A perspective on resilience as Cambridge Risk Solutions celebrates 16 years

Cambridge Risk logoThis short blog offers a perspective on resilience as Cambridge Risk Solutions celebrates 16 years.  We have survived so much: the financial crash, the main impacts of which were felt immediately after we started our business, Covid-19 (lockdowns, home-schooling and illness), moving house, moving office, moving office twice more, having children, writing a book (not me), completing a PhD (also not me), fluctuating (and sometimes scary) pipelines, and a number of other hiccups along the way.  But the congratulatory messages set me to thinking about what has made us resilient, and what true resilience is.

Our clients

First and foremost, we have some amazing clients, across a breadth of industries.  Our clients are our greatest strength.  We built the businesses knowing that good relationships were absolutely key and this seems to have worked; some clients have been with us almost since we started the business.  But the value of the clients is not just pecuniary.  It’s developing expertise in different sectors.  Developing friendships that have lasted past retirement.  Linking different clients where there were synergies.  Referrals.  The fun and fulfilment of working with people who are passionate about their own businesses.  But also listening to and understanding the clients needs and requirements.  Sometimes this has not always been clear, and it has sometimes required flexibility, with customers having their own ideas as to how the work should be approached; collaboration and good working relationships have been key.


When we started Cambridge Risk Solutions, I was a Business Continuity consultant.  Indeed, I have vivid recollections of telling a previous employer that they knew when I was recruited that I only did Business Continuity!  Having been begged by one client, we diversified into Information Security or, more specifically, ISO 27001.  My portfolio has now expanded to include GDPR (I am a Certified Data Protection Officer), development of policies for in the energy sector and, most recently, preparing a client for ISO 14001.  And I must not forget to mention the development of our elearning capability.  Who knew that developing animated videos could be so much fun?!

Flexibility considerations also include time.  We deliberately set up the business to achieve a work-life balance that would enable both Patrick and I to have time with our sons as they grew up.  Now aged 14 and 12, they are more independent and so are not quite as demanding as they were once upon a time.  However, having the flexibility to be able to work around a home life has been a huge benefit.  This has been made possible by technological solutions.  The ability to work from home or, indeed, any location has made the business viable.  Checking emails on holiday is not ideal, but allocating 30 mins for a daily check whilst in a bar in Spain was do-able!


As a small consultancy, we do not have an extended supply chain and, or course, manage it ourselves.  We are, therefore, able to exert a huge amount of control over where we choose to buy our services.  There have been hiccups, such as the web-designer with an ‘onion’ back-end system that fouled everything up and the disaster that was Microsoft Vista (and the fruitless hours spent trying to network 2 computers and a printer), but we have some fantastic local suppliers and these relationships have been critical.

Clarity of vision

When we started the business, Patrick and I sat and developed our strategy.  I still have the original 2008 document, and it is incredible how relevant it continues to be.  We laid out our objectives:

Sustainable, long-term business that fits with our preferred lifestyle

  • Flexibility
  • Limited travelling
  • Adequate income
  • Long term relationship with clients, developing trust

Alright, the limited travelling hasn’t quite worked out at times, but it has been ok.  And, on-the-whole, we have met these objectives

For the strategy, we worked out our arenas, vehicles, differentiators, staging and economic logic (who would have guessed that Patrick had done an MBA?!), and this has provided our direction and assisted in decision-making.  This clarity of vision has ensured that we have stayed true to what we wanted to achieve, with some flexibility at the edges!


So as I reflect on this perspective on resilience as Cambridge Risk Solutions celebrates 16 years, what do I believe has given us resilience?  Clients, flexibility, suppliers and a clear strategy.

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