In my early business career, I was leading a team attempting to win a <£10m> deal at BP’s Research and Engineering Centre.
During our presentation to the BP decision making board, we were interrogated about our apparent lack of experience in Petro-Chemical storage.
Now our bid had been generally very well received and this technicality was small but in my mind highly significant. I had a sinking feeling as the question was asked. However, a quiet member of our team spoke up and highlighted that although the company had limited know how, he in fact had held responsibility for storage facilities housing nuclear warheads.
Our credentials were established, we secured the deal and I learned to never underestimate anybody around me and just how important it is for everybody to step up when the moment arises.
Winning business is tough. Delivering solutions which depend upon innovation is tougher still. There are all sorts of barriers to change. But sometimes there are significant opportunities.
We secured a <£15m> deal to support British Gas across their 13 site London HQ portfolio back in the nineties. One element of that involved a small spend of £150,000 p.a. In the course of our R&D work, we had identified a way of using technical innovation to massively reduce expenditure.
We were brave enough to apply the innovation and to manage the risk in an intelligent way, creating a 1st year saving in excess of 60%.
Being first creates significant advantage.
Knowing your business counts.
Conor Washington was not in the struggling Peterborough United League 1 team when I joined POSH on September 21 2015.
In January 2016, Conor scored to knock Preston North End out of the FA Cup and was subsequently sold to Queens Park Rangers in a multi-million-pound deal. In March 2016 he scored his first international goal for Northern Ireland and on June 12 made his first competitive appearance for his country at the 2016 Euros. His transformation came about by working with the Atelier Formula. The striker is in no doubt about the cause of his huge improvement.
“It is simple really; Graham made it clear that I would never become bigger than the ambitions that I truly desired for myself. He measured desire in terms of how open minded I was prepared to be in my learning and how hard I was prepared to work to get better. He then pointed me at 7 key areas and gave me a view on what I could be much better at in each of those areas. I took the advice and the goals started coming. I surprised myself at how good I became. Becoming much better was not easy but it was massively rewarding and I am a huge advocate of Graham’s philosophy”
On September 1st 2015, I was appointed Manager of Peterborough United Football Club. I inherited a squad that had played 11 games together; winning 3, drawing 2 and losing 6.
A win record of 27%, A loss record of 55%.
Or -28%; wins were dwarfed by losses.
41 games and 7 months later, I left the Club.
During my time there, we won 18, drew 6 and lost 17 games.
A win record of 44% (+17%). A loss record of 41% (-14%).
Or +3%; a 31% improvement.
Not only that; I sold our top goal scorer in a multi-million-pound deal whilst producing that improvement and suffered 3 serious injury blows to arguably, our 3 best other players; Jermaine Anderson, Calum Elder and Gabby Zakuani.
The progress that was made reflects the initial phase of a group of people learning individually and combining collectively to produce a better level of performance as they went forwards on a journey towards their best. We had fun along the way.