Our next conversation in the series features Andrew Muir, CEO of Farrpoint.
What are the biggest challenges facing your sector right now?
There always seems to be some challenges to worry about, but challenges that affect our sector may be opportunities for us, so these don’t need to be negative! Some of these challenges or opportunities are, consolidation in the telecom sector, securing a return on the significant investments being made to upgrade the telecom infrastructure, recruiting and retaining staff, inflationary pressures on business models and cashflows, changing and reducing client budgets, and the efforts to reduce energy consumption and emissions.
Where are the big new opportunities?
There is an as yet untapped opportunity to fully use telecoms and connectivity to support the drive to net zero emissions. Too often these are not linked. There is an opportunity to connect 100% with good internet capability to widen the availability and adoption of online services, approximately one third of the global population have never been online. And there are many opportunities to make better use of online services such as remote health, education, commerce, and public services – in many areas we are only scratching the surface.
How (if at all) has remote working impacted your culture and collaboration?
FarrPoint has always had remote working from day one in 2008, the whole company has been geared around a hybrid approach long before we were all forced to, so we took it in our stride, business as normal. Obviously, we lost the office element during covid and the benefits of collaboration that brings which is so important to a team of consultants working across clients and sectors. But that has come back now, and the office is busy and humming with ideas again!
What keeps you motivated?
Two main things: seeing the team engaged with interesting work and eager to pursue new opportunities, the energy from that can be really fulfilling; and finding new business opportunities, understanding what the issue is and then building up the path in your head about how to get to the solution. When everything clears and you can see that path, that’s the buzz.
What’s the most important risk you took and why?
Other than deciding to leave a well-paid job and career path and setting up FarrPoint with 2 others, I don’t think we’ve been too risky. Our first hire was a bit scary as we suddenly had someone else’s mortgage and kids to look after as well! We don’t take risks with clients by wasting their time or harm our consultants by pretending we can do things when we can’t. If something doesn’t feel right, we move on. Yes, we’ve made mistakes along the way which hurt at the time but how else do you learn?
What are the most important traits to look for when hiring a new employee?
It’s so important to get people who will fit and be respected across the team. So, we look for the technical capability as a baseline for whoever we are hiring, and then on top of that try to assess how inquisitive they are, will they query things and be open to learning, how will they work in a team, are they empathetic, do they have some other interests, and can they communicate all of this?
How do you generate great ideas in your organisation?
You have to be open to ideas coming from anywhere and have a culture where everyone feels they can contribute. You have to listen, give feedback, and try things out for a set time if you’re not sure. Don’t be afraid to stop and change course. When everyone sees that’s possible, I think that sets the scene for generating more ideas.
Farrpoint is hiring
Farrpoint have ambitious plans for the future and are now looking for a Network Architect to join our growing team and contribute to our success. Click below to start your new career with Farrpoint!
Talk to Denholm
If you’d like to speak to us about your journey to leadership, growing your team, or even switching careers, please get in touch on 03303 359 818 today. Thank you.