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K.I.S.S.

careers, Support, Support Team...

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Picture the scene. I’m on the school run. I’m running late. Again. The kids are arguing in the back about who’s got the best Minecraft world so I’ve ever so slightly turned up the sound system (Gerry Cinnamon –‘Belter’ – give it a try, you don’t know what you’re missing). It goes quiet. Bliss.

Then I’m hit with the question “what do you do at work dad, are you the boss like mum is at home?” Whoosh. That’s me levelled by a 6 year old and it’s not even 9am. I fear it will be another tough day.

I ponder for a second. Shall I give them a quick overview of the importance of robust financial control, of managing cash flow and credit risk, of the changing landscape of IR35, of the recent pension changes….I could do but I decide to save that master-class for my next one to one with Katie, who’ll be delighted I’m sure (if you don’t know who Katie is, check out her bio on the Scantec website).

In the end, I simply say “I make decisions”.

As my role develops, this is essentially what I do. I listen, I review, I assess and I make decisions. Granted not always the right decision, I make them nonetheless. I’m fortunate enough to have the support of an MD who backs the decisions I make. We don’t always agree, but so long as my decisions are justified (and are not going to shut us down) I’m given the freedom to do what I think is right for the business. I feel fortunate in this regard.

Decision making is tough. Inevitably someone, somewhere will feel as though they are on the wrong end of a decision. Saying “no” is not a nice part of the job. However it’s my job to assess the ‘sum of the parts’ of all requests to invest time, money and resource in new projects. Ultimately it’s my responsibility to offer a balanced commercial view but at the same time steer the business away from unnecessary risk.

When I make decisions I deal with facts, I assess the ‘pros and cons’, reference past decisions as a guide and try to deliver an outcome in a reasonable timescale. I also remove myself from having any personal interest in that outcome – the business always comes first.

Most importantly, I refer back to the wise words of one of my lecturers from University – Professor Donnelly, a straight-talking Glaswegian who developed his management philosophy in the Ship Yards of the West Coast of Scotland – “Keep It Simple Silly” (K.I.S.S). How very true.

Author:                                Gordon Spence