Relationships are at the core of every company and every partnership. Though this is something I’ve seen time and time again, I was reminded once more at the Wendover Art Group Design Summit in late April by the young, dynamic CEO himself, Richard Forsyth.
Richard was the host of the first annual get together between Wendover Art Group and their key clients, hand-picking each attendee so he could get to know everyone on a more personal level and gather ideas for the future of his company.
We started with happy hour and dinner at our hotel near St. Pete’s Beach, a relaxed affair where we were able to meet everyone and learn about the others attending the summit. Richard told us about his previous work in various finance companies, amusing us with his humble beginnings in the world of art. Leaving behind his growing and already successful career to do something he held a great passion for, Richard began with only twelve pieces of art to pedal, all of which were bought by his first client, Linda Burnside, who also attended the summit.
The next day we were given a tour of the facility and a lesson in art where we painted our own pictures by dripping (or in my case dumping) paint from cups onto a canvas. Some designers were meticulous while others just sat back and had fun with it. It was an interesting experience. Richard has some amazing ideas at the core of his company, ideas that strengthen his relationship with his employees, clients, and partners, which were hung around the office as a reminder for everyone.
In fact, his employees and the inner workings of his company were a main focus of the discussion we had just after the tour. Richard asked us what we were struggling with, and more so what we liked about Wendover. He was eager to figure out what their team could improve on. He also touched on ideas that he highly valued.
One of these included the investment that Wendover makes into their employees, Richard stating that people tend to put off investment to make their numbers look better. But Richard, just like myself, likes long term investments. Whether it’s as team members or partnerships, we hope to have people around for the long haul.
Wendover Art Group has a top flight team that can grow and lead the company for the next twenty years, and that’s exactly what I want and why I invest in those that I have around me. I admire the interactions that Richard has with his team and hope to incorporate some of his secrets at FDG.
We like to focus on the positive energy and not the negative. We have a sense of urgency to fix problems when they arise, to show our clients and partners that they’re important to us and that we value them. We need to embrace our entrepreneurial mindset because a proactive mindset is attractive; innovation is attractive. The artists at Wendover are always looking for ways to innovate and improve. I’ve seen some of those things, and let me tell you, they can print anything on a wall vinyl, or any surface for that matter. It’s incredible.
The Wendover Summit reintroduced me to the idea of celebration. Take the time to have gratitude for employees, celebrate small victories or accomplishments, and celebrate the differences that makes each of us creative and original. We need to celebrate what we’ve created so far and get excited for all of the possibilities to come.
All of this I took away from the two-day summit. Not a bad way to spend a Monday and Tuesday! I met so many creative individuals and can only hope I’ll be invited to next year’s Wendover Art Group Summit. I had a blast and I’m keeping that great energy going!