Think Big, Innovate and be Prepared to Fail

Whilst sitting in a characterless hospital waiting room waiting for my annual medical I was drawn to a newspaper article written about the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.


The article pointed out that very soon, the share price of Amazon would inevitably creep up by the couple of cents required to allow Mr Bezos to topple Bill Gates as the richest man on the planet. You could argue that having by far and away more money than anyone else wasn’t the be all and end all, nor was it the sign of ultimate success but surely it does act as an indicator that the company, based on his decisions, was doing something right. Amazon has barely turned a profit since it was formed but has always maintained its mantra of think big, innovate and be prepared to lose.

jeff besoz

Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. Image: BlackSportsOnline

Inzpire’s lofty ambition is to create a revolution in the defence industrial relationship and to become the most trusted and respected defence related company on the planet. Not the biggest nor the most profitable, just the most trusted and respected. With respect comes trust and with trust we can build relationships and with strong relationships we can build a solid customer base for the long term. That’s pretty big thinking in my book.

If I looked at Inzpire now compared with when I joined it nearly 9 years ago the underpinning foundations and ethos remain but the raw ambition of the company has changed almost beyond recognition. In order to grow and gain market share we have naturally had to expand and invest in new areas of the business such as our new Cyber, Intelligence and Counter Intelligence Division. This has required trust, faith, belief and patience and by dogged determination, resilience and investment in the best people, have secured our first contract in the Intelligence world at Chicksands. We are certain that this will be the first of many ventures into this exciting new domain. We intend to reinforce this success and expand further once the Joint Intelligence community have had the opportunity of seeing first-hand the benefits of working with a forward thinking and adaptable Whole Force partner like Inzpire.

The growth that we strive for won’t happen overnight, nor will it come from being fixed in the UK. Our Business Development team works hand in glove with the operational divisions of the company thereby gaining an innate understanding of the company’s capabilities, and they have taken that message out to the world. In addition, because it would be arrogant to assume that our current offerings of both products and managed services fit the needs and aspirations of all our potential clients, our team are adept at pinning down the exact requirements of the individual client and we remain agile enough to change rapidly to meet their needs. This takes more investment, more patience and more understanding of a complex market space but at Inzpire we are agile enough to be able to improvise adapt and overcome to create the conditions that will allow us to trade with any overseas market that we target. More important though is that we actually get on with what we are intending to do. Paralysis by analysis can stifle any business as people try to remove all of the potential road blocks before they move forward. What we try to do is use our combined intelligence and experience to plan and move forward knowing that we can remove or go around any road blocks as they occur. It would be wholly inaccurate to suggest that we get it right all the time. We don’t. That said, we don’t see initial failure as a barrier to future success but merely a marker that our direction of travel may have to change slightly. We identify a potential failure early, learn from it and decide whether to pull out or merely change tack. There is no apportionment of blame, merely a collective will to make progress. Again, we don’t get it right all of the time but they who make no mistakes make nothing and unless we are willing to strive for success we will never achieve the lofty ambitions we aspire to.

Thinking big, innovating and accepting failure worked fine for Amazon and I see no reason why the same culture can’t work for a company that aspires to be the most respected defence company on the planet. I will have long since retired come the day that Inzpire reaches its ambitious goal but in a very similar way to being privileged enough to be at Twickenham on the day the Army beat the Navy in their 100th meeting, I’ll just be glad that I was there and part of it.


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