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  • Writer's pictureIndependent Forums

Speaker Interview: Louise Byrne

Get to know the thought leaders sharing their insight at the Future Work Scenarios event (11 May, London) in our dedicated speaker interview series.


Independent Forums: What are you currently reading? Louise Byrne: When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

Independent Forums: What is your favourite way to recharge?

Louise Byrne: Long walks somewhere beautiful – preferably by water

Independent Forums: Who or what has inspired you this year and why?

Louise Byrne: My 10-year-old son Joe. He has an incredible growth mindset and will try so many new things even if he’s not confident he’ll succeed. He’s made me reflect that sometimes my imposter syndrome is really fixed mindset setting in and it’s in my gift to do something about it.

Independent Forums: What is your biggest source of motivation?

Louise Byrne: I want to make work brilliant/people love their jobs. This came from having seen my dad work very hard, in toxic bullying environments and feeling life is too short to not have fun and feel you’re making a difference.

Independent Forums: How would you describe a typical day?

Louise Byrne: Get up and exercise straight away – run, spin, weights or yoga (I became a morning person through Covid against all odds!). Breakfast and drop Ollie and Joe to school. Talk to people all day (real or virtual). Pick the boys up from school. Cook, eat, drink wine (not every day). Put the boys to bed, lose the next 2 hours as I plan my next holiday/social event/house project.

Independent Forums: What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know?

Louise Byrne: I’ve never tried Coca Cola (nor coffee… though I’m planning to give that a go given a newfound love of espresso martinis).

Independent Forums: What’s one thing about your organisation that you wish more people knew?

Louise Byrne: Who IHG are! (Without having to describe our 17 brands… Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, Six Senses, Iberostar etc). We have a truly amazing culture and business – we’re working on our Masterbrand awareness but have some way to go.

Independent Forums: How has your perception about the world of work evolved over the past three years?

Louise Byrne: I think we’re making progress in the shift towards valuing (or at least monitoring) impact and value vs seeing input/busy-ness as productivity. The step change in virtual working has meant that (most) managers have had to rethink how they judge the effectiveness of their team.

Independent Forums: Where do you see the biggest opportunity to transform the way we work?

Louise Byrne: Using as much insight and understanding around how colleagues think/work/act as we do consumers. For years we have invested and known so much about consumer behaviour, but so little about how to maximise individual and team performance, potential and happiness. The organisations who will truly invest deeply in this will not only win the war for talent but have the performance edge over the organisations who don’t.

Independent Forums: What are you most looking forward to at Future Work Scenarios 2023?

Louise Byrne: Learning from inspiring people


Louise Byrne will join a panel exploring the future of leadership at FWS23 on 11 May in London.

Register here to join the conversation.


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