Thomas’s Take – May/June 2021

Networking remains as important as ever in this challenging environment, full of new opportunities. We are pleased that so many of you have joined our Zoom meetings, and welcome those of you who have become new members.

Our online meetings have ranged from informing ourselves on “The Circular Economy” and the impact of flooding due to climate change, to looking at our business networks and LinkedIn strategy, as well as looking how we have changed, pioneered and renewed over the last year, as a team and as an individual.
Our speakers this year, via Zoom have been:
Tuesday 12 January 2021 Sat Pillai ‘The Circular Economy’

Tuesday 9th February 2021 John Mardle “Climate change: Is flooding a risk to your livelihood?”

Tuesday 9 March 2021 Networking with Heather White on Remo Meeting Via Remo

Tuesday 13 April 2021 Michelle Veasey “How to generate conversations with your ideal prospects in 7 days using LinkedIn”

Tuesday 11 May 2021 Colin Wilson “How To Get Your Team Firing Together”

Videos of past speakers are recorded and uploaded to the member website and pdf presentations given by speakers are in the XTEND library. These are only available to members.

Our next Zoom speaker is Heather White on Tuesday 8 June on the subject of “10 things you must do to secure a NED or Trustee role!” 

Often successful executives feel they ’should’ aspire to NEDship but it’s very important to ensure that everyone gets all of the information and experience they need to decide whether it really is what they want to do. It doesn’t suit everyone but anyone who is interested needs practical support and the opportunity to find out. Talking to XTEND members and attending the next XTEND meeting will help you understand what being a Non-Executive Director entails and what you need to do to enhance your chances of becoming a NED.
As the Covid restrictions are beginning to be eased and we can see the light behind the tunnel we are being advised not to be blinded by it, and to continue to take care. We are still planning online meetings but are also looking at options for face to face meetings.

We are also organising a small networking lunch in July. Details will be available soon, but in the meantime do please let me know if you are interested in joining us – [email protected].

In a bid to turn the monthly meetings into proper networking sessions, we have looked at different platforms including Remo and – these platforms mean that attendees are able to be in control of where they “sit” or who they talk to. is available to members, free of charge, who wants to hold a small meeting. This is an ideal platform for new members to network together, and special interest groups to discuss their plans.

Speaking of Interest groups, we are discussing rejuvenating our special interest groups – these would be ideal to meet face to face in small groups, or to chat online via Zoom, or We already have three special interest groups (SIGs) – NED, Interim and a revival of the Social Media group.

Sue Milton has offered to lead our NED group. Martin Knowles is organising the first Interim group meeting. Michelle Veasey is lined up to give some tips on LinkedIn for our Social Media group – those of you who attended our meeting on 13 April will know how generous she was with her tips and how knowledgeable she was.

Finally, XTEND is looking to grow – we know that older workers have been hit most by the coronavirus (as evidenced by a recent ONS report). Whilst Sarah Loates, director at Loates HR Consultancy, says“Older workers are an untapped goldmine of talent, with a wealth of experience, life skills and wisdom”; Paula Gardner, founder at Redundancy Recovery Hub says that the largest group of clients made redundant are people in their fifties and over, and technological barriers remain a main reason. ”Not only are they concerned about finding work post-pandemic, but they are very aware that they are competing with younger people who are often more technically savvy and able to move for work.”

We would be delighted if you wanted to join XTEND – or if you know of anyone who needs a support network, do introduce them to XTEND. Guests can attend up to 3 online meetings free of charge, and 2 face to face meetings, before converting to a member. Committee members are happy to talk to anyone interested in the group, and answer any questions they might have, so do please get in touch if you know of anyone who is interested.


Thomas Saltiel