I’m Chris Thomason, the mind behind Ingenious Growth.
I’ve worked in, and consulted to, large organisations in Europe, Africa, and Australia. The industries I’ve covered include banking, automotive manufacturing, mining, logistics, chemicals, telecoms, consumer products – and more.
But my introduction to creative business thinking was really unusual. Let me explain…
After completing an MBA I wanted to see if I could apply what I’d learned in the classroom. After much searching, I found a small manufacturing company that was on the brink of insolvency – which meant it was cheap to buy! I ultimately turned the company around to be the third largest in its sector (nationally), but the most-interesting period was the first six-months after I arrived.
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. This thinking differently about growth really paid off, and several years later I successfully sold the company.
I’d structured these thinking approaches into a set of formalised processes and ultimately started helping big companies to address some of the difficult business issues they faced. I’ve worked 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 this 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’m a Chartered Mechanical Engineer by profession and have lived and worked in the UK, Africa and Australia – so I’ve experienced many different aspects of business life.
Some of the interesting things that I’ve done include:
- Working in deep-level gold and platinum mines in Southern Africa where I had to address tricky issues with one mile of solid rock above my head
- Being part of the production team who manufactured a heavy vehicle that won the European Truck of the Year award
- Forming part of a small team which developed an innovation process for a bank and which was nominated for a national Financial Services Innovation Award in 2016
- Writing my first business book which was nominated by my publisher Pearson for the Chartered Management Institute’s Management Book Of The Year award, and
- Running 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. And Ingenious Growth is how I’m sharing them with you.
I hope you find them interesting and of value…