TUI and Associated British Foods leaders offer Brexit advice at key Connor discussion panel

Sharon Platts

By Sharon Platts

13 May 2019

Panel of experts including Associated British Foods and TUI imparted valuable advice on how to plan for Brexit and mitigate against the unknown

Key learnings highlight the importance of identifying and cultivating ‘on the ground’ experience, facilitating cross-departmental collaboration

Connor have been helping organisations to get ‘Brexfit’ with events, consultations and insights

Brexit Event

HR and senior business leaders met earlier this month (2 May) for a key panel discussion organised by Connor, the people and change experts, on how to evolve and thrive through the uncertainty posed by Brexit.

Designed to advise organisations on how to lead people to success through periods of uncertainty, key takeaways from the event at the Hospital Club in London highlight the importance of establishing regular communications, nurturing ‘on the ground’ expertise and facilitating collaboration between departments and organisations.

In addition to contributions from HR and organisational change specialists, the event had two headline speakers; Ian Mace, Brexit Lead for multinational food processing and retailing giant Associated British Foods, and Caroline Kitcher, HR Director for TUI.

During the discussion panel, Ian Mace shared the journey of Associated British Foods, and their plans for the future against the protracted uncertainties of Brexit. Ian joined the panel with a wealth of experience, having evaluated and planned for the impacts of Brexit across the group for the last two years. TUI’s Caroline Kitcher (responsible for all HR functions across TUI in the UK and Ireland since 2013) shared her valued experience in leading large organisations through periods of change.

Elaine Stephens, Head of People Development at Connor, also discussed how to successfully embed change and equip people with the resilience and agility to drive success.

Key advice from the speakers:

  • Expertise in navigating through Brexit is often be found by consulting people with critical ‘on the ground’ knowledge that is vital for planning success. The challenge is in identifying those people and supporting them in educating and influencing senior stakeholders.
  • Diverse ideas and approaches often offer the best solutions, making cross-departmental and even cross-organisational collaboration vital. The challenge is in establishing effective communications and information sharing between all parties, especially in isolated environments or between organisations that have had little previous experience of each other.
  • Lastly, speakers stressed the importance of keeping people within organisations feeling safe during turbulent times and fostering a ‘no surprises’ culture. Reporting to people that there is no news is better than not reporting anything at all.

Speaking after the event, Kate Keaney of Connor, said:

“we are naturally delighted with how positively the industry has responded to the event and were really excited to hear the speakers’ diverse opinions and expertise on how organisations can manage change and evolve and thrive through the uncertainty posed by Brexit. A highlight for us was the potential of big data and AI in meeting these challenges, and of course Connor are already eagerly supporting organisations in mapping out the changes they need to manage this process.”
For more information about how we can help your organisation become ‘Brexfit’ please click here

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