North of England heavyweights come together to provide vital insight on modern-day leadership

L-R Rachel McElroy, chief marketing officer, and Rae Evans, senior sales and marketing executive

Nearly 40 senior leaders from the Northern Powerhouse – representing brands including Channel 4, Morrisons, NHS Digital and Leeds City Council – have contributed to a white paper on the topic of outstanding leadership, that’s free to download from today.

Launched by Wakefield-headquartered technology solutions and services provider, Solutionize Global, over 2,700 minutes of interviews were conducted with C-suite individuals – spanning seven cities and 12 industries in the north of England – who all now feature in the authoritative 70-page document.

Thought leadership – covering a year of a health and crisis on a global scale – comes from public sector organisations such as DWP Digital and Leeds City Council, and highlights how Morrisons continues to feed the nation and underlines Channel 4’s commitment to regional hubs.

Contributors have provided an in-depth view into how roles continue to evolve throughout a COVID-disrupted 2020, and why empathy, humility, trust, learning and communication will all be key attributes for managers in 2021 and beyond.

Speaking about what a modern-day business leader should now look like, Matt Kelleher, group chief information officer (CIO) and supply chain director of Morrisons, commented: “To be a supportive leader means checking in, reviewing, learning and changing things – and then going again.”

Meanwhile, Rashmi Dube, partner at gunnercooke LLP, added: “There is no doubt that this pandemic has changed us all in how we approach leadership, and how we have to adapt our style and approach for the given situation.”

And Eve Roodhouse, Leeds City Council’s culture and economic development lead, believes the global crisis will make many enterprises rethink their environmentally-friendly provision.

“Recent modelling from the Local Government Association shows that Leeds will become a hotspot for new green jobs, generating the highest estimated of positions in the low carbon and renewable energy sector of all the English Core Cities,” she commented.

Several contributors spoke at a VIP virtual event on Friday 11th December – ahead of the 15th December launch – including Celine McLoughlin, lead product owner from DWP Digital, EMIS PLC’s group delivery and deployment director, Cleveland Henry, and Flutter UK and Ireland CIO, Rik Barker.

The online session included a keynote speech from former Leeds United and Sheffield United striker Brian Deane – now co-founder and chairman of Phoenix Sports and Media Group – alongside an introduction from Solutionize Global’s chief digital officer, Riaan De Klerk, who also discussed Covid-19’s impact on organisational leadership.

Rachel McElroy – the brainchild behind the white paper and Solutionize Global’s chief marketing officer – said: “Every aspect of our lives has been turned upside down at an unrelenting pace. That’s why it’s been vital to get the views of senior leaders about how we can continue to build our economy – and why character and personality traits will play a vital role throughout.

“The white paper is a positive narrative for northern leaders about how we can all be a little bit more ‘human’ in our decision-making and why collaboration, understanding and supporting one another can help our local economy to not only recover, but scale up.”