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Webinars provided 'lockdown motivation,' Founding Director of Conexion says

Founding Director of Conexion, Dave Barry
Founding Director of Conexion, Dave Barry
5 min

What was your career journey that lead you to start®?

After initial roles in travel and retail I joined global biopharma Eli Lilly in February 1999 for thirteen years across human resources, lean six sigma and finance. Keen to lead in other sectors, I left Lilly in October 2011 and following a telecoms project role joined cybersecurity leader Trend Micro in March 2013 as Head of HR – EMEA Operations Centre/Ireland and interim Southern Europe. Passionate about keeping work human, I left Trend in October 2016 to management consult in life sciences before establishing® in October 2018.

What is your unique business offering at®?

Organisational HR consultancy. For me, Eli Lilly in particular constituted a connected organisation in that who it was, where it was heading, and what it was like to work there, were defined, linked and communicated. Inspired also by subsequent different work experiences, Conexion’s unique methodology is achieving similar positive connection in companies of all sizes, public sector and teams. With vision of ‘a world of people feeling connected and well at work’, we connect culture, strategy and people for happier high performance, and our values are integrity, people passion and big picture connection.

What was your experience of COVID-19 lockdown in terms of the impact it had on your business?

Back in January, I presented The Rollercoaster Ups & Downs of Start-Up Year 1 at Republic of Work in Cork. To a room of familiar and new faces, I spoke about Conexion’s first year and the ups of the business - evolving clearer, valued clients, and the sociable joy of exploring alliances and associates. On the flip side, I covered less favourable elements too of always on, variable finances and promises, promises. After a 2019 that also featured sibling serious illness, the positive outcome there had me really looking forward to Year 2. Then arrives COVID-19. Given Conexion’s more developmental focus, the business went on hold.

What attracted you to the Chambers Ireland and Griffith College ‘Reboot your business through your development plan’ programme?

During initial lockdown, I first immersed myself in my personal passion of music research and playlist creation prior to subsequently attending many webinars, not all inspiring. Ultimately what attracted me was that the programme would provide structured schedule and thought during a challenging period, re potentially pivoting or not. From a content perspective, the mix of academic and industry was appealing.

What were some of the particular highlights for you?

Both the Paraic Horkan (including an introduction to Verne Harnish’s ‘Scaling Up’ re people, strategy, execution, cash) and Eoin McGee/Noel Daly sessions were genuine joys, holistically looking at overall business in such an engaging fashion. Vicki O’Toole’s session was just so human, open and honest then.

How did it help you to redefine your business?

With Year 1 offerings of workshops, masterclasses and consulting,® was designed suitable for online, and the clear opportunity pending was/is reconnection with respectful timing. Looking back, the programme eureka moment for me occurred when Susie Horgan of Springboard PR talked about how specific she had been in a LinkedIn post offering to help. Conexion did not need to pivot, but significantly define and segment our services for going forward. The programme truly provided lockdown motivation, reflection and outcomes, particularly via dynamic speakers and practical examples. Sincere thanks to all.

What are your plans for® in 2020 and beyond?

Currently collaborating with an amazing commercial mentor assigned by LEO South Cork, our new discover connect engage business model will soon be ready for road. We have provided 2019 clients with a well-received preview, and a website upgrade is planned too. Next is back to business, then go for global.

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