Ian Brookes

Ian started his career with Price Waterhouse where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant, subsequent to which he founded his own management consulting firm specialising in corporate finance for SMEs. This business was subsequently acquired by an IT services company, and as Finance Director, he led the business to an AIM Listing. Latterly as Group Managing Director, the business achieved a FTSE main market listing, and a capitalisation of £150m. He left the firm in 2007 to become involved with a number of start-up ventures, including Winning Pitch, taking the business to a £2.5m PLUS Market listing in 2008. The business has subsequently won a £10m NWDA High Growth business support contract in 2009, and a £30m national business support contract in 2012. He is a non-executive director at Winning Pitch. Ian has worked with a number of Business Schools and Post-Graduate programmes at Lancaster, Manchester and Sheffield Universities, providing lecturing and tutoring services in entrepreneurship, management and finance. He was part of the team which established the MEnt programme at Manchester, and a business incubator for technology start-ups. He has also worked on a number of private and public funded business incubator initiatives, working with high tech start-up businesses in the ecommerce, digital media, business services, internet and software sectors. A Companion of The Chartered Management Institute, he is a Trustee and Governor of Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (funded by Rod Aldridge, ex-Capita) where the specialism is Entrepreneurship. A member of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and a Freeman of the City of London, he hasn’t yet taken up the opportunity this affords to drive a herd of sheep across London Bridge.
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Recent Posts

Posted by Ian Brookes
19/04/17 07:42

The Clash, the eponymous self-titled debut album by The Clash, was released 40 years ago last week, on 8 April 1977. How time passes by. It is widely celebrated as one of the greatest punk albums of all time, and one of the best debut albums. It was a record that made you sit up and take notice. It set the template for punk with its sharp shock songs full of passion and angry lyrics that were snapshots of the UK’s decay at the time.

Posted by Ian Brookes
10/04/17 06:43

Vilfredo Pareto was a philosopher, economist and academic, fascinated by social and political statistics and trends. Legend has it that one day he noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his garden generated 80% of the healthy peapods.

Posted by Ian Brookes
03/04/17 05:42

Start-ups are unique because of their ability to scale fast, and typically go through three stages – traction, transition and growth. Each of these stages requires different priorities that are reflected in different objectives, strategies, team etc.

Posted by Ian Brookes
27/03/17 07:26

Comebacks are possible. In fact, they happen all the time. Yet, if you have had a setback, a comeback may seem impossible to you. Life is full of stumbles, no matter who you are. Financial problems, health issues, loss of a loved one – they may visit all of us. The challenge is how you overcome your setback. How do you dig in and hit back?

Posted by Ian Brookes
20/03/17 08:26

Having spent three years at university living with two biochemistry students who were hell bent on teaching me all about Crick & Watson, molecular biosciences and the rudimentary principles of genetic engineering, I’ve subsequently followed their careers with interest as I'm filled with curiosity about genetics and cloning – but also originality and individuality.

Posted by Ian Brookes
13/03/17 06:55

I’ve long held an interest in British military history, taking leadership lessons into my business thinking. One of the harshest examples is the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. It highlights for entrepreneurs on how shortfalls in planning, poor working relationships and ineffective communication can have a hugely negative impact on decision-making and consequently, outcomes.

Posted by Ian Brookes
08/03/17 07:18

I’m currently working with a retired farmer who had taken up creating his own brand of home made wine on an industrial scale from his farm in Rossendale. When I visited his farm for our first meeting I knocked on his door, to be greeted by a friendly, warm, physical handshake and a beaming smile: Come on in, would you like a drink of my wine? Was the first thing he said.

Posted by Ian Brookes
27/02/17 06:57

Habits can be a good and bad thing for an entrepreneur, giving a clear sense of focus, a rhythm and guidance to keep heading for the north star to make stuff happen, and yet paradoxically, the wrong habits end up ultimately in addiction to doing the wrong things repeatedly.

Posted by Ian Brookes
20/02/17 07:41

School reunions are funny things, you quickly rewind back to when you were 18 and awkward and gangly and clumsy, not that I’ve changed that much since then anyway. However, my recent reunion was really quite poignant, former teachers who had such an influencing and formative impact on me are now of an age that each year fewer of them remain alive or are well enough to attend.

Posted by Ian Brookes
15/02/17 08:30

The first time I visited New York, I was warned about three things: to be constantly aware of personal safety, to forget about tea as they only serve coffee, and, in the interests of political correctness (and, potentially, personal safety), never offer criticism of the President.

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