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Charting Uncharted Waters: Simon Haines’ Journey of Pragmatic Entrepreneurship and Shaping a Legacy in People Analytics

Simon Haines: Mastering Business Balance & Shaping the Future with AI

In this compelling interview with Simon Haines, Founder and CEO of Simply Get Results, we delve into the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of startups and the corporate world. Simon, with over 25 years of experience in the human capital market, shares his journey and insights, challenging the conventional perception of a ‘startup’ and its lifecycle. As a seasoned entrepreneur, he reflects on the exciting, yet daunting, aspects of operating in turbulent markets and emphasizes the importance of adaptation and innovation in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Simon’s narrative begins with his early days in high technology and HR technology, leading to a pivotal stint at Deloitte where he developed a groundbreaking international people analytics business. In 2014, he embarked on a bold venture with Simply Get Results, aiming to leverage his vast experience to offer an alternative to large-scale consultancy firms. His entrepreneurial spirit shines as he recounts the journey of building a business from scratch, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of innovating and creating value in a competitive market.

The interview also touches upon Simply Get Results’ mission to “right-skill” every workforce, addressing the skill gap in large corporations and enabling employees to stay relevant and efficient in a rapidly changing world. Haines’ perspective on entrepreneurship, corporate dynamics, and workforce development offers a unique and insightful view into the complexities of leading a successful business in today’s volatile market.

Simon Haines: Mastering Business Balance & Shaping the Future with AI
Riding the Waves of Change: Simon Haines on Thriving in Turbulent Markets

Simon Haines, CEO of Simply Get Results, brings a unique perspective to the startup world. With over nine years at the helm, Simon challenges the traditional notion of what it means to be a startup. “The elements of a startup, which include solving new problems, innovating, and breaking new ground… that doesn’t stop,” he remarks. It’s not just about the duration but the mentality that defines a startup’s essence. Simon’s viewpoint is a breath of fresh air in an ecosystem where companies rush to shed their ‘startup’ label. His embrace of continued innovation and customer-centric approaches speaks volumes about his business philosophy.

When asked what excites him about a fast-moving, turbulent market, Simon’s enthusiasm is evident. He acknowledges the daunting nature of such an environment but views it through a lens of opportunity and growth. “I’ve been in the human capital market for over 25 years… it’s the most fast-moving and volatile market I’ve ever seen.” His experience has taught him the importance of adaptability and foresight. Simon’s journey through various market trends illustrates his ability to not just survive but thrive in an ever-changing landscape. It’s this adaptability that keeps him and his company ahead of the curve.

Delving into his past, Simon recounts his career in three distinct phases: starting in high-tech and HR technology, a transformative period at Deloitte, and finally founding Simply Get Results in 2014. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart,” he says, reflecting on his journey of stepping out of the security of corporate life to build something of his own. Simply Get Results, with its mission to right-skill workforces, represents not just a business venture but the culmination of Simon’s rich history and entrepreneurial spirit. His story is a testament to the power of innovation and the courage to pursue one’s vision.

The elements of a startup… that doesn’t stop. It’s about innovating and breaking new ground continuously

Simon Haines, the visionary behind Simply Get Results, sheds light on the company’s innovative approach to ‘right skilling’. Born from a blend of extensive industry experience and a bold leap into data-driven decision making, ‘right skilling’ represents a seismic shift in workforce development. “We were always a people analytics business,” Simon explains, “but we added global external market data to our database, creating the world’s best database on skills.” This pioneering move, driven by the need to address the skills crisis intensified by COVID and digitization, placed Simply Get Results at the forefront of solving one of the most pressing challenges for corporations today.

The concept of ‘right skilling’ emerged from a unique convergence of market needs and Simply Get Results’ newfound data capabilities. “It’s about getting the skills right at every level – corporate, workforce, individual,” Simon notes. The term ‘right skilling’, although not a new invention, was aptly adopted by Simon’s team as it encapsulated their mission perfectly. This approach not only addressed a gap in the market but also sparked curiosity and conversations. Simon’s explanation is straightforward yet profound: “Right skilling is about getting your skills right,” a simple yet powerful mantra that drives their business strategy.

Reflecting on the company’s journey over the last nine years, Simon candidly shares a pivotal moment. The advent of COVID-19 was a stark wake-up call, forcing them to reassess and innovate rapidly as their primary market – big corporations – hit the brakes on spending. “We were flattened by the impact,” Simon admits. However, true to their entrepreneurial spirit, Simon and his team saw an opportunity in this adversity. They pivoted, integrating external data into their model – a move that not only helped them survive but thrive in tumultuous times. This strategic shift exemplifies the agility and foresight that define Simon Haines and Simply Get Results.

It’s about getting the skills right – at a corporate level, workforce level, individual level. That’s what ‘right skilling’ is all about

Daring to Innovate: Simon Haines on Cultivating Bravery and Adaptability in Business

Simon Haines’ journey at Simply Get Results is a testament to the power of courage and trust. When asked about the source of his bravery in navigating the business world, Simon credits his co-founder, John, and their complementary approaches. “We were in the front, frankly,” Simon shares with a candid chuckle. He describes his analytical and research-driven approach juxtaposed with John’s focus on market exploration and partnership development. This synergy of perspectives, blending caution with proactive innovation, underpins the essence of their business strategy. Simon’s narrative showcases how bravery in business isn’t a solo act but a collaborative dance of trust and diverse thinking.

Working with giants like GSK and HSBC, Simon delves into the challenges of implementing data-driven strategies in large corporations. “The world wants to be data-driven,” he states, acknowledging a widespread shift towards embracing data. But the real task lies in meeting each client where they are, understanding their unique attitudes and experiences with data. Simon describes this not as a challenge but as an integral part of their job, emphasizing the importance of a consultative and supportive approach. He eloquently sums up their philosophy: “It’s about taking a listening and consultative approach to guide our clients from where they are to where they want to be.”

Reflecting on his nine years at Deloitte, Simon highlights the invaluable skills and experiences gained there, which shaped him into the entrepreneur he is today. “The training and experience in these big consultancy firms are incredible,” he acknowledges. However, Simon points out that it’s the combination of this training and his innate qualities that truly made the difference. He speaks of his natural inclination to collaborate, solve problems, and break new ground. It’s this blend of corporate training and an entrepreneurial spirit that enabled Simon to lead and innovate in uncharted territories. His story is a compelling example of how the right mix of corporate learning and personal drive can catalyze groundbreaking success in the business world.

It’s about taking a listening and consultative approach to guide our clients from where they are to where they want to be

Balancing Risk and Innovation: Simon Haines on the Entrepreneurial Tightrope

Simon Haines opens up about the delicate balance of pursuing entrepreneurial dreams while fulfilling personal responsibilities. He confronts a common entrepreneurial dilemma – the choice between diving headfirst into a new venture or cautiously straddling the line between a stable job and a side hustle. “I recognize everything you’re saying,” Simon reflects, revealing his own path wasn’t a leap into the unknown but a measured stride. With a family to support, he chose a more organic, step-by-step approach to building his business. This narrative is a nod to many aspiring entrepreneurs juggling multiple roles, highlighting that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to success.

When asked about the inception of his journey with Simply Get Results, Simon shares a critical moment of transition – moving from a stable role at Deloitte to an interim position that allowed him the flexibility to cultivate his first few clients. This transition, blending security with opportunity, exemplifies Simon’s pragmatic approach to entrepreneurship. He acknowledges the importance of having a safety net, especially when responsibilities extend beyond personal ambitions. His story is a testament to the idea that entrepreneurship can be a gradual progression rather than a sudden jump.

Looking ahead, Simon delves into the future of people analytics, highlighting the evolving role of AI and the need for clarity amid the ‘hysteria’ surrounding new technologies. But beyond the technicalities and business strategies, Simon contemplates his legacy. He envisions a legacy where Simply Get Results is remembered for genuinely helping clients and being a remarkable employer, especially to those at the start of their careers. This dual focus on customer success and employee well-being forms the core of his vision. Simon’s reflection on legacy brings a human touch to the conversation, revealing the depth of his commitment to both his clients and his team.

My approach to entrepreneurship was more organic – balancing innovation with keeping the business afloat

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