What I’ve Learnt: Paul Alderson 

March 5, 2018

Paul Alderson is the founder of Wonderstuff, a team of brand and design consultants based in Gosforth. After completing an HND in design in Newcastle and a degree in visual communication in Belfast, Paul worked for Belfast agency Genesis for seven years before moving back to Newcastle in 2003 before the birth of his first daughter. Paul worked at some of the region’s most established agencies as senior designer and creative director before launching Wonderstuff in 2009. Clients include Lane7, Durham Gin, Utilitywise and Travel Bureau

Support your staff within the business, but also respect them as individuals in a broader context. This was taught to me by my first boss, Stanley, who was the creative director of the agency I worked at in Belfast. He was a father figure to his employees.

Create a working culture that strives for success beyond the financial for both staff and clients. This is Wonderstuff’s ethos hasn’t changed since I launched the agency.

Have resilience, ambition and drive when running a business. You also need to be confident in the choices you make and mindful of the successes you achieve.

Take time to stop and put things in perspective. It means you can reframe your thoughts and move forward more purposefully.

Don’t forget why you started your organisation – and where you want to get to. Take steps to ensure the pressing day-to-day doesn’t dilute your purpose or your vision.

Before you invest in growth, ensure your business and brand are aligned – it’ll make everything easier, and more rewarding.

Set and agree on clear individual and team objectives for your employees. If they achieve these KPIs, then rewards them with perks (such as a free weekly team lunch). Providing long-term stability and opportunity is also important.

Provide your staff with the freedom and openness to allow them to shape their own personal development and growth.

Focus on your own idea of success and drive towards that. There is too much hype right now about ‘growth’, ‘investment’ and ‘success’. A tiny fraction of organisations are held up as unattainable exemplars.

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