I'm currently sat writing this post on the 59th floor of the World Trade Center building in Abu Dhabi. To be quite honest, Abu Dhabi wasn’t that high up on my list of places to visit until our best friends moved here just over a year ago. Since then, we made it our mission to experience it. There are plenty of Western misconceptions about this place that’s for sure.
There’s something rather tranquil about writing whilst being sat this high up, so it seemed like the perfect space to write an end of year review.
2018 was a busy year (but everyone is busy, right?). Between organising a conference, welcoming new clients and planning a wedding, it didn’t leave a lot of time for much else. That said, it feels like a super productive year, one filled with new challenges and ticking plenty of items off the yearly goals list.
I’ve also been pretty quiet on the socials this year. One of the goals I’ve not managed to deliver on was to be more vocal about what I’m working on so that one rolls over to 2019. There are however a few highlights that I’m keen to document…
Selling out the second year of All Day Hey! was a really exciting milestone for me. For a conference that is still very much in its infancy, having such a buzz around it is great. We've had some amazing support from the community and speakers to make each conference affordable and valuable, so if you're one of them, thank you.
I'd like to give special thanks to Phil Hawksworth for coming on the journey with us and being our MC for both years running. We've already locked Phil into our plans for 2019, and having him on board really ensures the day runs smoothly. He's a really lovely person who you should speak to if you get the chance.
There's a bit more about All Day Hey! under the events section if you're interested.
The team at the NHS Leadership Academy are fantastic. I've been fortunate enough to work with them for a while now, building a learning platform for them to deliver their leadership programmes on, so I'm thrilled that our relationship continues well into 2019.
The latest project comes in the form of a platform to support those working to further their career in the NHS, this time focusing on Talent Management, and more specifically, Executive Search. The project itself is an internal tool, where people can track vacancies within the NHS, as well as progress their personal profile to help them excel at what they do.
You can find out a bit more about this over on their Executive Search site.
Earlier last year I had the pleasure of having coffee with Mark Kitching, Head of Technology at LADbible Group, during which we discussed some of the challenges they had ahead of them. 2018 was a really ambitious year for the group as they expanded the company, moved to much bigger offices and acquired their main competitor UNILAD.
Following our chat I started working with Mark and the team, initially helping build a development team from scratch as Interim Head of Software Engineering, then moving on to mature their Data Science offering.
It's been really eye-opening working with LADbible, and my respect for them as a company has grown hugely. Being part of their acquisition of UNILAD was a fantastic experience, and one I'm proud to have been involved in.
There's a really great write-up about them on the Contagious blog.
Lastly, 2018 was the year that I finally relaunched the business to focus more on consultancy. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, and I finally had a break at the start of the year to roll out a rebrand.
The fact is that I've been working on a consultancy basis with clients for a while now and the old brand didn't do much to explain this. I really enjoyed working with Jon Eley on redefining the company, and I can see us following the same process in the future with Hey!.
The result of the rebrand is a much simpler representation of what I do. It revolves specifically around me and what I can do for companies (over the previous brand which represented more of an agency model).
Read a bit more about it on this very site.
It's been a fantastic year, and I can't wait to get started on more exciting projects in 2019! Thanks to everyone that's joined me along the way, I'm feeling very fortunate to be working alongside some amazing people.