It’s not often you can truly say you’ve heard a tour de force of a keynote speech at a conference. But Lord Digby Jones certainly delivered one at the Trustmarque Solutions customer conference in London a couple of days ago.
Lord Jones, a former director-general of the CBI and more recently Minister of Trade and now a cross-bencher in the House of Lords, outlined the challenge facing British businesses – and indeed Europe as a whole – from the economic rise of Asia, painting a picture of the Chinese raising living standards for their 1.3bn strong population, with the subsequent impact on European and US business, with a cautionary tale about the fall of the Roman Empire along the way.
Lord Jones, whose energy and delivery fully engaged his audience of Trustmarque customers and partners and left them scarcely daring to sneak a look at their Blackberries and iPhones mid-speech, also told a moving tale of his Royal Navy career and the importance of teamwork.
Lord Jones currently has a book out: Fixing Britain: The Business of Reshaping Our Nation. If it’s half as good as his Trustmarque speech here, it will be quite a read. And from Trustmarque’s point of view, it was equally quite a coup to land a heavyweight keynote speaker with added clout and bite.