Harris Lamb Blog – 6th July

It is the business conference season. If the political parties put so much store by their annual gatherings in which they can meet, discuss, explore key issues and yes have a good old heated debate about the future- then why not business.

Harris Lamb has just held our annual conference. Each year the company hold up in a hotel or conference centre for a day- we set ourselves an ambitious agenda and take a step back from the day to day running of the business and take a more focussed look at the shape of the business as a whole. This inevitably includes a review of the past year’s successes and challenges however, far more importantly, it provides a very valuable canvas in which we can set the course for year ahead.

As businesses look more and more at reducing their internal costs, many companies have forgone their annual get together. The number of business conferences being held is significantly down. Some companies believe it is a luxury.

Not at Harris Lamb. The date of the annual conference has always been an integral part of the diary – just as important as the Christmas Party but there is no compulsion to wear a Santa hat at conference!

So why do we place so much value on this annual meeting of minds? It is because of just that. It is a meeting of minds. This is an opportunity for everyone to make a contribution to our business, help us define our strategy for the future and to do it in an environment that is beyond their everyday client responsibilities.

The Harris Lamb conference is a true forum for discussion, where ideas can be floated, questions can be asked and hopefully answers can be defined.

This year was an interesting one for us. We started as we always do with a review of the business. Revenues, client activity, opportunities taken and an honest assessment of opportunities missed. We found that we had several key challenges to face; in the way we market ourselves, the way in which we promote our full range of services to clients – many who see us in the context of just one discipline , whether it be for example, in agency or planning,  as property managers or rating surveyors. We also spent time on how our business reacts to the wider changes in the region and beyond, the introduction of Local Enterprise Zones and LEP’s, changes in legislation and the cuts within the public sector and how this will inevitably impact on our clients.

There is always plenty of time given at conference to discuss the big questions. The one’s that most occupy the minds of our clients. Are we providing the best possible service? Can we improve? What challenges do our clients face? Is the business evolving so our offer becomes even stronger and even more relevant to our marketplace?

This not navel gazing for the sake of it. It is a robust, honest and thorough review of our business. One in which all of staff can make their contribution and in doing so, help to make us better.

For the past couple of conferences we have invited clients and other organisations to come and talk to us about their business. They tell us about the challenges they face and what is it they are looking for from their commercial property consultancy. This can be an illuminating, valuable, revealing and always surprising part of our day. There is always a new perspective to absorb and challenge to rise to. But we welcome that.

Conferences have their critics of course.  Some say it is an investment too far without any demonstrable payback. Our experience is different. After our conference we are always energised, bubbling with new ideas and feel ready to face the challenges and opportunities ahead. And in the busy environment in which we all work in these days it’s great to have a chance to spend a day in each others company and to do it out of the everyday environment of the office. Annual conference is an opportunity to swap stories, compare notes, exchange ideas – oh and may be have a few beers at the end of day. Nothing wrong with that!

To discover more about Harris Lambs upcoming events, contact Tim on 0121 4559455 or email info@harrislamb.com.         

Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article or weblog (‘blog’) are the personal views of the contributors and authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of any named companies or thier employees.