Better Directors, Better Business and a Better Economy

Susan Deacon, Chair, IoD Scotland: “The ship of certainty has long since sailed – now is the time for leaders to get on with business.”

Gleneagles, 04 November 2016: Chair of the Institute of Directors, Professor Susan Deacon MIoD, this morning urged business leaders to step up to the plate during the greatest upheaval and uncertainty of recent times, and steer their companies and organisations through the unfolding climate of political and constitutional change.

Delivering the opening address to the largest IoD Scotland annual conference in over 10 years, held at Gleneagles Hotel today, Ms Deacon said:

“In such changing and unpredictable circumstances, it can be hard to make sense of the world around us. But it is precisely at times like these that it is important for leaders to step up to the plate. Volatility and ambiguity also creates opportunity. Vacuums in decision making and direction are spaces waiting to be filled.

“This is a time when leaders should feel a renewed sense of empowerment and responsibility. Now, more than ever, business leaders, entrepreneurs and others who lead organisations and who shape thinking and practice in our Boardrooms and workplaces need to be creative, confident and effective to continue to deliver jobs, services and products.

“In the months and years ahead, Scotland and the UK will need to steer a course through the uncharted terrain of a Brexit process and all the turbulence and uncertainty that goes with it. Questions abound about our future trade arrangements, the movement of people and the wider economic, social and cultural implications of a possible future outside the European Union as well as the future relationship of these islands with Europe and the rest of the world. So too will there continue to be debate about Scotland’s association with the rest of the UK and the possibility of a second independence referendum.

“And of course all of those challenges sit within a wider global context of a world which is as fast moving and interconnected as ever it has been. Rapid technological change, environmental threats, the fluctuations of global markets, conflicts, migration and even the outcome of the impending US Presidential election will all affect how we live, work and do business in the years ahead.

“Strong leadership is all about embracing uncertainty and navigating a course through difficult territory. Creativity, adaptability and innovation are key. Decision making and driving change does not begin and end with politicians and Government – this is the time for Scotland’s leadership community to shape the future.”
The Conference, which is attended this year by over 150 Scottish business and organisational leaders, will hear from a range of speakers around a ‘Business of Leadership’ theme, including Dr Lesley Crane, Knowledge, Innovation and Technology Specialist; Peter Schwartz, senior vice president of strategic planning for Salesforce; Bob Keiller, former CEO of Wood Group, and new Chairman of Scottish Enterprise; and Josh Littlejohn, Founder of Social Bite.


Issued on behalf of the IoD Scotland by Clark Communications. Please contact:
Lesley Brydon or Lina Lustig
0131 225 9596 / 07771 630834


The Institute of Directors

● The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 34,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies, third sector and public sector

● The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.

● The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with 15 UK centres (including three in London, Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast), conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.

● For further information, visit the website:

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