The Story

South Africa has always been a country of great potential, where opportunity has abounded alongside its diverse and turbulent history. The seeds that led to the development of the Growth Predictor Index™ were first sown there in the mind of James Raath, an entrepreneur who started 4 companies in South Africa between 1984 and 2005.

The hard, entrepreneurial lessons he learned transformed his life and thinking. His exposure to corporate culture led to a firm belief that a sustainable competitive advantage could be achieved by smart leaders who actively encouraged an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ throughout their organisation. Armed with a training course on how to develop and apply an entrepreneurial mindset in a corporate context, entitled ‘The Future Organisation’, he approached the banking, insurance and manufacturing sectors. It was an innovative, and timely, approach to de-risking growth in the rapidly changing and challenging South African post-apartheid political and business climate. Markets were opening up, new players were appearing and companies were eager to find ways to forge ahead, whilst keeping competitors at bay. The response to James’ ideas was immediate and far-reaching. Over the next few years, many companies applied his principles to their leadership and operational teams with profound results.

As he engaged with business leaders, both they and James began to question which factors from the course were having the greatest impact on commercial results and were likely to continue to do so. How could the strength of these factors be measured, and presented to senior executives in a way that focused on the commercial reality of their business? James set himself this task. The result was the Commercial Impact Index™ model. Four years of further refinement followed, based on active customer projects. James engaged with subject matter experts in business psychology, to refine the design, content and scientific validity of the questionnaires used to gather the core data. He partnered with an econometrician and mathematician (who went on to become Head of Indices at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange) to craft algorithms to process the data in a more meaningful way, to derive the most impactful commercial output. James also focused on making the customer reports more relevant and useful, by clarifying the information and providing recommendations for action. The whole model was then reviewed and validated by Cape Town Business School.

Then disaster struck in 2005 – James was struck down by an acute form of Ménière’s disease which destroyed most of his hearing and affected his balance, causing severe vertigo and disorientation. The impact on his health was so severe that James had to sell his business and stop working for several years. During this period of ill health, he set himself the task of documenting his life’s work in the hope that, one day, he might be able to work again. The result was his book ‘Love Mondays’, which explains the impact on a business when an entrepreneurial mindset is applied collectively to every role.

After relocating to the UK, and with his condition stabilised, he found a new business partner – Harry Cruickshank – an experienced business leader, interim manager and board advisor. Together they built on, and further refined, James’ original ideas and the Growth Predictor Index™ was born.

Insight that accelerates performance

Meet the Team

James Raath

Co-founder & Director

James is an entrepreneur with a lifelong love of business. He established several businesses in South Africa, including a disruptive logistics company that won corporate clients from large, established industry players. Having achieved success, he decided to focus his attention on helping other businesses do the same. James knew that world-class operational performance came from people who were fired up, focused, enthusiastic and allowed to give free rein to their talents. He also understood that a powerful collective 'commercial mindset', based on core entrepreneurial principles, was a way to build a sustainable competitive advantage. From this base, he developed the Growth Predictor Index™ model, which was deployed throughout several market sectors with great success. Customers ranged from high-growth, owner-managed businesses through to large multi-nationals.
james@growthpredictorindex.com James finds telephone calls difficult, due to hearing loss, so email is best – you can also arrange to Skype

Harry Cruickshank

Co-founder & Director

After a career driving substantial growth as a leader in the technology sector, working with brands like GE and HP, Harry built an e-commerce consultancy which rapidly acquired a reputation for pragmatic advice and robust project delivery for customers like AXA, Lotus Cars and Bass PLC. He then spent 15 years as a C-level interim manager and business advisor, working with SME and enterprise leadership teams to make their companies smarter, more resilient and more profitable. He’s mentored CEOs, led change projects and helped to turn around several under-performing business operations. Harry believes profitable growth is anchored by (consistently) great customer experience, which in turn is dependent on highly engaged employees and effective leadership. When James introduced him to the Growth Predictor Index™ model, this effectively crystallised his own thinking and he realised its potential for companies and their investors.
07770 741624 harry@growthpredictorindex.com

Mark Williams

Partner: Consultant

After rising to the rank of Major in the British Army, Mark worked in commercial leadership positions with a variety of technology companies around the world. He was Managing Director at Avaya and Sales Director for Chordiant, Fortent, Conversocial, OrderDynamics and LucidCX, after which he focused his skills on helping high-growth technology businesses, often externally funded, to accelerate their rate of growth and geographic expansion. Mark has engaged with companies at all stages of business maturity and across a number of technologies and vertical markets. His speciality is identifying opportunities for rapid initial impact, whilst building (or rebuilding) organisations, leadership and processes to sustain long-term revenue growth. He sees the value of the Growth Predictor Index™ as a means of identifying areas of commercial weakness/risk and targeting action to drive above-average growth for organisations.
07973 600211 mark.williams@growthpredictorindex.com

Sue Pitt MInstLM

Partner: Consultant & Business Accelerator

Sue is an experienced Executive Coach with a track record of effecting change through values-driven coaching. Her work, spanning a period of 30 years, has focused on improving the link between individual and team performance and the impact on the commercial viability of the business. This has been demonstrated through significant projects with companies in the financial services, industrial and FMCG sectors, including Pfizer, Henderson Global Investors, Kimberly-Clark and BT, where she played a key role in the development and delivery of their Inspirational Leadership Programme. Sue became interested in the Growth Predictor Index™ because it enables companies to effectively measure the commercial impact of targeted coaching on the business and to focus on driving up performance. There's more information about Sue, and testimonials about the impact of her high-performance coaching, on her own website - www.suepitt.co.uk.
07864 670419 sue.pitt@growthpredictorindex.com

Peter Bricknell

Partner: Consultant & Business Accelerator

Peter helps companies break through 'growth traps' to unlock better operational results. 20 years of sector experience in retail, technology, banking, healthcare and government is backed by deep consulting skills gained from Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and Hitachi. His clients range from Microsoft at a regional/global level down to high-growth startups, usually working at board level. He has also worked extensively with CEO forums, building programmes and providing coaching and mentoring. Peter's command of commercial and technical issues, and his focus on customer experience, make him an effective problem-solver with an aptitude for structuring and leading change programmes, including programme design and investment. Having seen many transformation programmes stall or fail to deliver the desired results, he sees the Growth Predictor Index™ as offering a clear, measurable baseline to help companies avoid growth traps and unlock performance.
07887 794373 peter.bricknell@growthpredictorindex.com

Tony Perez

Partner: Consultant

Tony's specialities are helping organisations achieve strategic objectives and growing new businesses across EMEA. He has worked in many sectors, but his deepest experience is in technology, telecoms, finance and public services. His consultancy and problem-solving skills were developed at KPMG and honed at BT Syntegra and Amdocs Consulting, plus smaller technology firms. Tony also grew a services business across EMEA, from start-up to over 120 staff in 5 locations. For him, an organisation’s ability to grow, and even survive, is highly dependent on its ability to continually evolve. He sees the Growth Predictor Index™ as a service that can not only measure the ability of an organisation to innovate and configure itself for the future, but also as a means of quickly identifying areas of weakness and risk, where a concentrated business acceleration programme will drive future growth in performance and stakeholder value.
07887 771167 tony.perez@growthpredictorindex.com

Peter Anstiss

Partner: Consultant

Peter spent much of his career in the Aerospace and Defence industry, initially in production engineering roles, but also in Divisional CEO, MD and Director positions for BAE Systems Plc and a spell as CEO of British Aerospace Australia. He has extensive international business development experience and has worked in close collaboration with some of the world’s leading companies, including Saab, Boeing and Airbus. More recently, Peter has embarked on a portfolio career – undertaking consultancy work for a division of a FTSE 250 company and, following approval from the Bank of England, he joined the board of a building society for a two-year period as a Non-Executive Director. He’s also a Leader in Residence and Honorary Teaching fellow at Lancaster University Management School. Peter is passionate about helping individuals and companies to realise their full potential and sees the Growth Predictor Index™ as a highly effective tool to facilitate this.

07801 718198 peter.anstiss@growthpredictorindex.com

Chris Graham

Partner: Consultant & Business Accelerator

Chris is an experienced sales professional, leader and coach operating across a wide range of industries. Having joined Golfbreaks.com, one of Europe’s leading golf travel specialists, he helped them achieve record sales and significant growth, ultimately becoming their European Sales Manager. A great believer in the power and value of coaching and mentoring, Chris decided to increase his focus in this area and started his own Sales, Management and Leadership Consultancy. To demonstrate his commitment to personal development and to his customers, he followed his degree in Marketing Management with further study with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and with the Institute of Leadership and Management, pursuing professional coaching and mentoring qualifications. Chris sees the Growth Predictor Index™ as a powerful way to open a dialogue with companies, identify areas for development and provide targeted intervention to drive performance gains.
07969 725487 chris.graham@growthpredictorindex.com

Stuart Waddington

Partner: Business Accelerator

Stuart has 12 years' experience delivering training within the British military in challenging locations and situations. Leadership and Development training plays a critical role in all services and Stuart was a senior instructor for Basic Trainees, Trade Instructors, Officers and Special Forces. He also worked with safety-critical teams as a Human Factors Facilitator, improving self-awareness and awareness of others to minimise human error within processes. After leaving, Stuart set up a business with the aim of applying military training to non-military situations. He also holds associate positions with professional organisations delivering leadership and development training to top performers in both sport and business. Growth Predictor Index™ aligns well with his own thinking on the corporate mindset, and how organisations can prosper by becoming more cohesive and resilient. See more about Stuart and his work at - www.stardevelopmentuk.com.
07834 039686 stuart.waddington@growthpredictorindex.com

Roger Pitt

Partner: Consultant

Having graduated as a mechanical engineer, Roger invested his career in a fourth-generation family print business. From the factory floor he rose to become the managing director in 1996, when he set about building a £20m turnover business with clients like Elsevier, EMAP and Centaur. Faced with an existential threat from the internet and digital publishing, Roger led a change programme to create a more modern, competitive business. This meant persuading stakeholders of the need to adapt core business practices and mind-set. The experience taught Roger that companies must develop a dynamic response to market forces and engage all staff to think and work together in a more entrepreneurial way. When he encountered the Growth Predictor Index™, Roger quickly grasped its potential to provide CEOs, leadership teams and investors with critical insight about a company’s growth capability as a means of underpinning and de-risking future growth.
07596 159650 roger.pitt@growthpredictorindex.com

Hugh Thöle

Partner - South Africa

Hugh’s expertise was forged by a career in logistics, first as a partner in what is now Skynet, and then at Concorde Express, turning it from a loss-making carrier into a highly profitable one. In 1994, seizing the opportunity presented by online shopping, he launched the Parcel Company and grew this to be a multi-million pound business. There he pioneered the owner-driver concept used 20 years later by companies like Uber and used this to drive operational excellence and a quality customer experience. After exiting the business, Hugh spent the next 12 years as a consultant, focused on strategy, business development and turnarounds. Customers included major brands like Direct Medicines and Woolworths, plus several tiers of Government. Latterly he started 2 new businesses, a disruptive player in the construction industry and an organic farming cooperative. Having seen the value of the Growth Predictor Index™ at The Parcel Company, Hugh worked with James to help fine-tune the model. He is now the lead partner in South Africa.
00 27 084 998 0090 hugh@growthpredictorindex.com

Values and Philosophy

Our approach to business and our clients can be summarised quite simply:

  • We only work with clients where we can make a significant contribution
  • Clients are valuable, and the foundation of our success, so we treat them with respect and deliver on our promises
  • We’ll always say what we believe to be true
  • We’re experts in our field, but we know our limits
  • Although the Index is based on sound thinking, we’re always looking for small ways to improve it
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