I was privileged to represent Global Integration at a ‘Sharing Growth’ Open Briefing Session for potential beneficiaries yesterday on behalf of my colleague Phil Stockbridge (who was out delivering training to someone who has already signed up for this program). Sharing in Growth is a government (Regional Growth Fund) backed initiative to improve and maintain competitiveness in the UK aerospace sector. Global Integration is a key training delivery partner. (You can read more about the program here: http://www.global-integration.com/sharing-growth-2/.)
Held against the impressive and strangely appropriate backdrop of The RAF Museum’ at RAF Cosford (England), an introduction to the program was given by the company’s charismatic Chairman, Bryan Jackson. I had already had a brief chat with him, and what shines through clearly is that this is a long term program (four years) that is determined to deliver tangible, practical results (after our own hearts).
Although the beneficiaries are already relatively successful companies, most would be categorised as ‘SMEs’ (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises). Sharing in Growth offers them access to business analysis, training and business reviews in a vast package that would normally only be accessible – resource wise – to big, blue chip companies.
But, as Andy Page, CEO, went on to reinforce, this programme isn’t just a freebie. Companies have to commit themselves to this level of development as well, and match what they’re being given. And to keep a 17% of global aerospace market share, the UK needs to perform increasingly better.
Steve Smith, President UK & EMEA, AGC Composites and Aerostructures Group, has already started the programme. He speaks of it glowingly, saying that although some of it was hard to hear, the first part of the program alone, where the company’s performance, leadership, finances and market was reviewed, was invaluable, offering a roadmap for the coming years. He’s realistically, expecting a 20-40% cost reduction in his business. He described the program as like a train you can’t get off – you can’t slack. When you’re a busy company director, the structured approach is good thing.
Overall the programme is looking to achieve 25% improvement efficiencies, with the success of the programme measured by the order book (sales).
Global Integration is one of the three key training partners, shoulder to shoulder with other programme delivery partners including Deloitte, Rolls Royce and Unipart.
I’ve been a part of many incubator programmes in the past. Most help early stage companies, and most are for a relatively short period of time. Sharing in Growth stands out for me personally for its ambition and depth of course, but even more so for ‘journey’: it’s not parachuting in, fixing a problem, then out. It’s a longer journey than that, addressing real needs faced by many smaller companies at that awkward ‘growth’ phase — rewarding and encouraging people who have already grown their companies with some valuable, long lasting tools for even greater success.
Personally, I loved being part of it, if only for a day. It’s clear others do too: there are only five spaces left on the programme, so if you’re part of an aerospace related company and want to be part of the programme, you’ll have to be quick!
- Further information: Sharing in Growth website
- Pictures of introduction day at RAF Cosford: Flickr, Sharing in Growth