I had a very interesting day yesterday which highlighted the need we all have to be agile in business and in life.
In the morning, Ian Parslow and myself were invited to a breakfast with The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge, management editor and Schumpeter columnist. Adrian has just written a book, The Great Disruption, in which he examines the impact of forces such as the internet, financial capital and globalisation on business. The event, hosted by our PR consultancy Champion Communications, covered a lot of topics, ranging from the changing role of content in our lives through to the new way in which businesses need to adapt to stay ahead of the game.
We then hot-footed it across the West End, through Soho to the Park Lane Hilton for a luncheon held for the Royal Warrant Holders Association. MTI (Security Practice) has the honour of having been granted a Royal Warrant for being a provider of data security services and products to Her Majesty The Queen. We are one of 700 companies to hold a Royal Warrant, and feel very proud of this. Ian Parslow, Alan Ryan, Sheila MacKinnon and I from MTI hosted a table which included Pete Smith of The Royal Household, Ben Spencer, Beazley, Tim Raworth, KIO, Dave Exall, SafetyKleen, John Singh, DAC Beachcroft and Richard Cook, Champion Communications.
Over a three-course dinner, we heard from Robin Wodehouse, of Walker and Wodehouse Wines, one of the few Wine Merchants to hold a Royal Warrant and Grantor of Royal Warrants, who explained the work of QEST, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which raises funds to provide scholarships to support the education of talented crafts-people.
We also heard from Sir Charlie Mayfield of the John Lewis Partnership who made the point that holding the Royal Warrant is a mark of pride for everyone in an organisation, not just the business leaders. Upon reflection of the two parts of the day, the consistent theme for me was the need for agility.
On the one hand, we had a futuristic view of the world from a journalist who talked about the pace of change and shared his view that only those individuals and businesses that can adapt will service. On the other hand, we had lunch with one of the UK’s most traditional organisations, and here it is investing in the future and creating new opportunities by developing talent. In both environments, the benefits of being able to adapt whilst staying true to core principals seem to be the best way forward.