In today’s episode I speak to Chris Gibson, Partner and Managing Director at PEN.
PEN are a client of ours at Create Engage and having got to know Chris and the PEN team over the last 6 months I knew that he would make a great guest for the show.
PEN are a really unique consultancy – and I’m not just saying that because we work with them. PEN was founded by a collective of consultants striving to solve many of the problems that they saw in the traditional consulting model – something that we go into detail on in today’s show.
Having launched the firm in 2012, Chris and the team have gone from strength to strength – successfully growing PEN from just the founding team into a consultancy that regularly has more than 100 consultants supporting clients at any one time.
While I’ve got to know Chris well over the last 6 month it was great to have a chance to sit down with him to find out more about his personal journey, learn about the PEN story and find out about many of the pieces that I didn’t know.
In today’s conversation we cover a whole host of topics including:
- What led Chris and his fellow partners to launch PEN and how they’ve approached the growth of the business over the last 8 years to ensure they’re able to stay ‘in their sweet spot’ for both the team and their clients.
- The importance of culture and what you need to focus on to develop, and maintain, a culture you can be proud of.
- And Chris’s candid perspective on the pros and cons of joining a smaller consultancy, how they’re not right for everybody and what you need to think about if you’re considering making the leap.
I really enjoyed this conversation with Chris and it was great to find out more about the journey that both he and PEN have been on. PEN don’t shout loudly about it but their success speaks for itself. From their awards for excellence in wellbeing through to their successful start up (ad)ventures business.
Whether you’re looking for insights to help you grow your own consulting firm, or you’re earlier in your career, and you’re trying to decide whether you should make the move to a smaller consulting firm like PEN, then I know you’re going to get a ton from today’s interview.
You can find out more about Chris on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisgibsonpenpartnership/
You can find out more about PEN at https://penpartnership.com/
Things we discuss in today’s show:
Papillon by Henri Charrière – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Papillon-Harper-Perennial-Modern-Classics/dp/0007179960
The Crossing by Ben Fogal and James Cracknell – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BOA9MTA/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_5RgOEbVNY7RCQ