News from Cass Business School

Business figures discuss ways of leading out of the Crisis

Friday, 15 May, 2009

That the UK is facing challenging economic times, with continuing uncertainty likely for the foreseeable future, means that organisations will require agility, flexibility and effective IT to adapt and thrive in the emerging landscape. In response to the new status quo, academics at Cass Business School recently hosted an event, Leading out of the Crisis', sponsored by LOC Consulting.

The event brought together 25 senior executives from a cross section of industries to inaugurate the Cass Leaders Forum.  The theme for the meeting was Leading Out of the Crisis', because leaders in all sectors are under greater pressure to demonstrate that they are responding to the changing situation, but are often without others in whom they can confide.

Dr Nigel Courtney, Cass Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow said: the event was an opportunity to shape a board level executive forum as an opportunity for senior leaders to discuss with their peers, in confidence, the challenges they face and how to overcome them.

Professor Clive Holtham led the discussion by outlining the top seven key issues that emerged from a recent poll of Generation Y' (Cass MSc in Management students) about the implications of the recession:
 Opportunities from recession: new business models
 Globalisation and emerging markets
 Learning lessons from the credit crunch crisis
 Managing change during recession
 Managing the present crisis
 Communications and networking
 Risk management

Commentary from representatives from the public, third, and private sectors, speaking in a personal capacity, was given by Hilary Douglas, (Chief Operating Officer, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, now called the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Professor Ian Bruce (Director, Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Cass) and Michael Llewelyn-Jones (Managing Director, Citigroup), respectively.

The subsequent, structured round table discussions of three key questions arrived at the following priorities:
 What are the opportunities from the recession, e.g. new business models?
Consensus resolution: Understand the risk in your business model
 What are the learning points for Boards from the credit crunch crisis, e.g. as regards reporting?
Consensus resolution: Focus on governance and transparency to ensure stability.
 How should organisations manage during the crisis to balance short term tactical responses with longer term strategy?
Consensus resolution: improve skills, leadership and education

About the Cass Leaders Forum

The purpose of this initiative is to provide an opportunity for senior executives, engaged or about to be engaged in major change initiatives typically with an IT dimension to in their organisations share experience peer-to-peer in a facilitated environment. Senior executives in the public, private and third sectors are the target invited participants.

The Cass Leaders Forum, complementing the Centre for Leadership Learning and Change, will be hosting further themed events which relate to the issues and challenges faced by business leaders in delivering sustainable change, with continued diversity across sectors. Planned events for 2009 include Securing Information as an asset' and Managing human capital' in May and September 2009 respectively. If you would like further information on these events please contact Clive Holtham.

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