Lincolnshire businesses praised for continued innovation in uncertain times

Stephen Martin IoD Director General

Stephen Martin, Institute of Directors (IoD) Director General, today (Friday) spoke up for Greater Lincolnshire businesses and leaders, praising their innovation and resilience in uncertain trading times.

He was addressing leaders and guests at the IoD Greater Lincolnshire annual business lunch, held at the Bentley Hotel, Lincoln when he revealed the results of a new IoD national Policy Voice survey.

Stephen Martin, himself a former construction group leader in North Lincolnshire and IoD East Midlands Director of the Year, before taking up his current role, said: “IoD members are many times more likely to trade abroad than the average business. For those that do, or for those with international supply chains, the uncertainty around what trade will look like come April 2019 is more than a thorn in the side.

“And many more members have faced a lack of clarity over regulations – how they will be governed, and what they will be. Just as importantly, Brexit has taken up the bandwidth of politicians at a time when the focus could have been on bolstering our skills system, our infrastructure, and devolution.”

Speaking to an audience of 130 guests, Stephen Martin added: “So at a time when politics seems forever stuck in a stalemate, what have IoD members been doing? Have you been sitting on your hands, and waiting for the political chaos to subside? Of course not. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. You have been busy finding new ways, despite the odds, to grow, to develop, and to innovate.”

The latest survey carried out just a few weeks ago, revealed around half of IoD members nationally have introduced a new product or service to the market in the past 24 months.

Stephen Martin commented: “Every new idea that a business takes time to develop is a risk. Every new avenue that you explore does not come without some cost. So to be continuing to move forward at a time of such flux is truly impressive. Because as we all know, it is not just your business that will benefit from these new ideas coming to fruition. It is everyone who makes use of them, and everyone who you are able to provide employment for because of them.”

                                                Plea for clearer rules

“In this light, it is crucial that incomprehensible regulation does not stand in your way. That same survey of hundreds of IoD members found strong support for tailored advice from Government on how to develop new products and services so that they adhere to current rules.                  

“The message from business to politics is plain and simple. It always has been. Set the rules, and we will play by them, creating prosperity as we go. But we need these rules to be clear, to ensure your enterprise isn’t wasted.”

Gary Headland, IoD Greater Lincolnshire Chair and CEO of the award-winning Lincoln College Group, welcomed Stephen Martin to the event and outlined 2019 IoD events designed to support Lincolnshire business leaders.

Guests also heard from another inspirational Lincolnshire leader: Dawn Barron, Founder of Human Alchemy,Board Trustee of the YMCA and Nomad Trust.

The event sponsor was jch:wealth management, whose MD John Hebblethwaite is an IoD Greater Lincolnshire committee member.

                                                                Survey Results

Full results of Policy Voice survey: 613 respondents, survey conducted between 12-26 October 2018 

During the last 24 months, have you introduced a new product or service to market?  







Don’t know/Not applicable


Would you use the following service if it was offered by the regulator(s) you deal with? “Tailored advice, within guaranteed timescales, on how to develop new products and services so that they adhere to current rules”

1 Yes


2 No


3 Don’t know