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However ground-breaking an initiative, clear patterns and recurrent features often emerge that stand the test of time.  Here Tony Cross, Managing Partner at Empiric Partners, shares his perspective on how to make innovative ideas fit-for-purpose in today’s world of endless and rapid evolution.

I recently took part in a very interesting roundtable discussion organised and hosted by SP Broadway with Councillor Matt Furniss, Surrey Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Growth.

Apart from providing a very insightful presentation on the ongoing projects and transport challenges within Surrey, the discussion turned to demand-responsive bus services and the role of hydrogen vehicles.

This took me back to kinder times in the 1990’s, when public transport was in the ascendency. An innovative and very dedicated colleague came up with the idea of creating bus services that were semi-scheduled and demand-responsive. They wanted to name the service ‘Buses R Us.’ As you can imagine, this prompted much debate and lively discussion (I clearly recall someone making the observation, “This is West Sussex, not Disney”). After persuading thoughtful politicians to adopt the title, the service was launched in rural areas to improve accessibility for residents unable to access conventional buses.

Some years later, that particular service is no more but the concept is still alive and kicking, with Surrey proving to be a fertile ground for a similar service, providing public transport to new and growing communities. Aside from the bus nerd that lurks beneath my professional self, it prompted me to think about how this service works effectively today, what has changed in the intervening years – and what this means in a broader context.

Clearly, communication technology and GPS accuracy has revolutionised vehicle tracking, paving the way for real time route planning. The original demand-responsive concept was sound two decades ago, but the essential ingredients needed to make it work were simply not available at the time. Now, technology has transformed key operational aspects of the service, passengers have reliable information and the service works.

Some ideas are ahead of their time. Take Empiric Partners. Our original cunning plan was to establish a multi-disciplinary advisory service, but we knew that this was high risk. Our due diligence showed us that this model was usually based on traditional services – accountancy, solicitors, IT experts and so on. We kept going, undaunted, because we believed our vision would make a difference for our clients, transforming their experience of working with business advisors. In time, a rather brilliant mix of features came together: the ability to work both independently and together; our leading-edge commitment to embrace technology and support clients remotely; our focus on connecting recognisable services and our determination to respond with flexible flair to the real-time needs of our clients.

I am delighted to say that it worked and, because we never stand still, it still does. As we start 2024, we are expanding, taking on new team members and building an associate network. Our client roster keeps growing. Best of all, with our help, these clients are achieving their goals and progressing boldly into the future, fuelled by growth and opportunity.

My inevitable conclusion from all this is that sometimes even the greatest ideas need time. Perfect may not be possible straight away, but with careful nurturing, great minds and a dash of well-judged confidence, incredible things emerge.  Being open-minded and embracing change doesn’t always come easily and an external perspective can be invaluable: an expert sounding board, a knowledgeable advisor or a skilled specialist can move your ideas to the next level.

That’s where Empiric Partners comes in. We help you embrace your ideas and bring them to fruition. We help you capture the attention of the people you need to make your goals happen. Above all, we give you an honest perspective on what you need to have in place to make your vision work and help you find solutions to whatever is missing.

Whatever your goals for 2024, I encourage you to pause for a moment to reflect. Starting with what you already know is a tremendously powerful way of embracing change and stepping into the future.

If you’re thinking big for 2024, talk to Tony Cross at Empiric Partners. We’ll work with you to understand your vision and make it real.

Contact us for more information: info@empiricpartners.com or 01256 338440.



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