As a father of four children and a business owner, over the years I have become much better at managing and being comfortable with both the pace of life, and the inevitability of change.
As a younger dad I was eager to see my son Sam take his first steps and utter his first words. There was an impatience to my 30-year-old personality. By the time Maddie (our fourth child) was born, I was now 40 years old, and my mindset had transitioned completely. Knowing how quickly that 10 years had passed, and the realisation that I would never get any of it back, made me want to savour every day, every emotion and every experience with Maddie.
I founded my first business when I was 22, straight out of university. Of course I carried my youthful impatience into that, expecting immediate success, and I mentally beat myself up when I didn’t achieve it. I thought I was a caterpillar ready to become a butterfly, and I was distressed when I didn’t suddenly sprout wings. It made me anxious and worried for another 20 years.
In 2012, the penny dropped. I decided I needed some personal help. Not a psychologist, but a hybrid coach who helped me to understand my historical learned emotions, habits and behaviours, and how to apply new ones to my career and family. My coach, Annie, helped me to re-evaluate and re-program both at home and work. She completely flipped my approach and appreciation of life.
The transformation I longed for was not going to happen overnight. The butterfly I hoped to immediately become was a fallacy. Annie helped me to reflect on my successes, recognise my journey, and learn from my mistakes. I grew to accept there was still some way to go. And crucially, to accept that was actually OK.
I thought I was a caterpillar ready to become a butterfly, and I was distressed when I didn’t suddenly sprout wings.
Soon after I read The Alchemist, a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. This solidified for me the concept: ‘Life is a transition, enjoy the journey’.
Then a few years later in 2014, there was a huge change in my life. From the outside, this may have appeared like a single moment of transformation. Our business at the time, Great Fridays, was acquired, and finally I had realised recognition and value. This was indeed life-changing, but it wasn’t a transformation. It wasn’t a butterfly moment; it didn’t happen overnight.
It was a transition over more than 20 years across many chapters in my ‘life story’. The ups and downs; small successes and sometimes significant failures. I learned to reinvent myself many times, accept the pace, enjoy the journey, and be patient and persistent.
We founded LovedBy in 2018, just after I had taken a year-long sabbatical to spend quality time with my family. Time to enjoy the moment, be happy with the pace, and make sure I didn’t miss my children growing up.
Experiencing LovedBy’s transition as a purpose-driven organisation and emerging team over the last three years has been great fun and yet another life chapter. We have navigated cultural challenges, client challenges, personal challenges, investment challenges and a global pandemic. Most importantly, we have evolved our capability and purpose tenfold.
Today is the beginning of a new phase for LovedBy, marked by the launch of this new website. We accept this is not a ‘caterpillar-to-butterfly’ process. Instead change will transition over time as we continue to evolve. We embrace this transition.
In that spirit, we are excited to launch the new-look LovedBy.com with three key themes:
Our consulting offering
Change in business – from physical to digital – was never going to be transformational. Humans don’t change habits overnight; business change will only transition as fast as human behaviour permits.
Our more recent work with AXA and Cambridge Assessment is testament to the resilience and persistence of our teams. We’ve embedded new culture, behavioural insights, leadership alignment and ways of working into these clients. We’ve helped them to transition into digital organisations, while changing the habits and behaviours of their audience.
Changing the audience experience too aggressively will inevitably lead to disconnection and disengagement. New habits need to be transitioned over time for continued engagement and success. That’s why a strong behavioural and data science understanding underlies everything we do at LovedBy Consultancy.
The purpose that drives us at LovedBy – what gets us up in the morning – is Gen Z Health: the wellbeing of our next generation. Health systems currently try to treat children and adults as two distinct groups, as if they are either caterpillars or butterflies. But 1 in 6 of the global population are adolescents who don’t sit neatly into either bracket. This creates a health chasm between the two where we believe transitional thinking is key. Our work with 12–25 year olds continues to be our passion, and with almost 3,000 deaths a day around the world, endemic issues like obesity, eating disorders and mental health are in our crosshairs.
Amazingly we have been fortunate enough to attract investment from other purpose-led entrepreneurs and investors which has allowed us to build tools like Nudg, our behavioural change technology.
We designed Nudg to help bridge the transitional health chasm as adolescents move into adulthood. In doing so, we ended up creating a platform capable of transitioning new behaviours, habits and cultures in other contexts too, like our corporate clients, their audiences and employees.
Nudg is now our fully-fledged operating system for behavioural change, giving the best chance of strategic impact and success in positive transitions for individuals, communities and organisations.
Loving, and being loved, drives the most positive of human emotions. You rarely fall in love overnight, or at first sight. This, too, is a transition over time, but an extremely powerful one.
Emotion is at the heart of what we do. Whether it’s the behavioural and emotional change required to transition large organisations like AXA and their audience; or the emotional change, connections, and trust required to engage with adolescents for better health outcomes.
The reality (at home and in business) is that humans – their emotions, readiness to change, and ability or understanding – will inevitably slow down, or even halt, the best intentions or strategy.
We understand the role of human behaviour, but more importantly, we understand the time it takes to change it.
Transformation rarely happens, transition does…