Richard Turner

Richard has worked in a national law firm and one of the first “Alternative Business Structures” law firms to raise external investment from non-lawyers before setting up his own law firm and acquiring a couple of others. Along the way he has been a management consultant to businesses in sectors as diverse as IT, Telecoms, Automotive Safety Equipment, Digital Technology and he also spent a very illuminating year working as the right hand man to the CEO of a small rugby league club.

In terms of actual skills of use to anybody:

  • Legal strategy. This is the wider skill of understanding how to structure your business. Structuring for growth, structuring for scale or sale. Being investment ready and understanding what an investor/buyer might look for when doing the legal due diligence. “How to avoid your poor legals getting you price-chipped on exit;
  • Alternative business strategy. The power of thinking differently. “Strategy” is a much over and mis-used phrase. Richard’s skill (which comes with no formal qualification and therefore you should be warned before you let him in that it involves asking “why” A LOT) is in looking at things from a different perspective. Seeing the wood for the trees, turning a weakness into a strength or an opportunity;
  • Board alignment. Richard has run sessions with many small business owners who can’t work out why they aren’t achieving their goals. Often it is as simple as the fact that the Board doesn’t realise management is somehow misaligned. Using some formal recognised techniques gained from an MBA and some borrowed from his toddler, Richard is adept at flushing out the unspoken assumptions causing friction;
  • Putting almost anything in a 2×2 matrix and using an analogy based on cars (doesn’t sound like rocket science but there’s a reason we all love a good 2×2 infographic);
  • Challenge. This doesn’t seem like a skill worth putting on a CV but it’s surprising how often business owners are doing something “just because”. Or NOT doing something because “it’s just that [insert excuse]”. By ignoring the usual social niceties of “being polite” or “nodding and smiling”, Richard enjoys forcing businesses to examine their entire business model from a fresh perspective.  If you’re currently recoiling in horror, Richard probably isn’t the person to help you. If you’re thinking “challenge accepted”…

Warming to his theme of talking about himself in the third person, Richard told us at Connect Yorkshire that he is looking for a new challenge. A series of businesses who are genuinely willing to take the assumptions embedded in their own industries and turn them on their head, because if you don’t, somebody else will.