Two big milestones came all at once earlier this week, each representing a different half of the NixonMcInnes whole.
On the commercial side, our Financial Director Lasy put together our annual management accounts for the financial year, as our year runs April to March. In the end we had a really strong year. We grew revenue at something like 20.3%, which is substantially more than the last couple of years, but more importantly we made a 10.4% net margin. So we have profits and revenue growth we are happy with, and a strong cash balance.
Our whole team worked bloody hard to create those results – we really worked for it. Like really. There were times when we looked at bleak projections, months when we made losses, Mondays when the project pipeline was worryingly bare, Fridays when the happiness numbers were gloomy. But to get the year end numbers to back that effort up and prove that we weren’t just on a hiding to nothing is invaluable for all of our morale, as well as for fueling the investments we plan to make in this new financial year. We did it.
On the cultural side, it was announced yesterday that we made the WorldBlu list of most democratic organisations for the fourth year in a row. Yay! Again, we work hard on this stuff. And it isn’t easy. But we care about it – we want NixonMcInnes to not only succeed as a business but also to prove to ourselves and others that great business doesn’t have to achieve its results at the expense of the world around it, and especially its people.
For us, the WorldBlu list and our scores from the anonymous survey and scorecard are an important measure of that continuing journey, and we are delighted to rank alongside other great global organisations like Zappos, WD 40 Company, HCL Technologies and our friends of similar size like Future Considerations, Rabbit, Namasté Solar and Woohoo Inc.
Again, I cannot really sum up the emotional investment and hard work that everyone at NixonMcInnes puts into willingly experimenting with and evolving new business practices without sounding melodramatic. It is challenging, challenging work. To work with open financial data, to interrogate and set budgets together, to promote healthy conflict and dialogue around decisions that affect peers and friends-at-work. But it is what we do, because it is what we believe in and what brought us together.
So I wanted to share those two big milestones, each representing a chunk of what NixonMcInnes strives to be. A successful, healthy, thriving business that walks a 21st century business talk. To share them because like most people we probably spend too much time looking ahead, worrying about the next mountain we have to climb and not enough time giving ourselves the pause to celebrate hard-earned achievements.
Well done team :) Thank you for listening. And thank you to our people’s partners and families, to our trusted freelancers and of course our brave, pioneering clients.
As for the ‘now what?’, here are some of our plans:
- To continue to understand and help large organisations evolve both internally and externally
- To make a massive investment in training and developing our people, as we complete the transition from ‘agency’ to ‘consultancy’
- To put on an event in the Digital Brighton Festival that we can develop and be proud of
- To grow the amount of training we do through our Academy services
- To keep investing in innovation around our practices – the ‘what we do’
- To move office (which is necessary rather than desired, but still an opportunity)
- To continue to spread the word about 21st century working practices, democracy at work and my book Culture Shock