Technology Xchange- Gearing for Growth

Technology Xchange- Gearing for Growth

 12th May 2017

It seems like only last week we were blogging about the April Technology Xchange featuring Seonaidh MacDonald, however this week saw the May Technology Xchange meet up. This month the room was packed full and the group were treated to an interactive presentation from Kirsty Bathgate, Managing Director of Gearing for Growth, an executive coaching business.

As always the meet up was hosted by Adrian Smith of HBJ Gateley who kindly helps organise the meet ups, provides the meeting space and, of course, the lovely bacon rolls…thanks Adrian! Following some quick coffees and the chance to meet some new faces, the group headed into hear Kirsty’s presentation on ‘Understanding and Building Your Impact as a Leader.’ After some quick introductions from the attendees, Heather from Scotland IS was on hand to provide everyone with a copy of the Technology Survey 2017; well it is a ‘technology meet up’ after all….


Our facilitator, Adrian Smith, gearing up for the group to descend…


The group prepares to get involved with Kirsty’s presentation

Kirsty was quick to point out that the aim of her talk was to pose questions, provoke thoughts and conversation within the group which set up the morning for a very engaging discussion with a lot of engagement from the group.  Kirsty started by asking the group to think about who they view as strong or weak leaders with the group giving some interesting including Steve Jobs and Sheryl Sandberg as positive leaders and Jeremy Corbyn  and Donald Trump for the negative leaders. On the back of this, Kirsty asked the group to think about what makes a great leader vs. what makes a great manager- the result was some healthy conversation over the definition of those roles with some conflicting ideas across the group.


Kirsty Bathgate presents to the group

Kirsty went onto talk about her professional experiences and key trends from some the companies she has advised and provided support to such as:

  • Senior professionals at the top of a traditional workplace hierarchy who are drowning in workload because while they can delegate tasks, they are not delegating and leading outcomes and therefore not handing over the level of control that can ultimately reduce their workload or encouraging people to take responsibility and use their initiative
  • Staff lower down in a  hierarchy who are not challenged and stimulated, ending up not given challenging projects and  bored resulting in low level of engagement or worse, loss of talented staff
  •  Moving to a leadership mind-set can be a hard mind-set change to overcome resulting in employees not being motivated or fully engaged in the business and managing people being seen as a less attractive career move for younger generations entering the workplace. 
  • Talented technical performers are promoted into traditional management roles when there is no other career progression for them; think of the best Developer you have being rewarded for their great performance by asking them to look after management administration such as appraisals. Chances are they aren’t looking for those types of responsibilities and while they are doing them, the excellent development skills they have aren’t being utilised. Doesn’t make much sense does it?


So what is the answer for business owners and leaders?

Kirsty works closely with her clients to work towards leading new flatter working structures that are tailored to their business, encouraging leadership at all levels  and recognises that one size does not fit all in the workplace. Where to start? Kirsty says firstly you need to identify the need for change because your business requires it and be willing to start with making a change in yourself as the leader. Secondly, identify the leaders in your business that will buy into change and come on the journey with you.

If you want to find out more about leadership in the workplace, you can contact Kirsty Bathgate by emailing




Are you interested in attending the next Technology Xchange meet up? Or maybe you have a topic you think the group would benefit from hearing about? Get in touch today with Chris Lowden by emailing or call +44 (0) 7824 345 749 for a chat.

Please note, spaces are these monthly limited so are allocated based on availability.

The next Technology Xchange meetings will take place as follows:

  • 16th May in HBJ Gateley office - Edinburgh
  • 6th June in HBJ Gateley Office - Glasgow 


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