I am often asked by friends and colleagues how I ended up running an international consultancy in Notting Hill. My story may be a simple one but it's one that resonate's with many of our partners, clients and friends.
Nearly fifteen years ago I was working within a large consultancy, constantly surprised at how difficult it was to create high-quality, personalised, innovation projects that delivered real societal and organisational change.
Our pilot projects were often small and involved trialling new trends and technologies which contributed to seeding new markets and policies, rather than deploying standard one-size-fits-all, turnkey, high margin products. The projects were challenging and fun to deliver, but highly unpopular internally due to their modest budgets. I used to joke that it was often easier to spend a 10k marketing budget, rather than go through the internal rigmarole to win and deliver a project of the same size.
I wanted to be able to work on projects that interested me, that utilised state of the art trends and policies to deliver flexible, tailored solutions in partnership with clients and their stakeholders. I wanted to deliver real societal and organisational impact - so I decided to do something about it. That something is 21c - a nimble and innovative SME.
In order to remain flexible and agile, I knew we couldn't grow into the same bureaucratic beast we had just escaped, so adopted an associate model where our core team could be supplemented by the fresh minds of other caring, smart, like-minded government and ICT experts, who also deliver quality to the standards that we admire.
That was over a decade ago, and 21c is still on the same mission to ensure that all our clients, both public and private, can benefit from digital transformation trends that can help them operate more smartly.
21c care deeply about what we do, and I feel really lucky to work with such a team of such incredibly skilled, enthusiastic and talented individuals. Just as importantly I'm happy that over the years many of our clients have become good and dear friends.