As a growing company that's building a new product, developing a new customer experience and seeking out new markets, you cannot forget the critical factors required to build a business. Factors like the idea, the funding, the resourcing, the strategy and the marketing and branding are all essential, but pale in importance to the people on the team. Simply put, it's the people on your team who will make the business succeed or fail.
I was reminded of the importance of my team and how I must support people to develop in their own journeys last week.
The second person that we employed at 9 Spokes is a wonderful young lady who was given the task of helping to develop our marketing function. At the time, we didn't have a product developed, but we had ideas. We didn't have a brand as such, but we knew it was required. Belinda joined us and has been on the rollercoaster ride of our start-up ever since.
Four years later, Belinda attended the bell-ringing in Australia as we publicly listed the company and then boarded a plane for London to join the new team we have established in the UK. Belinda was part of the crew that built our culture; she takes that culture and our stories to the UK. I am thrilled to think we will now build our culture in the UK with the team that makes us who we are, and I know that she will continue to grow personally during her time there.
At the same time, I enjoy the company of our new Chairman, Paul. Paul's been on our Board for around 18 months and has since stepped up to chair the business. He's had a long and successful career leading major corporates around the world, but now is with our small start-up. Paul made a statement recently, 'It's fun building the future - much more fun than fixing the past'. In that moment it became instantly clear to me that all of us have personal journeys and we need to constantly be learning and creating opportunities for others to learn too.
How does a business build personal development into their culture? At 9 Spokes we have grown rapidly - 60 new staff have joined the team in five months, we have opened our second office on the opposite side of the world and we have plans for much more growth. To some degree this means that we can provide opportunities for those currently on our team. It also means that we need to listen to our team and understand them as individuals - their goals, aspirations and how we can help them achieve personal success. We know that with their success will come our success.