Recently my business was a beneficiary in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, winning the Innovation category for our work on the Service Exchange Platform. This platform looks to help consolidate networks into one delivery mechanism to enable the industry and consumers to buy and sell network access more easily. We have been working on it for quite a while but it was a great boost for the team to get this kind of recognition.
The award culminates in two Directors being invited to Buckingham Palace to a reception held by the Queen and a number of her key associates. So it was with much excitement that I was able to meet her and receive the award on behalf of the company. The whole event was impeccably organised and I loved every minute of it and it got me thinking as to how unusual and lucky we are to have her as our monarch, and that we have this institution above our politics. While I am sure it would have been an honour to meet our Prime Minister, it would not be without its controversy, and for some not that significant.
Even though the Queen is probably the most recognised person on earth, there is still an element of mystique around meeting her and visiting the palace. While I am aware there have been many people ahead of me in making the journey there, it is still a very special event. The gathering had around two hundred guests but we all but disappeared into the Palace and had opportunities to walk around, enjoy the champagne and network. Not only did the Queen add significant status to the awards but also the very businesses being recognised. My fellow Director and I enjoyed some interesting conversations with some very talented people who are building impressive businesses.
It got me thinking as to how other countries like France misses out on this kind of recognition. With a president currently being the most unpopular in living memory I can’t believe a similar event held in Paris would carry as much reverence.
Leading a business is hard work, but this kind of event makes the risk and reward all that more pleasurable. Now I have to take stock and think about our direction and ambitions for the next ten years.