Mix and Match: a note about Harry Rich based on press reports

from an AARUK contributor 7 July 2009



The link from the AARUK news item about this appointment [website page coutts.com/approach/entrepreneurs/speakers/harry-rich] mentioned:


Ÿ         Harry Rich is Chief Executive of Enterprise Insight the organisation that runs Make Your Mark, the campaign to unlock the UK’s enterprise potential. 


More about his dynamism can be found in the interview reported in The Sunday Times May 4, 2008 [Rachel Bridge] :


Ÿ         Make Your Mark is about finding the people who have the ideas but don’t think they are valuable, or have the skills but don’t know they have them, and then uncovering them and giving them a push forward to get on with it.


Ÿ         What we are really about is releasing untapped enterprise potential across the country, wherever that enterprise potential sits, and giving people the interest and excitement and the mechanisms to follow it through. Young people remain a core part of our work, but there are other areas of enterprise potential.


Ÿ         His decision to abandon the age barrier mirrors recommendations made in the government’s recent enterprise strategy paper.


Ÿ         Enterprise Insight was set up five years ago with the support of the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses, and at present has a fairly straightforward route to young people through schools and colleges. But Rich is aware that communicating with the new groups he has identified could be much more challenging. “People at schools and colleges are much easier to get to. It is much more challenging to reach the stay-at-home mums,” he said.


Ÿ         …the message of the Make Your Mark campaign is that starting up a business is only one way in which people can be entrepreneurial. “We tell young people that there are three ways you can be enterprising — one is setting up a business, two is setting up a social enterprise, and three is being enterprising in your own employment by contributing, so you are not a passive participant for your employer, you are actually adding value. Those three things are equally important.” He concluded: “It is about finding the people who have the ideas but don’t think they are valuable, or have the skills but don’t know they have them, and then uncovering them and giving them a push forward to get on with it.”


The announcement of 30 June 2009 issued from the RIBA Press Office mentioned that Harry Rich would be taking up his new post as Chief Executive in October 2009; and that before his work with   Enterprise Insight he had been Deputy Chief Executive at the Design Council (1999-2007) "playing a central role in programme delivery, strategic planning and leadership, organisational change and corporate governance." The announcement quoted him as saying:


Ÿ         Architecture and architects are central to shaping the world we live in. Whilst our economy and society are under pressure and changing fast the RIBA has an urgent and crucial role to play in explaining the benefits of intelligent investment in the built environment and in supporting its members through challenging times. I can't wait to work with the membership of the RIBA all over the UK and beyond, and with its elected leadership and the RIBA team to communicate the value of architecture and meet the needs of members.


The announcement quoted Sunand Prasad, RIBA President and Chair of the selection panel, as saying: "He is an accomplished communicator as well as organiser. He impressed the panel with his understanding of the worlds of design and enterprise as well as his appreciation of the needs of a member led organisation. I look forward to working with him in my year as Immediate Past President."


The announcement added: "Harry was born in 1958 in Birmingham. Educated in his home city, Harry completed his LLB Law at Birmingham University and his Solicitors' Finals at the College of Law. He ran a Midlands-based industrial electrical distributor from 1984, successfully growing it through two recessions in the late 80s and early 90s before selling it in 1994. Harry is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Law Society; and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts."


More about him can be found in the interview reported in The Daily Telegraph 15 November 2007 [Martin Baker]:


Ÿ         His first challenge at The Design Council had been to set up campaign activities and programmes for business... "The objective was to demonstrate to business that design was a tool for competitiveness – and then give them a means to implement this idea. I also established a research base that backed up the proposition that design is good for business. Our hard-won evidence of the commercial and economic impact of design was a worldwide first."


Ÿ         "In business, success can be seen in profit, growth and the basic integrity of the company. In the public sector you have to be very singleminded about your purpose and the measures that can demonstrate effectiveness and impact."


Ÿ         "In my experience, people in cause-based organisations are mostly highly intelligent and really committed, with lots of very good ideas. If you are not careful that can lead to a proliferation of activity. So you have to have crystal-clear strategic aims to test ideas and activities against. That means you have to be prepared to say no."


Ÿ         With a wide experience in charitable work and the variety of managerial skills required across the spectrum of public and private sectors, and seeing leadership in the two cultures as having more similarities than differences, he believed it's not that different between the two sectors: "I hope that businesses and public organisations engage with their employees and encourage them to have ideas that they then develop."