Chartwell Partners presented Julia Hobsbawm and Allister Heath


Yesterday morning, I attended a fascinating event hosted by Chartwell Partners at the RAC Club.  The session was with Allister Heath,


editor of City A.M. and a weekly columnist for the Daily Telegraph, and Julia Hobsbawn,


a businesswoman who founded the ‘knowledge networking’ business  and who writes, teaches, and gives speeches on a number of topics including entrepreneurship, networking, women in business, worklife balance, and business productivity.

Chartwell Partners was established in London in 2007, and they connect business audiences with the world’s leading expert, high profile and motivational speakers and thought leaders. With offices in Europe, Asia, Africa and the US they offer a speaker management business, a speaker’s bureau business, and an expert network providing insights on macro issues.  For more information check out their website at

The topic for the session was ‘What more can be done by the UK policy makers to help Britain’s economy come through to avoid a third dip’ and, the answer was  based on ‘productivity’, ‘culture change’ and summed up brilliantly with the antidote ‘The light bulb needs to want to change’.

So, what does that mean?   As I have said before, not being a journalist, politician or in communications the angle that I take on all the events that I attend is as a voice of the man on the street or, in my case women on the street.    It is personal development for me, as I take a break from my day job, as an event manager with SJD Events.    I personally could listen to Julia for hours as she is the professor of networking and after the presentation I went straight off to buy the book she referred to, ‘Switch’ by Chip and Dan Heath and already onto the third chapter and loving it. Learning the difference between the ‘elephant’ and ‘the rider’, and how it all works, but more on the book another time.

Julia and Allister mentioned, as had Gillian Tett, Assistant Editor and Columnist at the Financial Times last week at the ‘2013 Pre-Davos Predictions’ debate , that we needed to change our thinking processes from vertical to being more horizontal.

The comment about the ‘Light Bulb’ is so true, because how many times have you said, ‘I had a light bulb moment’ or ‘the penny just dropped’ and in business, this is something we should be striving for.  Julia’s antidote was more that more that you need to have ‘passion, feel as if you have a voice, and love what you do’ to want to change.

I recall, from an earlier life when I was working for the Government on a project for rebranding of the Facilities Management, that what was evident, that people did not want to change as the processes worked just fine.   So, when I went out into the field/garrisons where the soldiers lived and asked them about what they wanted to see, it was a different story.  It was a case of lack of communication from the top to the bottom and of course red tape and for me a really interesting assignment.  I think we can all put our hands on our hearts and say at some stage in our careers we have been privy to this.


They touched on ‘knowledge networking’ and the importance of the right framework of leadership and looking at bottom up and monitoring performance.      In the book, ‘Switch’ gave a good example, where Jon Stegner and employee in a large manufacturing company believed they were wasting money on purchasing 424 different kinds of rubber gloves, using different suppliers and varied costs so, he collated them all and presented them in a pile on the board room table to the management and as result money was saved.

It was also highlighted that ‘failure’ is not a dirty word and that through communication everyone can learn from it, but everyone in the process should have a voice.

I really enjoyed the session yesterday with Julia and Allister so, thank you Leo von Bülow-Quirk for inviting me along to another inspirational morning.

About sjdeventsltd

Owner of SJP Consultancy, specialising in offering, flexible services for all types of events, including fundraising projects in the charity sector.
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