Yorkshire has a connected look and feel to doing business notes from a New Business ….US !!!
I’ve lived and worked in Scotland as an academic and corporate consultant. It has its own system of law, politics, public sector management, networking with universities, investment / banking industry and well, just a social connectivity. It is big [geographically vast] and yet small; the central belt between Glasgow and Edinburgh connects all and everyone does seem to know everyone. It is pretty darn easy to network into. At least that is what I found.
After moving to Yorkshire and basing myself of the edge of The Dales near Ripon and being near A1, east coast rail and Leeds Bradford airport I rather lazily still worked my networks in London and Scotland. However in the past year, I made a pact with myself to do business in and for Yorkshire: travel less and embed more.
I had never assumed there was not business to be done in Yorkshire; I knew from working closely with the Dean at Ripon Cathedral on their strategic change that there is plenty of talent and energy in the county. I was just sticking to my particular knitting in the way that solo traders can and do. As a psychology and strategic change expert it was a case of physician heal thy self lass: make a change.
I set up a new branch to my consulting [H2Pro.org.uk] found a business partner to collaborate with [also a new thing for solo trader me] and set off onto social media. It has been a joy to experience the connected and positively supportive business community of the region. With exciting businesses storming their way into Leeds with entrepreneurial energy [Channel Four, Meatless Farm, Hero Well Being all attention grabbers. Great media in print and online. Strong business networking communities [IOD Yorkshire, Northern Powerhouse, She Thrives, Asian Business Network]. World-class arts [Royal Northern ballet, Opera North, Symphonia and theatres]. With three, yes three Cathedrals in the UK’s super diocese [Ripon, Bradford, Wakefield] and two Minsters [Beverly and York] wow. It can be hard to know which way to look. That is where social media has really enabled me.
Deploying the usual business suspects of Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Zoom has worked, is working, I’m getting there incrementally. That too, using social media to its full, has been a first for me. OK it takes time, Ok there is a learning curve not to be underestimated, but an hour each day seems to have been the level I found and worked for me. I’ve learned some lessons along the way and thus how to delete a tweet, how to block and that people love a picture: Yorkshire does Hills not cats praise be !
Just as I found in devolved Scotland, Yorkshire has a voice and no fear of using it. Yorkshire has something to say and will say it. I value that and it is, believe you me different from doing business in the south especially London. I’m still classed as an incomer [not here 30years yet], so I have bright eyes to see things as they are before I too become embedded in the culture and stop fully seeing it.
Blockers have been woeful wifi, just no no no; unacceptable. Rail frustration, again no, not sustainable. But most irksome is a projection of less talent in the North, it somehow being the proviso of the elsewhere in the UK to be the talent pool /hub. It is a great frustration to me to read reactions projected onto this region suggesting it is hard to get people to move North from London and other southern regions [tagged to Channel Four and Ballet]. Just look what energy, passion, talent and belief there is an what it can achieve. In my view The Piece Hall in Halifax is the classic example of what energy delivers.
Enablers are plentiful. The people the places the investment the energy and the belief. But intertwined in the mix of all of these is the ‘other facing’ psychology of the north. Northerners [I hail from the mighty Liverpool] are rereferred to as friendly. It is more than that. Some of the basic psychology that seems to be present in a northern mindset is other facing; seeing other people, connecting to others, regarding them and therefore naturally caring for others. Of course people are people and we all have the capacity to be other facing, but the embedded psychology of the northerner is to look beyond oneself first. This is a genuine selling proposition; it is northern it is talent and it is sustainable. It simply is who Yorkshire folk are.
I am firmly, I add superlatives most firmly, of the view that The North needs its own voice, needs control of its infra structure. Just need a chance to be devolved and power up this North of ours.