Blogs

I'm pleased to share some take-away thoughts from June's Threads discussion.

We got together for an open discussion around retaining and motivating your best people.

On Wednesday 5th July, we explore the topic 'What is your leadership style – what works and what doesn't?' You can rsvp via the group MeetUp page.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

Don't simply push harder in what might be the wrong direction. There may be an easier way, a quicker route or more lucrative business to pursue.

Business is a mixture of inspiration and perspiration. If you are an in-the-detail person, have someone who complements your approach by bringing their higher-level view.

If your strategic thinking gets constantly interrupted by the day-to-day, then plan regular time away from the business to focus on the bigger picture. Set a key question to address then physically remove yourself ... Read more

I'm pleased to share some take-away thoughts from May's Threads discussion.

We got together for an open discussion around retaining and motivating your best people.

On Wednesday 7th June, we will explore the topic 'What are the pain points for growth within your organisation?' You can rsvp via the group MeetUp page.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

The cost of a good engineer leaving the business is typically six months' salary. Double that for a management level colleague.

Stay mindful that your business contains really important people at all levels. Recognise their individual contributions and take steps to keep them onboard.

Don't blindly accept industry staff attrition rates. Some firms, with the right culture, will be seeing significantly fewer people leaving.

Acquisitions tend to focus on the numbers rather than on the culture, which can ... Read more

I'm pleased to share some take-away thoughts from April's Threads discussion.

We got together for an open discussion around delegating effectively.

On Wednesday 3rd May, we will explore the topic 'Why do good people leave, how can a business motivate them to stay' You can RSVP via the group MeetUp page.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

When something needs doing, the first question to ask yourself is "who can I get to do this?" as a way to make delegation your first port of call.

If you remain in charge of most things you become a bottleneck. You’ll start to make poor decisions as good decisions need good information, and you can’t keep track of everything. Letting go is the only way for a business to scale, so start today.

Beware of your own ego, aka technical 'pride'. It’s not all about you. It’s about the team and your ability to maximise the ability of the ... Read more

Here are some take-away thoughts from March's Threads discussion.

We would be pleased to hear your views, challenges and experiences. Please feel free to comment, or to contact the organisers directly if you'd prefer.

On Wednesday 5th April, 'How to delegate and let go, and grow more management'.You may RSVP here.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

The world of funding has modernised and diversified partly as a reaction to the financial crisis. New sources of funding are available such as instant loans, peer to peer lending and equity crowdfunding. Keep an open mind.

Experience of the group suggests banks are still cautious on lending, some declining relatively modest loans with long-standing customers with good credit scores. Alternative methods are increasingly commonplace and the decision making process for approval from debt providers can be more streamlined.  

Founders ... Read more

I'm pleased to share some take-away thoughts from February's Threads discussion.

We would be pleased to hear your views, challenges and experiences.

On Wednesday 1st March, we explore the topic 'Funding sources and what they expect from you'. You may RSVP here.

And, on Wednesday 5th April, we explore 'How to delegate and let go, and grow more management'. You may RSVP here.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

"How you innovate will evolve and change as you grow. Think about what innovation your business needs to do during each phase of its growth, and choose appropriate strategies to make it happen."

"Build up a war chest of innovation. Just because customers or competitors don’t seem to innovate, it doesn't mean that they aren't. Businesses are more likely to struggle because they did too little innovation rather than too ... Read more

I'm pleased to share some take-away thoughts from December's Threads discussion.

We got together for an open discussion of the considerations, merits and potential pitfalls of outsourcing drawing on the shared experiences of the attendees.

On Wednesday 1st February, we will explore the topic 'remaining innovative in the face of day to day operations'. You can rsvp via the group MeetUp page.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

"With contract staff, you are benefiting from their transferable skills. However, once they've completed their contract and moved on, you can rarely get them back again. Mitigate for this and capture the subtle knowledge that can otherwise be lost."

"With outsourcing partners, you are more likely to be able to tap back into the individuals involved and access their knowledge later down the line."

"Start-ups must consider what they're really good at in ... Read more

I'm pleased to share some take-away thoughts from November's Threads discussion.

We got together for an open discussion of the experiences, issues and considerations that surround a modern recruitment process within the South West technology community.

Next month, on Wednesday 7th December, we will explore the topic 'What and how to outsource'' You can rsvp via the group MeetUp page.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

"Look for people via your own networks first. People are easier and cheaper to find this way, and you avoid creating noise in the market that can drown out those people who would really love to work for you.”

“Recruiting at the very earliest stage of the business is all about the personal relationships. It’s more like finding a life partner. But even later on, the personal relationships are critical to making great hires.”

“Don’t get hung up on interviewing for ... Read more

I'm pleased to share some take-away thoughts from the Threads discussion.

Six of us got together for a discussion around the experiences of, and lessons learned from, the nature of change that a growing technology company's culture may encounter as it evolves as fresh people join and as the company prepares for life beyond the founders.

We would be glad to hear of your own perspectives, please feel free to comment or to contact the organisers via the group page.

Here is a little of what came out of the conversation;

"People who are attracted to early-stage businesses aren't as motivated by the usual promotion ladder of increasingly senior-sounding job titles. Instead, they relish a diverse career journey where they can make up the map."

"Coach your managers to be your proxies, sharing the company’s values and beliefs with their teams just as you do with them.”

"Communicating that the founders plan to exit without communicating a clear and reassuring roadmap can be risky." ... Read more

It's always good seeing a new idea come to fruition, and Wednesday 5th October sees the inaugural 'Threads' roundtable discussion getting underway. We would love you to join us.

Threads is the culmination of conversations Peter Cain, Rory Suggett and I are having about common goals that growing technology businesses face.

We're seeing that some operational challenges are common, and we think Threads may support you in your leadership capacity of a growing business which builds its own tech.

We're inviting people who manage or direct technology development to join us during a series of constructive 90 minute roundtable discussions. Topics being explored will centre around; technology, process and practice; business and law; and people, staffing and skills.

The aim is to improve understanding and practice through a series of hosted informal and open ... Read more

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A few of us have been going out after work and it occurred that it may have broader appeal, so we've formed a new Bristol  cycling group 'Triffic Tuesdays'.

We're aiming to keep things light hearted. It's about winding down after a days' work, for a worthwhile ride with other interesting people from the tech community. There's no agenda. Meet up, ride, relax.

We'll do a variety of 2-3 hour routes on a Tuesday evening, away from the traffic where possible. Hills will feature (will aim  for 500m+ of climbing) and you'll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy a medium pace. This isn't about chain ganging it and we won't leave you behind, but you'll need to be up for it. A basic road bike or a hybrid with slick tyres will be fine.

We can potentially do some bigger rides as the evenings lengthen and an occasional weekend adventure - too if there's an appetite for it. Let's start simple and pool ideas, routes etc - there's plenty still to ... Read more