ISBE VP Policy and Practice Blog – March 2018

Keeping up to date – The power of others

A recent workshop with managers in small businesses about keeping up to date with legislation and regulation highlighted varying degree of awareness and understanding of the forthcoming changes to data protection with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the 25th May 2018.  Some of the managers were aware of its introduction and some of the changes that required a response by their business such as asking customers to opt into communications (this has implications for ISBE as a membership body), the use of personal emails and computers for work purposes and the classification of CCTV images as personal data. However, others were unaware of when the GDPR would come into law and how to prepare the business for its introduction.

The changes associated with GDPR provided an opportunity to reflect on both the value of legislation and regulation in managing and value a small business and the ways of keeping up to date with the changes in legislation and regulation. In terms of the latter there was a recognition that there have been significant changes in the economy and society over the last ten years and that governments are trying to encourage positive behaviours to these changes amongst the business community through updating legislation and regulation. However, there was agreement that in running a small business it was difficult to keep up to date with these changes, let alone work through the implications for the business where there are often contradictory messages from regulatory and professional bodies.

However, by taking time out of the business to come along to the workshop, the participants had an opportunity to share their understanding of changes in legislation and regulation and their experiences in how to respond to these changes.  This learning from other small businesses was perceived as important because it identified both key areas of ‘need to know’ and the usefulness of available resources and support.  In addition, discussions at the workshop extended to how small businesses in a particular sector or location could collaborate to develop resources to assist other businesses in keeping up to date.

This theme of collaboration as a way of managing changes in the entrepreneurial task environment will be the focus of this year’s ISBE Conference in Birmingham.  So, make sure that you take two days out in November to learn from others.

Leigh Sear
ISBE Vice President Policy and Practice



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