Two are Better than One
David Bowden and Miles Corbett launched their business knowing they needed each other. They own Transition Associates based in the United Kingdom, which delivers e-learning programs for some of the world’s leading corporations.
MILES: Back in 1995, I worked for a company in the UK called UA Training. I was the director of education there, and it's a large technical training organization. And just at that time, there was the first glimmer of what was going to happen with the Internet. And I thought to myself, 'I don't want to work for a big corporation. I want to get out there on my own again,' because I used to run my own business. And I thought, 'I can see something here. This is going to be big in education.'
HATTIE: So when you started, where did the money come from?
MILES: My own pocket. We started—it was the HP story. We started in the back room of the house, then we grew. David came and joined me. We moved from one room to another room, to two rooms, built an office, moved out of there, moved into a school, you know.
HATTIE: Why have a partner? Why David?
MILES: Maybe I'm the person who creates some vision and direction and gets out there and evangelizes our message, and David's the guy who really runs the business.
(Voiceover) He's the guy who really sits behind the wheel and says, 'This is how we can achieve it,' 'No, we can't do that.' But it's a balance.
HATTIE: Do you ever fight?
MILES: Never. Not true. We have vigorous debates.
HATTIE: How do you get to a resolution?
MILES: It's very easy. David's always right.
DAVID: The future for us, I mean, our immediate future is in enablement, enabling customers to do what they need to do.
MILES: You have to have a balance between utter realism to face the hard decisions, but at the same time, complete unwavering faith that whatever you're doing, you can adapt to whatever the market circumstances are and keep going.
DAVID: Times of change are unnerving and a little scary. So we have to be nimble, we have to watch what's going on and go with where our customers' needs are and understand those things.
MILES: And that's what keeps you going because, yes, there are hard times. But when you hit those hard times, if you don't believe you can come through them, you might as well pack up and go home.
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