Bev White

My name is Bev White and I am the CEO of Harvey Nash Group, a $1bn global technology recruitment, IT solutions and leadership services group with 36 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia

Latitude 36 anniversary / Looking back / Alligators

I have talked about how I sometimes reflect back as a way of helping me think ahead.

Clearly, you can’t do this all the time – for instance, driving a car while always looking in the rear view mirror would be a very dangerous thing to do!

That said, I do think it valuable to see how far you have come to help see your progress and to look back to understand how you might do things differently. I often take a little time at the end of the day to think about what went well and what could be even better, going into the new day refreshed and excited about what is ahead.

One event worth looking back on is the acquisition of Latitude 36 on the 21st October 2020, and so we are approaching the 1st anniversary. This fantastic business and great team joined forces with our talented colleagues in Harvey Nash Tech recruitment USA and a new force to be reckoned with in the market was born. We are stronger than we have ever been in the most mature and largest market in the world.  It seems like that nearly every month a new all-time record is broken and it’s a joy to see their progress. We had been struggling to find the winning formula to consistently growing our USA operations but when great teams come together with a renewed purpose suddenly there is a whole new outcome.

There are so many examples in the past year and you will no doubt be thinking of your own as you read this. Of course this also applies to our whole lives, not just the working part. We have welcomed in so many new colleagues to the businesses around the world who have quickly become much valued members of teams. We have celebrated the many work anniversaries including 30 years, 25, 20 years. We have loved sharing the happiness of colleagues as they welcomed new additions to their families. Colleagues have run marathons, swum in lakes, lochs and seas. There is so much in looking back that buoys us up and carries us towards the new day.

Looking back briefly to check in on progress has always helped me understand what is urgent and what is important. There are so many things in life that need our attention and time and some days it can feel overwhelming. Helping understand what is urgent and needs attention now and what is important and can be worked on after this.

I was speaking with an American gentleman this week who used a fantastic metaphor to describe how he prioritised what he works on first. He said he thinks about ‘which is the biggest alligator nearest the boat?’. When he first said it, I had never heard it before, I was a little puzzled. Later, out walking my golden retriever I thought about it some more. If you don’t deal with the biggest issue in front of you that carries the biggest risk if not resolved soonest (the biggest alligator) then you are at risk of a very poor outcome (the alligator sinking the boat).

For me, using ideas like these helps me focus on where I must spend my time each day, its not easy to get it right and I can’t claim that every day this works. We are a people business and so we have to be flexible in what we spend our time on. None the less, having a plan each day has always been helpful to me. I am sure you have your own ways of doing this. Would love to hear from you on what you do.

As the week comes towards the weekend I wish you some time to rest and spend time with friends and family. Keep safe and well.

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