New times, old feelings
With the rapid pace of digital technological innovation that impacts on our lives every day, it’s easy to feel that we are being rushed along by a tidal wave of change over which we have no control. Despite our desires to enjoy all of the benefits that better technologies promise, it can sometimes seem impossible to stay up to date with all of the emerging possibilities.
The confusion that this can lead to has the potential to do real damage in business. Like an aversion to change, an unwillingness to incorporate the new into our work can lead to a kind of creeping complacency and eventual redundancy, as new and dynamic players enter the market using every available tool to help them gain an advantage.
Funnily enough, this is not a new phenomenon. When James Hargreaves introduced the Spinning Jenny machine in Blackburn 1764, local workers were so offended by the technology that they broke into his house, destroyed his machines and forced him to relocate to Nottingham. But of course, not all change is bad…
Where are we now?
In January 2017, we re-located the Victvs head office to Castleton Mill in Leeds – a former steam-powered flax spinning mill that was built by William Hargrave in 1836. Castleton Mill is a beautiful part of the incredible legacy of the British Industrial Revolution that changed our country forever and that demonstrated the north of England’s ability to have a truly global impact through innovation and hard work. For us as a company, being able to make use of this recently renovated historical gem as our base for working in over 100 countries, is a real pleasure.
Today, the spirit of determination to drive positive change that underpinned the Industrial Revolution, continues to motivate innovation throughout the North. As the government invests in its concept of the Northern Powerhouse and encourages growth in the digital sector, entrepreneurs and forward thinkers are making use of all the benefits that modern technology can bring to allow them to access new markets all over the world. And they are doing this from their locations in Yorkshire and Lancashire – the heart of the industrial revolution.
Back to the future
Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, British companies are now faced with additional challenges relating to how to do better international business. Whilst the answers to these questions seem at present to be a way off, the fact is that businesses in the North will continue to soldier on, doing what they do best – generating change. In time, the reality of Brexit will become clear and regardless of the politics involved, British innovators will be instrumental in shaping the reality of how we do international business and here at Victvs we will be doing our best to contribute to this.
As before, the north of England has great capacity for global trade underpinned by a flair for innovation and a historical legacy that is truly something to be proud of. Whilst it would be foolish to declare that the challenges facing UK-based global businesses are simple, it is surely wise to refer to our past for inspiration on how to overcome them.