SME Growth . Meet the business leaders with high growth mindsets
Meet the business leaders with high growth mindsets
Article by Oxford Innovation | 22.09.2015
As part of our research into the high growth mindset, we conducted in-depth interviews with growth entrepreneurs. This group included the leaders of businesses that have received support from the Business Growth Service.
In this blog, we focus on two leaders, with businesses in different sectors, who have a significant similarity – they both display the components of a high growth mindset.
Business vision – Rob Jupp, Chief Executive Officer of Brightstar Financial
Business details: Mortgage provider based in Essex, with 30 staff.
The recession forced Rob to sell his original mortgage lending company. However a subsequent period as an employee, followed by redundancy, was the catalyst he needed to act on a vision for a new model of mortgage lending that resulted in him founding Brightstar Financial in 2011.
Recruiting the right people into the right roles was a vital element of Rob’s initial six month vision. By hiring two “cornerstones” on which to build the business, Brightstar were then able to identify four key markets win which they operated, and establish four corresponding divisions to service them. Rob says “This organisation structure started to give Brightstar much greater exposure as we now get people coming to us because we have four specific brands in our four key markets.”
Rob clearly displays the business vision component of the mindset of high growth. His story illustrates a strategic vision for generating future business, underpinned by foresight in recruiting people to the right roles. Reflecting on how he has achieved this, Rob says, “it happened because that was my single-minded strategy for what I could deliver and it was achievable.”
Active decision-making – Chris Francis, Managing Director of Meech Group
Business details: Electrical engineering specialist based in Oxfordshire, with 80 staff (half in the UK).
The Meech Group is a family engineering firm established by Chris’s grandfather in 1907, which Chris joined in 1980. After the core engineering group was “propped up” for several years, it was sold in 1987 leaving just 12 staff to take the new business forward.
While there were many successes, Chris admits, “We occasionally got it wrong, an unsuccessful attempt to move into the electronics industry in California being a case in point.” This failed venture was a turning point which led Chris to recognise that some constraint needed to be exercised over his decision-making.
Reflecting on the value of gut feeling, Chris says, “I suppose it cuts both ways. It got us to where we were in most respects and it wasn’t all bad, it was just that occasionally I might have not made the best decision.”
Chris clearly displays the active decision-making component of the high growth mindset. His account illustrates a keen awareness of both the value and pitfalls of entrepreneurial decision-making, as well as the value of implementing decision making processes that minimise risk without losing the ability to act.