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  • Writer's pictureRomesh Jeyaseelanayagam

INSIGHTS: Q&A with High Growth Business Leaders – Mike Oliver, Founder of Easol


Gain insights on business growth in our series of bite size chats with Business Leaders, brought to you by The FD Consultant – a collective of fractional CFO’s. Today we welcome Mike Oliver, Founder of Easol.

Gain insights on business growth in our series of bite size chats with Business Leaders, brought to you by The FD Consultant.


We interview high achieving individuals who we believe everyone can learn from, and who bring insight into the many aspects of successfully growing a business.


In this edition’s Insights Q&A, we welcome Mike Oliver, Founder of Easol. Mike is an experienced, creative leader who uses his skills and experience to help organisations innovate. He loves working on ambitious projects with amazing people.


We hope you enjoy this edition of Insights with Mike’s experiences and insights.


Hi Mike, please tell us about your business.


I am the founder of Easol, a company that assists individuals and teams on their entrepreneurial journeys, we have had the privilege of collaborating with international consulting firms, universities, the United Nations, Government Health and Policing organisations, FinTech, and social innovation. As well as the likes of The FD Consultant!


Easol, with our partner organisations, are presently in the process of developing several new novel and innovative products and services. Examples include a platform to increase sales uptake, a tool to aid in team development, AI tools for supporting teams in defence, and services in the fields of acoustics and biodiversity.


We are also helping other partners look to scale up and exploit their technologies through funding, product entrepreneurship, technical development or value proposition design and validation.


What are the key factors which have driven your growth to date?


I prefer to work with individuals who are intellectually curious, eager to collaborate, and on a journey of shared learning. I have established a network of partners and collaborators including yourselves and look to work with these people going forward helping design, build and develop new businesses. This might mean working with people who have reached their ability to scale a business, or someone who is looking to iterate and develop a new product or service that requires and external partner or team.


Where we have had our biggest successes is when we have worked with these teams, to help complement their internal skill sets with new perspectives, ways of working and approaches to help move the organisation forward.


What makes you so passionate about what you do?


The people I work with, I love watching people achieve what they want to achieve, doing the things they love. I also have a wider curiosity, acquiring new knowledge, so I will collaborate with my clients to thoroughly examine their value proposition, market, segment, and a unique offering to assist them in navigating this complexity, finding new solutions and creating something novel and interesting.


To function in a transverse manner, as my team does, significant understanding and interest in multiple domains are necessary. That is what intrigues me and potentially distinguishes us from others in the space of innovation and product development.


What do you view as your greatest achievement in this role to date?

 

Just starting my own business, bringing in people to work with me, and daily having fun and continuing to learn and grow.


What are the biggest challenges your business faces?

 

Articulating our value proposition… oh - and the pains of running a business -  creating the capacity and head space to shape something new, as well as achieving a balance between delivery, growth and playing around in fun and interesting areas.

 

What one piece of advice would you give to those who want to achieve or sustain high growth in their businesses?  


I believe in creating the framework for success, that means having in place all the building blocks and structure to enable some form of creativity and innovation. I work with some very hardworking and brilliant people but often they don’t have the foundations in place and become too busy.


The time to create headspace for strategy, action and exploration is so critical in today’s complex white-water world.  The help your team at The FD Consultant gave me in supporting an international client enabled me to focus on the wider business and value proposition as you were able to support me in getting the financial component validated and structured.


I have built a product methodology called HEADSTARTS that is designed to specifically help these individuals, find the path, through and make both tactical and strategic decisions, based on current context. It’s been great to watch this deliver and the impact it has on the teams I work with.



We hope you found Mike's comments informative and thought provoking.


If you'd like to know more about Mike and Easol, please visit the Easol website here.

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