Dancing in the rain with MTI UK

The UK business just had its half-yearly kick-off, which saw over 100 members of team MTI gather together. We started promptly at 1pm and I gave a “view from the bridge” presentation, where I told it like it is, as best as I could. I shared my perspective of our considerable successes, addressed some of the inevitable changes and aimed to provide everyone with the solid clarity, clear guidance and vision that I share with the senior management team for now and the foreseeable future.

MTI is and always has been a business that has succeeded because of its camaraderie. Success for us is built on integrity, honesty and collaboration. As a team we achieve great things, whilst building and evolving that team from time to time involves editing, curation and evolution. Of course changes can cause confusion. I addressed these points and explained that from my perspective “success is not about waiting for a storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Little did I know what a brilliant opportunity I was about to be handed to demonstrate this….

Running slightly behind schedule, I then handed the floor to Ian Parslow who gave an update on sales and talked about new markets that MTI was going after. Ian also shared details of the steps the sales team is undertaking to keep abreast of changing market conditions. Tony Conway then provided a strategic overview of the services side of MTI and the progress of the managed services business. Both Ian and Tony’s presentations were extremely well received and I would like to personally thank both of them for their contribution.

Spencer Misstear then took the challenge to end all challenges by conducting a live role play exercise which saw him as the sales person. Ian Parslow pretended to be the customer. Spencer demonstrated the role of strategic, benefit-lead salesmanship, making the case for secure, software defined data centres. The example was so strong I think Ian probably bought two SSDDC’s. Well done Spence! We then had a mini awards ceremony where we called out excellent performance, and whilst it is always a team effort, this is an opportunity to acknowledge those individuals who have gone the extra mile and who have exceeded targets and expectations.

The party then decamped to Milford Golf Club where we engaged in a Rounders tournament with 4 teams. During the prevailing 60 minutes there was only marginal cheating by all parties.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Ultimately it was Alan Ryan and his security team who were victorious. Unfortunately the trophy that was to be presented to Alan Ryan was left in the office. This gave rise to all sorts of “panic” at which point I grabbed an ashtray and used this as a substitute for the trophy. A wonderful and fun way to demonstrate the little ways in which we can “learn to dance in the rain”. So to whoever actually did forget the trophy, thank you! Please don’t feel bad about it, it created a special moment and you can see from Alan’s face in the picture, his smile is as broad as it could be.

Dancing in the rain!

Dancing in the rain!

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Ian Parslow keeps it up!

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Phil, myself and Craig, watching Ian

Another highlight of the day was when Philip Brown challenged Ian Parslow to round two of Giant Jenga. Ian had been thoroughly thrashed last year and so this was a big deal for both Brown and Parslow. Perhaps Ian was exhilarated by the sales masterclass he had just witnessed courtesy of Spencer. Or, perhaps he had been practicing. We know he really hates it every time he loses. On the other hand, perhaps nerves overcame Phil. What ever the reason, after much concentration, and wiggling of bits of wood, Phil pulled the brick which made Ian victor. Definitely it will be best of three for both gentlemen next year.

Chinwag time

Chinwag time

We then had a BBQ and generally chinwagged until about 9 pm. It was great to be able to see the teams from all the UK offices get together, with folks coming from Livingston, Manchester, Worthing and the HQ in Godalming all present.

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A smile to end on!

I am looking forward to catching up with our French and German colleagues later in the year. Thanks to everyone who participated in the day, either by presenting, asking questions or just getting stuck in. I really enjoyed seeing everyone and the feedback I am getting suggests that the day was appreciated all round.

New Pants Please

Regular readers of this blog will know that MTI loves celebrating the success of the team and marking our milestones. The previous post highlighted the celebrations that our very own Rainer Held hosted to acknowledge the tenure of Clarence Do Rego and Christine Renzaho with the finance team. As promised, the pictures from the event are now available and posted below. You will note that Clarence’s shirt is particularly fresh. This is because his luggage was lost and so MTI ensured that he had new “essentials”.

That shirt looks crisp Clarence!

That shirt looks crisp Clarence!

I wanted to also take this opportunity to congratulate Rainer on his leadership. A stable team is a happy one. To see his team thrive is a testimony to the loyalty he inspires and the mentorship that he provides.

(L-R) Clarence, Rainer and Christine

(L-R) Clarence, Rainer and Christine

Rainer and his team

Rainer and his team

Finance and Administration – Days Sales Outstanding – Ages nicely

Those of you familiar with MTI will know we pride ourselves on the longevity of our staff, with several of us well into our second decade here! Our finance and administration team is no exception and with some of the key players approaching milestones, it’s time to celebrate the careers of some of MTI’s finest.

Regular readers will be familiar with our in-house bakery enthusiast Rainer Held, MTI’s SVP Finance. He’s been looking after the money for 20 years now, joining the team in 1995 at the tender age of 30. We’ve also got another stalwart in Christine Renzaho, a financial controller fast approaching a decade at the company, while Clarence Do Rego joined at the age of 50 and is now at the ten-year mark as a financial controller.

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Rainer Held, SVP Finance

While this elite cadre have more than their share of grey hairs between them, their combined 40 years at MTI really demonstrates the loyalty we try to inspire as a company, among our staff and importantly, among our customers. In a world where many might need more than two hands to count their different jobs before they reach 30, we’re proud to say that MTI’s team is built for the long-term.

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Clarence Do Rego, Financial Controller

With this in mind, I’ll be rounding up Rainer, Christine and Clarence this week to celebrate in style. We’re all ageing nicely yet remain just as enthusiastic as ever, so watch this space – pictures of our exploits will be up in due course!

193 guests all out with MTI

Yesterday was MTI’s annual summer cricket event, which saw 193 MTI guests, including 153 customers join us at The Oval to watch Surrey play Gloucester. And what a match!

Not only was this the hottest day of the year on record, but the tension in the Oval was also at a fever pitch throughout. In the end, it was a blistering finish by Surrey’s own Azhar Mahmoud, who swung the last ball of the match for six. This stroke of genius took Surrey past their visitors 154-5 in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Below is a selection of pictures from the event.

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What’s really nice about this event is the number of people who ask me if they can attend next year. (I will not name names to protect the innocent) We are constantly oversubscribed even though we have increased the number of tickets year on year by 20%. I would also like to thank the knowledgeable people who can name the skyline’s buildings too. Last night I had to find out for one customer that the giant glass tower behind the main stand is the new home  for the American embassy. Thank you, Laura, from our corporate lawyers’ office DAC Beachcroft for being so knowledgeable.

We’ve hosted events at the Oval like this for the last ten years, and for my money this was the most gripping match to date. It’s always good to be able to spend time with those that we work with, away from the business environment. 

 Thank you to all who joined us. I hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did. I look forward to seeing you next year.