Getting To Know You: Pat Lynes, founder, Sullivan & Stanley

Pat Lynes, author of The Interim Revolution. Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

Pat Lynes is business transformation expert, founder of Sullivan & Stanley and author of The Interim Revolution which has just launched on paperback. Business Matters spoke to him about how he’s helping businesses thrive in today’s challenging climate

What do you currently do?

I am on a mission to help corporates change and future proof their businesses at the same warp speed that startups are disrupting the market.

We do this by parachuting interim ‘SWAT teams’ of top 5% executives into businesses to solve problems and drive change. The teams are drawn from our living-breathing social network which we call The Change Society. It’s an ‘untapped’ workforce of the best interim or ‘supertemp’ workers and business talent who have chosen to fly solo for a better work life balance or because they’re sick of corporate life and the boring nine-to-five grind.

I’m a big advocate of the gig economy and am passionate about business and how businesses transform to survive and thrive.

Right now we are helping a large telecoms company transform to become more responsive to the customer and have deployed a team of our interim experts to work with the company’s board.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

My two sons Sullivan and Stanley are my biggest inspiration and are who the company is named after. I hope to inspire their generation and create a better future of work for them.

I set up the business because could see clearly that the current business world is getting it so wrong in so many ways, FTSE businesses on the whole are operating in an older organisational structure and they need to transform to survive. Our business is helping the business world catch up with the times and harness the power of the gig economy.

What defines your way of doing business?

Our community and crowdsourcing approach.

We have created a vibrant community of executives and senior interim knowledge and exec gig workers who solve problems together rather than individually. It is from this interactive social network from that we curate our proprietary ‘teams as a service’ (TaaS™) talent solution. Just as the hotel and taxi world has been disrupted by the gig economy, we want to do the same for the management consulting industry.

In a fast digital paced world where most people spend their days staring at screens, the personalised service and community spirit that I was brought up with is severely lacking in today’s business world.

I’m bringing it back into business.

Who do you admire?

Sorry it’s a cliche but Richard Branson is my pick as someone who has had so much success entering into industries that are tired and stale and freshening them up with purpose, vigour and fun. What’s not to like and admire about that?

I also had the privilege of hearing him and his son speak at his house at an awards ceremony for Board Directors of the 100 fastest growing companies in 2015.  Hearing how he has being able to have his cake and eat it whilst having such grounded children was inspiring.

I constantly look to see how I can scale myself whilst making sure I don’t burn out and don’t miss out of the invaluable experience of watching your children grow up.

Looking back, is there anything you would of done differently?

Not prioritising my health and fitness in the first two years. I put on two stone with the stress of pulling this out of the ground and was peak performing for the business but not my family at the weekend.

I’ve sorted that out now and got back into shape to be on form throughout the week for business, family and downtime.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

To be positive for positive’s sake. Not one bone in my body felt this business would fail, so that helps you get through the first year.

For me it’s all about believing that you can cut it and empowering people around a shared vision.