Who killed the cat?

curiosity may be the most important thing you own

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s a sure fire way to find out information.

As 65 members and visitors de-iced cars – and themselves! – to gather for the first 2017 meeting of The Boardroom Network Solent, visitors to the Solent Hotel, Whiteley, were curious to learn more about how this flexible format connects.

It’s down to the mix of friendly independent professionals and their genuine willingness to share expertise rather than sell goods or services. Enthusiasm and passion are fine but we don’t pitch; we tell people what we do or offer. You’re more likely to hear ‘If I can help anyone, let’s have a coffee’ than ‘I’d like a referral to a…’ because savvy networkers won’t refer until they know someone’s good.

Hosting table 1 introductions, business advisor Kevin Sheldrake announced plans to bring same stage businesses together in and around Southampton; this happens with his Bournemouth-based advisory boards. He used an example of hearing: ‘I can’t be the first person to deal with a slow paying client’. Just as there are different reasons for late payment, there are various approaches to tackling it and peer groups can offer suggestions.

Our timing is precise thanks to MC Jay Rachet, who announces speakers and table swop time (this facilitates maximum introductions).

Three members came forward for spotlights:

  • Adam Cheshire, with advice on being prepared for telecommunications changes when BT scraps ISDN in around six years. Thinking about how it might affect your business now may lead to better solutions.
  • Lee Thomas works in protection – but he’s nothing to do with security or mob culture… rather business protection for company directors, key employees and shareholders, those critical to daily running who may experience a bout of serious illness, or worse.
  • Gavin Meikle is a professional speech writer and presentation coach who has just published a book, The Presenter’s Edge; he’s on a mission to make presentations better and more engaging through easy to implement basic changes.

From just two of today’s tables, there were representatives working in data loss prevention, televised sports journalism, bookkeeping, sales, personnel development, relationship coaching, serviced properties, video production, commercial contract furnishing, magazine publishing, IT training, executive coaching and industrial cleaning, let alone the cornerstones of any business – banking, accountancy, insurance and law.

Still curious about us? Visitors comment ‘I really liked the audience’ because The Boardroom Network creates an inclusive setting where introductory minutes are respectful, chats commence, then develop. There’s an element of luck too as you may find precisely who/what you need.

And whilst Michael Collins may be curious as to where his Champagne has got to (for introducing the most visitors this month), the rest of us left looking like the cat that had had a taste of the cream.


Words: Sue Hughes, copywriter and editor.