It’s hard to believe that this week we’ll be celebrating our sixth birthday. The time seems to have passed in a blink of an eye since we nervously set out in 2008, in the midst of a recession, with banks in turmoil and corporate PLC running scared of investing.
It seemed a crazy time to start a business, yet with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight, we could not have picked a better time to take advantage of the opportunity before us. We had control of our own destiny, a chance to build a business and to put into practice the years of experience we had collectively gained.
Fortunately, some may say, lady luck was also on our side. The economic disruption meant the holy grail of preferred supplier lists were ignored, business leaders wanted a value proposition to achieve the greatest returns on investment and customers like Lloyds Banking Group and Whitbread backed our experience and personal approach from day one. Many others have followed, so thanks to all of you, you know who you are!
Fast forward to 2014, we’re still ‘lucky’ to be working with some great customers, to have grown sustainably and to have assembled a great team to work on the exciting projects we have on our books and in the pipeline.
We’re also very positive about what lies ahead as we have continually adapted, reinvented ourselves where needed, matured and, you guessed it, truly embraced change. In other words, we “walked the walk”.
However, there’s never time for complacency. If you were to read the financial pages today you may think our confidence is misplaced? Property prices are falling, the Governor of the Bank of England is ready to push the interest rate button and the supermarket sector is in free fall.
Although some in the retail sector may be guilty of overconfidence at best, the sector is illustrative of how successful companies can still fail to identify change or react to it quickly enough. Yet for every loser there have been winners. I greatly admire the likes of Aldi, Next and John Lewis. Their success is no accident, they execute their plans and are not afraid to change and challenge.
Outside of the retail world, there’s also significant change in the legal sector with new regulation, ownership rules, business failures, new entrants and business models as well as, management challenges to name just a few challenges. The leadership teams in the top 100 firms have it all going on and I’ll be writing more about that in the weeks to come, as I fear many partnership based law firms are finding it hard to change.
So, six years into the Curium journey, what’s my key learning? It’s simply that whatever your view or confidence of the world, you must never take your eye off the ball or stop investing in change to improve your offer.
Let’s also remember that the current pace of change in the world is unparalleled, so stay alert to the opportunity around you as if you blink, you could miss it.