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Innovate, Collaborate, Accelerate Conference

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Family Law Group were proud to be VIP guests at the first ICA (Innovate/Collaborate/Accelerate) conference in Milton Keynes on 29 March 2017 held by Jeanius Consulting and Marketing By Us at the Open University.

With Milton Keynes recognised as one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, and the number one location for start-ups outside of London, the focus of the conference was on growth, “scaling-up”, determination and success, with presentations and debate on all elements of business from a number of leading figures from the local, national and international arena.

The day was split into four sessions. In the morning, the focus was on Innovation and Collaboration, and in the afternoon, Acceleration and Scaling up.

In all, the 100+ delegates heard from 15 speakers from businesses such as Virgin, Metro Bank, London Stock Exchange and Xero.

The early speeches focussed upon innovation and how to get businesses off the ground. Virgin now have a specialist off shoot “Virgin Startup” which is a “not for profit” company for entrepreneurs with its Head of Development, Ian Mason, speaking of the need to achieve progress over perfection.  The Managing Director of Xero, a global accountancy software firm with a multi-million pound turnover, advised delegates that diversification can be a distraction and to therefore focus upon what you know best, and to find disruption before it finds you.

All speakers spoke of the importance of adopting technology within your business field, and making sure that you stay ahead of the competition. The speed of change in the technological field is such that companies can go from the top of their field to extinction in a very short period of time, for example, Nokia and Blackberry in the mobile phone market. Neither of these companies did anything wrong, they were just overtaken by early adopters of new technology.

In the afternoon session, the conference heard from BSI Group, whose theme was the need for organisations to have “organisational resilience”.  In ever changing and demanding economic conditions, we were informed that the more successful organisations all had one thing in common, namely, an ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental changes and sudden disruptions. 

The particular highlight of the afternoon came from the outspoken CEO of Metro Bank, Craig Donaldson. Mr Donaldson spoke of the importance of getting your brand values right saying that your vision is where you are going, and your values are how you get there. He said that to accelerate your business, you must know what you are and what you are not. “Shy bairns get nowt” he declared, telling delegates to learn from their competition and to ask questions of those who are already successful.

The writer left the conference reflecting upon Mr Donaldson’s advice to AMAZE those who come through your businesses door by:

Attending to every detail;

Making everything right;

Asking when you are unsure;

Zest (showing a zest for all that you do, this is contagious for others within the organisation)

Exceeding expectations.

AMAZE-ing future clients is now certainly an aim of FLG Ltd, and will hopefully lead to further growth!

All in all, the inaugural conference was a great success, with the hashtag #ICAconference trending number 2 worldwide (just behind Article 50 on the day it was triggered by the PM) and left all delegates with plenty of food for thought and looking forward to next year’s offering.

Dan Cooper is an Associate Director with Family Law Group Ltd and manages the firm’s Milton Keynes office.