How Saltire made me eat humble pie about technology

People often ask how I went from gender diversity consultancy to creating a games company. The two are not as far removed as you may think. As part of my time on the Saltire Fellowship, we focused on developing scalable businesses in growth sectors; and we routinely focused on technology companies. Oddly at first, I resented this asking ‘this has no resemblance to my business. I’m not a technophile!’

My history had been in consultancy; being hired as an advisor and speaker. It was a rewarding career, but one of the biggest challenges for any consultancy is to scale. Your assets are in your head; and your clients want you – not an associate. So how do you scale your knowledge? For me, the answer lay in technology. I spent a huge part of my working life helping people through difficult conversations. As an individual, there are only so many people I’ll be able to work with in my life if I restrict myself to one to one interactions. However, if I add technology to the combined knowledge of my team and other professionals; HR specialists, recruiters, employment leaders, we can create a library of games that fits common leadership challenges.

The realisation that technology would lead to scale came during my time on the Saltire Fellowship and for that reason alone, it has played a key part in my enterprise journey. I can’t recommend it enough, particularly for ambitious women who are willing to travel the road less taken. It was the fantastic intellectual stretch I needed but also helped me think more commercially and to embrace innovations that previously felt foreign. For me, that meant overcoming my previous ‘Luddite’ tendencies to use technology more, not less, to both enhance and scale live workshops. This would never have occurred to me before Saltire. It gave me the insight inspiration and courage to experiment with new ideas in a supportive environment.

Using provocative e-learning means Inclusiq material can be used consistently and on a wide scale. The fact that we provide support material for internal trainers and advocates means clients are less reliant on us as an external vendor. This means clients can use their own inclusive leaders to demonstrate honest leadership as bench strength amongst their internal employees. To get there, I had to demonstrate honest leadership by recognising technology had far more applications than I’d anticipated; a sobering reality for someone who has made their living by face-to-face interactions.

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