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.
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.
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.
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.
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.