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  • Writer's pictureMark Hastings

An Interview with our Founder and Director, Mark Hastings

Who are you?

Outside of work I’m husband to Esther and father to two kids - Max (11) and Isla (8). I love skiing, golf, travel, Leeds United and England Rugby. Inside of work I’m the Founder and Director of i10.

What's your background and how did you get here?

Having graduated from Loughborough University, I started my career on the Ernst & Young graduate development scheme (called the Consultant Development Programme) - part of E&Y’s Management Consulting Services practice. I enjoyed a great 4-5 years there getting a really good grounding in consulting and consultancy skills. When Cap Gemini took over I applied for voluntary redundancy and used the money to travel around Eastern Europe and head out to Whistler where I did my ski instructor qualifications.

When I got back I decided I needed to earn some money so reached out to my network and took a short term contracting gig. Shortly after I initially set up i10.

What inspired you to set up i10 in the first place?

Inspiration came from a personal development course that Ernst & Young sent me on called 'Breakthrough to Peak Performance', which was delivered by Speakers International (subsequently RogenSI). I was fascinated by Peak Performance, which had its routes in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. At the time I was doing a project in the Lean Manufacturing practice at E&Y. Lean Manufacturing talks about ’the 8 wastes’ - one of which was ’the waste of human potential’ which really troubled me and got me thinking.

Bringing these concepts together, I studied NLP and became an NLP practitioner and life coach, setting up i10 originally to design and deliver training and personal development courses to maximise human potential. That’s where i10’s roots are. Indeed the name is all about the individual ('i') being at their best ('playing from a 10’: a phrase that stuck with me from the Peak Performance course).

That was 16 years ago now. How has i10 evolved in that time?

The early days were good - designing and delivering some great training courses and delivering them to Vertex fast-trackers - earning really great feedback - particularly around the impact (no pun intended) of the board break! We subsequently designed and delivered other great courses for Barnardo’s, HMRC and HSBC - again which were really well received. However, it soon became apparent that filling the pipeline was a challenge - the financial crisis meant that budgets for this kind of work disappeared so we had to go in a different direction and iterate i10’s offer.

Having delivered project management services to London Borough of Lambeth, we first got involved the delivery of programme management services in an organisational transformation programme for the former State Veterinary Service, subsequently renamed AHVLA (now APHA). Leading teams of client, contractors, IBM, Pega Systems and Sogeti in multi-disciplinary teams delivering waves of core systems and business change, this large (£120m) programme was our first delivery of digital, data and technology transformation. We’ve been active in this space ever since: subsequently providing programme delivery services to Defra, Home Office, Cadence Innova and Rainmaker Solutions.

It was through our work with Rainmaker Solutions that we first developed our business development service offering: successfully bringing-in almost 30 new clients over a 4 year period and helping to triple Rainmaker's revenue. During this time we expanded our experience across a broader range of sectors - adding Central Government, Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs), Local Government (at County, City and Borough level), Policing, Housing, Healthcare, Banking and Professional Services to our pre-existing sector-range covering Aerospace & Defence, Insurance, Telco, Manufacturing and Automotive.

In parallel, we have invested in developing our Counselling and Therapy offer both for private clients and organisations: delivering Occupational Therapy. Additionally we’ve further added to our Training portfolio through this lens.

We also started to develop our first web/digital portfolio, working with Linear Diagnostics (part of Abingdon Health) and have branched-out into developing a Non-Executive / Board Advisory services capability.

Where next?

I recently saw some stats from that 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, 30% fail in their second year, 50% fail after five years and 70% fail in their tenth year! i10 is 16 years old this year - so we must be doing something right!

So now we’re at the start of i10’s journey to move to the next level: it’s now time to build the brand, grow the company and do more for clients by weaving together our unique experience and compelling offering. I do think the time is right - there is a significant focus on mental health and wellbeing at the moment (rightly so) - and I believe i10's roots in human potential, experience in major programme delivery, organisational transformation and occupational therapy expertise offer a unique proposition to clients.

I believe that a consultancy small enough to care, smart enough to shape, and responsive enough to respond offers the best outcomes to clients. And that speaks nicely to our values and how we do business: always focused on making a difference to our clients and doing things in the right way - as illustrated by our commitment to the Tech Talent Charter - driving diversity and increasing inclusion.

To do that we’re developing our brand, increasing our social media presence and expanding our capability through a network of associates. We’re identifying opportunities to bid for new work via the Crown Commercial Frameworks we’re on (GCloud and Digital Outcomes & Specialists) and are developing partnerships with some really interesting companies. More on that soon!

Mark Hastings is Founder and Director of i10 Limited, providers of Personal and Professional Transformation Services.

Consulting | Board Advisory | Non Executive Director | Counselling | Coaching | Therapy | Training.

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