5 years ago I started my own company, The Value Innovator. The website went live in August 2013 and my first invoice was posted in October 2013 – its been a journey of twists and turns, ups and downs but right now I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. So, in case you’ve ever wondered but never had the time to ask, here are the 5 most common questions, I’ve been asked in the last 5 years.
Q1. What do you miss the most, about Corporate employment?
Aside from the car, salary, health care, pension etc and what now seems like unlimited resources … the company of passionate colleagues, striving for continued improvement, who were always available, willing to challenge, support and take responsibility.
Q2. What do you enjoy the most, about working with SME’s?
The company of passionate people wanting to improve their business. You can’t beat the Ah Ha moment when shoulders lift, and eyes light up, as they see the solution to something that’s been giving them sleepless nights.
Q3. How did you become involved in ‘performance improvement’?
I have been extremely fortunate to have worked for companies who believed in investing in their people, and I’ve benefitted from decades of continued professional development – I even became a lean six sigma champion at the age of 52!
30 years, 4 Sectors and 17+ job titles later, with responsibility having peaked around £100m, 250 staff, and 17 sites across 5 countries; I realised that what I had ultimately been paid for, was my ability to improve business performance.
Q4. Why did you start your own business?
The Division I was running was not required by the company planning to acquire the company within which the division operated. It wasn’t a complete surprise as I’d spent the best part of 6 months closing, transferring and generally winding things down.
As a result, I started 2013 looking for something that I’d enjoy doing, where I could make a difference, earn enough to pay the mortgage, feed the kids; and avoid repeating a life spent on “trains, planes and automobiles”.
Recruiters looking to place me in new sectors, positioned me as their shortlist wild card, whilst their clients often perceived me as over qualified, a tad expensive for their requirement and though it was unsaid, the wrong side of 50. Whilst enquiries from my most recent sector, focused on value-add short term assignments, and the rest as is often said … is history.
Q5. Why “The Value Innovator”?
I’d been employed by some major businesses to improve people performance, product profitability and process productivity – all of which had been achieved through my approach to innovation (rather than invention), thus the name had to reflect my experience, expertise and engagement style.
I am not (nor did I want to be) an Associate/Partner/VP Consultant for the International Management Consultancy Office of blah de blah.
It’s a very crowded sector – whilst writing this Google generated 450,000,000 results for the term Management Consultant and 1,240,000,000 results for the term Business Advisor.
In short, Differentiation, Memorability and Authenticity were the key drivers behind the name.
THANK YOU to all those people who have encouraged and engaged me over the last 5 years – it’s YOU who made this 5th Anniversary possible!