I’m Chris Thomason, the face and voice behind these Sprint for Growth videos. I’m a Chartered Mechanical Engineer by profession and have worked in the automotive, mining, minerals and chemical industries. I’ve also lived and worked extensively in the UK, Africa and Australia – so I’ve experienced many aspects of business life.
I’ve worked in deep-level gold and platinum mines in Southern Africa where I had to address tricky issues with 1.5 kilometres of solid rock above my head. I’ve been involved in the manufacture of the vehicle that won the European Truck of the Year award. I was part of a small team who developed an innovation process for a bank which was nominated for a national Financial Services Innovation Award in 2016. And I’ve even run a gold mine in the middle of a civil war where I was issued with my own AK-47 for personal protection! It was in these unusual (but amazingly interesting) environments where I developed the key skill of thinking very differently about the issues I faced.
After completing an MBA, I decided I wanted to be my own boss, and so I bought a small manufacturing company that was insolvent (which meant it was cheap to buy) and I ultimately turned it around to be the third largest in its sector.
It was during this time that I started to apply what I call business creativity to identify innovative ways to grow my business. One of the key things I got to understand was that often I wasn’t focusing on the correct question. And there’s no point finding brilliant answers to the wrong question – as this just wastes time, effort, and ultimately costs you money.
I developed a range of new thinking processes that helped big companies to address some of the difficult business issues they’ve faced. I started to do work with some leading companies including UPS, Canon, O2, Vodafone, Akzo Nobel, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Touchnote, Lloyds Bank, Toyota, HSBC, Scottish Widows, South African Airways, American Express, and a host of African and Australian companies that you won’t have heard of.
During that time, I helped them apply some cutting-edge management techniques that have delivered millions (if not billions) in additional revenues for them. One Australian insurance company wrote in their annual shareholders report that the work I’d done had given them an additional £48 million in revenues despite only being launched late in the financial year!
I also learned a lot while working with these big businesses – and I realised that many of these methodologies would work equally well for the smallest of businesses too. And that’s why you’re reading this right now!
I want to show you some simple things that you can start to do that will help you to grow your small business – or to consider how to start your new business with a bang if you’re looking to do your own thing in the near future
I’m turning the best of big-business, leading management practices into practical things that will help you to thrive and be more successful. Lloyds Banking Group (who I work with) have the lofty aim of helping Britain prosper. I like this. But Britain will only prosper if the small businesses that form a major chunk of the economy prosper – and it’s the same for any other country too. And this is my mission with this service – to help you grow your own small business.
So, I’m creating interesting, practical and do-able content that I hope you find really valuable. Please read it; understand it; and then apply it in your business.
And make sure that you enjoy the rewards that it’s going to bring you!
Chris Thomason is one of the most creative and innovative thinkers I know – he is always coming up with new ideas and sharing those with me to help my company.Kerri K. Nelson
Chris is a very creative and insightful design professional, and he has a proven ability to identify new insights and develop customer experiences which help businesses grow.Alan Pennington