Adam Honeysett-Watts is Principal Director of Conservatives in Communications and Founder & Director of do Different.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had to do different; and that ability to adapt has never been more important. I was born, went to school and – for all intents and purposes – spent most of my teenage years in Beverley, a market town in East Yorkshire famed for its Minster, Westwood and racecourse. I consider myself to be a Beverlonian.
With my parents passing away when I was quite young, and my sister at university on the other side of the Pennines, I had to grow up quickly living on my own.
I recall a handful of conversations with my Dad – him telling me never to forget my roots, and that if I put the hours in it would pay off in the end. Heeding that good advice, I read plenty of books, got my GCSEs and worked every weekend.
Somewhere along the way I developed an interest in politics. I later learned my great uncle, Arthur Watts of Watts Bros. hauliers, was Mayor of Beverley (1939 – 43). As I write this, a model of one of those trucks sits proudly on my desk.
During sixth form, I chose to study politics at night college and my enthusiasm grew stronger. With A-levels under my belt, I secured a place at UEA and off to Norwich I went.
It’s well-known that ‘People in Norfolk do things different.’ We’d get along handsomely during those three years, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences that I had.
Fast forward 13 more and I’ve had the honour of working on behalf of a variety of organisations based around the world. Today, I’m following the trend of launching a UK-based start-up during lockdown; a business that does things… differently.
It’s time to do different
But it’s not just about me; for we live in different times and we must all do different.
Before Christmas, I wrote: “2020 is going to be a year like no other. Fasten your seatbelts, folks – you’re in for a wild ride.” I meant the UK could move forward after years of Parliamentary stalemate and the Government could focus on levelling-up the country.
However, nobody knew what was around the corner.
Much of what’s taken place over the past six months has been in the works for a while. What’s happened is the pandemic has accelerated the rate at which governments, organisations and individuals alike were already adapting to new expectations.
You could argue that there’s been – apologies in advance to all PRs and journalists – a turning point, a sea change or as one politician cited: a paradigm shift.
Even when we find a vaccine, I doubt we’ll return to our old ways of working and living; a lot has happened. We’ve become accustomed to new habits and norms, and become more resilient.
But with all this change – for example, how we work, how we spend and how we consume information – there is a renewed emphasis on businesses to understand the landscape in which they operate and the world in which their stakeholders now live, while ensuring they continue to stand out from the crowd.
In this regard, people need partners who get the big picture, get what needs to be done and can get stuff done. That’s me.
Only then, can you sit down and join our American friends across the pond in sipping a delicious cup of Yorkshire Tea – sales of which have soared 926% – as they stock up to see through the presidential campaign.
If you have ideas for the group or would like to get involved, please email us.
This piece was written for Adam’s company website.