Monthnotes – October 2022

Monthnotes – October 2022

I’ve been writing monthnotes for more than three years now. Some months the memories just flow and the words come easily. But other months, including this one, it can be hard to grind out the words that adequately reflect my experiences over the preceding weeks.

At work, October’s been a very different kind of month.

The appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officer has meant I’ve spent a lot more time looking backwards than I expected, helping them understand the journey of the business to date as well as working together on the business today.

I’ve seen close-up a lot of the emotion that is involved with a founder transition and how it affects the founders, their successors and people in the wider business.

Often this month I’ve been reminded that it’s important not to assume how people will react or feel in a particular scenario – it’s all too easy to make rational assumptions about this when it’s unpredictable emotional responses that are the reality. Without having proper conversations and listening intently it’s impossible to really understand what’s going on for people in these situations.

There are just seven weeks left now before I leave full-time employment at TPXimpact and head into 2023 as an independent consultant and non-exec. I’ve started to explore what work might look like next year and have spent a few evenings working up some ideas I’ve been sitting on for quite a while.

I’m spending a lot more time meeting new people and exploring some interesting consulting and job opportunities than I have done in quite a while and it’s something that’s really energising for me.

Another 2023 goal for me is to do more writing about building progressive organisations and challenging many of the accepted norms about how we work.

I’ll be launching an email newsletter in January 2023 that explores these themes. Having written a blog for many years more than 10 years ago, I’m looking forward to getting back into writing more frequently.

Plus my long held ambition to write a book about what I’ve learnt about growing businesses is moving just a little closer too. More news on that soon hopefully.

Outside work we managed a short break in the New Forest as a family at half term. It was good to get away for a few nights and enjoy the time spent together. There’s less and less time when the four of us are together nowadays, especially with our eldest son leaving home to travel for three months in January, so those times feel more precious than ever right now.

I’ve also entered another ultra run and am pretty excited to be having another go at this kind of endurance event. This time it’s a 50k event in the Surrey Hills in early December, so less distance and less hills than Snowdonia – but an opportunity to try out better nutrition and overcome the problems I had in September’s 50 mile event.

And then the completer finisher in me still keeps coming back to the Snowdonia ultra from September. For someone like me, completing 41 of 50 miles before dropping out means unfinished business – so I’m very tempted to enter next year and see if I can make it through the full 50 miles in 2023.

Music this month…

My top choice has got to be the new Arctic Monkeys album The Car. Have listened to it several times over and enjoying it more each time.

Podcasts this month…

As I’ve been out on longer runs most weekends, I’ve been through a lot more podcasts once again this month. An episode that sticks in my mind was “A Better Way to Worry” on Hidden Brain which looked at anxiety and how we can work better with anxiety as an emotion.

Reading this month…

The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture” has been my focus this month. Aside from having an implausibly long title, this book is an interesting but fragmented set of insights into the hard yards of building a business. It’s written by Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance and looks at lessons from many different start-ups, focussing on the hard middle part of a company’s growth journey.


I work with technology-centric businesses as an interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), interim Chief Operating Officer (COO), consultant and advisor. I also write a newsletter called Build about scaling brilliant businesses which you can subscribe to here.