Mark Stuart is the co-founder of Anagram Group and will be one of the speakers joining us online for our IBTM Wired conference programme on Day 1 of the event. He will be delivering a session on “Leading in Challenging Times”.
Ahead of this session, we sat down with Mark to find out a little more about him and how leadership can be formed through challenging times.
How did you get into corporate/executive coaching?
Prior to this career, I worked in the banking sector in London, Sydney and finally Singapore. It was during this time that I became more involved in training new starters and developing both the technical and soft skills of my employees. Once I realised that I wanted to change career, it was an easy decision to move into something that helped to develop people’s careers.
Favourite thing about coaching?
Seeing the results and breakthroughs of my coaches, and helping them achieve their goals!
What has been your crowning moment so far?
I think winning the British Chamber of Commerce’s Future of Work award stands out for me, in recognition for our work in helping firms drive innovation and prepare for the future of work. Aside from that, having had the opportunity to work in 19 countries is personally pleasing.
Your session at IBTM Wired will be all about leading in challenging times. What are some of the challenges that MICE leaders currently face?
The biggest challenge has been how to effectively switch to virtual events and make money from them. For the first 6 months, no one seemed to see the value in paying for virtual events but, with improvements in technology, we’ve seen the perception and value dramatically improve to where they should be.
How do you think leadership has changed in the past year due to the pandemic?
Most leaders have been pushed to new limits; how to manage teams remotely whilst holding staff accountable, how to adapt quickly to changing employment laws, how to learn and embrace technology. For many, these were new skills regardless of their leadership experience.
What are the differences between leading in-person and leading virtually?
Ideally they should be the same, but one of the main differences to arise has been the focus on employee wellness. Working virtually doesn’t have to be a struggle, but combine it with a lack of processes and culture, with leaders who have little experience in managing remote staff, and the lack of interaction with their colleagues, and you have the stress we’re seeing among many employees. Leaders now have to accept that leading virtually will be part of their daily responsibilities, and they need to add more structure around working processes going forward.
What are some of the most important things leaders need to be aware of for the future?
Employees now have a larger voice in when, where and how they want to work. Technology is only going to keep improving and playing a larger part in how we do our jobs. Getting the blend right between technology and human engagement is going to be crucial for successful leaders.
Best piece of advice you’d give to a MICE leader looking for guidance right now?
The industry has undergone a permanent change and hybrid events are here to stay. Find a way to encompass them into future events so that all participants get similar value from the event.
What’s on your desk?
2 laptops, an external monitor, a webcam, a microphone, a Streamdeck, and most importantly, some English breakfast tea! Nowadays I have more personal mementoes on the bookcase behind me; a sign of the virtual times!
What are you most looking forward to doing when the world is back to normal?
Travel! And, not wearing a mask everywhere I go.
Hear more from Mark Stuart when he appears online on Day 1 of IBTM Wired for his session “Leading through Challenging Times”.
Register to attend here.