There is an old joke that says those that keep networking are in fact not-working, but I don’t agree. Pollinating and learning from other businesses is key for anyone in any business, but especially leaders. Anyone who thinks they are too old to learn is wrong and won’t go far. It is the humble and those who spend their lives learning who will succeed and be better people to be around.

I was privileged this last week to be at the North American B Corp conference in New Orleans. I wasn’t planning to attend this year, but when the venue was announced, I changed my mind, so yes, I did take in some history and jazz whilst there. It was an honour to talk to so many humble people at the event who are achieving amazing things in the world through their businesses, but who seriously underplay their achievements. It was notable too that most people who did stuff on the stage were from minority cultures - the white male leaders of the organisation taking a back seat in proceedings. 

This week I am judging in two food competitions; firstly, the Food Matters Live Awards on Tuesday and then the Speciality Food Magazine New Producer Awards on Thursday at Bread and Jam Fest at the Institute of Directors. I am really looking forward to both as they will be learning experiences as these start-up businesses have put their heart and soul into their products and businesses and are prepared to put their necks on the line for a new business idea.

Before then at Cotswold Fayre we have our New Supplier’s Conference. This year we are holding this to include prospective new suppliers and hope to be able to help even those we don’t have room to include in our range for 2019. The process will also help both sides discover whether we are suited for each other, as business is not just about buying and selling commodities and products, it is about partnership and working together.  

Have a good week whatever you are doing this week – hopefully it will include learning and pollinating.