Episode 6 – Simon Dennis – Gate One

Simon Dennis - Gate One - Climb in Consulting Podcast

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“We’re really clear that this is a business that everyone owns, everyone has a stake in and everyone is shaping”

Simon Dennis is co-founder of Gate One (www.gateone.co.uk). Gate One are an award winning Business Transformation Consultancy who specialise in Digital, Operating Model and People Change. Since founding the business Gate One have grown rapidly going from an idea to £25m cumulative revenue in their first 5 years trading.

As well as their award winning Consultancy offering Gate One also runs its own internal Start Up Incubator. Giving their team the opportunity to explore their own entrepreneurial ambitions and help grow new business ideas alongside the Consultancy. The latest idea to go through the Incubator, Pinga (http://pinga-app.com/), has seen some great early success and is looking to grow rapidly, something we discuss in today’s episode. 

Simon and I first met when I was deciding whether to stay in Consulting or pursue a start-up idea that I had. Throughout our conversations about joining Gate One it was clear that Simon and his team were looking to do it differently and create something unique in the Consulting industry. I ended up pursuing the start-up idea (sadly unsuccessfully) but Simon and I have stayed in touch ever since and I’ve had the pleasure of watching as Gate One have gone from strength to strength.

We cover a whole range of topics in this episode including:

How and why Simon and his Co-founders started Gate One

Gate One’s unique ‘ripple’ approach to Consultancy

What you should think about if you’re looking to make the move from a big Consultancy to a small one

Simon’s top books for anyone looking to climb in Consulting or start their own business

The Gate One start-up incubator

and much much more!

You can find out more about Simon on his Linked In page – https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-dennis-28416b1/ or drop him a message at Simon.Dennis@GateOne.co.uk

Specific things we discuss in the show:

Simon’s Recommended Reading List:

Managing the Professional Services Firm by David Maister – http://amzn.eu/8gfLD5m

Start with Why by Simon Sinek – http://amzn.eu/dU3ZgMq

Drive by Dan Pink – http://amzn.eu/6Nne2Xr

Mindset by Carol Dweck – http://amzn.eu/h2fAzeu

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin – http://amzn.eu/73hkExk

Quiet Leadership by David Rock – http://amzn.eu/71y201l

Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan – http://amzn.eu/3kEqGr2

Bounce by Matthew Syed – http://amzn.eu/icRAp5S  

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A Moore – http://amzn.eu/7SiieF4

The Founder’s Mentality by Chris Zook and James Allen

Pinga – http://pinga-app.com/

Acai Berry – https://www.webmd.boots.com/healthy-eating/guide/acai-berries-health-benefits

What we talk about and when:         

00:06:00 – Overview of Simon’s career and how he got to where he is today.

00:07:47 – What led Simon and his co-founders to set up Gate One.

00:11:10 – What Simon and his co-founders wanted to build in a Consultancy and how this influenced their decisions as they built the company.

00:13:29 – How Simon and his co-founders decided to set up Gate One and what you should think about if you’re thinking of doing the same.

00:17:44 – How Gate One differentiates itself in the Consulting market.

00:25:53 – Simons advice for you if you’re looking to move from a big Consultancy to a small one.

00:28:50 – How Gate One have stayed true to their ‘ripple’ approach for client delivery as they’ve grown.

00:32:55 – The importance of awards for a new business and Gate One’s strategy for winning them.

00:39:27 – What beliefs Simon had about running his own Consultancy business earlier in his career that changed after he founded Gate One.

00:47:15 – The biggest challenge Simon and the team have faced since founding Gate One.

00:53:00 – The mistakes that Simon sees junior colleagues making that hold them back.

00:56:33 – What Simon believes separates the ‘great’ Consultants from the good ones.

1:00:20 – The Gate One Incubator and their recent success Pinga.

1:22:05 – Simon’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, In the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

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