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So here we are already in March 2016.  The pace of change continues to accelerate and we wonder whether todays 'giants' of industry (Google, Uber, Facebook, apple, Tesla) who barely registered ten years ago, will still be relevant in five years time.  Every industry is being impacted by seismic changes and the winners will be those who not only recognise that change is coming but who also have the capability to adapt and reinvent themselves quicker than other competitors or in the face of startups who find a gap in the market and attack it before you can blink.

And whilst it is true that the high percentage of startups fail before reaching their first anniversary and it is also true that most of the ones that survive are led by people who failed before (in Silicon Valley failure is a sign of Western Europe we view it as incompetence!!).  Of those that do survive their puberty they often then grow at exponential rates.  And there is more of them coming ... the supply lines from silicon valley are still full and are being joined by innovation centres all around the world such as those on Tel Aviv, china and Korea.  Even first world cities such Paris and London are seeing the emergence of innovation hubs full of inspiring individuals looking to change the world.

And amongst them all there is one distinct characteristic that you can see in every start up and which was obvious to me during a recent trip to San Francisco.

All these companies have what I like to call Positive Manic Attitude ... the new PMA.

what this means is that all of them share an unshakeable belief in what they are doing - they don't mention risks, threats, difficulties, competitors, challenges or problems.  They all have a clear vision which people line up behind and can repeat sincerely (do you know the vision of your company...).  They all have an inspiring confidence that they will make it.  They all have facilities where people are free to experiment, collaborate, play and work with pictures covering the walls encouraging positivity.  And don't be mistaken this may not be the ruthless corporate aggressiveness of the 20th century but these companies are winners... taking a much more holistic, collaborative, fast, agile and persistent confidence where they bring great people together in great environments (and slightly manic it must be acknowledged) and they get stuff done. Period.

Positive Manic Attitude.

Try a dose of it - try not to make a negative statement for 24hours ... inside or outside work ... don’t complain about the coffee in your local shop or the train being full or the bathroom being busy ... its unbelievably difficult ... but PMA is one of the ingredients driving these guys ... you  might like it ...


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CV Bloggers

John Saffrett
ALD Automotive - Global CAO

John is an experienced automotive and finance executive with over 20 years experience within the industry and he holds an MBA (Automotive) from Nottingham Business School He started his career designing, developing and deploying dealer finance and insurance (F&I) sales systems in the Ford and Jaguar network and helped to train dealers to use the system in conjunction with manufacturer sales processes to maximize income from F&I product sales. He then moved to ALD Automotive (previously BCH Vehicle Management) where he helped establish a network of dealers and brokers selling financial products including full service lease and personal contract purchase. During this time, he helped ALD launch the first online dealer quotation and proposal platform which allowed dealer partners to quote, credit check and print documents for clients in the showroom using a fully web enabled platform. John then helped ALD to enhance their e-commerce presence by supporting the development of a number of innovative online platforms to carry the growth of ALD UK before moving to a new position within the investment banking division of Societe Generale in London (working for Newedge Financial UK Ltd, the future and options clearing broker jointly owned by Societe Generale and Credit Agricole). In this new role John developed a knowledge of high flow transaction systems linked to real time data management within a highly customer oriented environment and helped Newedge navigate their way through the complex regulatory maze impacting the capital markets during the volatile period over the last five years. Following the integration of Newedge back into Societe Generale, John has rejoined ALD at the international level as the Global CAO and a member of the Executive Committee COMEX of the firm and has responsibility for technology and innovation within the Group. He is a keen advocate for accelerating product and service development projects to launch early prototypes of products for clients to help evolve. He is also a strong believer that accessible data combined community and open innovation will reshape the automotive services industry in the coming years and sees the new battleground of the Driver Experience as the key competitive space for all players in the market and sees these as key enablers of the emergence of more industrialised mobility offers in the future. As such, his blog will mainly focus on innovation at all levels of the car leasing industry.


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Dean Bowkett
Bowkett Automotive Consulting

Peter Cooke
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