Growing up in Bradford and being close to Leeds worked out well for me. I completed my Computer Science degree and moved into a position working for a french Financial institute in Leeds, which included regular travel to London for client meetings. I jumped at the chance when there was an opening with CiTi Bank, London, travelling internationally to New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Central Europe providing client technology strategies, business planning and forecasting where key future growth areas were best to invest and provide resources. Working in a global market sphere with talented individuals and teams really helped me understand which processes and systems are vital for building stability and sustainable growth, confidence and trust with your clients and peers.
I learnt about team dynamic, market and sales strategies and working with innovative companies that were ahead of the curve creating virtual platforms, cloud applications and wireless connectivity. Having the opportunity to sit with thought leaders, inventors and innovative strategist was exhilarating. I stayed for 6 years until the itch to move back to Yorkshire to be with family and friends grew too strong, and more importantly I missed the hills!
During this time an idea was born to create a business that provided a one-stop solution for educators and the public sector. This idea produced a business I called ‘Educational Ideas’, and in a space of 3 years we hosted the World Sustainable Conference for 40 delegates sharing, editing and communicating from the space of their hometowns. Arthur Purcell, global leader, chaired this event alongside 15 other global environmental leaders. This idea was so forward thinking for the generation it existed in, that we were invited to speak with Microsoft and Adobe to look into future collaborative software applications – alas, Microsoft Teams was born! The talented team in India and Australia, managed by the UK colleagues were awarded best technology innovation 2004.
The organisation grew from 6 people to 72 in 5 years with 5 offices globally. Things were great but working 80 hours a week across different time zones – I was a burn out, and at the same time our first daughter was on her way. My wife Jude and I had already moved to South Sheffield near the Peak District, and I was driving to Leeds 4 times a week which took its toll. I had taken the business as far I could, and it was time to look for a new challenge nearer home.
They say things happen for a reason, and a week later I was sat in an ActionCoach GrowthClub seminar and within the first 5 minutes I felt like somebody knew what I was going through. I was fired up because I could breathe again and finally have some clarity. Fast forward 12 months and with the help of the coach delivering mastery, team and leverage systems I had approved a management buyout which my senior team members deserved, to take the business to the next level.
Learning from the previous lessons and best practises from ActionCoach I set up a new company called ‘Connecting Minds’ which worked with the likes of Microsoft, LG, Intel, Adobe to introduce ground breaking technology innovation in the UK and Europe. I already had an established commercial network of SME partners, and we introduced business planning and strategy, route to market analysis and sales and marking initiatives, together with sales and technical training. We embedded this into business growth and over he next 3 year introduced Desktop Virtualisation and Collaboration tools to improve business workflows and efficiently. However, by this point our second daughter was due, and I had planned an exit strategy to introduce these solutions to established distribution partners and increase the supply chain.
For the next 11 years I worked for two global technology distributors as Head of Channel and Product and Business Growth Consultant. This provided the opportunity to work with start-up business from sole traders to medium and large organisations helping them increase profits with sales and marketing strategies into new verticals.
One of the pioneer innovations was the development of low powered computing powered by Solar, of which I was a co-founder. We got involved with Intel to deliver Solar Powered Classrooms to rural villages which was a great achievement, as well as a personal ambition, as some of these school children were walking for hours in temperatures of over 30 degrees each day.
I have a long-term vision building a talented team to support business owners with my experience and established award-winning systems from ActionCoach, to serve the Chesterfield community being part of the journey.
In my spare time I run in the Peak District, and as a family we enjoy bike rides which keeps me active. I have also been a Ashtanga Yogi for 20 years, providing a space for meditation and mindset focus.