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Breaking Down the Barriers to Get the Conversation Started

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Gareth Jarman, Director of HR consultancy Gentium International and Chair of the IoD’s Mid-Wales branch.

Thinking outside of the box and doing things differently isn’t something that always comes naturally but the challenges of the last year mean that many business leaders have had to completely rethink their business model.

Creativity and agility are a powerful combination that often create opportunity in the face of adversity; helping you to look at problems from a fresh perspective and cope with change. They are also key leadership skills that help you to motivate and inspire those around you.

As we recover from the double-whammy of Covid-19 and Brexit, it’s really important that we all look forward with positivity and focus on creating a sustainable future that will create a better world. We shouldn’t feel threatened by uncertainty or scared by any perceived barriers; we’ve just got to move forward with confidence and ambition.

Taking that step forward means getting the conversation started with those around you. We’re very fortunate to have some great people with huge amounts of talent here in Wales but there is also a whole world waiting to be explored. It might well take a bit of a cultural shift but thinking outside of the box means reaching out further afield and embracing the opportunities that greater connection brings. Don’t let borders limit your business potential.

Increased trade between countries, the growth of international organisations and changes in transport and communication technology all mean that our economic, social and environmental connections are growing. Irrespective of size or sector, there are plenty of opportunities to diversify and expand beyond our own geographical boundaries because if your product or service is a success in Wales then why shouldn’t it also succeed abroad?

There is a reassuringly supportive ecosystem in place which includes Business Wales who can help you trade internationally and reach global markets. They can assist you with finding new markets, identifying new international opportunities, and support you in navigating the new trading regulations with the EU.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is also very helpful and it was welcome news earlier this year that they will be setting up a new trade and investment hub in Wales creating up to 100 jobs. The new hub in Cardiff will support Welsh firms to grow exports as well as supporting efforts to attract more inward investment.

At a local level, the IoD is also supporting members and non-members; connecting, developing and influencing to help facilitate introductions and learning. Indeed, in the few weeks since I’ve taken on the role of Chair of the IoD in Mid-Wales I’ve met with many business leaders who are seeking new horizons and new opportunities. The power of connectivity really does show what a wonderful world we live in.

We can fulfil our potential on a global stage. We’ve just got to be creative and get the conversation started because the world really is our oyster.