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#Tangible15 – Limerick

March 30, 2015 0 Comments

LimerickDipticWe had a great day in Limerick for “A Winning Culture“. The setting was the beautifully restored Bishops’s Palace and David Deighan, CEO of Limerick Civic Trust led with an overview of what they’ve accomplished and where they’re going!

Limerick is coming off it’s year as Ireland’s first “City of Culture” and some wonder “What’s next?’.

That’s where Tangible Ireland comes in. We never stop to wonder. Leaning in to the positive, we’re here to highlight everything that is moving forward.

Limerick has a history of courageous and innovative thinking. “Shannon Development” the world’s first “free trade zone” was as cutting edge as it got in 1959. It gave rise to the National Technology Park, now part of the University of Limerick campus. The University shared it’s trajectory  with Shannon Development, the Shannon Free Trade Zone and with the help of fundraising efforts in America, established itself as a leading academic institution.

What the founders did in the late 1950s was actively imagine a different future for the region – and in fact the country. The manufacturing base required to move Ireland forward from an agrarian economy was imported from America and relationships were cultivated with Asia – then just emerging. The region still owes it’s economic viability to the creativity and foresight of these leaders.

Maintaining momentum matters! Tangible Ambassadors are invited to present on a range of subjects which serve to educate, inspire and promote their personal, business and civic initiatives.

I was inspired by three young innovators – David O’Shea of nTrai Crowd Funding; Neil O’Hagan of Atlantic Youth Trust and Robbie Gilbert of Premium Power.

Do what you love” comes to mind! David O’Shea is an athlete who is bringing an innovative approach to funding sources for athletes in training. Crowd Sourcing has been around for a few years now – but the focus has been on products!  nTrais approach is genius.  Sponsors ‘back’ an athlete, who then seeks matching funds. The athlete is supported, the sponsor gets exposure to the community built up around the athlete, their personal or team effort and across the sport.

Neil O’Hagan has been driving this project forward from concept through development and now into the funding stage. The Atlantic Youth Trust has a tall ship to build!

The youth leadership programming has begun, the plans are drawn and a ship has been sourced for preliminary voyages. Some matching funds have been promised  from both the UK and ROI* governments – and application will be made for EU funding as well. Help Atlantic Youth Trust get the remaining donor support it requires.

Electrical Engineer Robbie Gilbert talked about bringing his skills from a market leading, international engineering consultancy to Premium Power a niche energy startup with a mission focused on quality. Reared and educated here in Ireland, with family on both sides of the divide, he credits the sacrifices made for his education for his success.

What all three young men modeled were work and career choices clearly aligned with their personal values.  I have every confidence that these “leaders in waiting” will put the last generation of chancers to shame!

Tangible folk hail from across the island of Ireland and the Diaspora. We are entrepreneurs and mavericks, mainstream professionals from both the corporate and third sectors, middle managers, civil servants and retirees.

The events create a forum for entrepreneurs to benefit substantially from the expertise shared by professional consultants. Eoin Barry of ARV Excellence delivered an overview of their “Better Results” program.  It is clear that a methodology to accelerate a company’s culture shift to one of accountability is critical to micro businesses as well as the industry leaders they serve.

Aoife Healy of Pathway Consulting challenged us to focus on a strategy -no matter the size of the business or industry. Her reminder to identify and analyze the barriers to success, was as significant as exercise in goal setting. It echoed ARV’s addition of  “velocity” to accountability and reliability. She too emphasized “maintaining momentum”.

Paul Ferns and John Webb O’Rourke presented on the latest economic development initiative in Kilmallock, County Limerick.

RISE is a social enterprise in what was once the Medieval capital of Munster. Proximate to Limerick and Cork cities and the Ballyhoura Mountains, the plan is to restore and develop an historic structure as a centre for sustainable businesses as well as a destination for educational programming. Sustainability is assured by co-locating complementary businesses and industry.  This diversity in it’s base, the move from service based businesses to production as well as the range of businesses will cushion the local economy in the event of a future downturn.

Imelda McGrattan, Coach and Belfast blow-in to Dingle – grounded us, as always with her perspective. She shared a part of her journey recalling the influence of a business owner and boss who modelled relaxed, grounded and centered leadership. Having arrived there, she reminded us that there is much to be learned by documenting your journey and respecting the incremental changes that reflect how far you have come. Aim high, stay grounded.

My own message was and is to ask that we demand excellence in leadership, praise it when we see it and voice our disaapointment when it falls short. Embrace digital media and share the stories of #PositiveIreland. Draw attention to what is #Shameful, #Unacceptable or of which it can be said #WereBetterThanThis. Case and point, a Tourism Ireland Event page that hasn’t been updated since 2007. Things will change only when we demand that they do.

Raymond Sexton closed with an overview of Tangible’s Mission, Values & Ethos. He reviewed the remaining meetings this year set in villages in Ireland to Global Cities where our diaspora thrives. It’s about Collaborative Leadership, Shared Excellence and a commitment to “Pay it Forward“.

We’ll be in New York (23. April), Crossmaglen (28. May), Sydney (25. June), Summer School in Ballyhoura 18, 19. 20 August, Galway in September and London in November. The schedule can be found on the “Leadership Seminars” page of the Tangible site.


*The ROI government has been asked to contribute the €3.8 million insurance money it collected at the loss of the Asgard II








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