Our top takeaways from CBI Annual Conference 2018

by Wardour – Nov 20, 2018

As a world-leading business event, it’s always a real honour to attend the CBI Annual Conference. Our friends at Hays, a principle partner of the event, kindly invited us along to hear what challenges and opportunities are on the horizon for businesses.

Here are our key takeaways from this year’s event:

Pragmatism over Brexit

While there were a fair few disagreements on the final outcome of Brexit voiced throughout the day, the overarching discussion felt pragmatic. Director General of the CBI Caroline Fairbairn, discussed conversations she has had with European organisations. She said their message was clear; they want British businesses around their table and to work together. Theresa May received a largely warm reception and the mood in the room seemed to be that business leaders believe she has made progress in the face of uncertainty.

Generation trust?

The first panel session of the day featured Steve Murrells, Chief Executive of the Co-op and Jessi Baker, Chief Executive of Provenance, a tech start-up that helps businesses build trust in their goods and supply chains. They focused on what the next generation of workers are looking for from organisations, predicting that honesty and openness will be increasingly important both internally and externally. They were clear that businesses should be ready to discuss what they do, and how they work, with candour and credibility.

Belonging at work

LinkedIn’s UK Country Manager & VP EMEA, Josh Graff, followed on from this with a discussion on belonging. While most organisations are making great strides in improving diversity and inclusion, he argues that many need to go further. He believes that creating a sense of belonging can improve productivity and satisfaction at work. This can often come down to organisations communicating their message effectively.

Enabled through AI

The afternoon session, opened by Hays CEO Alistair Cox, considered how businesses can help their staff feel enabled by AI, rather than fear its implementation. We’ve covered this previously in the latest Hays Journal and a key consideration is how organisations can communicate the benefits and reassure their people. If this is a challenge you’re facing, we’d love to discuss how we can help.

Ethical and beneficial data capture

Vodafone’s Enterprise Director, Anne Sheehan, and Admiral’s Head of Telematics, Gunnar Peters, discussed their partnership to develop telematics in the car insurance industry. The Admiral Little Black Box, created by the two companies, captures real-time driving data using Vodafone’s network, allowing Admiral to monitor driving behaviour and offer safer drivers (including new ones) better premiums. It’s a compelling argument for safe and ethical data capture that benefits business and consumers alike.

Connected cows

And while we’re well versed in connected cars through our work with Gemalto, a new idea to us was connected cows. Anne also discussed how Vodafone have developed an Internet of Things SIM card that can be inserted into the tail of cattle, alerting farmers when they are calving. This allows them to more safely deliver calves. Talk about milking new technologies…

Published Nov 20, 2018

Read more