I learned my simple management skills at school on a rugby pitch. Lead from the front. Play with total commitment.
Great teamwork requires us to give our all; play for one another and; play to our strengths for the sake of the team.
This simple creed, mixed with a pretty lateral thought process served me with mixed results through a forty-year career – (it certainly didn’t work in Investment Banking!) – but it has served me well over 25 years as an entrepreneur – at least until a year ago and a moment of epiphany.
After exiting the Fintech company I founded in 2007 and joining Vistage, the world’s largest peer group for CEOs, I was introduced to what they call Issue Processing, which harnesses the power of group intelligence in meetings with 10-15 CEOs.
As the driver and ultimate decision-maker in the teams I have run throughout my career, it was a revelation how enormously powerful adopting a framework that frees teams from bias, office politics, and hierarchy can be. Issue Processing harnesses the power of collective thinking to analyse and often re-define challenges and questions leading to recommendations, answers and actions. It made me realise how much more I could have achieved had I understood how to harness such a powerful resource earlier in my career.
“…it was a revelation how enormously powerful adopting a framework that frees teams from bias, office politics, and hierarchy can be.”
A Powerful Coincidence
And then, as sometimes happens in life, by coincidence I was introduced to Joe Kay, the founder of Enswarm and creator of Team Intelligence. From a military background, Joe has a passion and fascination for great teamwork and following years of studying every aspect of the subject, including the contrasting habits of swarms and herds, he had created Enswarm to develop digital tools for humans to co-operate and work together to make better informed, unbiased decisions and he calls this the Team Intelligence Platform™.
I realised what Joe had created was a digital replacement of what I had observed with Vistage – a way to harness the power of groups to think laterally and wisely, leading to better-informed decisions and actions. To me this represents the democratisation of elite teamwork through technology – and brilliantly, Joe has avoided the common mistake of creating technology simply to better enable an analogue process.
“…this represents the democratisation of elite teamwork through technology…”
The Team Intelligence Platform is a purely digital process, needing no training to harness its benefits, simply relying on the power of technology and the tools to lead to better outcomes and actions – simply follow this intuitive process and teams will achieve elite performance!
And the happy coincidence continued, because Joe was at that critical phase most entrepreneurs find themselves, needing capital and experience to help turn his extraordinary vision into an extraordinary company. So, together with my long-term business partner Ben Reid, I have been lucky enough, to join Joe as a co-founder and investor in Enswarm, which is proving to be a fascinating and exciting journey.
Together with our small team of gifted and irrepressible start-up junkies, we are building our tools and evangelising Team Intelligence, to change the way individuals, teams and organisations deal with life’s challenges – and we believe this will create a happier, more collaborative and successful world.