“Strategy is about setting yourself apart from the competition. It’s not a matter of being better at what you do – it’s a matter of being different at what you do.” Michael Porter
The above quote resonates with me , not just in my professional life but also my personal. When playing sport as a kid I was not the fastest or biggest or strongest or most skilful. But I still wanted to win, so I would do things differently to find a way of winning. I would do things I wasn’t expected to do, taking my opponents by surprise. In all honesty, it didn’t always come off (otherwise you’d see me lifting the FA Cup or something) but it didn’t have to. It just had to get me closer than I would have.
I spend a lot of my time with clients helping them find a way of being different. Not because being different is the goal, but being different is a way of setting them apart from the competition. How can they use technology differently and how can they use new and different technologies. How does it all fit together in an exciting, efficient and effective way. And most importantly and ultimately how can technology be used to enable the business to be different, and not be the reason or excuse to hold it back. The success of a technology strategy is in the success of the business strategy.
So why bother starting Openlight Strategy and why do so now? After all, there are consultancies out there that do technology strategy already.
I want to provide technology strategy as a service. Not the thinking and ideas of an individual, but bring in diversity of experience and diversity of thought into the process. I want to provide a strategy that is real and implementable. One that can be trusted because we can backup our words with action. A technology strategy built upon the successes and failures of hands on technologists that have done it and not just talked it. I want to build a company whose objectives for themselves and their clients are ambitious, not constrained by accidents of history. To be creative and innovative and to find a solution when others say there isn’t one. I want to build a network where technology isn’t the goal but a means of achieving a goal. I want a consultancy that consults, providing the best advice for our clients even at the expense of short term gain for us. I want to build something where we can guide organisations through the maze of complexities. I want to build something niche and independent, that avoids the impression of land and expand. I want to work in an alliance with other like minded consultancies, who complement what we can provide to give the clients the full featured high quality service they expect. And maybe most importantly, I want to work in a way that benefits clients, be available when needed to advise, lead, direct, support, implement and deliver. Build a long term friendship that needn’t mean being in each others faces all the time, but when needed we can be called upon.
That’s why I have started Openlight Strategy. I want us to be different. A new way of working. A new approach to an old problem. Being the sort of company that can help clients navigate treacherous business waters without fearing their technology holding them back.
And why the name Openlight? One of the key underlying principles behind anything I do is honesty and trust. Open and light are often synonyms for honesty and trust. That is something I can always guarantee.