It could read like a shopping list. A well thought out list that you do before you hit the shop.more
So, after a couple of particularly intense back to back contracts transforming healthcare I knew I was going to take a month out to re-charge, sleep, be kind to myself and have a proper think about what it really was that I wanted to do work wise!
I remember a mentor of mine a few years ago asking me that question and it terrified me, he will probably read this with a smile as I’m sure he can still remember the fear it bought up in me. At that time, I wasn’t sure I knew the answer and I was scared to take a quiet moment and think in case it wasn’t what I was doing.
I knew I always wanted to make a difference, that I was ambitious, that learning was essential in whatever style it came, that I had some real issues with authority, that I wanted to climb the ladder, that delivery meant everything to me but that people and culture were absolutely at the heart of that of what excited me and made me want to do the sort of work I do.
In 21 years, I have never worked anywhere for longer than 2 years and always prided myself on being an interim (way before they were trendy) and I’ve loved it. I’ve done some great stuff, met some amazing people and delivered some huge things but it was always the teams around me that made it worthwhile.
I spent the first 2 weeks of my trip to India sleeping (a lot!) and soaking up the different colours, sights and smells my mum thought I had sleeping sickness!! As soon as we got in the motor between places I slept and without exception I slept for a good 8 hours every night - I knew I was re-charging my batteries and that it was really overdue.
The third week my head woke up and was alive with possibilities and I am lucky enough to say I’ve had a lot of them to consider when I was away. But I knew deep down it was time to strap a pair on, not take the easy option and take another contract, where my arse is pretty much owned and as much as they want disruptive and need delivery what comes with disruptive is often truly disruptive not just the pretty veneer. My ability to deliver is really welcomed, but the full Rach package remains a challenge for most organisations. I need to be free, to be me, not a small percentage of me, but all of me.
I knew working for myself was likely to be the way forward and I was keen to explore SME's who would give me free reign, fail fast or succeed slow, be my own boss, make the decisions and be responsible for all of the good and the bad. Being used to working a 70+ hour week and always on the end of a device through the weekends I was worried about how a start-up would cope with me! They seemed to be delighted at the prospect but I had a niggling doubt they may need to be careful what they wished for!
As I look back at jobs I have loved most in my working career, running the services business for Kelway (CDW) and Kier were both heavily intrepreneurial delivery roles which stand out to me as really getting to use my skills to the max. I’ve also been lucky enough to watch (and consume services) from a lot of businesses and have a proper look at the ingredients that really make these companies fly and in my opinion, it is always their focus on people and culture. Companies like Red Badger, G2G3, Evergreen, Lollypop, Kainos, Accenture (with smart acquisitions like Karmarama and Fjord) have really blown me away and frankly made me want to get involved and run up a rival, I believe there is enough space for good delivery outfits!
ITARMI is an international reseller with an awesome platform play provisioning engineers into resellers and end clients, this has unicorn written all over it!
The Difrent Group comprises of 4 businesses a Digital Agency, Resourcing, Organisation Design (Skills Assessment, TOM, Agile Procurement) and C-Level services (interim board level outcome delivery).
Both founders want to target the fastest growing business awards in the UK over the next 12 months and I will be holding firm on my over-riding objective which is to target the top 100 businesses in the UK to work for, if we get the people right, the culture and the delivery success will follow.
I now know what I want to be when I grow up - an entrepreneur with a hefty dose of getting the right people and culture nailed for consistent delivery.
Exciting times 👍