We are very pleased that the fifth Enterprise Week, held in September, brought together business leaders from prominent organisations in Jersey to discuss the future outlook, opportunities and challenges for the Island. The positive feedback we have received has emphasised how important it is to provide an opportunity for business leaders to talk about the difficulties they are facing and share their knowledge, experiences and insights. Most importantly, Enterprise Week is the one time in the business calendar when the leaders shaping our economic outlook across all our industry sectors, are in one room talking about the issues that are or will be a challenge to all of us.
In the 2018 keynote seminar the BBC’s Business Editor Simon Jack focused on the changes that have established themselves since the crash in 2008. He emphasised:
- The depth and duration of the crash was the biggest in living memory and its effects are still rippling across the world.
- Although the financial system has been reformed and is in better health now than in 2008, individuals have not experienced the same recovery and many people’s standard of living is still lower than it was then.
- Businesses based in the UK and the City are already looking to see how they might develop around the world post Brexit.
- Concerns about Brexit are crowding out other issues, such as technology and skills shortages, that will have a significant long-term impact on growth and are not currently being addressed.
- Jersey’s opportunities are based on its strengths including safety, security and effective regulation, high-speed fibre providing a robust communications network and the opportunities fintech could bring.
Following Simon’s address, a panel made up of
- Sir Peter Wall, ex Chief of the British Army and CEO of Amicus, a specialist leadership consultancy.
- Charlie Parker, Chief Executive of the States of Jersey
- Andrew McLaughlin, Chief Executive Officer, RBS International
discussed the challenges of leading organisations in an increasingly complex business environment. All agreed that change is intensifying and unavoidable and so:
- Leaders need to think as clearly as possible about the purpose of the organisation and how to galvanise their people to do what needs to be done so that they are more resilient when future shocks occur be they economic, cyber or market related.
- Although there is little short-term upside from Brexit, it does provide an opportunity for Jersey to restructure its relationship with the rest of the world and promote itself more clearly
- Given the demographic challenges of an ageing population, and the impact on jobs of technology (particularly in Financial Services), the Island needs a strategic workforce development plan that ensures we have the right skills to meet our future economic needs and that allows more flexibility of our workforce to move between industry sectors
- Addressing the issues creating Jersey’s growing social imbalance is essential so that everyone benefits from its success and feels secure
- If we don’t want to increase the number of people then we need to increase the workforce productivity in order to generate the tax take to support our social requirements
We organise Enterprise Week with the specific intention of stimulating our leaders to think about the future and their role in shaping their organisation for long-term success. By sharing knowledge and establishing new collaborations we hope to make a difference to the long-term success of organisations in all sectors of Jersey’s economy. This year’s Keynote event highlighted the key strategic challenges facing our economy and our aim is to find mechanisms to enable the business community to address these throughout the rest of this year and next.
Other events during the week included a cyber security breakfast event on how to identify & respond to current online security threats, a marketing event focused on what to spend your marketing budget on and a masterclass on delivering accelerated, sustained and profitable business growth.
The Jersey Business Team