Early this year I met with Ian Irvin, Honorary Life President of ENEX Executive Search, while he was in South Africa from the UK to visit his daughter in Hout Bay. We spent a number of inspiring hours together in the coffee lounge of The Protea Hotel President in Bantry bay, during which time Ian sold me on the idea of ENEX and their vision into the future. Warm and approachable, with a giving nature, Ian shared his journey in executive search in the UK with me, and painted a dynamic picture of his involvement with ENEX. I felt so relaxed that I had to keep reminding myself that I was being interviewed as the designated representative for Enshrine; part of Ian’s agenda in SA was to identify a partner for ENEX, and only one company is chosen per country.
Those of you are familiar with Enshrine’s vision to expand our footprint into Africa and to be a portal for international skills transfer into the African continent, will understand the appeal of what ENEX represents to us. ENEX is a partner network consisting of various outstanding established Executive Search, Recruitment and Human Resource Consulting organisations. Each partner is highly respected in their own country and their combined global partnerships represent a powerful international network of expertise.
Originally known for Executive Search & Selection the ENEX partnership has expanded significantly and now offers a range of services to help manage, develop and grow human resources. ENEX was formed in 1980 and today has recruitment teams in over 30 countries. ENEX began as a Pan-European endeavour, but in the last few years has expanded into Asia and South America. This year they began the process of drawing in new members, including Belgium, South Africa, Mexico and Australia, as part of their goal of becoming a global force.
The first interview with Ian went exceptionally well, but he really wanted to meet Caryn also, and so a week later Caryn flew down from Johannesburg and we met with him again. More and more it seemed like there was a great deal of synergy between ENEX and certain directions we had already envisioned for our business, not to mention that there was an intrinsic resonance with regard to shared values and ethical orientations.
A few weeks later Caryn and I were invited to attend a skype conference call with Ignacio Macaya of Macaya Consulting in Barcelona Spain. Ignacio is ENEX’s current President and effectively this call was a second interview. Once more we had a great conversation and felt a strong sense of synergy; however, we were informed that we were not the only company being interviewed and that we would hear in approximately a month’s time whether we had been selected to attend the ENEX conference in London in June – which would constitute the final ‘interview’.
We were thrilled to hear approximately six weeks later that were invited to the conference in London and that here we would have a chance to present Enshrine to the other member’s and if everybody got along, we would be invited to join. Caryn and I made preparations and on the 1st of June left for London and the conference which was to take place on the 3rd. The conference was held at the Naval and Military Club (The In and Out Club) in Babmaes Street, right in the heart of London, a stone’s throw away from Piccadilly Circus. It was such a unique experience to stay right in the centre of London and in a building with such a long history (the building was once the residence of Lady Astor).
Our ENEX experience began with an afternoon tea in the courtyard garden for the potential new ENEX members, where we finally met Ignacio in person, and Ian and his wife Tina made us feel quite at home. Our wonderful reception dinner, in what felt like a ballroom with huge oil paintings of various British dignitaries and royalty, was preceded by two wonderful talks delineating the topic of the conference: “Cross Border Recruitment and Global Coaching” – delivered by Katherine Tulpa and Clive Steeper. Katherine is CEO and Co?Founder of the Association for Coaching, and Co?CEO of Wisdom8, an international coaching firm specializing in CEO, Board and Top?Team development. Her purpose is “to inspire and stretch global leaders, wholly and authentically, so that they make a positive impact in the world.” Clive is UK partner of ENEX and the Founder of AVASST Limited, an international consultancy specializing in executive search, organizational development and coaching for CEO, Board and Top?Teams. His business success is attributed to his ability to quickly analyse the issues, identify how people are being impacted, and work to create a high performance culture, capable of delivering challenging results.
- Lanon and Caryn Presenting Enshrine to the ENEX Group
After plenty of introductions and being made to feel quite at home we went off to bed travel weary but excited for the actual conference which was to take place the following day. During the course of the morning of the actual conference all of the new potential members had an opportunity to present their company to the ENEX members and Caryn and I presented Enshrine together, the first chance we have had to do so before an audience, and we held the stage so easily together. By the time the mid morning coffee break came around it had already been decided that all of the new members were extended an invitation to become full members should we so choose. We were thrilled that the effort we had made to travel all the way from SA had paid off and that we had been accepted into such an experienced global group of recruitment specialists.
That evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal together in a close by restaurant, and conversation flowed so easily one would have thought we had known each other for years. Many of the members had to leave early the next morning, but for those who had some time on their hands, Ian organised some great entertainment in the form of a trip on the London Eye as well as an historic boat trip on the Thames.
Caryn and I made our way home tired but hugely satisfied and excited about the potential our association with ENEX holds for the future. The possibility of being able to facilitate international opportunities for our candidates who wish to move abroad or gain international experience for their CV is gratifying, and the potential to become a portal for companies wishing to expand into Africa seems one step closer with the support of ENEX behind us.