In September 2003 we were sitting around the family dining table when we made the decision to start our own consulting company. We set out to take on the business analysis world with passion, generosity and flair – the way we live our lives! Redvespa was officially launched by Richard in October 2003. Fast forward to September 2016 and we have just employed our second son – Jamie. Our first son Tom joined Redvespa 3 years before. We thought it timely to talk about what being a business with family values means, and how it feels for us to work together in the business.
Company success is driven by purpose, organisational discipline and long term decision making. Redvespa exists for the long term to make change happen to unleash potential and enrich people, business and communities. We care immensely about our people with our hearts and our business with our minds. Our culture defines us and our Chief Culture Officer, Blair Loveday, lays our strategic cultural foundation. As our founder, Richard continues to guide us and remind us that purpose and values are at the core of everything we do.
At Redvespa we have non-family leaders, like Blair, who are as passionate about Redvespa as we are. This combination of family and non-family leaders means we can stay true to the values of our founder over many decades. In fact it means we think of ourselves more as a ‘business with family values’ than a family business.
Blair says ‘being part of the extended Redvespa family has a nice vibe. We have a lot of fun, we learn by doing and we trust each other. As a result, it is easy for me to not think of work as work. I’m simply living life and hanging out with like minded passionate people who above all, want to create a company we are all proud of and stays true to our north star.’
As a business with family values we stay on track by building long-term value and we don’t compromise our principles and beliefs through focusing on the quarterly bottom line only. We invest in developing talent and building our brand to deliver long term value. The short term is the daily managerial business as usual. The medium term is focused on continuing to be a great partner for our customers 5-10 years from now – where we achieve results, growth and share in the success. The long term is a dream – our shined goal for the extended Redvespa family. A business to experience in the future.
Tom was the first son to join Redvespa, nearly 3 years ago. Tom says “Coming into the business was nerve-wracking, like any first job, but amazing at the same time. Time spent around the dining table talking about the business was nothing like being in it. To see what Mum and Dad (Sarah and Richard now!) have built fills you with pride! I started in the Wellington office and was lucky that Sarah and Richard had moved to Auckland to grow the business up there for a period of time, so I could make an impression myself, without the ‘son-of’ tag. You can see mum and dad’s values and have-a-laugh attitude in the company to this day, even with over 70 people working with Redvespa. Our Christmas party with over 90 people is coming up, and in true Redvespa style I’m sure we’ll see our Founder dancing on tables again!”
Jamie says “I’ve recently come into the business and realised pretty quickly I didn’t really know what Redvespa was all about. As far as business analysis goes and the culture Sarah and Richard have established I clearly zoned out around the dinner table or we were too busy discussing the weekend’s sport. The experience so far has been superb, and the business analysis profession is really exciting. I think the profession should be pushed more through universities because of the impact it can have on people and business. I’m very proud of what Redvespa represents and what Sarah and Richard have achieved and I’m so lucky to be on board.”
Richard says “when I started Redvespa I must admit I wasn’t thinking family business. So to have it turn into a business with strong family values is beyond my wildest dreams. To have built a business that needs the different skills and style that our boys bring is amazing!”
“Tom was the first graduate we employed at Redvespa” says Sarah. “ He went through the same recruitment process that everyone goes through – interview, peer review and reference checking. This meant he was appointed in his own right and the team had right of veto before he started. We haven’t looked back and Tom is now a valued member of the leadership team bringing a young bright perspective and considerable expertise.”
“Jamie joined us in a graduate role and will learn the business through rotation around our HQ team and experiencing working with everyone. He’s also working closely with me on Redvespa’s corporate social responsibility, focusing on the health and well-being of NZ’s youth. Something very close to our hearts as a family and as a company.”
Sarah says “It’s an honour to be CEO of Redvespa reporting to Richard, our founder and my husband. And it’s a privilege to work in Redvespa with our sons alongside us. We have always had wonderful family times and it’s very special to continue those in the workplace. This would not happen without the willingness of non-family members alongside us who share our values and desires. We are incredibly fortunate to have leaders in the business who feel like extended family and embrace working in a business with such strong family values.”
‘Open your arms to change but do not let go of your values’ – Dalai Lama