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How to Play the Long Game!

Troubleshooters Podcast
Troubleshooters Podcast
How to Play the Long Game!

Episode Description

Brendon Green has been running his company for 18 years, and along with these two directors has built GCG into one of the leading independent health, safety, and hygiene companies in Australia and they are not done yet. This growing business is reinventing the way the industry delivers its services through tech enabled innovation. GCG is a great example of what happens when talented people get together and play the long game.

About Brendan

Contact Brendan

Brendan is the Founder and CEO of GCG, and established the business in 2005. He considers leading the wonderful, close-knit community at GCG as the best part of his job and loves the challenges of working alongside such a high performing team. Brendan believes GCG is an outstanding workplace because there are so many team members who are genuinely committed to helping their clients with WHS.

Brendan has spent more than fifteen years working in Work Health and Safety (WHS) and Occupational Hygiene, and has been fortunate enough to gain exposure to a wide variety of industries since leaving BHP Billiton (to start GCG). He is a Senior Consultant focusing primarily on upskilling and supporting clients on implementing practical and sustainable WHS management systems within their businesses.

GCG is fortunate enough to sponsor the annual Australian Institute of Occupation Hygienists (AIOH) Presidents Cup Golf Day, and as a golfing fan Brendan enjoys – whenever the opportunity arises – getting out on the course for eighteen holes.

Brendan is a member of the Western Australia chapter of the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) and actively contributes to the ongoing development of SIA’s presence in Australia. He is also involved in the Young Safety Professionals Network (YSP) and continues to mentor people new to WHS and Occupational Hygiene.

Brendan has tertiary qualifications in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Industrial Hygiene. He was also a recipient of a WA Business News ’40under40 Award’ in 2012 – an award “designed to recognise and celebrate Western Australia’s 40 leading business entrepreneurs under the age of 40.”


Note: This has been automatically transcribed so is likely to have errors! It may however help you navigate the points of interest.

Mike: Welcome to the Troubleshooters podcast with me your host Mike McGrath. Now, Brandon Green has been running his company for 18 years, and along with these two directors has built GCG into one of the leading independent health, safety, and hygiene companies in Australia. And they are not done yet. This growing business is reinventing the way the industry delivers its services through tech enabled innovation. GCG is a great example of what happens when talented people get together and play the long game. Sit back and listen to this Troubleshooter talk about how he built a winning team. So Brendan, welcome to the troubleshooters podcast.

Brendan: Thanks, Mike. Great to be here.

Mike: I’ve been wanting to get you on because I really, really admire what you’ve done in that business. And what you and your colleagues have achieved because it’s just a great story. I mean, Professional Services is a hard market. It’s people oriented. And you know, you guys have grown since I met you you’ve grown from three to 20 mil, which is outstanding. And so I thought we’d we delve back a bit and I’d ask you some of the things are perhaps not completely across myself. So you started Green Consulting Group, which is a health, safety and hygiene business in 2005. And so prior to that, you have been to uni, you trained. You got your bachelor’s in health, safety and hygiene. And, and then you went to work for bhp, which a very well trodden path, no doubt.

Brendan: Yeah, I guess, getting over to Wi Fi and Port Hedland was my first sort of graduate placement with bhp and then a couple of years, two and a half years there. And then I moved over to Queensland to operate in an underground lead mine with bhp hygiene. So the trainee over in in WA and then ended up a hygienist with bhp, Kennington

Mike: For the uninitiated, you’re going to have to define hygiene because most of us probably have the wrong definition of hygiene. So, in this context, tell us what hygiene is.

Brendan: Yeah. So, it’s basically classified as an art and a science, I guess, in interpreting and understanding exposure to things like dust and noise in the workplace. Okay, and working on controls to minimize exposure. So, okay, it’s not cleaning toilets, not

Mike: cleanliness. Okay, got that. So it’s good to get good to get that out of the way. So you, you leave bhp, you’re kind of done with a whole corporate. So then you start, I presume you started consulting digit. Yeah,

Brendan: I jumped straight into helping him make subcontractor on a bhp contract. And then one, throw the bomb basin in Queensland where I grew up so that they were monitoring dust and noise on eight of the bhp sites. And I went along and helped kick that off and train some new people. So that was kind of the first run.

Mike: So I presume you’re getting paid more to do that. I mean, the rate split? I mean, what was the attraction?

Brendan: Yeah, look, I think getting away from a day to day, and then trying something new with a set scope for three months gave me a bit of a, you know, guaranteed income to get out of a crack and see what it looks like to be able to mine and not having kids or a house or any commitments have made it a pretty easy decision knowing that the market, you know, there’d be a job to come back to somewhere else if I really needed it.

Mike: So we hear that a lot as well that sometimes, you know, people I mean, I started 22 or 23. So my responsibilities were a lot lower than they were a bit later. So what was the initial genesis of actually turning it from a sort of consulting gig to a business? And what did you see? What was the opportunity? What kind of vision did you have? If you had one at all? Yeah, look,

Brendan: I went through a year of work, you know, probably double the amount of hours but I did it bhp note about double. So I think I was on 50 bucks an hour back in the day as a consultant, so I wasn’t massive amounts of money, probably. But it seemed like a good idea. I guess the whole process of setting up GPG came from feeling like I needed to expand the, you know, the commitment from other people in the business to spread the risk and the load of the work. So being a single person, you can only do work one as a time and materials type arrangement. So it’s very difficult to service more clients than what you’ve you know, more than one or two. So it’s kind of that getting some professionals in with great skill, you know, committing to the business and then not having to worry about them walking away. So a bit of a risk risk reduction and a bit of a load spread. Pretty high pressure.


Mike: You basically teamed up with some guys that, you know, that’s my recollection anyway,

Brendan: I went to a conference towards the end of oh five and spread the word to all my friends and anyone that they knew that they considered to be, you know, high quality people. So I basically put the word out to everyone on you, including an old mate Brett Jones from uni, and just started to ask the question whether anyone was interested. And I had a lot of people say they’re interested; I just didn’t have anyone put their hand up to actually do anything initially. So

Mike: These guys became partners, they put some money in, basically, yeah, that’s right. I mean, there are many entrepreneurs that struggle with that idea. But it’s quite an enlightened way of thinking. So you thought, Okay, I’m in a professional service game, I need to get some other people around me with some additional skills to help us expand and maybe de risk a little bit.

Brendan: Yeah, that was it. It was a great idea. In the end, it obviously resulted in growing the business fairly rapidly from OSI crudo when I met you and bringing on additional people. So the concept had some legs, I had some queries from legal advisors and financial people saying, why would you want to do that? Like, surely you just want to run your own thing. And in the end, you know, it just it just worked out a lot better to do that, I think so

Mike: Your concern Ramin about just hiring people was that, you know, there’ll be a lot of responsibility, people wouldn’t have skin in the game. And that you, you’re going to be left holding the baby, whereas you got some partners who were who were aligned, I suppose. And we’re going to share in the spoils, I guess, yeah,

Brendan: share the rest share the hard work. And it’s boiled. And I get thought of both in WA, within a short period of time, originally being in Queensland. So having some people involved on both sides of the country also helped with a bit of expansion planning. So yeah, it was good.

Mike: So health, safety and hygiene rise, a compliance driven sector, right. And you were saying that hygiene was in the early stages of its involvement and evolution. Right. So what was the kind of idea? And what was the vision? Know, where did you see the opportunity to meet the market other than just employ yourselves and perhaps get paid a bit more? You know, when did that evolve for you?

Brendan: Yeah, I think I’d BHV. There was always programs going on for graduates and bringing people in, but every site around the country pretty much was trying to put on a hygienist and struggling, so there was always a shortage of people who had the skill. And what I saw was that that meant that consultants would be, you know, called in, and we use consultants when I was with bhp over in Western Australia. And it just seemed like that was an ever growing area, mining by BHP and Rio, in Australia led the way from a mining perspective anyway, on the maturity of doing monitoring, they were doing it in probably the 70s 80s and 90s, in varying degree, and there were other big companies around the country that I’m not familiar with it were as well, but it was really the, you know, the, I guess the founders of the Institute of Occupational Hygiene in Australia, where they’re chemists than the professionals, there wasn’t even an Occupational Hygiene kind of training available. So a lot of the you know, the more senior hygiene is there actually got chemistry background for chemists backgrounds, and, and health science related things. But they kind of built the way forward and then and sold that through I suppose those consultants and they matured in their career. And we were lucky enough to have a couple of gurus come into bhp and teach us all about hygiene as well. And during that process, it was evident that bhp was even struggling to get people. So there was a definite shortage. There was a growing market where the regulations required you to look after people with exposures, not just breaking arms and having accidents. It was actually the long-term health effects was starting to be, I guess, followed up more in the 90s. And

Mike: so you get yourself at that point, you get yourself to 2009. You’ve been at it for years. Turnovers about 3 million. I understand at that point. Yeah. And that’s when kind of you and I bumped into each other,

Brendan: you actually reached out to ask a few questions about the industry and about how I guess what’s going on in the services business. I think we’re a target industry. And you must have think something about hygiene in your, in your time around that time. And, you know, the got to the point where I actually, you know, at the end of the conversation just said, Look, I’d like I’d like you to come and have a look at my business because that’s the game you’re in. And from there, you came in and had a look at what we were doing and looked at, you know, the fact we didn’t really have a strategy and all that sort of stuff. So

Mike: I suppose I mean, what was interesting to me, you know, there was some missing pieces really, and you were very open to getting input like that’s the first thing is that you are open to get input. And secondly, that you are open to making some changes because you could see some of the limits with continuing to operate how you It operated. So one example one of the first things we did is we hired the now CFO, Neville bear, didn’t we? He’s still with a busy. So he’s been there for over 10 years and, and it looks a bit over the top of the time maybe to get a financial controller. But that’s proved to be worth its weight in gold, I think, hasn’t it? Yeah, I

Bendan: I think that having a strategy and probably professionalizing our reporting and getting clear on how we actually operate with your help, and with themself was critical to the, the years that were, you know, post GFC pre mining, you know, all during the mining boom, really, is when it was so it’s all the second round anyway. But you know, those, those two things combined go filled a lot of gaps that we had, as technical people, none of us had had business training, and gone to uni with any Bachelor of Business or even really seen as an adult how our business operates at the executive level. So had a training wheel on up until that time, and still do really, but yeah, a little bit more experienced now. Well,

Mike: it’s interesting, because I Oh, nine was the GFC. Right? It’s kind of early in the GFC. That was the end of Oh, eight when you was pretty bad. And then but mining just charged on in Australia. In fact, mining kept the country going to be honest with you. And so you didn’t see any kind of downturn in that Oh, nine oh, 10 Oh, 11 period where the rest of the market was really running for cover? And I think that’s probably one of the reasons we were interested in mining services is that we thought okay, well, this is still, this is still going. So you started having board meetings in your every month, and we hadn’t done that previously? I mean, how has that been for you?

Brendan: Yeah, look, I think we used to make monthly and look at numbers. And whether we had money to pay bills, I think was the extent of our monthly meetings back in the day, and what work was coming up that it’s sort of the three agenda items. But you know, I think having the having the board meeting, setting the strategy and actually looking forward three to five years, I think we started with a three year strategy with you and then build that out tomorrow, looking at five years ahead over time, but just having somewhere that we thought we could go and the guidance around what what’s important to get there and implementing better systems for better visibility we started doing in that first three years as well, yeah, with a with a couple off the shelf product using my elbow, as well as our finance. Software. So it was pretty basic stuff. But just putting in that formalization of looking at what we said we were going to do and how we went with massive lift to what we’re doing. And then I guess the finance structure, and having access to finance was one of the early things that you said, having the right size finance ahead of time is critical for growth.

Mike: Yeah, no, I think we got out of a non-bank lender, and we got some funding, which, you know, you know, we you know, we still heavily rely on that today, don’t we? So, but I suppose the, that whole idea of getting out of the day to day, what’s happening now and looking forward, that where to play how to win and looking at the market, and what the market might need, rather than just responding. I mean, that’s, I think that, you know, that was a big evolution, wasn’t it? And, you know, I mean, look what you’ve done since then, really? I mean, I think you doubled consecutively. I mean, you’ve been a 20% growth business now for basically a decade. 20% per annum. Yeah. You know, that’s a lot of growth. I mean, that’s a lot of growing pains, that I

Brendan: I think that was probably the biggest comment that everyone feels, I think that change that ongoing change is probably the hardest thing to, you know, doing poorly executed change heard a few times. And obviously, when we did something right, it felt a lot better that we’re always doing something different than having to increase the size of our equipment. You know, the IT support, everything was changing constantly. So it was it was probably before cloud computing was exciting and interesting. And people were confident to use it too. So old servers and all that fun stuff we invested in it was it was a real ride over those years in the early days. That’s for sure.

Mike: So tell us about that. I mean, I know you’ve had some you had some revenue concentration issues, right? So you look at Australia. You’re looking at mining, you know, you’ve got BHP and Rio with the big dawgs with probably, I don’t know, 80% of the market between them in most sectors. So you are heavily exposed when you to BHP with a kind of oh, probably an over concentration at certain points. So how’d you go about fixing that?

Brendan: Yeah, I think we sort of learned a lesson in the GFC that that concentration was a bit of a challenge in the first place, but we really didn’t change our view other than chasing other work. I think it was only you know, in that in that sort of 2012 13 period where we realized that we couldn’t constantly rely on mining and needed to look elsewhere. And we also had people on board like Brett and Dustin, who’d had experience in mining and outside of mining and had context outside of that industry where we, you know, most of my contacts are inside the mining industry. And it allowed us to start different conversations. And then we started winning other work. I remember doing lots of tenders, we were trying to do tenders to win bigger work outside of mining. So it was, there was a lot of effort put into trying to just expand it and network and tap into some of your networks. And it was really a Yeah, it took a long time to go from sort of 95% concentration to where we are at probably 55% mining now. So we still have a large proportion of mining. But,

Mike: you know, in some ways, you know, you need a concentration issue to solve. I mean, it’s the first thing is you need to get one but once you have got one, and now you probably ought to know, I think nobody’s bigger than 10% right now.

Brendan: No, that’s true. Yeah. No, we don’t we don’t have anyone. In fact, yeah, the industry, when you look at them, if you split out mining the concentration across gold, gold or metal, into things like lithium and rare earth and other they’ve we’ve got a very broad spread there as well, where they’d be lucky to anything at 10% even within the mining sector now. So yeah, the reach is definitely helpful.

Mike: I suppose the genesis of that thinking was around that 2012 13 mining collapse. Because eventually, you know, it does the GFC. But eventually, we got a bus period didn’t when he showed it. And so that was the genesis was okay, how do we get outside of that, and you guys are now in construction, you guys are in defense. You know, you guys have done lighting tunneling, the list goes on of the other sectors that you targeted way back then that have taken a long time, some of them to come to fruition, but they do eventually die if you if you keep at it, and you give yourself time.

Brendan: Yeah, we’re getting into government, you know, construction manufacturing into those other industry, it did take a while but with those strategies and different, I guess, approaches to how we try and expand our services, and having health and safety there as well really helped to open some doors. I think not just hygiene, but health and safety was more common in other industries than hygiene. So that was part of the secret. So yeah,

Mike: one of the other drivers for that, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people listening who have perhaps gone to retail businesses exposed to Woolworths or Kohl’s. I mean, Woolworths and Coles have probably got 80%, the grocery market between them, most of that supply chain is overexposed to one or both of them. So what do you say to those guys that are staring at 50%? Revenue concentration with one customer? How do you troubleshoot that?

Brendan: I look, we’ve had to, like I said, we’ve got some companies we’ve worked for, for a long period of time in the mining industry as well. And it’s, it’s probably only a problem if it ends. And the critical around client management, you know, understanding where they’re going trying to get ahead of that, like we were just lifted a couple of clients where we’ve, we’ve been working since 2012, with them, so over 10 years for three or four of our mining clients. So the concentration issue, as you’ve obviously alluded to, can be a problem if things go pear shaped, or stop or change if that industry or that company has trouble. But if you can delight the client and deliver what you say, you can extend those relationships. But that’s a good point. Being able to raise it up prior to which we don’t do probably often enough. But recently, we’ve had the review process post COVID that stayed stagnant for four or five years. You know, some of our clients have come back and said, no budget, not for us anymore, because the price was more. And we’re able to do so well, that that fine, look, it’s been wonderful, and we move on and it hasn’t affected our revenue. And I guess that’s the beauty of spreading exposure is, you know, one small downturn or incident won’t actually cause a major disruption to your business.

Mike: So you kind of earned the right to fire your clients in a way they

Brendan: wouldn’t like to use red fire. But if we’re not matched up anymore in what we want to achieve and how we want to get there, I guess that that’s the otherwise we’re afraid to lose a client if we’re not aligned, and we can’t deliver the service what it takes to have the people Yeah, we’ve got, but

Mike: I mean, let’s have it right. I mean, BHP and Rio are not you know, they’re out for themselves. I mean, you know, that they’re not they’re not beyond applying pressure to small businesses. I mean, forget GCG I’ve got hundreds of other examples of, of where that pressure comes to bear and, and then I’m sure it’s the same with goals and was as well. So, you know, business owners are going to navigate that, like you said, I really like that idea. You’ve either got to, you know, get really tight with them and close with them. I mean, you got to do that anyway, whilst at the same time trying to dig it escaped tunnel and figure out what else that you kind of do as well. So, fair play because not many businesses can do what you’ve done and get to a point where you’ve gone from huge concentration with one giant mine down to no one’s got more than eight or 9%.

Brendan: It’s been a good, it’s been a good journey made. And I guess the confidence over time is, you know, you’re very nervous doing things like that, and having that exposure, but seeing the, you know, the changes in the business and moving that risk around to other industries, it certainly gives you a lot more understanding why the Rios and BHP is trying to drive down your price. Because they want a better result for themselves. Like, I used to think, though, not though, too, but any of our clients who wanted us to drop our prices, you know, any other year, it’s kind of like, well, we’re trying to help you here. But commercially, that was just what they needed to do to maintain their business. And that’s something we’ve done better in the last four or five years and more recently, just trying to understand the balance, reducing costs and increasing prices to obtain a good workforce, it’s, that’s probably the hardest part in a services business is that balance, I think,

Mike: and, you know, I mean, businesses, customers do whatever they need to do, and you can’t take it personally, you just got to try and anticipate, I suppose, and you and make sure that you’re, you know, you’re aligned. So let’s talk a little bit about as you were growing, and, you know, you’re moving through, you went from six to three to six and six to 12, then 12 to 18. About four years ago, you tackle the whole enterprise resource planning 10 technology change, right? So tell us about that. First of all, tell us why you determined that, you know, you needed improved technology, and then talk to us about how that, how that how you how you went about that? And then how you had to troubleshoot it, frankly,

Brendan: yeah, I think it was probably around 2016, where we’d gone through that, that growth period and doubled the size of the business in three years to breach the 10 million revenue mark. And it became very obvious that month to month, having a non integrated system, it was hard to match up, you know, unvoiced revenue with the total revenue for the month, and all your costs and that type of thing. And it became very clear to me that the inconsistencies in the reporting, were showing that the system, you know, not being integrated, were causing the problem. So we raised that at the board meeting and had a good discussion and went about a sort of a six month process of got the thing to me, RP, you and I did that with, with the other managers. And, and then we found one, and we, we went with, you know, a fairly large, ERP and SAP. So this

Mike: was SAP for small business. Right. So was there a small business version?

Brendan: Yeah, that’s right. So we had, we had an implementation process that, you know, they’re hard enough generally having a software implementation, but we had some challenges with the implementation where it didn’t quite do what they said it would do out of the box and caused some, some early concern and challenges. But we managed to fight through those and ended up, you know, having that system working towards, you know, into 2017. Yeah, I’m

Mike: Not going to kind of let you brush over this, because I lived through this with you. And, I mean, the reality was that we, we were oversold by a partner worm, we that did a very good selling job in terms of the SAP partner, and his inability to a understand the system that he was selling and be stick to any kind of timetable that you had agreed, really cause some challenges in it. I mean, I remember for a couple of months, you we lost sight, you know, we basically lost sight of the numbers.

Brendan: Well, we’ve actually had to go back to using while we continue to use our old systems basically for four months until we got them to calibrate together and work properly. So yeah, I think the implementation phase was a was a bit of a darker in the end. And I guess having someone who’s a little less competent than what they said on and familiar, resulted in that and look straight white, that was probably up there in the top five, for blood pressure moments for me in the CEO role. Just saying something like that happened in the impact on people having to work very hard to do dual entry into two systems and all that other fun stuff. So cost us a fair whack of cash and a fair bit of stress, I think in that period, but I reflected on it recently and looked at what the power of an integrated system, whether it be one Light step or any other one on the market. I mean structured right and feeding the right information to and being clear on what that is. You know the work we’ve been able to do on our performances so external having that integration, the system itself still isn’t really, you know, perfect for us. And I don’t think there is a perfect system for general business because you run your business the way you do. But, you know, having that power of integration, I think is the key whether you whatever you use as a solution.

Mike: I mean, certainly, it was a couple of years of frustration. But the other side of it, I think, you know, as you just alluded to, it’s like we you couldn’t run the business you’re running now without it, could you

Brendan: underground, the cost recovery alone, just thing cost against projects properly, thing time properly? You know, thing, all those things allows you to at least understand where you’re making mistakes are doing very well. And where you need to focus your attention. And I think I think that’s what we’re starting to feel as a management team now, is the improvement opportunities you can determine from that essential to that efficiency improvement, and just building a better visit. It was the right decision, whether it’s the right program or not, it was a great decision to go integration of an ERP, that’s for sure.

Mike: Look, I’ll take you back to February 2020. Right. When I think we just completed a five-year strategy, two days off site. And, and we, you know, we nailed it, it was probably one of the best pieces of work we’ve done, and, and then we got hit by COVID. And we like within a few days, literally, of doing all that five year mapping COVID hits. So taught us a bit about that, and about how you how you manage the five year strategy that offensively was somewhat worthless, at least the first year or two of it, given the fact we, we because none of us spoke, uttered the word pandemic in February 2020, did we? No,

Brendan: we did not. And, you know, a month later, I think when I was at an event with all 100 people that everyone started to really talk about it. So I think March was when it really started to become reality in Australia, and you know, more broadly, but it impacted everyone in various ways, obviously, and not in a real good way for most people. So I think the shock of actually realisation for us was, you know, the first phone calls from a client, then you can come to site was probably the, you know, the beginning of what was probably the most challenging time for us as a management team and as a board than we’ve ever had. And I think it showed the power of our leadership team and what we’re like, you know, I guess in an emergency, and while we’re probably so strong as a business that everyone turns to, what do we need to do to help get through this, and, you know, there’s no, there’s no bones about what has to be done, we all chip in and make it happen. So I think we met daily for at least a month straight. And we’re providing updates weekly to the whole organization through that time. And it was a bit groundhog ish. If you’ve ever spent Groundhog Day, if you’ve ever seen that movie, it was very much like that each morning, getting out of bed netting for the computer. But it was, you know, some of the best. Some of the best work I’ve seen from my peers, and colleagues and the whole team to basically keep the whole organization together. We didn’t let anybody go through that period. For the first month, we did, I think we got up to scenario 10. And just options and options. And then the government came through with some really great support. For a company like ours with lots of people. It worked out very well for us to have that support and maintain our workforce, which is what it did was a big deal.

Mike: random One of the things that you did at that strategy day was, you know, you press a lot of buttons around becoming more tech enabled as a business and looking invest you’ve been investing in, you will continue to say, Okay, this is the future, we’ve got to become more tech enabled, we’ve got to look at ways of delivering our services with less, with more, you know, harnessing technology towards us a bit about that, because I think that’s just been an outstanding initiative of which demanded you to look ahead for a few years, make the investments appear to get nowhere. But in fact, you know, now you’re starting to see some of the benefits of that sort of something about how GCG is becoming tech enabled and how health safety and hygiene is going to have to become more tech enabled. You

Brendan: I know, Dustin Bennett was the brainchild of our technology play from around 2015 16, which was more looking forward. I mean, hygiene has always been a discipline where technology’s been critical. So real time devices like noise meters and gas meters have been around for decades. So the realization is that technology’s always been part of what we do. And we’ve just looked at how we can make better solutions, I guess for our clients using new technology. Modern technology using dashboarding software, which was not around back in the day, and just trying to give a better picture to our clients to help them make fast decisions and control exposures, I guess, has been the focus. So Dustin was like, we’ve just we monitor a lot, we need to do more control. So we need to fix the issue, not just keep testing what the environment is like. And he did a mad white board in 2015. That sounded interesting. And then I guess by 2018, we’d look to set up a group here, which is our tech lab group and get some people together within the organization to look at modern solutions and new solutions using software and hardware. And I guess, the Internet of Things was sort of becoming pretty hot topic and looking at sending data directly real time to dashboards. And, you know, we tested out some stuff, we built some application, we built some software and, and tested things out, which is what we’ve been doing sort of two or three years now, and, and we’re seeing a massive uptake in some of those solutions with our existing client base. So there has always been an appetite and JCG has built, you know, we built our first software 10 years ago for our database for efficient reporting. But we never really thought we’d get involved in anything, you know that what we’re doing now about that. So it’s sort of evolved over the last eight years and the last three or four have been working very hard and doing a lot of research and development in that space. Dustin being the guru that he was back then and he’s now he’s, you know, he’s heading overseas, working with some, some big international think tanks, like NIOSH to talk about how we use real time technology to reduce exposure and building global guidelines. And just getting right into the thick of trying to improve the way Occupational Hygiene is delivered around the globe, you got

Mike: 100 people, you’re 20 million in revenue, you’re going to five year plan, you know, what’s the future look like? And you know, you’ve been at this 18 years now, do you, you’re going to continue to kind of paint on this same canvas, are you going to keep pressing forward?

Brendan: Yeah, I think I think the excitement of you know, what we’re looking at right now moving into away from just labor based revenue into, you know, non labor base using software and technology and doing different thoughts consulting, and really driving down exposure, kind of enlivened a bit of a, I guess, what is a vision or, you know, some sort of mission that was always there, but not really written down or spoken, but to see that the work we’re doing right now can have an impact on workers health, in a much more rapid fashion and hopefully reduce, you know, potential future illnesses, for 1000s of workers. I think that’s what we’re here for. And I think that the approach we’re taking now, we’ve got an opportunity to lead the way in Australia and globally on that. So we’re all very, very excited about the opportunity where we’ve got a very clear strategy over the next three or four years to finish out that five year strategy that was that was built in 2020. In shell for a couple of years. It’s kind of exciting just to be to look at a different way, I think, and everyone seems to be excited. So it’s good,

Mike: you know, in terms of the future, then you’ve got a national business here, right? Do you see yourself continuing to lead the business? Do you see further and further potential to do things differently to lead the way? I mean, I suppose that, you know, I’m fascinated by what gets you up in the morning?

Brendan: Yeah, look, I think there’s a lot of options in the future. For myself and other I guess, directors of the company and the leadership team, I think the growing business that we’ve got, we’ve implemented a leadership model where there’s, you know, there’s more support for our, for all of our different things. It’s not just relying on the senior executives to help develop careers and that sort of thing. I think I’m really keen to continue in what I do, because I’m enjoying it still. And I think I’ve still got a bit to learn and a bit to add, but I think we’ve built a business that now could do without me. Whereas I think, you know, four or five years ago, I felt like I was pretty important to driving it forward. And you know, the realization is we’ve got an amazing capability within the business so the options are open by right now I’m super keen to prove that we can hit you know, our targets and personally and selfishly to prove that I’m actually pretty good see, having started the business and getting that gig he can he can obviously be seen as you know that your business you have to lead it sort of thing, but, you know, I think I think there’s definitely opportunity in the future for that to be to be handed to somebody else at some point. And if I if the business outgrows my capability, then that’ll be the first thing that you and the other advisory panel will know is that it’s probably time and we can do that.

Mike: So if you if you keep if I could time travel you back to yourself at 24 What would Do you tell yourself the beginning of this journey?

Brendan: Get a business advisor and a coach,

Mike: to talk to me a bit about that? Well, I think

Brendan: I think understanding your limitation is one thing, but actually doing something about it is another. And I think, fortunately for me and the rest of the team, we got some good advice at the right time we listened. And I think it’s pretty easy to imagine what we could have been like, if we didn’t get you on board or get a financial controller when we did, who knows where we would have ended up probably working for someone else like bhp. But I think that that’s a reality of, you know, of that journey, I suppose. And, you know, for me, when I was 34, you introduced me to someone who took me on as a coach into chronic and, you know, he asked him simple questions that I couldn’t answer. And one of them was understanding my impact on other people. And that was kind of a turning point in my life from a leadership point of view. And we use Phil to sort of help us get a view forward on how we treat our clients, how we lead the business and that type of thing. So with your help on the business, acumen, commercial and strategy and help on my leadership, I think those two things can’t be underestimated. And I would say, go into their marketing consultant, and, and have a look at your sales process and find some great people. So probably the four or five things, I would say, Yeah, okay, it’s just took me a long time to do three or four of those things, I did get the right people around the table, took a while to find you, you helped me, you know, you helped us with, with a lot of key things that have changed the business for forever. So I think just being open to feedback, and understanding where you’re limited, is a matter.

Mike: I mean, it’s a kind of modern thing that was sort of shout out to Phil currently, and he’s an executive coach, and, you know, he’s helped a number of people I know, and, and I suppose, you know, if we were sports people in a competitive, you know, in a competitive sports environment, we will have a coach, right, and we’d all be getting input from that coach. And from that coach, we’ve seen him move into the world of work, and we kind of, we’re in a competitive world, and we’re trying to compete and be world class. And yet, we don’t often seek out that kind of input, do we? But you know, I think it, it can make a big difference. I suppose if you as you said, if you’re open to that important, you’re open to changing and having a mirror held up. Great to chat with you. Thanks for sparing the time and know how busy you are. More power to GCG and keep powering on. You know, you just keep you know, turning up and, and painting on that Canvas and a business is going from strength to strength. So good luck. And we’ll get you back on again, when you can tell us a bit more perhaps about the what you’ve done with the becoming technology enabled.

Brendan: Sounds great, Martin, thanks for you tonight for today and obviously for the last decade.

Mike: Oh, no, thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Brendon. Take care. Cheers. Bye. See you later. So there you have it. 18 years in the trenches and still plenty of ambition to keep growing and improving. It’s been such a joy for me personally to watch this company evolve and to see Brendan developing to such a well-rounded leader. Now a quick shout out to our sponsors Oasis partners, corporate advise with a practical bias. If you like this content, be sure to tell your friends and leave a like. Until next time, stay safe.

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