Embracing change is the key to growth, says developer Michael O’Flynn

Michael O’Flynn, CEO and Chairman of the O’Flynn Group, was the guest speaker at the launch of Waterford Chamber’s third Regional Leaders Programme at Faithlegg.

Michael is a leading figure in the Irish and UK property sectors and is widely recognised for his experience and expertise. Having established in 1978 as a house building company, Michael has grown the business into one of the largest property development companies in Ireland, while also making a significant impact in the UK and across Europe.

Mark Fitzgerald, Bausch & Lomb, Sarah Mullally, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Jonathan Earl, President, Waterford Chamber, Michael O'Flynn, Chair & CEO, O'Flynn Group, Jackie Roche, Bausch & Lomb and Prof. Denis Harrington, WIT. Photos: John Power

Mark Fitzgerald, Bausch & Lomb, Sarah Mullally, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Jonathan Earl, President, Waterford Chamber, Michael O'Flynn, Chair & CEO, O'Flynn Group, Jackie Roche, Bausch & Lomb and Prof. Denis Harrington, WIT. Photos: John Power

He is a firm believer in mentoring and embracing the challenge of change in business. “After 41 years in business, I have seen how constant change has shaped by business and my personal life. Embracing and confronting change is fundamental to any business and everyone has to accept that it will be a constant and inherent part of life.”

While Michael offered mentors and participants an insight into his own story over the past four decades, he was also vocal on the need for change in the housing sector.

“The current housing strategy is failing the current generation, who are increasingly despairing of a system that is not delivering. Ultimately the key to the future success of the property market is balance. We need balance between delivery of units to rent, units to buy and social housing. We also need a balance between policies that support the green agenda and our long term transport plans, infrastructure and settlement objectives, and immediate action which recognises the entitlement of the current generation to housing and actions which underpins efforts to facilitate viable development of housing and apartments in the short and medium term.”

Waterford Chamber Jonathan Earl spoke about the importance of the shared learning experience and recognising Leadership Excellence in business.

“Entering this programme and accepting that you need to improve takes confidence. The region needs that confidence. It needs people like you who have signed up to this ambitious programme, people who want to grow. The region needs that ambition. It too needs to grow, and you as current and future leaders of business in the region have a responsibility to push that growth, to enable it.”

Mark Fitzgerald, HR Director at Bausch + Lomb said: “Systems are really important in business, but it is people and relationships that can really make the difference. This programme is an enabler to help make that difference.”

Recognising the importance of the Regional Leaders Programme and its value to the business community, Waterford Chamber Skillnet have funded the programme by 25%.

Sara Mullally, Network Manager says: “The expertise in this room is extraordinary, people are willing to give their time and are eager to learn. Really powerful things can come from that. Waterford Chamber Skillnet is already focused on 2020. We are here to support the needs of the business community and the Regional Leaders Programme is a prime example of what emerges when ideas are shared and collaboration happens. We have recently received notification of an increase in funding from 25% to up to 45% for training and innovative programmes so we welcome any enquiries with regards to workforce development, training innovations or future workforce planning.”

Supported by Bausch + Lomb, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Waterford institute of Technology, the Regional Leaders Programme is designed to develop business leaders for the future through mentorship and skills sharing and is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands. The programme includes monthly group sessions, one to one mentoring sessions and inspiring speaker lunches.

For more information on the Regional Leaders Programme, please contact Lynda Lawton or Kelly Cummins at Waterford Chamber on 051 872639.

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