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Evolution needed for bridging sector to bring through next generation – Hersch

by: Benson Hersch, CEO of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL)
  • 02/11/2017
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Evolution needed for bridging sector to bring through next generation – Hersch
Sir Clive Woodward, manager of the world-cup winning England rugby team, had a winning approach to developing his team. He eschewed the culture of “sponges soaking up knowledge, rather than rocks.”

As he put it: “If you are serious about winning at the highest level you have to be serious about not having a single rock in your team. It’s often the most experienced person in the organisation who is unteachable.”

He went on to say that “leaders have to systematically work through every eventuality so that the team has already gone through the thought processes needed to overcome them. This reduces the chances of coming up against something unexpected in the real world, allowing the team to use the little time they may have to think through the problem.”

As I look around the room at mortgage industry conferences, I see a majority of grey hairs of 50 plusses, with little sign of the next generation.

It’s not enough for experienced people to say “watch what I do”. For the next generation to ensure our industry’s future success, they need to get their hands dirty, and learn quickly from mistakes.

 

Loosen the reins

The bridging industry, in particular, has many entrepreneurial leaders who built successful firms from very small beginnings. They may well be reluctant to give up the reins, but it is necessary for their firms and the industry as a whole that they at least loosen them a little.

The world is changing at an incredible pace. Few expected the Brexit referendum result or for Trump to win the US Presidency, as voters demonstrated their desire to give the establishment a bloody nose.

The internet has created a new marketplace. Some have exploited this; others are sticking to the “old ways”, convinced that “if it works, don’t break it”.

It is time to accept new ways of business, but not to forget to use experience to avoid repeating old mistakes. What is needed is not revolution, but evolution.

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