On Tuesday I was in Manchester for the yearly Legal Services conference hosted by Jepson Holt.  One of the real highlights was being able to witness the presentation given by Sandy Lindsay MBE of Tangerine Communications.  Words like 'Candid' 'Inspirational' 'Engaging' 'Powerful' all spring to mind but it was the fact that it was delivered to a room dominated by men within the legal profession that really had the greatest impact.  

Sandy encourages on-going learning and development at work whereby 'failure is fine' as long as employees share and learn from it.  Her 5 key business learnings were as follows:

1/ Great people make you great.  Surround yourself by great people that have a range of varying skills and compliment each other.

2/ The Comfort Zone is a brilliant place, but nothing ever grows there.  Employees should constantly challenge themselves no matter what their position within the company.

3/ Once you stop learning then you start dying.  Bringing young blood into the firm certainly had a massive impact from a digital perspective.

4/ Act as if you are just about to sell the company.  A great way to ensure the company is profitable and in a healthy financial state.

5/ Listen to your gut.  Normally it is right although it can still fit into the 'failure is fine' part!

Sandy decided to turn Tangerine Communications into a 'John Lewis type' partnership when she noticed that employees didn't really care that much about the financial reports that were presented in meetings and when the CEO of the Employee Ownership Trust Deb Oxley, likened working for someone else's company like hiring a car.   'Nobody washes a hire car before they take it back!' The decision was made for her.

Since this ultimate distribution of knowledge, assets and leadership, Sandy insists that the company and employees that are now part of the furniture, have never been in better health.  With the core values of the business preserved for the future but even more importantly, the employees now have a renewed energy in the finance meetings!