As I sit down to reflect on the whirlwind of experiences since completing the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Business Programme (10KSBUK) back in May 2022, I’m struck by how quickly time has flown by. The journey from then to now has been nothing short of remarkable, filled with meaningful connections, transformative learning, and significant personal and professional milestones.
The “One Year On” event for Cohort 16 was a testament to the resilience and growth that each member has experienced over the past year. Professor Mark Hart set the tone by highlighting the impressive achievements of our cohort as a whole: a 61% increase in revenue, a 50% increase in profitability, and a remarkable 79% increase in employment. These statistics speak volumes about the dedication and determination of each business owner and the support from the 10KSBUK Programme.
One of the most enlightening sessions of the day was led by Professor Rupert Merson, who challenged us to rethink innovation by questioning assumptions and embracing change. The elevator conformity experiment he referenced served as a powerful reminder of the importance of challenging the status quo and seeking the truth in every aspect of our businesses. (I’m sure everyone’s seen the elevator conformity experiment conducted by Solomon Asch in the 1950s…but if you haven’t, you need to!)
Following this, we delved into strategic innovation, exploring ways to shake up our business models and drive meaningful change. The Strategic Innovation Canvas exercise left me feeling inspired and eager to implement fresh ideas into my own business practices; whether it be operations, logical improvements or radical innovation.
After a refuelling lunch, sustainability took centre stage, underscoring the importance of environmental, social, and governance considerations in today’s business landscape. Embracing sustainability isn’t just a trend—it’s a fundamental aspect of building a purpose-driven business that resonates with customers and stakeholders alike. This is the era of sustainable supply chains!
The day concluded with a thought-provoking session on leading excellent teams, led by Dr. Pegram Harrison. Through the innovative use of a choir and volunteer participation (I won’t give it all away!), Dr. Harrison emphasised the importance of trust, engagement, and understanding individual expertise in fostering high-performing teams. It was an epic end to an already fantastic day filled with insights and inspiration.
As I reconnected with members of Cohort 16, I was reminded of the invaluable support that the Goldman Sachs Programme provides. From successful business milestones, exciting developments to pulling together through the challenging times too, our community isn’t just solely about business, its about the relationships we form, and how professional and personal lives merge. For my smaller growth group, in a year we celebrated 1 new baby, 2 marriage proposals and multiple house moves! Our cohort has truly become a tight-knit community.
Armed with the knowledge and experiences gained from Goldman Sachs 10KSBUK, I am more confident in the potential for growth and success. The words of Andrew Thomas echo in my mind: “Harness the power of the knowledge of your teams.”
This reunion was not only an opportunity to reconnect with the alumni network but also to reaffirm our commitment to supporting one another and continuing our journey of growth with the invaluable resources and insights provided by Goldman Sachs.