It’s a time to learn for West Norfolk businesses and plan ahead

Chris Sargisson
Chris Sargisson

I’m Chris Sargisson. Welcome to my first column as the new chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

My new role means that I’m, personally, addressing a period of change. But, let’s face it, I’m not alone. Phrases like “momentous recent events” would, we all thought, be redundant by now. And yet every week seems to deliver another unpredicted, unexpected and often unprecedented development.

In fact, as I write, the Brexit negotiations move get into gear and they qualify on all the above counts.

When it comes down to it, the biggest lesson we’ve learned of late is that we should expect the unexpected.

That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t plan for the results and outcomes we want. As businesses we must set targets, define goals and lay down strategies. In fact, and here’s something else we’ve learned, it makes sense to lay down an alternative strategy, a Plan B, in case another of those “momentous events” knocks us off course.

As a region, the same applies. West Norfolk has real opportunities ahead, but it would be foolish to ignore the fact that there are significant challenges too.

As chief executive I will be working on how best to promote, support and stimulate our region’s commerce.

Right now I’m on a bit of a learning curve myself. With a background in IT and technology I’ve made quite a change to my working life. I believe that my experience will be relevant and useful; my fresh pair of eyes coupled with my entrepreneurial track record will allow us to examine, objectively, where we go next. This is about building on the outstanding work done by my predecessor, Caroline Williams.

I know that we can learn from recent experience and develop a strategy that will make the Chamber ready to be there for the good of West Norfolk’s commerce. I look forward to working with you.