IOD SCOTLAND Spring 2024

Institute of Directors Scotland members magazine; director advice, guidance and training

Institute of Directors Scotland members magazine; director advice, guidance and training


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The official membership<br />

magazine for the Institute<br />

of Directors in Scotland<br />

iod.com/scotland<br />

Direction<br />

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


‘AI is here...<br />

and it’s<br />

time to get<br />

on board’<br />

IoD State of the<br />

Nation survey<br />

Transforming<br />

the Institute

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


AI is the future, and the IoD is here<br />

to help you take advantage of it<br />

Scotland has always embraced<br />

innovation. From penicillin to<br />

telephones, MRI scanners and the<br />

cloning of Dolly the sheep, we’ve<br />

punched above our weight when it<br />

comes to harnessing technology.<br />

We view innovation as a solution;<br />

think of the agility, creativity and<br />

resilience that our organisations<br />

demonstrated in 2020.<br />

Fast forward to <strong>2024</strong> and our<br />

businesses do not have that same<br />

level of support – especially when it<br />

comes to funding – and while the<br />

specific challenge may have changed,<br />

the pressures that come with doing<br />

business haven’t.<br />

If Government financial support<br />

underpinned the agility and creativity<br />

of our organisations in 2020, it’s AI<br />

that’s going to keep us moving<br />

forward. It’s the key to maintaining<br />

innovation momentum when it comes<br />

to creative solutions in the face of<br />

challenging business conditions.<br />

Our State of the Nation survey<br />

showed that nearly half of members<br />

are already using AI to support<br />

business practices, and a huge<br />

majority view it as an opportunity in<br />

the coming year. This absolutely<br />

Scotland has always been a land of<br />

innovation, and so its businesses should<br />

be positive and embrace AI, says<br />

IoD Scotland Chair Julie Ashworth<br />

reflects our attitude to embracing new<br />

technology, however, entering the<br />

realm of artificial intelligence is both<br />

exciting and daunting for most.<br />

Some aspects of AI, like ChatGPT,<br />

are a quick and user-friendly way to<br />

utilise the technology. Whether<br />

summarising complex content,<br />

researching topics or even drafting<br />

basic communications, it can cut<br />

down the time spent on day-to-day<br />

tasks. But the ethical implications of<br />

this software must be considered<br />

carefully. While powerful, AI isn’t<br />

devoid of biases. It learns from<br />

historical data, and can inherit the<br />

prejudices embedded within the<br />

information it provides. Good<br />

governance means we must<br />

interrogate the sources and specifics<br />

of the data presented if we are using it<br />

to help inform decision-making or<br />

research.<br />

As we look at embedding AI into our<br />

long-term business strategies, we will<br />

also need to invest in people with a<br />

specialised skill-set. There is concern<br />

that AI is going to replace humans, but<br />

it’s not the case. Human sentiment is<br />

the one thing AI has not yet mastered,<br />

and we know our people are often the<br />

key to our success. We should view<br />

this as an opportunity to upskill<br />

employees or recruit fresh talent with<br />

expertise in a range of areas, from<br />

data analysis to machine learning<br />

algorithms.<br />

We already know that the skills gap<br />

is a concern for members, so how do<br />

we ensure the talent pipeline includes<br />

those proficient in AI? I hope to see it<br />

embedded into the curriculum. It is<br />

already being used by teachers and<br />

students from primary level to further<br />

and higher education. It’s a business<br />

risk to ignore AI, and so preparing the<br />

leaders of the future from an early age<br />

will help mitigate this.<br />

We’re hearing our members raise<br />

concerns about being left behind if<br />

they don’t use AI, but don’t feel<br />

confident enough to understand the<br />

how and basic mechanics of it all. The<br />

IoD is here to offer support and<br />

advice, thanks to our vast network of<br />

experts. Get in touch if you need help<br />

with where to start, or where to go<br />

next. Remember you can also access<br />

legal expertise and advice through the<br />

Information and Business Advice<br />

Service (IAS), which member have<br />

access to.<br />

Business don’t want to fall behind<br />

their competitors, and while the<br />

opportunities presented by AI are<br />

exciting and potentially game<br />

changing, it carries undeniable risk if<br />

not utilised in the right way.<br />

But then, we felt that way about the<br />

internet…<br />

IoD Scotland<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 - Scotland:<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 IoD Scotland 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: Heather Schreuder<br />

Please send press releases or editorial for consideration for future issues of<br />

Direction to Heather at E: HeatherS@clarkcommunications.co.uk<br />

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material contained within this magazine,<br />

neither IoD Scotland, Chamber Media Services nor Clark can accept any responsibility for<br />

omissions or inaccuracies in its editorial or advertising content. The views expressed in this<br />

publication are not necessarily those of the IoD. The carriage of advertisements or editorials in this<br />

publication does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 03


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

In an ever-changing world we need<br />

consistent messages from the top<br />

There is a real appetite among our members to<br />

embrace AI... but there’s clearly a lot of<br />

trepidation, too, says Catherine McWilliam,<br />

Nations Director IoD Scotland<br />

Welcome to the <strong>Spring</strong> issue of<br />

Direction magazine, where we are<br />

taking a look at AI, and its role in<br />

business.<br />

There is a real appetite from our<br />

membership to embrace AI, with<br />

80% of respondents in our State of<br />

The Nation survey stating they are<br />

optimistic about the benefits it will<br />

bring to their business, and 46%<br />

noting that AI is already being used<br />

in their organisations.<br />

The potential benefits are huge,<br />

whether it’s streamlining processes,<br />

carrying out time consuming admin<br />

tasks or even creating imagery – but<br />

it definitely isn’t perfect yet. Have<br />

you ever looked at the hands of<br />

humans in an AI-generated photo?<br />

It’s a real giveaway that it has been<br />

manufactured, especially the fingers!<br />

There is an understandable<br />

nervousness that comes with<br />

embedding any new technology into<br />

business practices, and none more<br />

so than with AI. It seems as though<br />

it became readily available almost<br />

overnight, and some of our<br />

contributors in this issue discuss the<br />

delicate balance of benefits and<br />

risks. I hope you enjoy reading their<br />

insight.<br />

State of the Nation<br />

On the topic of State of the<br />

Nation, I’d like to thank you for<br />

contributing. Nearly 20% of our<br />

membership shared their views, and<br />

it gave us well-rounded insight into<br />

how you’re feeling about the key<br />

issues affecting Scottish<br />

organisations.<br />

The consistency between the<br />

responses and our informal<br />

conversations with you underscores<br />

a clear message: business leaders in<br />

Scotland want to be heard.<br />

Our members are far from passive<br />

observers; you’re active participants<br />

whose insights and experiences<br />

shed light on the broader sentiments<br />

within Scotland’s business<br />

community.<br />

This is particularly relevant with<br />

the imminent change of leadership<br />

at Scottish Government. As this<br />

issue was being published, John<br />

Swinney was installed as First<br />

Minister, and we are closing in on an<br />

election period that could redefine<br />

many aspects of Scottish and UK<br />

governance. Responses showed<br />

dissatisfaction with the current level<br />

of political engagement with the<br />

business sector, at a time when<br />

confidence is low. While steps are<br />

being taken to rectify this, the New<br />

Deal for Business Group is a good<br />

example, there is still concern over<br />

the lack of action.<br />

Communication<br />

The ask is clear – business leaders<br />

need better, more collaborative<br />

communication. In the past year,<br />

we’ve seen several changes at<br />

ministerial and civil servant level,<br />

against a backdrop of wider political<br />

discord. There is concern that this<br />

has hindered progress and stalled<br />

productive conversations.<br />

We’ve told Government that<br />

business leaders appreciate<br />

consistency and follow-through from<br />

decision-makers, which in turn<br />

would result in a much-needed<br />

increase in business confidence.<br />

Having more leaders around the<br />

decision-making table would allow<br />

for a genuine partnership in policy<br />

design. This means not only<br />

involving them in the early stages of<br />

policymaking, but also maintaining a<br />

consistent dialogue that allows for<br />

co-designing solutions to challenges<br />

such as achieving Net Zero,<br />

improving skills, and managing the<br />

just transition in our economy.<br />

The issues of today are daunting—<br />

ranging from sustainability to<br />

technological integration and<br />

workforce development. However,<br />

they also present unparalleled<br />

opportunities for innovation and<br />

growth. Business leaders are poised<br />

to take bold steps towards<br />

embracing AI, promoting fair work,<br />

and enhancing inclusivity and<br />

diversity within their operations. Yet,<br />

all these potential achievements<br />

hang on the foundational ability to<br />

collaborate effectively with the<br />

government. If we can streamline<br />

and strengthen this collaboration,<br />

we can transform these ambitious<br />

goals into tangible realities that<br />

benefit not just individual businesses<br />

but the entire Scottish economy.<br />

We saw great coverage of the<br />

State of the Nation survey results in<br />

the media, and as a result, we’ve<br />

had requests from ministers to meet<br />

and discuss how they can further<br />

support our members.<br />

To maintain this momentum, I’d<br />

like to encourage you all to<br />

participate in the monthly policy<br />

voice survey that you’re sent. Your<br />

voice really does matter.<br />

Get in touch<br />

I hope you all enjoy this issue of<br />

Direction, and we’re already<br />

planning the Summer issue, which<br />

will have a focus on wellbeing.<br />

If you have anything you’d like to<br />

share on this topic, email me at<br />

catherine.mcwilliam@iod.com<br />

04 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Business pessimism remains,<br />

but IoD survey finds it is falling<br />

The IoD Directors’ Economic<br />

Confidence Index, which measures<br />

business leader optimism in<br />

prospects for the UK economy, rose<br />

to -10 in April <strong>2024</strong> from -12 in<br />

March.<br />

This increase sustains the leap<br />

upwards that the Index experienced<br />

in March, and continues its steady<br />

recovery from its recent low point of<br />

-31 in June 2023.<br />

Firms’ net investment intentions<br />

for the year ahead were also up on<br />

the month, rising from +18 in March<br />

to +21 in April.<br />

However, the index of business<br />

leader optimism for the future of<br />

their own organisation declined to<br />

+38 in April, down from +42 in<br />

March, and net revenue expectations<br />

declined from +44 to +40.<br />

Other indicators from April’s<br />

survey – cost, headcount, wages and<br />

export outlook for the coming year<br />

– remained broadly similar to the<br />

previous month.<br />

Dr. Roger Barker, Director of Policy<br />

at the IoD, said: “It remains the case<br />

that business leaders are, on<br />

balance, pessimistic about UK<br />

economic prospects.<br />

“However, since March, the<br />

pessimists have been in retreat.<br />

Confidence has been edging<br />

upwards and is now within striking<br />

distance of a more neutral<br />

perspective.<br />

“According to IoD members, the<br />

fundamentals are in place for some<br />

kind of UK economic recovery. Most<br />

are expecting revenues, investment<br />

spending and exports to move<br />

upwards over the next 12 months.<br />

And business leaders continue to<br />

express a much higher level of<br />

optimism in prospects for their own<br />

organisations compared to the<br />

economy as a whole – which is an<br />

encouraging sign.<br />

“However, a significant obstacle to<br />

improved business confidence is the<br />

current high level of UK interest<br />

rates.<br />

“Business leaders will be looking<br />

for a significant shift in the monetary<br />

stance of the Bank of England<br />

before they are able to buy into a<br />

rosier economic outlook.<br />

“As a result, they will be closely<br />

watching the outcome of the next<br />

monetary policy committee meeting<br />

on 9 May.<br />

The IoD Directors’ Economic<br />

Confidence Index measures the net<br />

positive answers from members of<br />

the IoD to the question ‘How<br />

optimistic are you about the wider<br />

UK economy over the next 12<br />

months?’ on a five-point scale from<br />

‘very optimistic’ to ‘very pessimistic’.<br />

Full survey results<br />

712 responses from across the UK,<br />

conducted between 12-29 April<br />

<strong>2024</strong>. 16% ran large businesses<br />

(250+ people), 21% medium (50-<br />

249), 22% small (10-49 people), 30%<br />

micro (2-9 people) and 12% sole<br />

trader and self-employed business<br />

entities (0-1 people).<br />

How optimistic are you about both the wider UK economy and also your organisation over the next 12 months?<br />

Very Quite Neither optimistic Quite Very Don’t know<br />

optimistic optimistic nor pessimistic pessimistic pessimistic<br />

Wider UK<br />

economy 2.81% 27.25% 30.06% 33.15% 6.46% 0.28%<br />

Your (primary)<br />

organisation 7.87% 46.49% 28.23% 13.76% 2.53% 1.12%<br />

Comparing the next 12 months with the last 12 months, what do you believe the for your organisation will be in<br />

terms of:<br />

Much higher Somewhat No change Somewhat Much lower Don’t know N/A<br />

higher<br />

lower<br />

Business<br />

investment 4.5% 35.0% 39.9% 13.9% 4.1% 0.6% 2.1%<br />

Costs 11.4% 68.5% 14.6% 3.4% 0.7% 0.1% 1.3%<br />

Exports 3.2% 16.9% 31.0% 4.4% 1.8% 1.0% 41.7%<br />

Headcount 1.8% 31.3% 51.1% 11.8% 1.8% 0.3% 1.8%<br />

Revenue 7.7% 49.3% 23.3% 15.0% 2.4% 0.7% 1.5%<br />

Wages 3.9% 56.6% 33.8% 2.9% 0.6%<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 05


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

IoD Scotland State of the Nation survey:<br />

Concerns on Government policy<br />

and tax, but backing for AI<br />

At the start of the year IoD Scotland<br />

gathered evidence for its annual State<br />

of the Nation Survey.<br />

Responses were received from a fifth<br />

of our membership, and their answers<br />

gave us insights into the key<br />

challenges and opportunities facing<br />

Scottish businesses in <strong>2024</strong>. They will<br />

allow us to plan our policy strategy<br />

and allow us to better represent and<br />

reflect the views of our members in<br />

our engagement with both the<br />

Scottish and UK Governments. The<br />

survey closed on March 4.<br />

This year’s survey had similar themes<br />

to 2023’s, with the economy and<br />

taxation high on our list of priorities,<br />

but we added new questions to reflect<br />

changes in both business and society,<br />

to ensure a more rounded picture.<br />

Other priority areas included ESG, the<br />

Scottish Government’s New Deal for<br />

Business and, appropriately for the<br />

theme of this issue of Direction, AI<br />

(artificial intelligence).<br />

The <strong>2024</strong> survey highlighted new<br />

concerns for leaders over the<br />

additional tax band announced at the<br />

Scottish budget in December 2023.<br />

The introduction of a sixth tax bracket,<br />

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

means those earning over £75k<br />

annually are being taxed at a rate of<br />

45% as of 6 April <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Of the 82% who expressed concern<br />

over this further divergence with the<br />

UK, nearly 40% (39%) noted that staff<br />

recruitment was likely to be impacted<br />

the most; 34% said employee’s choice<br />

of location would be a concern, and<br />

27% are worried about the impact on<br />

inward investment.<br />

While 61% of members said they<br />

have the right number of skilled people<br />

for current jobs (2023:54% ), only half<br />

(54%) reported that they were<br />

confident of being able to recruit<br />

sufficient skilled staff in the next 12<br />

months (2023: 57%)<br />

Catherine McWilliam, Nations<br />

Director – Scotland at the IoD<br />

commented: “The skills gap continues<br />

to be a key concern for our members.<br />

Future recruitment and staff retention<br />

are key when business planning, and<br />

our data shows business leaders think<br />

that the introduction of the new tax<br />

band in Scotland will make things even<br />

more difficult for them. Responses<br />

show that leaders clearly see<br />

Scotland’s tax regime as yet another<br />

barrier to attracting and retaining<br />

talent – and encouraging investment.”<br />

Results were more positive across<br />

other key areas, with 69% of<br />

respondents stating their intention to<br />

grow in the next 12 months.<br />

Employment and cybersecurity were<br />

identified as key priorities for the next<br />

five years, and there is real appetite for<br />

embedding AI tools into businesses,<br />

with 80% of respondents feeling<br />

optimistic about opportunities, and<br />

46% noting that AI is already being<br />

used within their organisation.<br />

When it comes to Scottish<br />

Government economic policy, 76% of<br />

respondents felt there has been<br />

insufficient attention to growing the<br />

economy in the long term, while 50%<br />

of members need more support to<br />

meet the country’s Net Zero ambitions.<br />

Catherine McWilliam continued:<br />

“This survey highlights that there is<br />

an abundance of opportunities out<br />

there, but if we don’t get the<br />

fundamentals like access to skilled<br />

workers and policy implementation<br />

right, businesses will struggle to take<br />

advantage of them.<br />

“Collaboration is key: by creating<br />

clear channels of communication<br />

and engaging with decision makers<br />

about the challenges facing<br />

businesses, we can create a thriving<br />

economy that will attract talent and<br />

investment from the rest of the UK<br />

– and further afield.”<br />

What does the feedback tell us?<br />

IoD Scotland membership continues to be predominantly from the private<br />

sector (79%) and over half of this year’s respondents (68%) are from firms<br />

with 100 or fewer employees — a small increase from last year’s figure (66%).<br />

06 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


What are your priorities for your organisation over<br />

the next five years? Rank then in order<br />

Skills, employment<br />

and growth<br />

A majority of the IoD Scotland<br />

membership are positive that their<br />

organisation has the right number of<br />

skilled people for current jobs (61%),<br />

an increase in confidence from the<br />

feedback provided last year (54%).<br />

In terms of the ability recruit<br />

sufficient skilled staff in the next 12<br />

months, this year’s proportion (54%)<br />

is comparable with that from 2023<br />

(57%).<br />

Taxation<br />

How much of a concern is income<br />

tax divergence in Scotland?<br />

If concern is serious, would this have an<br />

impact on any of these areas?<br />

Views on taxation policy within Scotland were largely critical and<br />

respondents. 71% of respondents felt business taxes were too high<br />

and 74% felt the same for personal taxes. 82% expressed some form<br />

of concern with the way in which income tax policy diverged in<br />

Scotland as opposed to the UK as a whole and within that group the<br />

largest area of concern was related to staff recruitment (39%).<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 07


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

IoD Scotland State of the Nation survey:<br />

Scottish Government Policy<br />

Attitudes towards the Scottish<br />

Government economic policy have been<br />

mixed. In the long-term, 76% of<br />

respondents feel that it has paid<br />

insufficient attention to growing the<br />

economy, while 50% have said that more<br />

recently they don’t feel sufficiently<br />

supported to meet the Scottish<br />

Government’s Net Zero target and only<br />

7% have feel the ‘New Deal for Business’<br />

has had a positive impact.<br />

Other takeaways<br />

Working with education: 65% of<br />

respondents work within an organisation<br />

that has partnered with a higher<br />

education body.<br />

Fair Work: Only 23% of respondents said<br />

in 2023 that their organisation had<br />

adopted the Scottish Government’s ‘Fair<br />

Work Nation Principles’; this year the<br />

figure is 41%.<br />

<strong>2024</strong> marks the 25th anniversary since<br />

the Scottish Parliament was reconvened.<br />

Do you think the Parliament has taken<br />

sufficient interest in growing the<br />

economy during this time<br />

As a leader, do you feel supported to<br />

be able to lead your organisation to<br />

achieve the Scottish Government’s<br />

Net Zero target?<br />

Environmental, social and governance<br />

Awareness of environmental, social and governance<br />

considerations (“ESG”) is broadly the same as last year,<br />

with a small drop from 86% to 81% of respondents working<br />

at organisations that have implemented measures or are in<br />

the process of doing so.<br />

To what extent has your organisation<br />

embedded environmental, social and<br />

governance (ESG) considerations into<br />

its business strategy, operations and<br />

product and/or service offerings?<br />

Has your business adopted<br />

the Scottish Government’s<br />

Fair Work Principles<br />

Framework?<br />

Apprenticeships<br />

Opinion is more mixed when looking at<br />

apprenticeships. While 46% of our<br />

respondents work at an organisation<br />

employing apprentices or supporting a<br />

workplace training scheme, only 23% of their<br />

primary organisations pay the<br />

apprenticeship levy. Within that pool, 67%<br />

were either unsure of or critical towards the<br />

value for money presented by the levy.<br />

Does your primary organisation employ<br />

apprentices or support a workplace training<br />

scheme?<br />

Does your primary organisation pay an<br />

apprenticeship levy?<br />

If yes, does the scheme represent good<br />

value for money?<br />

08 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


AI, and it’s role in the workplace<br />

When asked about the future utility of AI-based tools, 80% of<br />

respondents are optimistic and 46% note that AI is already<br />

being using in support of processes within their organisations.<br />

Conclusion<br />

IoD Scotland will use the results<br />

from the State of the Nation<br />

Directors Survey to shape our work<br />

streams and policy focus over the<br />

next 12 months. The feedback that<br />

we have gathered has already<br />

proved to be hugely insightful,<br />

informative and useful when we are<br />

meeting with policy makers and<br />

other representatives.<br />

The results of last year’s survey drew<br />

cross-party attention and were used<br />

within the Scottish Parliament, and<br />

it is our hope that the same will be<br />

true for this year.<br />

Our sincere thanks go to all those<br />

who took the time to complete the<br />

survey and share their thoughts with<br />

us.<br />

The next survey will be available in<br />

early 2025. In the meantime, we<br />

would encourage all IoD Scotland<br />

members to complete the IoD’s<br />

Policy Voice survey.<br />

Professional development<br />

Continuing professional development is still important for IoD Scotland<br />

members, with 87% of respondents having undertaken it in the last three<br />

years and 82% planning to do so within the next three. Taking a wider<br />

view, 92% feel that it is important for their organisations to invest in the<br />

skills of others.<br />

Policy Voice<br />

Policy Voice allows us to take<br />

monthly snapshots of member views<br />

on current business issues. All IoD<br />

members will be invited to complete<br />

Policy Voice each month and share<br />

their views to influence how we talk<br />

to those in power on a range of<br />

business-critical issues — from trade<br />

to taxation, education to<br />

entrepreneurship and inclusion to<br />

innovation.<br />

Further information:<br />

iod.com/policyvoice<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 09


www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Navigating challenges<br />

and building resilience<br />

What would you do if someone said<br />

to you: “You’re not what we are<br />

looking for”<br />

Lee (Frank) Spencer was told this<br />

not once but three times. Not giving<br />

up on his dream, it spurred him on<br />

to a remarkable career as a Royal<br />

Marine.<br />

And when tragedy struck and he<br />

lost his leg in a near-death accident,<br />

he went further still, and became<br />

known as ‘The Rowing Marine’.<br />

Back in February, Lee captivated a<br />

room full of IoD members and<br />

guests in Aberdeen with his<br />

remarkable story and a masterclass<br />

in overcoming challenges and<br />

building resilience.<br />

Lee grew up in very difficult<br />

circumstances in a home dominated<br />

by alcoholism and violence, and<br />

despite being told that he wasn’t<br />

what they were looking for, joined<br />

the Royal Marine Commandos in<br />

1992. He completed operational<br />

tours of Northern Ireland and Iraq<br />

before qualifying for special duties,<br />

undertaking tours of Afghanistan<br />

working in an undercover and covert<br />

role within the human intelligence<br />

sphere.<br />

In January 2014 while helping<br />

motorists who had crashed into a<br />

motorway central reservation, Lee<br />

lost his right leg below the knee<br />

having been hit by debris from a<br />

further crash. Conscious throughout,<br />

Lee was able to utilise his military<br />

training to save his own life.<br />

He then went on to achieve some<br />

extraordinary feats of endurance,<br />

including becoming the world’s first<br />

physically disabled person to row<br />

across the Atlantic solo and<br />

unsupported – beating the ablebodied<br />

world record by 36 days,<br />

gaining himself three new Guinness<br />

World Records.<br />

Members of the IoD Aberdeen &<br />

Grampian Branch had the great<br />

fortune of being able to take part in<br />

his experience turned into workshop,<br />

where he shared how this selfconfessed<br />

ordinary man has<br />

achieved extraordinary things, and<br />

how we all can too.<br />

He talked about comfort and<br />

familiarity breeding stagnation.<br />

‘Through challenge and innovation<br />

comes failure, but failure is not final.<br />

Overcoming failure is what builds<br />

resilience. The more you fail, the<br />

more resilient you become.’<br />

Lee’s nine steps to overcoming<br />

challenges and building resilience:<br />

n Concentrate on the positive<br />

n Grab every opportunity<br />

n Break challenges up<br />

n Ride out the tough times<br />

n When disaster strikes it’s rarely<br />

as bad as you think<br />

n Teamwork: no person is an island<br />

n Be truthful with yourself<br />

n Perspective<br />

n Keep hold of your dream<br />

Aged 55, Lee is getting back in the<br />

boat in December, rowing across the<br />

Atlantic from the Canary Islands to<br />

Barbados. This time he’ll row with<br />

wounded servicemen from Ukraine<br />

to shine a spotlight on the human<br />

toll of war in Ukraine and support<br />

the rehabilitation of Ukrainian<br />

service members through the<br />

Invictus Games Foundation.<br />

Keep an eye out for the launch of<br />

Row4Ukraine, where you can follow<br />

their journey and donate.<br />

Get in touch<br />

For more information on the<br />

Aberdeen & Grampian branch,<br />

contact: Sarah Downs<br />

chair.aberdeen@iod.net<br />

10<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Elevate your corporate away days and<br />

member benefits with neospace Aberdeen<br />

neospace is your go-to for a<br />

seamless blend of work, rest, and<br />

play for your corporate gatherings<br />

and away days.<br />

Located on Riverside Drive in<br />

Aberdeen, neospace caters to the<br />

ever-changing needs of business<br />

professionals, offering an array of<br />

first-class amenities.<br />

At neospace, corporate away days<br />

are tailored experiences which<br />

nurture creativity, collaboration, and<br />

revitalisation. From strategic<br />

brainstorming sessions to<br />

invigorating team-building activities,<br />

our cutting-edge facilities provide<br />

the perfect canvas for fostering<br />

engagement and collaboration.<br />


IoD promotes<br />

the social side<br />

of business<br />

The lower ground floor offers a<br />

juice bar, meeting rooms, a<br />

Trackman golf simulator, and a<br />

state-of-the-art gym, all tailored to<br />

cater to the requirements of<br />

corporate teams.<br />

Away day packages can<br />

incorporate a range of different<br />

activities including meeting room<br />

hire, catering, access to our gym and<br />

sauna facilities, sessions on the golf<br />

simulator, and high-quality coffee<br />

and refreshments.<br />

IoD member offer<br />

As proud partners of the IoD,<br />

neospace offers members exclusive<br />

privileges and benefits. Enjoying<br />

preferential rates, including a 20%<br />

discount on meeting room rentals,<br />

neospace is the premier choice for<br />

hosting professional gatherings. IoD<br />

members also benefit from<br />

discounted gym memberships,<br />

promoting the ethos of a healthy<br />

work-life balance.<br />

But the perks don’t end there.<br />

neospace also exclusively offers<br />

complimentary 2-day passes each<br />

month which grants IoD members<br />

access to our premium lounge and<br />

coworking facilities. This allows<br />

members to immerse themselves in<br />

the vibrant neospace community,<br />

while travelling to or working in the<br />

city.<br />

Members gave the IoD Edinburgh & Lothians branch<br />

some feedback that they would like to see more<br />

networking events – so that is exactly what we are<br />

doing!<br />

Our first networking event of <strong>2024</strong> was held in<br />

Central Edinburgh. Members and non-members<br />

networked in lovely surroundings at Malmaison,<br />

making new connections and catching up with old<br />

ones.<br />

Next up will be a summer event (or two). We are<br />

currently running a poll on whether members would<br />

rather go to a Fringe event, go to the Edinburgh<br />

Tattoo, do both, or do something else entirely.<br />

What’s your preference? Send your vote to<br />

PR-Comms.Ambassador.Edinburgh@iod.com<br />

Get in touch<br />

For more information on the Edinburgh & Lothians<br />

branch, contact Nathalie Agnew<br />

chair.edinburgh@iod.net<br />

Right, members mingle at Malmaison!<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 11


www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Freeport highlights<br />

Highlands possibilities<br />

The Uile-bheist Distillery and<br />

Brewery proved an excellent host to<br />

IoD Highlands & Islands members<br />

The first four months of <strong>2024</strong> have<br />

seen a busy calendar of in-person<br />

and online events at the IoD<br />

Highlands & Islands branch<br />

We have had great engagement<br />

from members and highlighted key<br />

strategic topics including the impact<br />

of the Green Freeport on our region<br />

– described as the next industrial<br />

revolution of our time – when we<br />

were joined in conversation with<br />

Calum MacPherson, CEO of Inverness<br />

and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport.<br />

Calum’s presentation kicked off<br />

our <strong>2024</strong> lunchtime online series<br />

with an audience of 50 business and<br />

public sector leaders.<br />

That was followed by another<br />

topical session with IoD Scotland<br />

Regional and Public Sector Director<br />

of the Year, Stuart Black, CEO of<br />

Highlands and Islands Enterprise,<br />

who outlined the regional<br />

development agency’s new strategy<br />

and priorities for supporting<br />

economic growth and local<br />

employment.<br />

Uile-bheist Distillery and Brewery<br />

The debating of regional issues<br />

and businesses opportunities<br />

continued with a dinner event<br />

hosted by a recently-joined member<br />

of the IoD, Victoria Erasmus, at the<br />

excellent Uile-bheist Distillery and<br />

Brewery – it’s the Scottish Gaelic for<br />

‘Monster’.<br />

The event – sponsored by<br />

Rathbones – saw guests tackle the<br />

theme of ‘game-changers’: working<br />

together to revive our economy and<br />

reverse depopulation in the<br />

Highlands and Islands.<br />

Our online series continued on 1<br />

May when we were joined by Anas<br />

Sarwar MSP, Leader of the Scottish<br />

Labour Party, and Michael Marra<br />

MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for<br />

Anas Sarwar MSP<br />

has exciting plans<br />

for the Highlands<br />

& Islands<br />

Finance for a Member Roundtable.<br />

With the Scottish Labour leader<br />

Anas Sarwar MSP promising to put<br />

Scotland at the heart of a Labour UK<br />

Government, it was great to have a<br />

focus on what that will mean for the<br />

Highlands and Islands.<br />

The event and discussion that<br />

followed continued the intense<br />

interest that has followed the<br />

publication of the IoD Scotland<br />

State of the Nation <strong>2024</strong> Report.<br />

It’s excellent to see such high, and<br />

growing, levels of interest and<br />

engagement from members right<br />

across our region, and we have<br />

exciting plans for some Islands<br />

events later in the year, too!<br />

Get in touch<br />

For more information on the<br />

Highlands & Islands branch, contact:<br />

(Highlands) Alison Wilson –<br />

chair.highlands@iod.net<br />

(Islands) Clare Winskill –<br />

chair.islands@Iod.net<br />

12 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


CENTRAL <strong>SCOTLAND</strong><br />

AI on menu<br />

– and it’s a<br />

tasty option<br />

The Central Scotland Annual Dinner<br />

was back this year.<br />

This is a flagship event in the<br />

branch’s calendar, and was once<br />

more kindly hosted by Forth Valley<br />

College at its Gallery Restaurant in<br />

Stirling.<br />

The evening offered the chance to<br />

reconnect with members and build<br />

new relationships with others, while<br />

enjoying a sumptuous three-course<br />

meal in a stunning setting. On the<br />

menu were dishes prepared by Forth<br />

Valley College’s <strong>2024</strong> Scottish<br />

Student Chef of the Year Finalists,<br />

Kerry Hall and Ailis Frize.<br />

An array of expert guest speakers<br />

– Professor Joe Little, Kenji Lamb<br />

and the subject of this issue’s<br />

Leadership interview, Dr Eve Poole<br />

OBE – offered insights on what AI<br />

can mean for the future business<br />

landscape, assessing its impact and<br />

asking what adjustments directors<br />

may need to consider to ensure their<br />

organisations continue to flourish.<br />

Some key ideas that our<br />

committee took away from the<br />

evening included:<br />

n Let your team loose on AI to<br />

have a play – they will find<br />

innovative ways of utilising it.<br />

n AI is not to be feared but<br />

embraced. It is down to us how we<br />

use AI to enable us to do more than<br />

to disable us to do less.<br />

There was a real buzz in the room<br />

and the only sad part was lack of<br />

time – we could have stayed all<br />

night!<br />

Feedback from guests about the<br />

night included: “Best IoD event I<br />

have been to for a long time.”<br />

We also raised £330 for IoD<br />

Central Scotland’s Charity Partner of<br />

the year, Committed to Ending<br />

Abuse in Falkirk from our silent<br />

auction.<br />

Get in touch<br />

For more information on the Central<br />

Scotland branch, contact:<br />

Neil Bradbrook – chair.<br />

centralscotland@iod.net<br />

Brian brings energy and experience to FWB board<br />

FWB, the executive search<br />

and leadership advisory<br />

service has appointed<br />

Brian Williamson as the<br />

new Chair of the Board.<br />

Brian joins following an<br />

extensive search across<br />

relevant corporate, SME,<br />

and scaling-up businesses.<br />

With a wealth of<br />

experience in high-quality<br />

entrepreneurial services businesses,<br />

Brian brings valuable insights and<br />

connections to FWB, as well as<br />

first-hand experience of scaling and<br />

exiting a business in the recruitment<br />

sector and within high growth<br />

PE-backed environments. His<br />

successful leadership in high-growth<br />

people focused services businesses<br />

coupled with his personal drive,<br />

energy, and alignment with our<br />

leadership team and Board, makes<br />

him an ideal fit for the role.<br />

Commenting on the<br />

appointment, Ailsa<br />

Sutherland, Shareholder<br />

and Board Member said:<br />

“We are delighted to<br />

welcome Brian as our<br />

new Chair. His proven<br />

track record and<br />

strategic direction will<br />

undoubtedly contribute to<br />

the continued success and<br />

growth of FWB. We are excited<br />

about the future with Brian’s<br />

leadership and remain dedicated to<br />

delivering excellence for our clients<br />

across the UK as we continue to<br />

invest and grow.”<br />

Brian Williamson stated: “I am<br />

privileged to be appointed Chairman<br />

of FWB, a 30-year-old institution<br />

renowned for delivering excellent<br />

results. The whole team is eager to<br />

continue to advance the business<br />

and grasp the opportunities that lie<br />

ahead.<br />

“I am extremely excited to<br />

add value in my own particular way<br />

and have been humbled by the<br />

enthusiasm with which I have been<br />

welcomed.”<br />


For more information on the Fife & Tayside branch, contact:<br />

Marlene Lowe – chair.fifetayside@iod.com<br />

The South of Scotland chair is currently vacant.<br />

Contact the regional office.<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 13


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Leadership, mastered<br />

Ros Taylor leads a series of IoD<br />

masterclasses, in partnership<br />

with Rathbones Investment<br />

Management International<br />

This series of IoD masterclasses aims<br />

to provide practical learning and<br />

focuses on the different behaviours<br />

and skills needed to be effective as a<br />

leader. It is for those directors who<br />

are serious about their professional<br />

development.<br />

These are held in central<br />

Edinburgh, and you can attend any<br />

of these as a stand-alone<br />

masterclass. Just £50 per session for<br />

members and £100 for nonmembers.<br />

Lunch is provided.<br />

This first session, “What kind of<br />

leader are you?” took place on the<br />

17th of April and was well received.<br />

Stephen Hunter, Deputy Regional<br />

Director at Rathbones, said,<br />

“Through a combination of shared<br />

facts, anecdotes and valuable group<br />

discussion, there were many<br />

worthwhile takeaways from the<br />

course. It was certainly well worth<br />

setting aside the time.”<br />

Ros said, “We had a wonderfully<br />

diverse group of IoD members at<br />

Get in touch<br />

For more information on the Edinburgh &<br />

Lothians branch, contact Nathalie Agnew<br />

chair.edinburgh@iod.net<br />

the first Leadership Seminar which<br />

took place at the plush offices of<br />

Rathbones in George Street.”<br />

Ros added: “The next three<br />

seminars, based again on my<br />

research, will cover strategic<br />

thinking, influencing skills, handling<br />

difficult people as well as problem<br />

solving and creativity.”<br />

Next sessions:<br />

May 15<br />

Strategic Leadership<br />

June 5<br />

Skills to influence<br />

others and handle<br />

difficult people<br />

July 3<br />

The creative advantage<br />

Click to book<br />


Introduction to personal brand for directors<br />

Most employees don’t have to think about their<br />

personal brand, but directors are the face of the<br />

company. That’s why IoD Edinburgh & Lothians asked<br />

personal brand expert Ryan O’Keeffe to present at a<br />

webinar for us. This webinar was incredibly popular,<br />

with over 130 people signing up to attend.<br />

The key takeaway is that personal branding is critical<br />

to lead generation. Networking. Relationships.<br />

Recruitment. But it’s about more than that. Personal<br />

branding is about who you are and what you stand for.<br />

Among other things Ryan covered how important it<br />

is to be authentic and to demonstrate your values. He<br />

put everyone into small breakout rooms to talk about<br />

times we have been misunderstood or misrepresented<br />

before addressing how to deal with these issues.<br />

There were also some great<br />

questions at the end, such as how to<br />

get the balance right between<br />

personal brand and company<br />

brand and how to build an<br />

audience if you have yet to get<br />

speaking opportunities.<br />

Ryan has also shared some useful<br />

links for IoD members who are<br />

interested in developing their personal brand:<br />

Click here for more details of the Jago<br />

personal brand benchmark report<br />

Click here for your personal brand<br />

health check<br />

14 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 15


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Raise a glass to Scotland’s oldest working distillery<br />

Planning to explore Scotland this summer? Why not visit<br />

Scotland’s oldest working distillery and enjoy a Michelin<br />

star feast with Scottish chef Mark Donald.<br />

The Glenturret Distillery – the first of its kind – is the<br />

perfect spot to enjoy the summer sun with a walk among<br />

the old still houses and tumbling waters of the River<br />

Turret. Enjoy Mark Donald’s delicious dishes in the onsite<br />

restaurant – an exclusive venue with just seven tables.<br />

Home of the Glenturret Single Malt Whisky, the<br />

distillery still demonstrates century-old, hand-operated<br />

methods that have stood the test of time.<br />

The Aberturret Estate House, inspired by the Highlands<br />

and the distillery’s whisky heritage, also offers a private<br />

woodland hideaway for those looking to retreat for a<br />

nightcap or just escape the office for a little longer.<br />

For more information, click HERE.<br />

Photo: The Glenturret Restaurant<br />

A proper<br />

unicorn<br />

as Perth<br />

museum<br />

reopens<br />

its doors<br />

Photo: Culture<br />

Perth & Kinross/<br />

Julie Howden<br />

Interested in sharing your<br />

knowledge about Scotland’s<br />

national animal – the unicorn - with<br />

your colleagues? Or filling<br />

breakroom chats with facts about<br />

the Stone of Destiny and Irish High<br />

Kings?<br />

There’s plenty to learn about at<br />

Perth Museum, which has reopened<br />

after a £27million redevelopment. It<br />

is home to some of Scotland and the<br />

UK’s most iconic historical pieces,<br />

not least the Stone of Destiny, also<br />

known as the Stone of Scone, which<br />

has returned to Perthshire for the<br />

first time in 700 years. It’s still used<br />

to crown kings and queens in<br />

today’s society, most recently King<br />

Charles III.<br />

To find out more, click HERE.<br />

Now brewing: New afternoon<br />

tea experience at Hilton Glasgow<br />

Hilton Glasgow is launching a new<br />

afternoon tea experience in the<br />

heart of the city. The elevated tea<br />

pairing experience at the Tea<br />

Lounge by Dilmah is the perfect<br />

place to catch up with friends or<br />

make long-lasting memories with<br />

family over the perfect brew.<br />

Set in a cosy atmosphere, Tea<br />

Sommelier Lazaros brings his<br />

expertise in tea smells and tastes as<br />

well as food pairings to the table,<br />

after attending the 77th Dilmah<br />

School of Tea session in Sri Lanka in<br />

March.<br />

The new afternoon tea menu, has<br />

a wide range of flavours including a<br />

tart but sweet blueberry and<br />

pomegranate blend and a fragrant<br />

mango and strawberry tea.<br />

IoD members get a special rate for<br />

Hilton Glasgow’s new afternoon tea<br />

experience, so, at 2 for £30, why not<br />

swap the boardroom for the<br />

Hilton Glasgow’s<br />

Dilma Tea Lounge<br />

tearoom or take your loved one out<br />

for a Father’s Day treat.<br />

To find out more and to book, visit:<br />

the Dilmah Tea Lounge | Dilmah<br />

Afternoon Tea (sevenrooms.com)<br />

which can be accessed HERE.<br />

Photo: Andrew Perry Photos<br />

Scotland’s capital is picture perfect<br />

Edinburgh-based festival NT Art Month is returning for its second<br />

year in a row this June.<br />

Sprawled across numerous venues within the city, turn off work<br />

mode and jump into an event that turns Scotland’s picturesque<br />

capital into an exhibition in itself, with 11 galleries open to visitors.<br />

The summer festival is a celebration of local talent and the creative<br />

culturerom photography and paintings to bronze sculptures and<br />

eclectic collections, the event shines a light on the variety within the<br />

industry and the importance of creating these spaces. as a whole.<br />

NT Art Month, sponsored by Investec Wealth & Investment UK,<br />

who are part of the Rathbones Group, runs from 7 June to 30 June<br />

To find out more, click HERE.<br />

16 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Be professional, be kind – and<br />

have a laugh along the way<br />




Number of employees: 17<br />

Short overview of organisation: Prepress Projects has<br />

been providing publishing services since 1991 and has<br />

been employee-owned since 2022. Serving a diverse<br />

clientele that includes UK government departments, EU<br />

and UN agencies, as well as private companies, we take<br />

pride in delivering top-notch services tailored to meet<br />

their specific needs. At Prepress Projects, proficiency in<br />

the English language is a cornerstone of our operations.<br />

All staff members are proficient in both spoken and<br />

written English at a native level. Moreover, we specialise<br />

in editing documents authored by non-native English<br />

speakers, ensuring clarity and coherence throughout.<br />

Our comprehensive range of publishing services<br />

encompasses thorough copy-editing, meticulous<br />

proofreading, and comprehensive project management.<br />

What is the greatest recurring<br />

challenge you come across in your<br />

role, and what’s your strategy for<br />

dealing with it?<br />

One of the greatest recurring<br />

challenges that I face in my role is<br />

finding staff who not only possess<br />

excellent skills and qualifications but<br />

also exhibit good values and<br />

behaviours that align with our business<br />

culture.<br />

It’s essential to have a team that not<br />

only performs well but also treats<br />

others with respect and<br />

professionalism.<br />

I am unwavering in my stance that<br />

no level of individual performance<br />

excuses poor behaviour or<br />

mistreatment of others. Upholding this<br />

principle ensures that our workplace<br />

remains respectful, collaborative and<br />

conducive to the success of the<br />

business.<br />

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

you?<br />

What drives and inspires me is my<br />

need to do a job well. From my earliest<br />

days as a summer student to my<br />

current role as a managing director,<br />

I’ve always been self-driven and<br />

self-motivated to give my best and<br />

achieve the highest standards.<br />

The pursuit of doing something well<br />

and within my capabilities isn’t just a<br />

goal for me; it’s a fundamental aspect<br />

of who I am. I find inspiration in the<br />

challenge of constantly learning and<br />

improving, pushing boundaries and<br />

making a meaningful impact in<br />

whatever task or role I undertake.<br />

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

organisation that you lead?<br />

My long-term focus remains on<br />

consolidation and maintaining steady<br />

growth. Despite navigating through<br />

the challenges of the pandemic and its<br />

aftermath, such as the mass<br />

resignations it triggered, as well as the<br />

constraints posed by Brexit – notably<br />

our inability to directly bid for specific<br />

EU contracts – we are determined to<br />

grow the business in a sustainable and<br />

resilient manner, ensuring our longterm<br />

success and ability to weather<br />

future challenges.<br />

What keeps you awake at night?<br />

The drive to ensure that there’s<br />

enough meaningful work coming into<br />

the business. It’s crucial for the work to<br />

align with our values by providing<br />

fulfilling tasks that keep everyone<br />

engaged and motivated. The thought<br />

of individuals sitting idle with nothing<br />

to do is demoralising for all involved.<br />

Thus, my mind is always strategising<br />

ways to generate new work<br />

opportunities that not only keep our<br />

team busy but also contribute positively<br />

to our shared goals and values.<br />

What makes a good leader great?<br />

There are many behaviours and<br />

values that can make a good leader<br />

great. Unfortunately, I have probably<br />

come across more bad than good<br />

leaders in my career; that said, you can<br />

always learn lessons from these types<br />

of managers and directors.<br />

I would say there is one attribute<br />

that stands out for me that makes<br />

some leaders exceptional. This<br />

attribute is emotional intelligence, ie,<br />

self-awareness, self-management,<br />

motivation, empathy and social skills.<br />

The exceptional leaders that I have<br />

come across have high levels of<br />

emotional intelligence. These<br />

individuals tend to be self-aware, in<br />

that they know their strengths and<br />

weaknesses and, importantly, their<br />

impact on others. They have the ability<br />

to control themselves in difficult<br />

situations, eg, they would never lose<br />

their temper with colleagues.<br />

In addition they are motivated, can<br />

motivate others, are passionate about<br />

what they do, and have a positive<br />

outlook, even in the face of failure; and<br />

they realise and consider the fact that<br />

others have feelings and are humans<br />

(not machines) just like them; and last<br />

but not least, they have the ability to<br />

speak to and build rapport with<br />

people.<br />

Even leaders aren’t the finished<br />

article. What’s next in your leadership<br />

development journey?<br />

In my pursuit of personal growth, I<br />

am committed to enhancing various<br />

facets of leadership within Prepress<br />

Projects. This includes bolstering<br />

emotional intelligence to better<br />

understand and support our team<br />

members, refining strategic visioning<br />

to navigate industry shifts effectively,<br />

and improving communication to<br />

foster a more cohesive and<br />

collaborative work environment.<br />

In addition, I am dedicated to<br />

continuous learning, both for myself<br />

and the business, to stay ahead in our<br />

ever-evolving landscape. Cultivating<br />

18 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>


talent within the organisation, building<br />

resilience, fostering adaptability and<br />

upholding ethical leadership standards<br />

are also top priorities. By focusing on<br />

these areas collectively, I believe we<br />

can elevate our leadership capabilities<br />

and drive sustained success and<br />

growth for our business.<br />

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

transform your sector?<br />

The integration of artificial<br />

intelligence (AI) into our copy-editing,<br />

proofreading, and writing services. AI<br />

technologies are poised to<br />

revolutionise how we approach<br />

language-related tasks, offering<br />

innovative solutions to enhance<br />

efficiency, accuracy and quality.<br />

With AI, we can expect<br />

advancements in automated grammar<br />

and style checks, real-time editing<br />

suggestions and even content<br />

generation. These tools will potentially<br />

not only streamline our workflows but<br />

also empower our team to deliver<br />

higher-quality results in less time.<br />

Overall, embracing AI technology<br />

and integrating it into our workflows<br />

represents the next frontier in<br />

transforming publishing services,<br />

offering unparalleled opportunities to<br />

elevate our services, meeting evolving<br />

client needs, and staying ahead in an<br />

increasingly competitive landscape.<br />

What piece of technology do you rely<br />

on most?<br />

In my realm of business, three<br />

software tools are indispensable for<br />

day-to-day activities: Teams for<br />

communication, Excel for data analysis,<br />

and Xero for efficient financial<br />

management. Teams facilitates<br />

real-time communication, both formal<br />

and informal; for instance, we have<br />

‘Monday Minion’, ‘Wednesday Words’<br />

and ‘Friday Favourites’.<br />

Excel streamlines data analysis and<br />

visualisation of targets, while Xero<br />

serves as our financial hub, simplifying<br />

accounting processes.<br />

Together, these tools form the<br />

cornerstone of my daily business<br />

operations, empowering me to<br />

navigate challenges and drive the<br />

business forward.<br />

What is your favourite social media<br />

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

your business/organisation?<br />

Social media platforms do not play a<br />

major role in our business; we are<br />

active on these platforms, but most of<br />

our business either comes from word<br />

of mouth, recommendations or by<br />

bidding for new work through tenders.<br />

We use our social media channels to<br />

report on what we have been up to as<br />

a business, advertising jobs or<br />

reporting on developments in the<br />

professional publishing world.<br />

What needs fixed?<br />

As I grow older, my perspective on<br />

what needs fixing changes, and the list<br />

grows longer and more expansive.<br />

However, there is one thing that costs<br />

nothing but would solve a lot of life’s<br />

problems, and that is ‘reigi’. Reigi is a<br />

Japanese term that encapsulates the<br />

concepts of manners and respect. It’s<br />

deeply ingrained in Japanese culture<br />

and is considered essential in<br />

interpersonal relationships, social<br />

interactions and daily life.<br />

What leadership advice would you<br />

give your younger self?<br />

Where do I start? I believe that you<br />

sometimes have to look back to move<br />

forward, and in looking back, I<br />

understand that I was beset with<br />

shyness and lack of self-belief in my<br />

early career. My advice would be to tell<br />

my younger self that: (i) being quiet by<br />

nature is not a bad thing, just because<br />

you don’t say anything does not mean<br />

that your opinion means any less than<br />

anyone else’s in a room; (ii) being<br />

cautious and managing modestly is<br />

OK, as everybody has their own life<br />

path to follow and how you follow your<br />

path is up to you; (iii) believe in<br />

yourself; and (iv) be positive, happy<br />

and have a laugh along the way.<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 19


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

A challenging time... but I<br />

know the IoD is in great<br />

hands, and heading in the<br />

right direction<br />

IoD Scotland member John Watson reflects on a tumultuous few years<br />

as a member of the IoD board, and the lessons that can be learned<br />

by any organisation as it goes through a period of turnaround upheaval<br />

Despite a long career in business,<br />

and being an experienced nonexecutive<br />

director, it didn’t take long<br />

for John Watson to realise that<br />

being on the board of the Institute<br />

of Directors was going to be a little<br />

…different.<br />

When he was approached in 2018<br />

to join the Board, as part of the<br />

appointment process, he faced a<br />

rigorous and well-orchestrated<br />

examination from Council and Board<br />

members.<br />

“The Board was looking for<br />

someone with commercial<br />

improvement expertise as well as<br />

finance – and to Chair the Audit<br />

Committee – so I was fully expecting<br />

to have quite a bit of work to do,”<br />

recalled John.<br />

“Just days later, however, I got a<br />

call explaining that the Institute was<br />

going through a significant overhaul<br />

of governance.”<br />

What followed was a number of<br />

high-level departures.<br />

“The IoD is rightly political in<br />

nature as every member has an<br />

equal right to share their views and<br />

it is to be expected that navigating<br />

conflicting views would require<br />

political sensitivity and resilience,”<br />

said John.<br />

“You’re either the sort of person<br />

who faces into the wind and gets on<br />

with it or one who thinks ‘this isn’t<br />

what I signed up to’. I have always<br />

had a huge admiration for the<br />

Institute so for me, there was only<br />

ever going to be one option.”<br />

A new Director General – Jon<br />

Geldart – came in, a member with<br />

international and marketing<br />

“When COVID came, like many of our<br />

members’ business, we were decimated.<br />

With turnover immediately halved, we<br />

needed a restructuring plan, and quick.”<br />

experience and the resilience of a<br />

seasoned diplomat who put<br />

together a plan to turn things<br />

around. With the backing of the<br />

Board, the work began to rebuild<br />

the IoD.<br />

And then COVID came.<br />

“When COVID came, like many of<br />

our members’ business, we were<br />

decimated. With turnover<br />

immediately halved, we needed a<br />

restructuring plan, and quick.”<br />

Jon Geldart produced a 10-point<br />

plan to halve the cost base which<br />

the Board backed but it included<br />

changes, which historically would<br />

have been seen as controversial and<br />

for some at the highest level of the<br />

organisation, the risk to the Institute<br />

was severe.<br />

“Some of the Board even raised<br />

the prospect of engaging<br />

administrators,” recalled John. “That<br />

risk was real but the imperative to<br />

20 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


“Those turnarounds are<br />

among the things I am most<br />

proud of. They were well<br />

executed but the importance<br />

is that because of them, we<br />

have a strong Institute ready<br />

for the future.”<br />

transform the Institute for its next<br />

century of serving directors was a<br />

powerful driver, and the pathway<br />

was logical.”<br />

John was, however, about to get<br />

even more closely involved as he<br />

was appointed by the governing<br />

council as Interim Chair of the<br />

Board.<br />

“Being interim chair was really<br />

useful as it set a timeline for the<br />

turnaround,” he recalled. “The DG<br />

had a newly appointed, core team<br />

able to work through the challenges,<br />

commercially and financially but<br />

most important was navigating the<br />

impact on our colleagues, with<br />

dignity and all under the expectation<br />

of perfectly executed, institute<br />

governance.”<br />

John’s overriding reflection of that<br />

time was that every Board Director<br />

brought their own, impressive<br />

capabilities to the team. “The level<br />

of debate and challenge needed to<br />

ensure the safety of the institute was<br />

only possible with inclusive and<br />

respectful but open and factual<br />

discussions. As Interim Chair, I felt I<br />

had their support and was<br />

comforted by the willingness of all<br />

to speak out.”<br />

Reset, and restructure<br />

Having successfully reset the<br />

balance sheet and cost base after<br />

COVID, it was time for selective<br />

reinvestment into the regional<br />

network and some of the essential<br />

backbones of the institute. The<br />

legacy of back office systems, which<br />

had been poorly designed, meant<br />

they needed to be overhauled.<br />

But other financial pressures<br />

began to mount and the Board, now<br />

under the chair of Patrick<br />

Macdonald, faced a new challenge<br />

which could impact the transition<br />

plan as the Chief Operating Officer<br />

left to take up opportunity<br />

elsewhere.<br />

“It was an amazing opportunity for<br />

her but we missed her experience<br />

and continuity” said John. “With a<br />

new, and highly capable Head of<br />

Finance in place, and insightful<br />

conversations with the Commercial<br />

Director, the Audit Committee<br />

members worked pragmatically as a<br />

team with the Chair, increasing the<br />

cadence of cashflow forecasting and<br />

monitoring of the DG’s improvement<br />

initiatives, until the new Director of<br />

Finance restored visibility and cash<br />

controls to the level we expected.”<br />

John’s time on the IoD Board<br />

came to an end a few months ago<br />

just as the Institute was reporting a<br />

healthy financial outcome and<br />

membership increase for 2023. “It’s<br />

hard to sum up those eventful years<br />

but with two turnarounds in quick<br />

succession, the mantra might well<br />

have been: ‘Have a plan - keep the<br />

faith. Have a team - keep their faith’,”<br />

said John.<br />

“Those turnarounds are among the<br />

things I am most proud of. They<br />

were well executed but the<br />

importance is that because of them,<br />

we have a strong Institute ready for<br />

the future.<br />

“And we hired the right team. The<br />

DG’s resilience, trust of colleagues<br />

and openness were key to ensure we<br />

didn’t waste time we didn’t have. He<br />

assembled an executive team who<br />

can be proud of their progress and<br />

fully support him.<br />

“To have navigated such tough<br />

waters and to have the support of<br />

his team is testament to his personal<br />

The IoD’s stunning hub,<br />

on Pall Mall, London<br />

leadership style.”<br />

“The strategy remains the same as<br />

the day it was founded; we just do it<br />

better.”<br />

John is also proud of the<br />

increasing diversity of the Institute.<br />

“Having set the DG a target to show<br />

we are committed to inclusivity, he<br />

ensured there was an open<br />

approach to regional Chair<br />

representation and the Institute took<br />

a major step forward,” said John.<br />

“Our community responded and<br />

showed that given the opportunity,<br />

being an effective ambassador for<br />

company directors is about appetite<br />

and skills, not personal background.”<br />

John finally reflected on what<br />

makes the Institute unique and<br />

influential.<br />

“We need to work with our<br />

Governments, using evidenced<br />

based discussion, even if that means<br />

sometimes, we are not always<br />

popular,” he said.<br />

“During the time I served on the<br />

board, we were the strong voice of<br />

our members through significant<br />

political change – five Prime<br />

ministers, six Chancellors and<br />

various Secretaries of State and<br />

Ministers.<br />

“That strength of voice comes<br />

from being a true organisation of<br />

members and that power is<br />

something that every member can<br />

take pride in.”<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 21


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

‘AI is scary... but it’s<br />

time to get on board’<br />

Concerned about the impact AI might have on your business?<br />

You’re right to be, says Dr Eve Poole OBE, but burying<br />

your head in the sand isn’t going to help. As she<br />

explains to Rob Beswick, a better idea is to get on the<br />

train and buckle up for what could be a thrilling ride...<br />

If there’s one complaint you hear most<br />

often from business leaders, it’s that<br />

just as they are getting their heads<br />

around one new phenomenon that will<br />

change the way their world operates, a<br />

new one comes barrelling along<br />

demanding their attention.<br />

Today the newcomer is artificial<br />

intelligence, or AI, the “scary but<br />

exciting” development that author,<br />

business consultant and speaker<br />

Eve Poole OBE says leaders have a<br />

right to be worried about.<br />

For a start, as well as being devilishly<br />

complicated, AI is, well, different to<br />

anything that has gone before. “This is<br />

the first workplace revolution that’s<br />

not coming for the working class, it’s<br />

coming for middle class jobs and<br />

professions,” Eve says. “Previously,<br />

working class jobs have been stripped<br />

away by automation, going back to the<br />

industrial revolution. But this time the<br />

people whose roles will be challenged<br />

are middle class professionals.”<br />

Uncomfortable yet? It gets worse…<br />

As Eve puts it, “anyone who went to<br />

university and is in a role where they<br />

are expected to process data and<br />

come to an intellectual decision,<br />

artificial intelligence will do it for us.”<br />

That makes the future landscape a<br />

touch bleak for many professions:<br />

“lawyers, accountants, even doctors,<br />

are going to see AI impact on their<br />

working lives.”<br />

There’s no way to put this particular<br />

genie back in the bottle either, so her<br />

advice? “You can’t fight it, so get on<br />

the train now, before it’s too late.”<br />

Eve has written and spoken<br />

extensively on AI, and accepts that<br />

there is a huge amount of trepidation<br />

attached to it – indeed, it is her<br />

description above, of it being “scary<br />

but exciting”.<br />

“AI is like going to see a horror film,<br />

when you’re excited but scared at the<br />

same time because you don’t know<br />

what’s going to happen.<br />

“The problem is, we’re talking about<br />

AI but we don’t know enough about<br />

where we are in its development.<br />

Governments are talking about<br />

regulation, but they’re regulating AI<br />

that’s five years old; the modern stuff<br />

that’s being worked on now is being<br />

developed behind closed doors at the<br />

big IT firms. Any regulation is always<br />

going to be miles behind the pace of<br />

development.”<br />

What AI threatens is “a major<br />

change in the way the world of work<br />

operates – and it could be such a swift<br />

transformation that it will be hard for<br />

leaders to pivot their organisations to<br />

embrace the changes heading their<br />

way.”<br />

For Eve, her own career path has<br />

seen more than one dramatic pivot.<br />

Life began “in Fife, in the 1970s. We<br />

were still at a point where women<br />

weren’t expected to have careers<br />

outside of nursing and teaching.”<br />

Eve studied theology at Durham<br />

University. “I loved it. It attracted an<br />

eclectic mix of undergrads: would-be<br />

vicars, people aiming to teach RE, old<br />

Etonians who had flunked their A<br />

levels and were looking for any course<br />

at a good university that would have<br />

them, and then people like me, who<br />

were interested in faith and the<br />

philosophies and structures that<br />

underpin it.<br />

“I remember lively debates going on<br />

through the night on whether the<br />

resurrection was real, and who Christ<br />

really was. It was brilliant.”<br />

With no firm work plans, a tutor’s<br />

suggestion she pop along to the<br />

university career library left her<br />

somewhat daunted by the “huge<br />

folders for careers at Shell and Marks &<br />

Spencers that just didn’t work for me.”<br />

Better fortune was found within a<br />

dusty, slim folder marked<br />

‘Miscellaneous’. “It was a collection of<br />

random roles that defied classification,<br />

and in it was a job with the Church<br />

Commissioners.”<br />

It exposed her to a Civil Service-style<br />

graduate entry programme based in<br />

Westminster, where she spent four years.<br />

“It was great experience: I was working<br />

on policy, managing projects on driving<br />

culture change and implementing good<br />

governance.<br />

“It was an old fashioned sort of place<br />

to work and at times frustrating as I<br />

couldn’t quite grasp all the threads I<br />

needed to make a real difference. It<br />

was that feeling that I had some of the<br />

“Governments are talking about regulation, but they’re<br />

regulating AI that’s five years old; the modern stuff that’s<br />

being worked on now is being developed behind closed<br />

doors at the big IT firms. Any regulation is always going to<br />

be miles behind the pace of development.”<br />

22 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


information, but not all of it, that drove<br />

me to do an MBA at Edinburgh, and<br />

then move to Deloittes.”<br />

There the focus was on change<br />

management accompanied by a<br />

growing interest in leadership.<br />

“The thing that struck me was that<br />

you could spend as much time and<br />

money as you wanted on change<br />

management programmes, and<br />

communicate them effectively to your<br />

teams, but if your leaders don’t follow<br />

the plan the team won’t either; they<br />

follow the leader. The leadership role is<br />

crucial.”<br />

Eve investigated the importance of<br />

leadership further while teaching at<br />

Ashridge Business School, where she<br />

was one of the first women to teach<br />

leadership modules. “I was only 30 and<br />

I was teaching classes of men in their<br />

50s and 60s.<br />

“It was great exposure for me, as I<br />

got to learn what makes leaders tick,<br />

the reality of their roles on a day-today<br />

basis, and what drove them on.<br />

“It also made me realise just how<br />

little there is out there to help build<br />

and develop leaders in the real world.<br />

There seemed to be no tools to make<br />

people better leaders. No-one was<br />

giving leaders the basic trade skills for<br />

their roles.”<br />

In the end “I asked course delegates,<br />

what did they wish they had known 10<br />

years ago? Most focused on the things<br />

that had gone wrong: crashing and<br />

burning at a shareholder meeting, not<br />

delegating well enough, not realising<br />

that the wrong person was in a key<br />

role soon enough. It was all nuts and<br />

bolts stuff really but these situations<br />

are the crucible in which modern<br />

leadership is forged.”<br />

In 2017 Eve came to a wider<br />

prominence when she wrote<br />

Leadersmithing: Revealing the Trade<br />

Secrets of Leadership.<br />

While researching the book, what<br />

had surprised her? “I think the thing<br />

that surprised me most was that noone<br />

had written a similar book before!”<br />

“The whole theme of ‘leadership’ is<br />

new. If you look at Ashridge it only<br />

began teaching ‘leadership’ in 2000;<br />

before then it was ‘management.’<br />

“But too much of modern leadership<br />

advice harked back to Machiavelli – the<br />

end justifies the means – and was just<br />

old chaps saying how fabulous they<br />

were. There was no ready reference<br />

guide to the skills leaders need.”<br />

“You could spend as much time and money as you<br />

wanted on change management programmes, and<br />

communicate them effectively to your teams, but if<br />

your leaders don’t follow the plan the team won’t<br />

either; they follow the leader. Leadership is crucial.”<br />

Continued on page 24<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 23


“Is modern business ethical? In many cases,<br />

no. No one wants to be seen as unethical, but<br />

what we practise in our personal lives too<br />

often doesn’t transfer to business...”<br />

Continued from page 23<br />

“That’s why I used the phrase<br />

‘smithing’ in my book; I see leadership<br />

as something that needs cutting,<br />

grooving and polishing, to create<br />

leaders who won’t buckle under<br />

pressure.”<br />

That point brings us round nicely to<br />

the question of ethics in business – and<br />

how ultimately ethical questions could<br />

decide how AI works in society. First, is<br />

modern business ethical? “In many<br />

cases, no. I believe we have privatised<br />

ethics in that, people want to live an<br />

ethical life, no one wants to be seen as<br />

unethical, but what we practise in our<br />

personal lives too often doesn’t<br />

transfer to business.<br />

“What we teach in business schools<br />

tends to be how to get the required<br />

results without upsetting too many<br />

people. We have a utilitarian approach<br />

to business: get the best results for the<br />

greatest number of people with the<br />

least fuss.<br />

“We talk about having a strong<br />

moral compass in our business but if<br />

you think about that analogy, consider<br />

what happens when you introduce a<br />

magnet to a compass: it veers off true<br />

north. That is modern capitalism; as<br />

soon as your moral compass or ethics<br />

cause issues for the business, the<br />

ethics go out of the window.”<br />

That can lead to some “horrible<br />

decisions which look logical, even<br />

ethical, to the people making them,<br />

when they are not.”<br />

The solution is for leaders to be<br />

brave – the personality trait Eve thinks<br />

is most important for leadership – and<br />

develop strong emotional intelligence<br />

to underpin decision making. “When I<br />

talked to business leaders at Ashridge,<br />

they wanted their organisations to<br />

operate in an ethical manner but too<br />

often they didn’t have the strength and<br />

energy to resist outward pressures that<br />

challenged that position.<br />

“Ultimately it’s your emotional<br />

intelligence that allows you to embed<br />

personal ethics into your business life.”<br />

In many ways, even the concept of<br />

‘leadership’ can appear out-dated.<br />

“People today are more focused on<br />

‘followership’. Leaders cannot demand<br />

to be followed; they need to interact<br />

with their people and bring them with<br />

them. That’s why having a strong<br />

moral core to underpin your decision<br />

making is so important. If your team<br />

see you changing tack and jettisoning<br />

your values, they won’t follow you<br />

because they don’t know what you<br />

stand for.”<br />

In other words, they must have faith<br />

in you.<br />

As is perhaps fitting for someone<br />

who studied theology at university,<br />

Eve’s Christian faith is an important<br />

part of her own make up. “My faith<br />

gives me a fixed footing of who I am,”<br />

she says. “Talking to people around the<br />

world, as I did at Deloittes and<br />

Ashridge, proved to me that for many<br />

people, their faith is their lodestar and<br />

underpins the decisions they make.”<br />

Yet our society can make it hard to<br />

bring faith into the public square, and<br />

into business in particular. Eve has<br />

seen this for herself. “At Deloittes they<br />

changed my CV because they didn’t<br />

like it saying I worked for the Church<br />

Commissioners; they thought that<br />

clients would think I’d try to convert<br />

them. Instead, after university, it read<br />

that I worked for a ‘Quasi<br />

Governmental Financial Institution’.<br />

“I was very junior and I didn’t fight it.<br />

It wasn’t a reflection of Deloitte’s view<br />

on faith, just that it was such a clientfocused<br />

organisation, its policies were<br />

all about making the client comfortable.<br />

“They did the same for a colleague<br />

who used to work for the Conservative<br />

Party!”<br />

It’s not a situation that will happen<br />

again, however. “I made a promise to<br />

myself that I would be open about my<br />

faith. It’s a huge part of me, and was a<br />

driver in doing a PhD at Cambridge on<br />

theology and capitalism.”<br />

Faith is also a useful tool when we<br />

consider the impact AI will have on our<br />

lives. “In looking at AI, perhaps we<br />

need to bring in theology as it offers<br />

answers to the big questions that AI<br />

poses of us, which are, what does it<br />

mean to be human? Why are we here?”<br />

“Let’s face it, if we are asking these<br />

questions now about AI and what it<br />

24 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />

says about us as humans, well, religion<br />

has been asking the same questions<br />

for millennia. Why are we here is a key<br />

tenet of faith. Perhaps to consider<br />

what AI means to us, we need to go<br />

back to our faith roots.”<br />

So back to AI. Still a potential horror<br />

show? “Yes, it’s scary, it’s exciting but it<br />

won’t go away so the only thing to do<br />

is get on the train now. I’m pretty sure<br />

most of us regret that we are where we<br />

are with AI, and that we would have<br />

been better having the regulations in<br />

place before it was developed, but we<br />

can’t go back now.”<br />

What’s important to Eve is that, rather<br />

like with leadership, we underpin AI’s<br />

development with strong moral values.<br />

“I liken AI to bringing up children. As<br />

parents we try to teach our children<br />

right and wrong, and give them good<br />

values, but ultimately they have free<br />

will so can do what they like. There is a<br />

point in every parent’s life when their<br />

children go off on their own and we<br />

lose control over them. That’s when we<br />

have to hope they make good decisions.<br />

We can’t guarantee it, we just have to<br />

hope they have the values that go with<br />

making the right decisions. Good kids<br />

make good decisions.<br />

“We have to do the same with AI.<br />

We need to embed into it virtue and<br />

ethics. At the moment AI has copied<br />

ourselves so deficiently and inexactly<br />

that it’s basically a master race of<br />

psychopaths, as that’s the logic it’s<br />

been given. That’s the horror story<br />

version of AI, where bad and<br />

conscience-less decision making that<br />

ignores impacts is entrenched into its<br />

design.<br />

“To counter this we need an AI that’s<br />

been designed in a way we can all<br />

approve, based on enlightened thinking.<br />

“We have free will to make bad<br />

decisions but somewhere in our make<br />

up we have learned enough from our<br />

past mistakes to step away from the<br />

precipice and not go completely off<br />

the rails – a kind of defensive design.<br />

“The latest generation of AI is<br />

designed to be autonomous and<br />

reprogramme itself at will, so we need<br />

to learn from how we have developed<br />

and retrofit our own defensive design<br />

into AI so it too doesn’t make bad<br />

decisions.”<br />

Current AI “is only really good at<br />

repeated, predictable situations;<br />

anything personal, centred around<br />

feelings or behaviour, or random<br />

situations, relies on people with gained<br />

“I liken AI to bringing up<br />

children. We teach them<br />

right and wrong, and good<br />

values, but ultimately they<br />

have free will so they can<br />

do what they like. You just<br />

have to hope you’ve given<br />

them the right values to<br />

make good decisions...”<br />

or learned experience. That’s what<br />

we’ve got to impart into AI.”<br />

“Let’s look at a specific sector, the<br />

law. AI is great at applying rules to<br />

situations, such as corporate tax. That’s<br />

where it will eliminate jobs.<br />

“But if you think about family law,<br />

how would AI handle a child<br />

settlement welfare case in a divorce?<br />

How would it handle an asylum claim?<br />

It would be terrible at it, as it wouldn’t<br />

understand the human complexities<br />

involved.”<br />

But that opens up another problem<br />

as we move forward, what Eve dubs<br />

“learning loss”.<br />

“If we let AI cover too many roles,<br />

how will the leaders of the future learn<br />

anything?<br />

“Businesses are rightly focused on<br />

talent management and spotting<br />

future learners, but how are the<br />

leaders of tomorrow going to gain the<br />

skills they need if we offshore too<br />

many tasks to AI? We want our leaders<br />

to be wise and discerning, but some of<br />

that is learned in the early days of our<br />

careers. If we don’t do the ‘rock<br />

tumbling’ when we are younger, we<br />

won’t develop the knowledge base we<br />

need to fall back on later as leaders.<br />

“My fear is that we are heading for a<br />

huge gap in skills acquisition. AI is<br />

taking out our learning path.”<br />

To prevent this, Eve sees a<br />

connection with her research that led<br />

to Leadersmithing: “As I said earlier, I<br />

asked people what they wished they’d<br />

known 10 years earlier. How did they<br />

know that the set of figures was<br />

wrong, that when they sat in that<br />

meeting there was a problem?<br />

“We need to find the answers to<br />

those questions and distill the<br />

knowledge into training programmes<br />

that are very precise. That will give us<br />

the learning muscle memory to make<br />

good decisions. If we don’t, we risk<br />

losing decision-making skills as AI<br />

becomes more prevalent.”<br />

And here’s the irony: earlier on we<br />

touched briefly on the key skill Eve<br />

identifies as a requirement for modern<br />

leaders: bravery. But she has another<br />

‘key skill’: “Modern leaders need<br />

incredible antennae and peripheral<br />

vision to see what’s coming over the<br />

horizon, to identify challenges of the<br />

future.”<br />

Being able to say you have a handle<br />

on AI looks likely to be the next one.<br />

“At the moment AI has copied ourselves so deficiently and<br />

inexactly that it’s basically a master race of psychopaths, as<br />

that’s the logic it’s been given. That’s the horror story<br />

version of AI, where bad and conscience-less decision<br />

making that ignores impacts is entrenched into its design”<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 25


www.iod.com/scotland<br />


AI: the good, the bad and the ugly!<br />

Dr Mick O’Connor CDir FIoD CEng FRSA FIES,<br />

Managing Director at HAELO Consulting Ltd<br />

considers whether AI can bridge the gap<br />

between the boardroom and the business coalface<br />

Organisations are hyperconnected<br />

networks of people, things and events<br />

which makes them complex and<br />

difficult to makes sense of.<br />

As directors, we are jointly and<br />

severally accountable for company<br />

stewardship, however, we are often<br />

distant from the coalface, meaning we<br />

rely on data, and the opinion of others<br />

to inform our understanding and<br />

decision making.<br />

In this article, I explore how AI can<br />

help to bridge the gap between the<br />

boardroom and the ground truth,<br />

however, there is a health warning!<br />

‘THE GOOD’<br />

Horizon scanning<br />

Continual change to regulation<br />

creates compliance uncertainty. Many<br />

organisations conduct manual checks<br />

of regulator websites to identify<br />

changes to requirements, however, this<br />

is time consuming and prone to error.<br />

AI can automate the process and<br />

crawl websites to identify and<br />

contextualise changes.<br />

Automated monitoring and reporting<br />

As my old boss used to say, “bad<br />

news early is good news!”. AI can<br />

analyse vast datasets, detect unusual<br />

patterns, provide supporting evidence<br />

and aid decision making effectiveness.<br />

Natural language processing (NLP)<br />

NLP, often referred to as large<br />

language models (LLM) eg, ChatGPT,<br />

enables assembly of meaningful<br />

contextualised information. While<br />

LLM’s require training, they have the<br />

potential to revolutionise how we<br />

structure, mine and present data.<br />

Threat intelligence and<br />

prescriptive analytics<br />

AI can forecast future events based<br />

on historical data and emerging<br />

events enabling organisations to<br />

detect and respond to threats before<br />

they become issues. Prescriptive<br />

analytics can not only forecast<br />

possible futures, but it can also advise<br />

on the appropriate recovery action.<br />


Bias and fairness<br />

Machine learning comes from the<br />

data it processes, however, it can<br />

inherit the biases of its human<br />

designers leading to undesirable<br />

prejudicial outcomes eg, ethnicity, sex,<br />

gender, religion etc.<br />

Interpretability<br />

We know what the AI does, we just<br />

don’t know how it does it! AI<br />

provenance and transparency is<br />

crucial to good stewardship. It is vital<br />

a balance is struck between human<br />

lived experience and mechanical<br />

algorithms, particularly when AI<br />

creates hallucinations, ie, false or<br />

misleading information presented as<br />

fact.<br />

Data privacy and security<br />

Directors must be clear on the data<br />

used by AI and ensure compliance<br />

with regulation, eg, data protection<br />

act, DPA, and GDPR.<br />

Directors must be vigilant and<br />

ensure secure data encryption, access<br />

control and privacy; the threat of bad<br />

actors gaining undetected access to<br />

AI/ML remains ever-present.<br />

Regulatory lag<br />

AI outpaces regulation globally. The<br />

UK Government has adopted an<br />

outcome-based framework to<br />

regulate AI underpinned by five core<br />

principles.<br />

The framework is not enshrined in<br />

law, however, it is anticipated this will<br />

be the case.<br />

Technology with a human touch<br />

AI has the potential to change the<br />

way in which we govern organisations,<br />

however, it’s no silver bullet.<br />

As directors, it is important we<br />

continue to focus on strategic goals,<br />

business direction, governance, risk<br />

and compliance, and while AI can<br />

enhance decision making, having<br />

competent, situationally aware<br />

humans in the loop remains essential.<br />

AI is only a tool, albeit a very<br />

powerful one, and while there is a lot<br />

a speculation about the future<br />

opportunities and challenges of AI, I<br />

anticipate company stewardship will<br />

remain in the hands of human beings<br />

for some time to come.<br />

26 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


AI and the world of work: what<br />

do we need to consider?<br />

Marianne McJannett and<br />

Fiona McKee<br />

The Government’s ‘AI and<br />

Employment Law Research Briefing’<br />

published in August 2023, defines AI<br />

as ‘technologies that enable<br />

computers to simulate elements of<br />

human intelligence, such as<br />

perception, learning and reasoning’.<br />

As we see the developing use of<br />

AI in a variety of scenarios, there are<br />

a number of areas which businesses<br />

and employers will need to be live to<br />

when considering the use of AI<br />

within their places of work.<br />

There is currently no explicit<br />

legislation in the UK that governs<br />

the use of AI at work, although there<br />

is some protection which already<br />

exists which employers need to be<br />

mindful of, and which employees<br />

could rely upon.<br />

Protections in place<br />

First is the implied duty of trust<br />

and confidence which exists in all<br />

employment relationships and<br />

where AI is being used by employers<br />

to make decisions, there could be<br />

some challenge to whether such<br />

decisions were in fact made in good<br />

faith. For example, if a redundancy<br />

exercise has been carried out and<br />

decisions taken on the basis of<br />

outcomes generated by AI, an<br />

employer may have difficulty in<br />

arguing that a decision was made in<br />

good faith.<br />

Also in terms of potential<br />

redundancy situations, if the use of<br />

AI results in the reduced need for<br />

certain roles and therefore<br />

employees, then businesses will still<br />

be required to ensure that any<br />

decisions taken to dismiss are done<br />

for potentially fair reasons, and that<br />

any employee with more than two<br />

years’ continuous employment<br />

would be entitled to a statutory<br />

redundancy payment.<br />

Similarly, if AI is used as part of an<br />

organisation’s recruitment process,<br />

the business will need to be aware<br />

of possible biases within the<br />

algorithm. The Equality Act 2010<br />

provides protection from<br />

discrimination, which would include<br />

any decisions made as a result of AI,<br />

and therefore businesses will need<br />

to be aware of this.<br />

The reality is that we will see the<br />

continued use of AI in businesses for<br />

a variety of reasons and the benefits<br />

will be huge for organisations in<br />

terms of efficiency and time saving.<br />

However, as with the rise of social<br />

media over the past decade, it’s wise<br />

for an organisation to implement a<br />

policy around how it uses AI,<br />

ensuring transparency for its staff in<br />

order to maintain the workforce’s<br />

trust in the organisation.<br />

While we await more robust<br />

regulation from the government in<br />

this area, it is important to exercise<br />

“While we await more robust regulation from the<br />

government in this area, it is important to exercise<br />

caution while moving forward with the times...where AI is<br />

being used to make decisions, there could be some<br />

challenge to whether the decisions are made in good faith”<br />

“It’s important businesses<br />

implement a robust policy<br />

for employees who may<br />

use AI such as ChatGPT<br />

in their roles...”<br />

caution while moving forward with<br />

the times.<br />

From a security perspective it’s<br />

important for businesses to<br />

implement a robust policy for<br />

employees who may use AI such as<br />

ChatGPT in their roles. While AI can<br />

be hugely beneficial there is a high<br />

risk that employees could be<br />

inadvertently sharing sensitive<br />

company data on these tools which<br />

could be stored on the AI tool.<br />

Hence clear guidance is key to<br />

negate any such issues.<br />

Marianne McJannett is Head of<br />

Employment at Bellwether Green<br />

Solicitors<br />

Fiona McKee is Director of<br />

The HR Practice<br />

IoD Branch contact details:<br />

Glasgow & West of Scotland<br />

– Mark Spragg<br />

chair.glasgow@iod.net<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 27


www.iod.com/scotland<br />


With cyber crime on the rise, and its exponents getting bolder and<br />

more innovative every day, what steps can businesses take to keep<br />

themselves safe? Jude McCorry, Chief Executive Officer of the<br />

Cyber and Fraud Centre Scotland, suggests AI could give businesses<br />

and law enforcement agencies a crucial edge<br />

We need to utilise power of AI to<br />

beat cyber criminals at own game<br />

Cyber and cyber-enabled crime is a<br />

major and thriving global industry<br />

for serious and organised criminals,<br />

and these criminals are way more<br />

innovative and technically astute<br />

around AI for their criminal activities.<br />

AI makes cyber crime easier and<br />

more widespread rather than relying<br />

on human intervention, and we need<br />

to look at innovation on how we<br />

combat the use for criminal activity.<br />

We will not be able to arrest our way<br />

out of this oncoming epidemic.<br />

In cyber-enabled fraud, for<br />

example, we have seen AI being<br />

used to open up bank accounts.<br />

Voice-enabled technology has asked<br />

for funds to be transferred, not just<br />

for individuals but also large<br />

corporate deals.<br />

In the last few weeks in Scotland<br />

we have had reports of parents<br />

thinking they were asked by their<br />

sons/daughters to transfer funds<br />

and it was not them on the phone,<br />

but rather a bot using their child’s<br />

voice.<br />

Estimates from LexisNexis show<br />

banks worldwide spend nearly $275<br />

billion on tackling financial crime<br />

annually. Yet UN studies suggest less<br />

than 1% of the approximately<br />

$4trillion of illicit funds that are in<br />

circulation is currently being<br />

intercepted by law enforcement.<br />

In Scotland the figures are around<br />

18,000 calls to Police Scotland and<br />

1% of these calls lead to arrests.<br />

Technology to help us?<br />

One contributor to this disconnect<br />

is the restrictive impact of<br />

regulations that limit the banks’ use<br />

of data and advanced technology.<br />

To put it most simply, financial crime<br />

is a data problem. Criminals don’t<br />

bank with only one bank. They<br />

exploit the entire financial<br />

ecosystem to avoid detection. We<br />

need to look at what the data is<br />

telling us – rather than individual<br />

calls to report crime, combine the<br />

data with advanced AI algorithms,<br />

to boost our ability to detect<br />

suspicious transaction patterns.<br />

Banks have to follow laws and<br />

regulations but criminals don’t, and<br />

they leverage technological<br />

innovation at scale and speed to<br />

stay multiple steps ahead of<br />

detection.<br />

It is therefore critical that we find<br />

common ground with regulators<br />

around solutions to tackle this<br />

insidious problem.<br />

We need to look at responsible<br />

data sharing. In the US, banks are<br />

allowed to share information for the<br />

purpose of fighting crime. Enabling<br />

financial institutions in Europe,<br />

Canada and other regions to share<br />

data both from within and outside<br />

their own networks would greatly<br />

enhance our ability to identify<br />

criminal activity. There are proven<br />

models that enable data sharing<br />

while protecting individuals’ rights<br />

to privacy. These can — and should<br />

— be replicated at scale.<br />

The second imperative is for<br />

regulators to allow the industry to<br />

leverage the latest capabilities in<br />

cloud, AI and machine learning so<br />

we can better respond to new<br />

threats, increase effectiveness and<br />

improve efficiency, and take down<br />

criminal gangs after investigation<br />

rather than look on an individuial<br />

basis.<br />

We also need better collaboration<br />

and funding to tackle this in<br />

Scotland. Everyone thinks<br />

ransomware is the only important<br />

part of cyber crime, but more<br />

individuals and organisations will be<br />

affected by cyber-enabled fraud<br />

than ransomware.<br />

28 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Customised qualifications<br />

for your business<br />

SQA customised awards allow your<br />

organisation to decide the content and<br />

structure of a qualification, with SQA<br />

helping with development, external<br />

quality assurance and certification.<br />

Organisations can design their own<br />

qualifications that are unique and meet<br />

business needs, with flexibility on<br />

content and qualification structure.<br />

A customised award can be<br />

integrated with existing business and<br />

staff development processes. It offers<br />

a large range of benefits, from<br />

achieving business objectives and<br />

increasing skill levels, to providing<br />

development opportunities for<br />

employees and providing an official<br />

credit rating for the qualification on<br />

the Scottish Credit and Qualifications<br />

Framework (SCQF).<br />

Building qualifications for increasing<br />

demand<br />

SELECT is the trade association for<br />

the electrical contracting industry in<br />

Scotland, delivering over 3,500<br />

training courses to electricians every<br />

year. Based in Midlothian, it is<br />

Scotland’s largest construction trade<br />

association and one of the oldest to<br />

represent the modern trades.<br />

With the need for electric vehicle<br />

(EV) charging stations continuously<br />

increasing, SELECT dedicated much of<br />

2023 to creating a comprehensive EV<br />

charge point installation course,<br />

ensuring that the safety and efficiency<br />

of installations was at its core. The<br />

course was shaped by member<br />

feedback and culminated in the<br />

creation of the SQA customised award<br />

in Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment<br />

Installations (SCQF level 7).<br />

The one-day module, adaptable for<br />

in-person or online delivery, addresses<br />

the evolving demands of the industry<br />

and is suitable for all qualified<br />

electricians. By the end of the course,<br />

learners will understand and be able to<br />

design and install domestic,<br />

commercial and industrial electrical<br />

vehicle charging installations, and<br />

receive an SQA and SELECT joint<br />

certificate.<br />

Course aims include understanding<br />

the key requirements relating to EV<br />

charging equipment, gaining the skills<br />

for designing and installing EV<br />

charging circuits, and gaining<br />

knowledge for the requirements for<br />

inspection, testing, commissioning,<br />

maintenance and handover of EV<br />

charging equipment and circuits.<br />

Positive feedback<br />

Shaun Taylor, a SELECT member,<br />

completed the course when it first<br />

launched. He commented, “The course<br />

was very interesting, and I learned a<br />

great deal about charging modes and<br />

options, costs and installation and<br />

potential issues.”<br />

Another participant added, “It was a<br />

good comprehensive course. There is a<br />

lot to learn in one day, but if you do<br />

the study beforehand, it’s definitely<br />

manageable.”<br />

Fiona Harper, Director of Employment<br />

& Skills at SELECT, believes SQA<br />

customised awards are of significant<br />

value. She said: “These qualifications<br />

are a real mark of quality and have a<br />

currency that both learners and<br />

employers relate to. During development,<br />

we took the opportunity to redesign<br />

our training material and delivery<br />

methods to ensure that each of the<br />

courses meets the needs of the industry.<br />

The<br />

SELECT<br />

course,<br />

designed<br />

with SQA,<br />

provided<br />

muchneeded<br />

skills and<br />

knowledge<br />

on EV<br />

charging<br />

“From a learner perspective, it<br />

provides them with an SQA and<br />

SELECT joint certificate, enabling them<br />

to demonstrate the quality of the<br />

training to employers. The numbers of<br />

candidates going through the<br />

customised awards is continuously<br />

growing and are a testament to how<br />

much the industry values them.”<br />

Making a difference<br />

Theresa McGowan, Regional<br />

Manager at SQA, is delighted with the<br />

difference SQA and SELECT are<br />

making to the electrical industry in<br />

Scotland. She said: “I’ve worked with<br />

SELECT for a number of years and I<br />

am delighted to see that their<br />

commitment to providing high quality<br />

skills and training for electricians is<br />

going from strength to strength.<br />

“SQA customised awards give our<br />

customers the flexibility to design their<br />

own qualifications to a high quality<br />

and specific to their needs, while still<br />

owning a qualification certified and<br />

quality assured by an internationally<br />

recognised awarding body.<br />

“Our dedicated Business<br />

Development and Customised Awards<br />

teams can support a variety of private,<br />

public and third sector organisations<br />

to meet their training needs.”<br />

Find out more about how customised<br />

awards can benefit your organisation<br />

at https://www.sqa.org.uk/<br />

customisedawards.<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 29


www.iod.com/scotland<br />


AI’s insights can make a<br />

difference in every sector<br />

IT guru and FIoD Scott<br />

McGlinchey asks, why is<br />

artificial intelligence<br />

linked to our economy?<br />

For many, AI may be at the top of<br />

the food chain. Although the<br />

technology is still in its infancy there<br />

are some great examples in use<br />

today. I’m sure most of you have<br />

tried ChatGPT or Google Gemini; if<br />

not, give it a go.<br />

Just this month, you may have<br />

read, that an AI breast screening<br />

solution called Mia helped doctors in<br />

NHS Grampian find an additional<br />

12% more cancers than in routine<br />

practice.<br />

Imagine if deployed across the<br />

entire NHS, a 12% uplift in the<br />

detection of breast cancer could<br />

lead to better outcomes for<br />

thousands of women across the UK.<br />

If AI is applied to business, and bear<br />

in mind we have been using<br />

chatbots in customer services and<br />

machine learning applications to<br />

make decisions for some time, the<br />

returns could be enormous.<br />

However, over my 30 years now in<br />

tech, there have been many<br />

advancements in technology but<br />

often the practicality of competing<br />

priorities in business, the need to<br />

make large capital purchases or the<br />

requirement to adapt to regulatory<br />

change, can make investment in new<br />

technologies more difficult.<br />

Avoid the hype but for those who<br />

have not embarked on a digital<br />

journey yet or seek to replan your<br />

journey then you should include the<br />

possibility of what AI could do in<br />

your business now, next year and in<br />

five years.<br />

So if you can invest in AI:<br />

n Define your objectives: Clearly<br />

define your goals and objectives for<br />

implementing AI in your organisation.<br />

n Start small: Begin with pilot<br />

projects or small-scale<br />

implementations to test the waters<br />

and gain practical experience with<br />

AI technology.<br />

n Collaborate: Collaborate with AI<br />

experts, technology vendors,<br />

research institutions, and other<br />

organisations to leverage their<br />

expertise and resources<br />

So back to that question I asked<br />

earlier - why is AI linked to our<br />

economy? For businesses to invest<br />

more in technology such as AI then<br />

we must also have the optimum<br />

economy and opportunities. Greater<br />

business returns allow greater<br />

investment and growth.<br />

However, speaking to many<br />

businesses the cost of borrowing to<br />

invest today is very high. There is<br />

AI-based<br />

breast<br />

screening<br />

software has<br />

improved<br />

cancer<br />

detection rates<br />

at Aberdeen<br />

Royal Infirmary<br />

by 12 per cent<br />

also a reluctance from banks to<br />

grant business loans.<br />

The Bank of England’s current<br />

delay in reducing interest rates helps<br />

banks but is punitive to most<br />

businesses. Let’s hope there is a<br />

change soon.<br />

We also currently have a Scottish<br />

Government and many councils who<br />

don’t understand business and seek,<br />

perhaps unknowingly, to restrict<br />

success sometimes by interfering in<br />

markets.<br />

For example, retail and hospitality<br />

need footfall and accessibility but<br />

some councils are creating<br />

restrictive parking policies while<br />

making it difficult to access city<br />

centres, creating punitive taxes.<br />

With e-commerce booming too,<br />

access to good transport systems<br />

and routes is fundamental.<br />

A successful and prospering<br />

economy will enhance our public<br />

services such as the NHS, education<br />

and policing. Just a few institutions<br />

that greatly need help. Our success<br />

in business allows us to invest in new<br />

technology and the taxable returns<br />

feed and develop our public services.<br />

There is, in my view, therefore a<br />

symbiotic relationship between our<br />

economy and our technological<br />

advancement.<br />

We should be doing everything to<br />

let business flourish, entrepreneurship<br />

enlarge and above all ensuring our<br />

indigenous businesses that make the<br />

economy in Scotland develop<br />

whenever possible.<br />

Let’s grab the thistle and to coin a<br />

phrase from across the pond: ‘Make<br />

Scotland Great...’<br />

* Scott McGlinchey is a Non<br />

Executive Director of Exception, a<br />

leading digital solutions company,<br />

who during his career has been<br />

engaged at board level in global,<br />

large and medium-sized companies,<br />

and a director of UK leading mobile<br />

and digital app developer Waracle,<br />

and a Fellow of the IoD (FIoD)<br />

30 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


AI is a threat - but it’s a threat<br />

with positive options for all<br />

AI is here... and<br />

Scotland can be<br />

host to many<br />

exciting projects,<br />

says tech writer<br />

Bill Magee<br />

Scott McGlinchey’s expert analysis into<br />

latest developments (page 30) on<br />

genAI presents much-needed insight<br />

and commercial clarity into what has<br />

been labelled an “AI cyber arms race”.<br />

Big Tech’s early attempts to sell its<br />

version of generativeAI, it can be<br />

argued, were hastily designed and<br />

hyped-up, and have had a detrimental<br />

effect on the marketplace. Business is<br />

unclear about the right digital road ahead.<br />

Trillions of business dollars are up<br />

for grabs for the winner. In the rush<br />

Apple has had to respond to demands<br />

by two top UK fund managers abrdn<br />

and Legal & General Investment<br />

Management for clarity on its AI<br />

ethical policies amid concerns over<br />

deep fakes and customer privacy.<br />

Expect more such investor demands<br />

to ensure AI is reliable.<br />

GenAI is being led by computerised<br />

software programs - (ro)bots/co-pilots/<br />

super apps - algorithmically designed<br />

to appear to be thinking and taking<br />

decisions for us. Techopedia points to<br />

‘autonomous AI’ operating and<br />

processing data without human<br />

interaction or oversight. It all adds<br />

ammunition to warnings of a<br />

‘weaponisation’ of tech developments.<br />

More than 100 AI researchers have<br />

called on generative companies to<br />

allow investigators access to gain<br />

insight into often opaque AI systems,<br />

which Computing.com claims is<br />

leading to “repeated and dramatic<br />

misunderstandings” about modern IT.<br />

Computerworld cites a survey of<br />

10,000 office workers who, while<br />

seeing benefits from AI tools, worry<br />

about a lack of guidelines leading to<br />

potential risks to corporate data.<br />

The AI Experience website reveals<br />

96 per cent of chief data officers<br />

agreed delivering business impact<br />

through the new tech represents the<br />

top ‘pain point’ for their teams.<br />

It has prompted a memorandum of<br />

understanding between the UK and<br />

the USA, a partnership based on<br />

endeavouring to ensure AI solutions<br />

lead with trust and user-security.<br />

In Scotland, a mandatory logging of<br />

public sector AI is being introduced.<br />

The Scottish AI Register is currently<br />

being populated on a voluntary basis<br />

but ministers now say organisations<br />

will be required to list public usage<br />

case files for close scrutiny.<br />

A relaunched EIE24 attracted an<br />

estimated 130 investors from all parts<br />

of the globe to check out the Scottish<br />

tech ecosystem in which genAI<br />

strongly features. Venture capitalists<br />

and angels are finally coming out of<br />

their corner, after a virtual freeze on<br />

funds since the pandemic where IPOs<br />

from VCs dried up by 90 per cent.<br />

Mark Logan, Chief Entrepreneurial<br />

Advisor to the Scottish Government,<br />

says the country’s sector is growing<br />

on almost a daily basis involving<br />

“some very exciting and important<br />

work” as EIE brought together some<br />

of the country’s most promising<br />

companies in front of people who can<br />

help them grow.<br />

As Scott McGlinchey says, there are<br />

positives as to the future of work in<br />

these early stages of genAI, pointing<br />

to intelligence-based developments<br />

especially in healthcare, some say hails<br />

a medical revolution in the offing.<br />

There’s even ‘Robotiz3d’ equipped<br />

to tackle one million-plus potholes<br />

throughout UK roads, coming to the<br />

roadside rescue of weary motorists.<br />

Chatbots are already used extensively<br />

across ecommerce. Internet retailing<br />

points to imminent more sophisticated<br />

“There’s even Robotiz3d to<br />

tackle potholes, coming to<br />

the roadside rescue of weary<br />

motorists...”<br />

genAI technologies, bespoke and<br />

highly-conversational two-way<br />

answering techniques with claims of a<br />

more realistic interaction between<br />

brand and consumer.<br />

We’re heading towards a ‘super app’<br />

AI global culture. Just how to filter out<br />

the useful from the problematic, will<br />

be, well problematic. China’s WeChat<br />

already combines social media,<br />

messaging, payment and commerce in<br />

one offering. Elon Musk’s rebranding<br />

of Twitter to X lays the groundwork to<br />

turn the platform into a super app.<br />

Big tech marketers are hastily<br />

hyping a genAI assistant - dubbed<br />

‘Copilot’ - for every department.<br />

Such ‘general purpose technology’<br />

features a variety of IT tools, models,<br />

applications and product designs to<br />

generate new forms of creative<br />

content including audio, code, images,<br />

text, simulations and videos. The<br />

digital works in other words.<br />

It’s the wise organisation that<br />

formulates a threat strategy,<br />

leveraging AI and machine learning to<br />

detect and respond to a mix of<br />

real-time commercial opportunities<br />

but also carrying potential threats. A<br />

medium-to-long-term worry is digital<br />

transformational burnout as business<br />

suffers co-pilot fatigue. Burgeoning<br />

AI-powered facial and voice cloning is<br />

also causing concern.<br />

So where do we go from here?<br />

We’ve some way to go to build the<br />

necessary levels of transparency and<br />

trust. Especially when it comes to<br />

feeling confident in exposing an<br />

enterprise to AI co-pilots and whatever<br />

else follows in their digital slipstream.<br />

It’s not all doom and gloom. Echoing<br />

Scott’s wise words of the linkage<br />

between AI and our economy, New<br />

Scientist tech quarterly carries the<br />

claim: “AIs will make healthcare safer<br />

and better (and)...may even be<br />

cheaper.” Similarly, a TED talk<br />

contends how AI “could save (not<br />

destroy) education.” Both key sectors<br />

inextricably-linked to the economy.<br />

But the MIT Technology Report<br />

reminds us new tech always has<br />

“glitches and fails”.<br />

Whatever the next move, there’s<br />

bound to be an AI super app for that...<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 31


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

IoD membership and benefits<br />

We’re delighted that you have chosen the IoD to support<br />

you in your development as a director, and we hope you<br />

get real value from your membership.<br />

The IoD Scotland team is always looking to enhance your<br />

membership with exclusive discounts on products and<br />

services, helping make your role that little bit easier,<br />

Say hello to YOTEL<br />

IoD Scotland members are now eligible for the<br />

YOTEL Work Perk programme.<br />

This special offer gives you access to a host of<br />

great 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<br />

dates/hotel of choice: CLICK HERE<br />

Or you can enter your corporate ID straight<br />

into the Corporate/Promo code section of the<br />

website, at 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<br />

consultants, etc. You can cancel or amend<br />

reservations until 2pm on the day of arrival,<br />

giving you maximum flexibility.<br />

Top, YOTEL Glasgow. Inset, VEGA, on the top floor of<br />

YOTEL Glasgow. Right inset: YOTEL Edinburgh<br />

kinder on the budget and – most importantly – more<br />

convenient.<br />

We have outlined some of the key benefits here:<br />

for a full summary and discount codes, contact<br />

patricia.huth@iod.com<br />

Hotels, dining and accommodation<br />

Unique offers and discounts for IoD members<br />


The George<br />

The George, a Grade-II listed hotel,<br />

is complemented by elegant<br />

interiors, from the bedrooms to the<br />

grand King’s Hall. All with the very<br />

best of Edinburgh’s shopping,<br />

restaurants and nightlife on your<br />

doorstep. To take advantage of IoD<br />

membership special discounts,<br />

present your IoD membership card<br />

at check-in or when seated at one of<br />

the hotel’s food outlets.<br />

• Call 0131 240 7137, click here to<br />

book or email the hotel HERE.<br />

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel<br />

IoD members receive 15% discount<br />

on food, drinks and accommodation.<br />

There’s also a 15% discount on the<br />

gym and spa at the Charlotte Square<br />

Hotel. Quote IoD Scotland member<br />

when booking.<br />

The George<br />

Holiday Inn, Edinburgh<br />

Members receive 15% off best<br />

available rate.<br />

• To book call 0131 314 7018 or<br />

emailHERE, quoting IoD Scotland.<br />

Other offers:<br />

Malmaison Hotels – 20% off<br />

lunches 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 by<br />

clicking HERE.<br />

Angels Share Hotel, Edinburgh<br />

– 15% 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 />

32 SPRING <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.<br />

• Call 01224 507097 or see HERE.<br />

DUNDEE<br />

Malmaison<br />

Take your pick from 91 sumptuous<br />

rooms and suites spanning six<br />

fabulous floors. There’s so much to<br />

see and do in Dundee, and the<br />

Malmaison is the perfect place to<br />

stay in the City of Discovery.<br />

Up to 10% off accommodation<br />

bookings and 20% off food and<br />

beverages.<br />

• Call 01382 339715 or see HERE.<br />


Kimpton Blythswood Square<br />

IoD members receive 15% off best<br />

available bed and breakfast rates.<br />

• Call 0141 248 8888 or find out<br />

more HERE.<br />

St Andrews Management Centre is<br />

offering a 10% discount on its<br />

export and import services to IoD<br />

members.<br />

St Andrews Management Centre<br />

can handle your import and export<br />

clearances for an affordable<br />

flat-fee, with no additional<br />

charges for multiple commodity<br />

codes, as well as offer advice on<br />

customs processes and controls. It<br />

also offers consultancy support to<br />

businesses looking to import or<br />

voco Grand Central<br />

Members receive a 15% discount<br />

on the best available rates for food,<br />

beverage and accommodation.<br />

• Call 0141 221 3388 or see HERE.<br />

One Devonshire Gardens<br />

Members receive 10% off best<br />

available rate for accommodation<br />

when booked online.<br />

• Call 0330 016 0390 or see HERE.<br />

Citizen M<br />

Enjoy best rates at time of<br />

booking and a welcome drink.<br />

• Call 0203 519 1111, quoting ‘IoD<br />

offer’, or see HERE.<br />

Malmaison<br />

10% off best available rates for IoD<br />

members.<br />

• Call 0141 378 0384 or see HERE.<br />

Kimpton Blythswood Square<br />

“Just mention IoD when booking to confirm<br />

your exclusive discounts and offers”<br />

10% off training and advice on imports and exports<br />

export, with training and<br />

workshops of key issues.<br />

For a full list of courses, see<br />

https://stamc.co.uk<br />

The TradeNet International<br />

Trade Support is available at two<br />

levels, making it an affordable<br />

solution to meet your needs.<br />

Silver Service is for the ‘casual’<br />

user and offers on call access to<br />

one of our International Trade<br />

Advisors for around 90 minutes<br />

Members’ discounted<br />

consultancy support<br />

Where Now Consulting Ltd<br />

provides business advice and<br />

support to IoD members in<br />

Scotland. Where Now Consulting<br />

focuses on the development of<br />

business models for growth and<br />

would be delighted to support<br />

members in any of the following<br />

categories: Organic growth;<br />

In-organic growth; and Success<br />

Planning<br />

IoD Scotland offer<br />

Where Now Consulting Ltd will<br />

give members a complimentary<br />

one hour consultancy session to<br />

focus and develop key strategies<br />

for success with a further 10%<br />

discount on further support from<br />

Where Now Consulting, and a £35<br />

discount on the Where Now<br />

Consulting Business Diagnostic<br />

Tool.<br />

Member discounts on<br />

products and services<br />

The IoD has arranged special<br />

discounts on a host of products<br />

and 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 />

per month for £250 pcm (+ VAT).<br />

The Gold Service is for those<br />

with more complex trading<br />

arrangements and provides<br />

around four hours support per<br />

month for £450 pcm (+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 />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 33


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

IoD Events<br />

Exit strategies for<br />

small business owners<br />

Date: 22 May<br />

Time: 8.30am-11 (networking to noon)<br />

Venue: Gleneagles Townhouse<br />

Cost: Members £25,<br />

Non-members £40<br />

After pouring blood, sweat and tears<br />

into building your small business -<br />

where do you go next?<br />

Network with other small business<br />

owners and hear from keynote<br />

speakers to find out more about<br />

how to make your business ‘sale<br />

ready’ at this exciting breakfast<br />

event.<br />

Learn what is needed to enhance<br />

their company’s value for a<br />

successful sale - be it in the near<br />

future or 10 years from now.<br />

After the event they will also<br />

Are you competitive in<br />

today’s digital world?<br />

Glasgow & West of Scotland branch<br />

Date: 22 May<br />

Time: 5:30pm — 8pm<br />

Venue: Clockwise<br />

Cost: free of charge<br />

The next general election is just<br />

around the corner and there is one<br />

thing everyone agrees on: <strong>2024</strong><br />

promises to be a turbulent year. So<br />

does this mean a declining year with<br />

little growth or prosperity?<br />

Absolutely not. We look forward to<br />

an evening of lively discussion,<br />

interactive workshops and a healthy<br />

Q & A to conclude with our panel.<br />

Fourways Group, Scale Computing<br />

and a crop of strategic tech experts<br />

are here to dispel this myth at an<br />

interactive evening event for<br />

business leaders in Glasgow –<br />

showcasing the success of<br />

Scotland’s growth companies<br />

despite prevailing market forces.<br />

Join IoD members and fellow<br />

business leaders to share insights<br />

and best practices to examine key<br />

questions:<br />

How can I be sure I am making the<br />

best choices for my business in today’s<br />

uncertain and volatile markets?<br />

receive a top tips guide: “Navigating<br />

your Exit: A Roadmap for Owner-<br />

Managed Businesses”, to provide an<br />

overview of what will be important<br />

to prospective buyers or investors.<br />

Spaces are limited to 15 people,<br />

for SME Business Owners only.<br />

Sponsors: Ahead Business<br />

Consulting<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

How can a digital transformation<br />

strategy help me to identify any<br />

skills gaps, leverage cloud<br />

economics and scalability and what<br />

actionable data insights should I be<br />

using?<br />

Understand how billion dollar<br />

technology and AI is now readily<br />

available to third sector and SMEs<br />

previously the preserve or corporate<br />

and enterprise.<br />

Don’t wait, save your seat for this<br />

industry-leading event and register<br />

now.<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

IoD Scotland Charity<br />

Golf Day <strong>2024</strong><br />

Date: 31 May<br />

Time: from 8am - 2.30pm<br />

Venue: Falkirk Golf Club<br />

Cost: Member £125<br />

Member - Team of four £400<br />

Non Member - Team of four £450<br />

Get your challenge team together to<br />

have fun, meet fellow directors –<br />

maybe win – and most importantly,<br />

raise critical funds to help support<br />

Committed to Ending Abuse (CEA)’s<br />

vital work.<br />

Arrive at 8 am for breakfast rolls,<br />

teas and coffees. Longest drive and<br />

nearest the pin prizes, lunch,<br />

networking, a charity raffle and hear<br />

from the CEO of the Charity itself.<br />

The event is sponsored by Ahead<br />

Business Consulting in aid of CEA<br />

which supports adults, children and<br />

young people in the Falkirk area<br />

who have been affected by<br />

domestic abuse and trauma.<br />

Sponsor: Ahead Business Consulting<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Lost in the labyrinth<br />

of NED aspirations?<br />

Date: 23 May<br />

Time: 12.30-1.30pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Free of charge<br />

This event will offer clarity to the<br />

roadmap to becoming an Non-<br />

Executive Director (NED). Join<br />

Simon Bergenroth, founder and<br />

managing director of 3Hats as he<br />

demystifies the NED journey, from<br />

initial steps to securing a position.<br />

Leave ready to conquer the exciting<br />

world of NED opportunities!<br />

To book: Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

34 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Leading the boardroom: navigating the<br />

journey from director to board chair<br />

Venue: 14 May<br />

Time: 1pm-2pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Members Free<br />

Non-members £10<br />

Join European Women on Boards<br />

for an illuminating discussion on the<br />

art and science of progressing from<br />

board member to chair.<br />

The roles of a board director and a<br />

board chair carry distinct<br />

responsibilities and functions; in this<br />

follow-up to our 2023 webinar with<br />

European Women on Boards, learn<br />

about how to effectively make that<br />

step from director to chair.<br />

Join this webinar to hear speakers<br />

from the Institute of Directors and<br />

European Women on Boards discuss<br />

the different opportunities to<br />

becoming board chair and what<br />

additional responsibilities above<br />

those of a board member that you’ll<br />

be expected to take on.<br />

Embrace excellence<br />

Fife & Tayside Members event<br />

Date: 6 June and 5 September<br />

Time: 5.30-9pm<br />

Venue: Rusacks in St. Andrews<br />

Cost: Free<br />

We’re looking forward to an<br />

engaging evening at The Gallery,<br />

Rusacks, and we’d love for you to<br />

join us. It’s a blend of relaxed<br />

networking and genuine<br />

connections, set against the<br />

backdrop of a space where comfort<br />

touches on the grand.<br />

Join us any time between 5:30 and<br />

9 pm. Whether your evening calls for<br />

a refreshing drink, a soothing tea, or<br />

just an appreciation of the<br />

atmosphere, we’re creating the ideal<br />

setting for spontaneous exchanges<br />

and insightful discussions.<br />

Here, conversations about business<br />

and beyond flow freely, with<br />

opportunities to delve into deeper<br />

discussions in smaller, more intimate<br />

groups.<br />

This gathering is an open invitation<br />

to both new faces and familiar<br />

members of our community,<br />

welcoming all who are part of the<br />

What you will learn from this<br />

session:<br />

Understand the key differences<br />

between board member and chair.<br />

Identify challenges commonly<br />

faced on the pathway to becoming a<br />

board chair.<br />

Explore proven strategies for<br />

navigating the transition.<br />

Learn from real-world experiences<br />

and insights shared by accomplished<br />

board chairs.<br />

To book:<br />

Contact IoD Events team<br />

e: events@iod.com<br />

business world, regardless of your<br />

role or the size of your enterprise.<br />

Don’t miss this unique opportunity<br />

to unwind yet engage, to network<br />

yet nurture, in the heart of St<br />

Andrews. Whether you’re seeking<br />

stimulating dialogues or a moment<br />

of tranquillity in good company,<br />

Rusacks is poised to offer an<br />

experience that promises to be both<br />

memorable and meaningful. We’re<br />

excited to host you at The Gallery<br />

– where connections are made, ideas<br />

are sparked, and every interaction<br />

enriches our collective journey.<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Mental health<br />

awareness<br />

Date: 4 June<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Time: 12.30-1.30pm<br />

Cost: Free of charge<br />

Developing mental health awareness<br />

is key to changing and improving<br />

workplace cultures, reducing sick<br />

leave and improving retention and<br />

performance of employees.<br />

However, due to the complexity of<br />

mental health, and often the<br />

associated stigma, how can directors<br />

really lead an organisation which<br />

benefits people’s mental health?<br />

Join us for this virtual event to find<br />

out.<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Frances Fairclough<br />

t: 0161 521 9252<br />

e: frances.fairclough@iod.com<br />

Workforce<br />

for the future<br />

Date: 4 June<br />

Time: 10am — 2pm<br />

Venue: University of Strathclyde<br />

Cost: Members Free<br />

Non-members £50<br />

How can leaders promote and<br />

support learners, entrepreneurs, and<br />

employees to succeed? This event<br />

will bring decision makers to a halfday<br />

conference to fully understand<br />

the need for skills and the role<br />

business can have in determining<br />

the workforce of the future.<br />

Why and how we want to develop<br />

the workforce of the future really<br />

sits with the end user, the economy<br />

and the employer.<br />

Join us for a lively facilitated<br />

discussion which will explore the<br />

critical skills that we need to ensure<br />

a thriving future economy for<br />

Scotland. The day will include input<br />

from Skills Development Scotland,<br />

those behind the Hayward Review<br />

the Withers Report and from<br />

Scotland’s university and college<br />

sectors. IoD Scotland’s State of the<br />

Nation Survey will also be discussed.<br />

Sponsors: Aspen<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 35


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> Economic Update<br />

with the Bank of England<br />

Date: 16 May<br />

Time: 12pm-1pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Free, members only<br />

Join us to discuss the outcomes of the latest<br />

MPC report released by the Bank of England.<br />

Keep up to date with the trends and analysis by listening to IoD’s quarterly<br />

economic updates with the Bank of England.<br />

This members-only event will host IoD Director for Policy and Governance,<br />

Dr Roger Barker, who will explore the latest UK economic outlook and what it<br />

means for directors and their businesses. Roger will be joined by Rob Elder,<br />

the Bank of England’s Agent for London. This event is an excellent<br />

opportunity for leaders to hear more about the UK and global economic<br />

outlook for <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

This event will be run under Chatham House Rule and thus will not be<br />

available for playback.<br />

To book: Contact IoD Events team<br />

e: events@iod.com<br />

IoD Glasgow &<br />

West of Scotland<br />

Monthly Breakfast<br />

Networking event<br />

Date: 30 May<br />

Time: 8.30-10.30am<br />

Venue: VEGA, YOTEL Glasgow<br />

As requested by our members we<br />

are moving to a monthly breakfast<br />

networking meeting. Meet local<br />

members over breakfast at the<br />

VEGA, YOTEL Glasgow. Free to<br />

attend, pay for breakfast at the<br />

event.<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Is sustainability sustainable?<br />

Date: 28 May<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Free to members<br />

Join other members in Aberdeen to<br />

hear thoughts from a varied line-up<br />

on the importance of sustainability.<br />

As part of the IoD’s plan to raise<br />

awareness of sustainability, the<br />

Aberdeen & Grampian Branch are<br />

organising an opportunity to hear<br />

from other organisations with<br />

regards to how they are<br />

approaching sustainability. The<br />

event is open to all members and its<br />

aims are to highlight the<br />

opportunities (and risks) to business<br />

with respect to sustainability; to<br />

articulate the key targets and<br />

actions for Scotland / UK; to<br />

highlight existing support available<br />

to members (and their<br />

organisations); to inform using case<br />

studies and show additional value<br />

and expertise in the sustainability<br />

space to members.<br />

Sponsored by Vysus Group<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Patricia Huth<br />

t: 0131 557 5488<br />

e: Patricia.Huth@iod.com<br />

Freeport: Taking advantage of the strategy<br />

Date: 25 June<br />

Time: 12.30pm-2pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost: Members Free of charge<br />

Non-members £10<br />

Join the discussion with<br />

representatives of freeports around<br />

the UK to learn more about trading<br />

opportunities.<br />

The Government’s Freeport<br />

programme is a major opportunity<br />

for the UK economy. It can help the<br />

UK economy strengthen its global<br />

trading position whilst developing<br />

new international relationships.<br />

Speakers include Callum<br />

MacPherson, CEO at Inverness &<br />

Cromarty Firth Green Freeport.<br />

To book:<br />

Contact IoD Events team<br />

e: events@iod.com<br />

Chartered Director<br />

Conference<br />

Date: 13 June<br />

Time: 9.30am-6pm<br />

Venue: Nissan Sunderland<br />

Cost: £98<br />

Hot on the heels of the success of<br />

last year’s inaugural Chartered<br />

Director Conference, we are<br />

delighted to announce that this<br />

year’s event will take place in the<br />

Nissan Sunderland plant, hosted by<br />

North East (North) Branch Chair,<br />

and fellow chartered, Sarah<br />

Waddington.<br />

See first-hand how Nissan’s<br />

pioneering investment has helped to<br />

build factories of the future,<br />

transformed its facilities and<br />

upskilled its workforce.<br />

The tour will be complemented by<br />

networking opportunities and<br />

speakers on the themes of<br />

innovation, productivity and<br />

unlocking workplace potential.<br />

Welcome refreshments, lunch and<br />

an opportunity to join the group for<br />

networking drinks at Malmaison<br />

back in Newcastle will close the day.<br />

To book:<br />

Contact Polly Laughton<br />

t: 02080784014<br />

e: Polly.Laughton@iod.com<br />

36 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Professional Development<br />

For more details on any of the following IoD Professional Development courses, see<br />

https://www.iod.com/professional-development/<br />

Role of the Managing Director<br />

Date: 21 May<br />

Time: from 9am<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (exc VAT): Member £1,065<br />

Non-member £1,395<br />

Developing Board Performance<br />

Date: 10-12 June<br />

Time: from 9am-5pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £4,250<br />

Non-member £4,995<br />

Aspiring Director<br />

Date: 10-11 June<br />

9am-5pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £3,195<br />

Non-member £3,195<br />

Role of the Director and the Board<br />

Date: 10-11 June<br />

Time: 9:30am - 5pm<br />

Venue: Apex Grassmarket, Edinburgh<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £2,995<br />

Non-member £3,495<br />

Role of the Chair<br />

Date: 17 Jun<br />

Time: 9am<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £1,065<br />

Non-member £1,395<br />

Role of the Director and the Board<br />

Date: 18-19 June<br />

Time: 9am-5pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £2,995<br />

Non-member £3,495<br />

Role of the Company Secretary<br />

Date: 8 July<br />

Time: from 9am<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £1,065<br />

Non-member £1,395<br />

Role of the Non-Executive Director<br />

Date: 8 Aug<br />

Time: 9am<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £1,395<br />

Non-member £1,655<br />

Leadership for Directors<br />

Date: 27-28 August<br />

Time: 9am-5pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £2,995<br />

Non-member £3,495<br />

Role of the Director and the Board<br />

Date: 2-3 September<br />

Time: 9am-5pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £2,995<br />

Non-member £3,495<br />

Role of the Non-Executive Director<br />

Date: 19 September<br />

Time: from 9am<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £1,395<br />

Non-member £1,655<br />

Leading Sustainability for Directors<br />

Date: 30 September<br />

Time: 1:30pm<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £1,500<br />

Non-member £1,950<br />

Accelerated Certificate in<br />

Company Direction<br />

Date: 13-18 October<br />

Venue: Norton House Hotel,<br />

Edinburgh<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £10,695<br />

Non-member £13,895<br />

Role of the Trustee<br />

Date: 17 October<br />

Time: from 9am<br />

Venue: Online<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £250<br />

Non-member £330<br />

Strategy for Directors<br />

Date: 21-23 October<br />

Time: 9:30-5pm<br />

Venue: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel,<br />

Edinburgh<br />

Cost (ex Vat): Member £3,195<br />

Non-member £3,845<br />

Role of the Non-Executive Director<br />

Date: 28 November<br />

Time: 9:30am<br />

Venue: Maryculter House, Aberdeen<br />

Cost (ex Vat) : Member £1,395<br />

Non-member £1,655<br />

Leadership for Directors<br />

Date: 2-3 December<br />

Time: 9:30am-5pm<br />

Venue: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel,<br />

Edinburgh<br />

Cost (ex Vat) : Member £2,995<br />

Non-member £3,495<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 37


www.iod.com/scotland<br />

Professional Development <strong>2024</strong><br />

Click the logo<br />

for more details<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 IoD’s Accelerated Certificate in Company Direction<br />

five-day intensive residential course is set at Norton<br />

House Hotel in Edinburgh. This intensive residential<br />

course for experienced directors is designed to fit around<br />

your schedule, enabling you to be more effective in your<br />

director role in just five-and-a-half days.<br />

Why attend?<br />

Achieve the IoD 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<br />

certificate 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<br />

a mix of sectors and hear different perspectives, helping<br />

to broaden your understanding of your role.<br />

Practical learning enhanced by real-life scenarios and<br />

peer collaboration will provide you with the essential<br />

knowledge and skills for immediate application and<br />

maximum impact.<br />

This course is condensed into five days, all parts of the<br />

course are mandatory.<br />

“My experience of the Accelerated<br />

Certificate programme was probably<br />

the best learning week of my career so<br />

far, so clearly it comes very highly<br />

recommended.”<br />

Bernard Grenville-Jones CDir,<br />

MD, Activate Learning<br />

38 SPRING <strong>2024</strong>

www.iod.com/scotland<br />


Click the logo<br />

for more details<br />

Role of the Director<br />

and the Board<br />

Date: 10 and 11 June<br />

Venue: Apex Grassmarket, Edinburgh<br />

Cost: Member Rate: £2,795 + VAT<br />

Non-Member Rate: £3,295 + VAT<br />

This course provides an introduction to a director’s<br />

duties and legal responsibilities and the board’s role in<br />

corporate governance and risk management. You’ll<br />

leave with confidence to tackle boardroom challenges,<br />

equipped to take your career to the next level.<br />

What delegates said...<br />

“This module really articulated the responsibilities of<br />

directors, especially from a legal point of view. I doubt<br />

most directors are actually aware of what they are<br />

liable for, and I believe there should be some sort of<br />

mandatory training for directors such as this when<br />

they join a board.”<br />

Paul Bolton, CDir, ONECPD<br />

Click the logo<br />

for more details<br />

From in-person to online: A strategy success story<br />

Marlene Lowe, Chair of IoD Fife<br />

& Tayside, attended an online<br />

IoD Strategy for Directors<br />

professional development<br />

course. Here she reflects on the<br />

experience<br />

Listen, I wasn’t sure how well an<br />

online IoD Strategy for Directors<br />

course could compare to the<br />

fantastic in-person experience I had<br />

with Role of a Director. But let me<br />

tell you, any worries I had vanished<br />

quicker than a free Red Bull sample!<br />

The tech team behind the course<br />

deserves a standing ovation. They<br />

ensured everything ran smoothly,<br />

and any glitches were dealt with<br />

swiftly. Big kudos to the entire team<br />

as well for prioritising breaks<br />

throughout the three days. It kept<br />

everyone focused and ready to<br />

learn.<br />

Ian Waddelow was a fantastic<br />

course host. He made sure everyone<br />

had the opportunity for one-on-one<br />

interaction, which was invaluable for<br />

truly grasping the material. The<br />

discussions were lively and<br />

engaging, with analysing Red Bull’s<br />

strategies – how they transformed<br />

from ’just’ a drink into a global<br />

phenomenon – being a particular<br />

highlight for me.<br />

The course really emphasised the<br />

importance of not sticking to a<br />

single strategic tool, but rather using<br />

a diverse toolbox. It also drove home<br />

the power of creative brainstorming<br />

– a true game-changer!<br />

By the end of the three days, my<br />

brain was definitely at capacity.<br />

Revisiting the course materials, as<br />

Ian encouraged, is a must-do.<br />

However, I also walked away with a<br />

ton of fresh ideas on how to discuss<br />

strategy with my micro-business<br />

clients. This course truly helped me<br />

understand how to empower them<br />

to unleash their creativity and propel<br />

their businesses forward.<br />

If you’re looking to gain a deeper<br />

understanding of strategy and<br />

identify your strengths within the<br />

strategic process, this course is<br />

fantastic. It was eye-opening and left<br />

me feeling prepped to become a<br />

strategic rockstar!<br />

• For more details on<br />

IoD Professional<br />

Development courses,<br />

including Strategy for<br />

Directors, click the logo<br />

SPRING <strong>2024</strong> 39

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