Food For Thought at the Fellows Dinner
The IEP held its fourth Fellows' Dinner recently, returning to London after previous Dinners in Manchester and Birmingham. The host, Patrick Hughes FIEP said “A diverse group of IEP Fellows met in central London for an enjoyable and thought-provoking evening of debate about our sector and where it is headed. The discussion was open, constructive and very positive. And we already have feedback on how useful the evening was.
These Fellows' events are an ideal way to develop your thinking and grow your contacts list. We are rolling out a programme of these Fellows' dinners so do come to the next one in Manchester on 17 November if you can. If you can't look out for others early in 2018. Furthermore, if you are thinking about being a Fellow why not come to one of these dinners and meet a few of them. You would be very welcome.”
Liz Sewell FIEP said “A lovely Fellows Dinner was held at the Benjamin Arms at St Pancras. With Chatham House Rules and the opportunity to discuss both the facts and the gossip Fellow’s dinners are providing a pleasant way, outside formal conferences and seminars, to discuss what is really happening in the sector. The evenings discussion took place over free-flowing wine and a delicious meal and focused on the role of smaller organisations in the dynamic. It included a fascinating contribution from Kevin Browne FIEP on his organisation’s work in Saudi Arabia. Richard Brooks FIEP and myself were able to give perspective about being smaller subcontractors on major projects and Teresa Scott FIEP, recipient of the ERSA lifetime achievement award, gave real insight on how contracts can be delivered in innovative ways by smaller Primes."
Kevin Browne FIEP said “I attended my first Fellows Dinner at the St John Betjeman in the St Pancras International Station last week. Having spent a lot of time working in the Middle East and Europe over the last 5 years, and having not met a number of the Fellows attending, I wasn't sure how the evening might pan out.
What I can say, is I needn't have worried as the evening was full of open, honest, stimulating and thought provoking conversation. The passion for the sector was clear to see, regardless of the challenges being faced, and everyone was prepared to share their thoughts and ideas (regardless of the competitive nature of the industry). What was great to see and hear was the desire to come together to find holistic solutions that could benefit all providers whether they be large or small. And our able chair was very good at bringing us all back to earth with the key question "How?" to ensure we kept our focus on deliverable solutions.
Equally the group was honest about some of the areas where they and the industry need to do better, recognising that professionalism and talent retention and development were key agendas. This is something the IEP is very focused on, but needs all of its members and providers to rise to the challenge of moving the service offer to the next level to continue to demonstrate its true added value to government, business and clients.
I can honestly say I learned a lot, and left with lots of ideas about how I could improve the services I was delivering and where I could add value to the sector in my role as a Fellow. I think the dinners are a great way of harnessing good ideas and challenging the status quo in a non-threatening, relaxed but focused way. I look forward to meeting others from the sector at future dinners. The food was pretty good too.”
The next Fellows Dinner, kindly supported by The Growth Company will be held on 16th November at The Restaurant Bar and Grill in Manchester. To book your ticket and find out more click here