth<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Lunch and a little light music<br />

Date: 23 February<br />

Time: 12pm — 2:30pm<br />

Venue: The Royal Conservatoire of<br />

<strong>Scotland</strong> (RCS), 100 Renfrew Street,<br />

Glasgow G2 3DB<br />

Cost: Members £15<br />

Non Members £25<br />

Join us in this unique opportunity to<br />

have a light lunch with the Principal,<br />

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey to hear about<br />

the work of the RCS and the role of the<br />

arts in <strong>Scotland</strong>. We will then have the<br />

opportunity to listen to a wonderful<br />

afternoon performance by Catriona<br />

Morison and Malcolm Martineau in the<br />

Stevenson Hall at the RCS.<br />

Catriona Morison is a Scottish mezzosoprano<br />

and former alumni of the RCS.<br />

She became known to a wider audience<br />

when she won the Main and Shared<br />

Song prizes of the Internationally<br />

renowned BBC Cardiff Singer of the<br />

World Competition.<br />

Malcolm Martineau is regarded as one<br />

of the greatest accompanists of his<br />

generation. He is an Honorary Doctor<br />

and International Fellow of<br />

Accompaniment at the RCS.<br />

Numbers are limited to 20 so reserve<br />

your place quickly to avoid<br />

disappointment.<br />

Event Organiser: Connor Osborne<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

iod.scotland@iod.com<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 29

DIRECTION | <strong>IoD</strong> EVENTS<br />

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

When to speak out on social issues<br />

and manage reputational risk<br />

Date: 27 February<br />

Time: 1pm — 2pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Free to members<br />

This event will involve a panel discussion<br />

on when and how to speak out on social<br />

issues, some practical steps on the<br />

protocols that should be in place and the<br />

links to reputational risk if not handled<br />

correctly.<br />

We will be led by panellists Dawn<br />

Bryan and Sarah Black, who will explore<br />

the complexities of speaking out on<br />

topical issues, including the short and<br />

long-term implications for<br />

organisations. Learn insights,<br />

including the significance of<br />

clear organisational protocols<br />

outlining when, why, and how<br />

leaders should speak up. If<br />

you’ve ever felt uncertain about<br />

making statements on such<br />

issues, this event is for you.<br />

This will be followed by a moderated<br />

Q&A session to allow participants<br />

to raise questions in a safe<br />

environment.<br />

Dawn Bryan<br />

Dawn oversees The<br />

Kaleidoscope Group’s work<br />

with global clients, directs their<br />

team of multilingual,<br />

multinational consultants, and<br />

serves as principal leader on select client<br />

engagements. Before joining The<br />

Kaleidoscope Group in 2018, Dawn<br />

lived and worked for more than<br />

25 years in the Horn of Africa,<br />

Asia, and Europe. She<br />

combines over 30 years of<br />

cross-cultural experience,<br />

education, and expertise in<br />

effective global leadership<br />

practices, and a gift for listening<br />

to others to help organisations<br />

take practical steps toward<br />

continuous improvement as<br />

they navigate culturally diverse<br />

and complex environments.<br />

Sarah Black<br />

Sarah has more than 30 years<br />

of communications experience<br />

including as a Board director of a<br />

full-service multi-award-winning global<br />

PR and content agency, as a Chartered<br />

Institute of Public Relations Fellow and<br />

Accredited Practitioner. Her work<br />

developing and delivering campaigns<br />

addressing racism, peacebuilding and<br />

reconciliation, adoption, environmental<br />

protection and community relations .<br />

Event Organiser: Connor Osborne<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

iod.scotland@iod.com<br />

Graduate apprenticeship could be<br />

next step to developing your team<br />

Date: 12 March<br />

Time: 12pm — 1:30pm<br />

Cost: Free<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Learn more about a work-based learning<br />

scheme to support business leaders in<br />

up-skilling and re-skilling full-time staff.<br />

As higher education continues to<br />

evolve, and as work-based learning<br />

transitions from novelty to<br />

normality, business leaders will<br />

benefit from understanding their<br />

options and including them in their<br />

talent management strategy.<br />

Up-skilling, re-skilling and recruitment<br />

have become critical priorities for<br />

organisations across all sectors faced<br />

with mounting economic pressures and<br />

unprecedented change. One solution for<br />

directors is to embrace a work-based<br />

learning scheme called The Graduate<br />

Apprenticeship (aka Degree<br />

Apprenticeship), designed for full-time<br />

workers who wish to pursue a four-year<br />

honours degree in Business<br />

Management. This online session will<br />

provide a comprehensive overview of the<br />

scheme delivered by Heriot-Watt<br />

University’s Edinburgh Business School.<br />

It will feature recent graduates and their<br />

workplace mentors, representing SMEs<br />

and large organisations who are eager to<br />

share their experiences.<br />

David Steinberg<br />

This session will be led by David<br />

Steinberg, Associate Professor,<br />

Edinburgh Business School,<br />

Heriot-Watt University.<br />

During his 39-year career, Dr.<br />

David Steinberg has built highperformance<br />

teams and directed<br />

sales operations and strategic<br />

account management processes in<br />

extremely fast-paced work environments<br />

and competitive markets involving<br />

multi-million-dollar contracts.<br />

He was a tutor for <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong>’s<br />

Professional Development Series, for<br />

which he delivered his highly acclaimed<br />

masterclass: Mastering the Art of<br />

Strategic Questioning.<br />

Event Organiser: Patricia Huth<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Building your<br />

personal brand<br />

Date: 15 April<br />

Time: 12:30pm — 1:30pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Free<br />

Most employees don’t have to think<br />

about their personal brand, but directors<br />

are the face of the company.<br />

Personal branding is critical to lead<br />

generation. Networking. Relationships.<br />

Recruitment. But it’s about more than<br />

that. Personal branding is about who you<br />

are and what you stand for.<br />

In this webinar you will receive an<br />

introduction to personal branding with<br />

Ryan O’Keeffe, personal branding expert<br />

and co-founder of Jago Personal Brand<br />

agency. He will speak about building<br />

your own personal brand, master and<br />

scale your reputation, develop your<br />

leadership and tell your story.<br />

There will be a Q&A session at the end.<br />

Ryan O’Keeffe<br />

Ryan is a champion for transformation,<br />

a people promoter, an emotional<br />

intelligence coach and business leader.<br />

Event Organiser: Patricia Huth<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

30 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> EVENTS | DIRECTION<br />

Introduction to <strong>IoD</strong>’s<br />

Certificate in Company<br />

Direction Programme<br />

Embrace excellence: A captivating members’<br />

evening at Rusacks in St. Andrews<br />

Date: 7 March, 6 June & 5 September<br />

Time: 5:30pm — 9pm<br />

Venue: Rusacks St. Andrews<br />

Cost: Free to members<br />

<strong>IoD</strong> Fife & Tayside has organised a series<br />

of informal meet-ups for membersin one<br />

of the region’s finest hotels – Rusacks in<br />

St Andrews.<br />

It’s a great opportunity for informal<br />

networking in sumptuous surroundings<br />

while you take in the breathtaking<br />

beauty of St Andrews.<br />

During the event, tantalise your taste<br />

buds with a selection of delectable<br />

snacks provided by the venue.<br />

Additionally, members will have the<br />

opportunity to purchase their preferred<br />

drinks, allowing you to personalise your<br />

beverage choices throughout the<br />

evening.<br />

Event Organiser: Patricia Huth<br />

0131 557 5488<br />

Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

The Director’s Quarterly Update<br />

The session will be led by:<br />

Date: 14 March<br />

Time: 9am — 10:15am<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Have you been considering how you<br />

can enhance your impact and<br />

performance as a director? Do you<br />

want to gain the latest tools and<br />

techniques from expert practitioners<br />

who have a wealth of experience in<br />

board rooms across the globe?<br />

If you answered “yes” then this may<br />

be the most useful session you take<br />

this year as you find out more on the<br />

<strong>IoD</strong>’s ‘gold standard’ director<br />

qualification, the Certificate in Company<br />

Direction.<br />

This event will give you the chance to<br />

get a feel for how <strong>IoD</strong>’s director<br />

training is delivered and kickstart your<br />

professional development journey at<br />

this free information session.<br />

The session will be interactive<br />

featuring a Q&A with the course leader<br />

and Chartered Director and will also<br />

include a teaser activity from one of the<br />

Certificate in Company Direction<br />

modules.<br />

Event Organiser: <strong>IoD</strong> events<br />

events@iod.com<br />

Date: 16 April<br />

Time: 12pm — 1pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Free<br />

It can be hard to make the right<br />

decisions for your organisation when the<br />

economic and regulatory outlook is so<br />

unpredictable. This is where the <strong>IoD</strong><br />

Director’s Quarterly Update comes into<br />

play. Join us on 16 April to get the inside<br />

track on the economy and key<br />

developments in regulation and the<br />

business environment, as well as valuable<br />

insights on the state of the UK economy<br />

and how it could impact your business .<br />

This event is exclusive to <strong>IoD</strong> members.<br />

Alex Hall-Chen, <strong>IoD</strong><br />

Alex Hall-Chen is a Senior Policy<br />

Advisor at the <strong>IoD</strong>. She is a specialist in<br />

employment, skills, and sustainability<br />

policy. She previously worked in<br />

education research and as a Policy<br />

Advisor at the Confederation of British<br />

Industry.<br />

Dr Roger Barker, <strong>IoD</strong><br />

Roger has been the <strong>IoD</strong>’s Director of<br />

Policy and Corporate Governance since<br />

September 2020. He also served as<br />

Director of Corporate Governance and<br />

Professional Standards at the <strong>IoD</strong> from<br />

2008-2016. He is also the author of<br />

numerous books and articles on<br />

corporate governance and board<br />

effectiveness.<br />

Emma Rowland, <strong>IoD</strong><br />

Emma is a Policy Advisor at the <strong>IoD</strong><br />

specialising in international trade and EU<br />

affairs. She also runs the <strong>IoD</strong>’s policy<br />

market research activities.<br />

Event Organiser: <strong>IoD</strong> events<br />

events@iod.com<br />

Maximise your<br />

membership<br />

Date: 19 March<br />

Time: 12pm — 1pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Are you a member who gets the most<br />

out of membership? Are you keen to<br />

learn more about the <strong>IoD</strong>?<br />

We want you to get maximum value<br />

from your membership, so please join<br />

us for this virtual lunch time event as<br />

we explore the full range of benefits<br />

that come as part of your membership<br />

– including some you might not be<br />

aware of!<br />

Hear from our team of experts as we<br />

raise awareness of the <strong>IoD</strong>, the<br />

membership offering and the benefits<br />

of being part of our many communities<br />

of directors and senior business leaders<br />

across the UK and beyond. Hear how<br />

we support, represent, and set<br />

standards for business leaders.<br />

Event Organiser: <strong>IoD</strong> events<br />

events@iod.com<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 31


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Accelerated Certificate in Company Direction<br />

Accelerated Certificate in Company Direction<br />

Date: 13- 18 October <strong>2024</strong><br />

Venue: Norton House Hotel, Edinburgh<br />

Member Rate £9,955 + Vat<br />

Non-Member rate £12,995 + Vat<br />

The <strong>IoD</strong>’s Accelerated Certificate in Company Direction<br />

five-day intensive residential course is set at Norton House<br />

Hotel in Edinburgh. This intensive residential course for<br />

experienced directors is designed to fit around your<br />

schedule, enabling you to be more effective in your director<br />

role in just five-and-a-half days.<br />

Why attend?<br />

Achieve the <strong>IoD</strong> Certificate in Company Direction in a<br />

flexible way and without taking focus away from your<br />

professional life<br />

Who will benefit?<br />

Any busy director who simply cannot take too much time<br />

away from the demands of their business and who is<br />

looking for a fast -track method of achieving the certificate<br />

in company direction<br />

What’s involved?<br />

Using a practical approach, each of the four Certificate in<br />

Company Direction modules will equip you with the<br />

knowledge and skills needed for effective performance,<br />

covering the key areas of governance, leadership, finance<br />

and strategy. You will explore different business aspects<br />

first-hand by meeting course leaders and delegates from a<br />

mix of sectors and hear different perspectives, helping to<br />

broaden your understanding of your role.<br />

Practical learning enhanced by real-life scenarios and peer<br />

collaboration will provide you with the essential knowledge<br />

and skills for immediate application and maximum impact.<br />

As this course is condensed into five days, all parts of the<br />

course are mandatory.<br />

“My experience of the Accelerated Certificate<br />

programme was probably the best learning<br />

week of my career so far, so clearly it comes<br />

very highly recommended.”<br />

Bernard Grenville-Jones CDir,<br />

MD, Activate Learning<br />

30 JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


In-person <strong>IoD</strong> <strong>Scotland</strong> Courses <strong>2024</strong><br />

Role of the Director<br />

and the Board<br />

Date: 10 & 11 June<br />

Venue: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel,<br />

Edinburgh<br />

Cost: Member Rate: £2,795 + VAT<br />

Non-Member Rate: £3,295 + VAT<br />

This course provides an introduction to a<br />

director’s duties and legal responsibilities<br />

and the board’s role in corporate<br />

governance and risk management. You’ll<br />

leave with confidence to tackle<br />

boardroom challenges, equipped to take<br />

your career to the next level.<br />

What delegates said...<br />

“This module really articulated the<br />

responsibilities of directors, especially<br />

from a legal point of view. I doubt most<br />

directors are actually aware of what they<br />

are liable for, and I believe there should<br />

be some sort of mandatory training for<br />

directors such as this when they join a<br />

board.”<br />

Paul Bolton, CDir, ONECPD<br />

Click the target for more<br />

information and to book<br />

Finance for Non-Finance<br />

Directors<br />

Date: 22-24 April<br />

Venue: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel,<br />

Edinburgh<br />

Cost: Member Rate: £2,995 + VAT<br />

Non-Member Rate: £3,595 + VAT<br />

This course has been designed to<br />

demystify the world of finance for<br />

non-finance directors and senior<br />

managers. It will give you an<br />

understanding of key financial concepts<br />

and terminology. You will leave with the<br />

skills and knowledge needed to evaluate<br />

business plans, question financial<br />

information and contribute more<br />

effectively to boardroom decisionmaking.<br />

What delegates said...<br />

“This is an excellent course for someone<br />

venturing into finance for the first time. It<br />

was extremely useful and well presented<br />

throughout.”<br />

Ian McNaught, Trinity House<br />

Click the target for more<br />

information and to book<br />

Strategy for Directors<br />

Date: 21-23 October<br />

Venue: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel,<br />

Edinburgh<br />

Cost: Member Rate: £2,995 + Vat<br />

Non Member Rate: £3,595 + Vat<br />

This course will enable you to develop<br />

robust strategic planning processes for<br />

your organisation.By providing<br />

frameworks, tools and the opportunity to<br />

apply them, our course leaders will work<br />

with you to develop both understanding<br />

and skills helping you to gain the<br />

confidence to grow yourself and<br />

future-proof your business.<br />

What delegates said...<br />

“ Exceptional teacher – extremely<br />

knowledgeable and able to dig deeper<br />

on the subject with considerable<br />

experience and well read theory and<br />

practice together.”<br />

Paul Burke, MoD<br />

Click the target for more<br />

information and to book<br />

Leadership for Directors<br />

Date: 2 & 3 December<br />

Venue: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel,<br />

Edinburgh<br />

Member Rate: £2,795 + VAT<br />

Non Member Rate: £3,295 + VAT<br />

This course introduces a personalised<br />

approach to leadership, helping you to<br />

understand and develop your own<br />

self-awareness and emotional<br />

intelligence. You will learn different<br />

leadership and decision making<br />

techniques, determine how to build and<br />

sustain high-performing teams, and<br />

evaluate how these tools can be applied<br />

to your own organisation to contribute to<br />

its increased success.<br />

What delegates said...<br />

“This course provided a great<br />

opportunity for discussion and sharing<br />

experience amongst delegates with a<br />

wide range of experience and role in<br />

various sections.”<br />

Amanda Stewart, Policing Board<br />

Click the target for more<br />

information and to book<br />

Role of the Non-Executive<br />

Date: 28 November<br />

Venue: Maryculter House, Aberdeenshire<br />

Cost: Member Rate: £1,295 + Vat<br />

Non-Member Rate: £1,545 + Vat<br />

This one-day course is designed to arm<br />

you with practical strategies to build your<br />

network, secure an appointment and<br />

add value in the boardroom. Gain<br />

practical advice from experienced<br />

non-executive directors and understand<br />

the critical requirements of the role<br />

across multiple sectors, including private<br />

companies and third-sector<br />

organisations.<br />

What delegates said...<br />

“The <strong>IoD</strong>’s approach to director<br />

development is practical and rooted in<br />

real-world business. We look at case<br />

studies and take a ‘real play’ rather than<br />

‘role play’ approach.”<br />

Simon Haslam, <strong>IoD</strong> course leader and<br />

strategy consultant<br />

Click the target for more<br />

information and to book<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 31

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