All work comes with challenges if it didn’t it simply would not be work.

Having spent the last six years involved with my local start-up community in one way or another I have never felt more strongly in the need for quality thinking when it comes to the world of business. It is one of the cornerstones of an effective and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, it helps us create and sustain learningorganisations and by doing so, provides us the best opportunity to grow the quality jobs so many of us are denied.

As we develop the models and thinking that will drive Relcon-East in its mission to support aspirational business owners in pursuit of extraordinary value, we are encouraged by our local university’s ability to lead the field in business learning.

This morning I received an email from Ville Karhusaari, the Knowledge Exchange Manager for the University of Essex and so inspired was I to hear of their latest initiative I felt that I needed to share it with my community. Essex University is putting greater emphasis on engaging with the local business community and I was delighted last year to lead their i-Teams programme, where students bought their
problem-solving skills to the aid of three local enterprises. This new venture furthers those ambitions.

In business there comes a moment when things change, when we have shifted the thinking from start-up to scale-up. Many business owners make this transition without support, guidance and mentoring but many chose to see strength in taking stock and where needed to undergo re-skilling and reequipping themselves for the future.

Often for many business owners the realisation of a need to change comes at the low point, or as Seth Godin refers to it, The Dip. This is a moment of realisation that you are going to have to make some significant and tough calls on your future. It is not a great place to be but believe me when I say it is more common than we would think. Obviously, the best place to quit is before the dip not at the nadir. Easy to say but hard to discern – this is where resources and mindset come into play.

Having a growth mindset, being able to embrace learning and use this learning to formulate new thinking and strategic ways of working, this should be your goal. Having the ability to visualise a new future and deliver it – these are the skills you should be seeking.

I would encourage everyone to follow this mantra. We cannot move our businesses forward unless we learn to manage complexity, the business of yesterday will inform the business of tomorrow it will not be the same business. As we grow complexity grows and we need to match that variety with new skills, new thinking and an underpinning of self-belief. Do not pursue the ordinary, instead aim for the extraordinary for you, your business and your local region.

Details of the University’s initiative can be found at but its aims are clear; to help you engage with 21st century management concepts, to become a better leader, set critical success factors and strong, relevant KPI’s and through networks engage with ‘best practice’.

To find out more about Relocon-East contact me via LinkedIn or at