Pabasso - UK based Peer Advisory Board Associates

Many of us are more capable than some of us - but none of us are as good as all of us.

Bringing ambitious business leaders together monthly in a structured, confidential, supportive environment, for personal and professional development and business improvement.

If you want to go fast . . . go alone. If you want to go far . . . go together. —African prican proverb
There’s such a thing as a win–win, and the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.
I’m not, and I would say that nobody is, smart enough to have every answer to every question.

Peer Advisory Boards

PAB’s are structured groups of like minded Business Leaders who meet regularly under the guidance of an experienced and respected facilitator or ‘Chair’.

The Chair establishes each Board, facilitates the structured meetings and typically provides some personal 121 mentoring and/or follow up coaching time with each board member, every month.

PAB’s are not a new concept, there are a number of US based ‘franchises’ operating in the UK.

PAB’s are much more prolific in the US and Europe where the concept is widely established and where many business leaders consider membership as normal and as vital as having professional accountancy, legal, Insurance and banking advisors.

The How

A Pabasso board meets once a month.

Meetings are convened under the leadership  of an experienced facilitator or ‘Chair’, typically by rotation, at a members’ business premises. Membership is by invitation only and participants pay a monthly fee. Membership includes a 90-minute mentoring session, coaching, follow up and consultation with the group Chair every month. Occasionally we bring in speakers to cover specific topics requested by the members and we also have a number of ad hoc events for members.

Fundamentally, Pabasso boards exist to help drive members’ businesses forward and are only available to ambitious and passionate business leaders who are identified and invited to join by a Pabasso Chair.

A key skill of the Chair is identifying enthusiastic board members who can work well together to the common aim. Members have the right to veto new participants, and members of new boards can help shape the membership with participants who collectively work together to achieve overall ambitions. Boards are made up of similar size businesses, or indeed of leaders within a specific discipline, for example HR. There can be no conflicts of interest on a Pabasso Board.

Each meeting is a completely confidential and supportive environment in which members are able to share personal and business problems, issues, and challenges – we call these bugs – what’s bugging you? Our background is in technology and bugs are things in software that cause problems, irritation or distractions. If you do not deal with them they gnaw away at you and stop you from getting the job done. It’s the same with personal and business challenges, issues and opportunities. If you don’t deal with them they don’t go away but they just become more of a distraction. Bug processing is done in a confidential structured and supportive environment with like-minded people.

Pabasso targets board membership at a maximum of 12 members.

All members must be from non-competitive sectors. Suppliers and customers to board members are not allowed into their group, but they can join another Pabasso Board.

Meetings include a dedicated segment where members private or business Challenges/Issues/Opportunities (bugs) are assessed. The most pressing issues are discussed in detail, in a formal and structured way. Members whose issues are assessed can expect to leave the meeting with a plan against which they will be held accountable and challenged by their peers.

A proportion of each meeting is spent reviewing progress since the last meeting. Members personal and/or business goals are also considered and agreed.

Monthly meetings are scheduled annually in advance and typically take a full morning.

Each Peer Advisory Board is a safe haven where members can discuss, in complete confidentiality, any private or business Challenges/Issues/Opportunities (bugs) with their like-minded peers.

Direct selling to other board members is discouraged, Pabasso is not a sales networking group.

PAB fees are normally allocated to the members Professional Services or Training Budgets.

The Why

Pabasso was created to help business leaders and their businesses grow through peer engagement.

Pabasso was conceived by our lead Associate Richard Doyle who founded and grew Esteem Systems, a successful IT Business, which he ran for 20 years before selling it to a Private Equity/Management team.

‘Lonely at the top’ is an expression often used by business leaders and acknowledging this as ‘part of the territory’ can be pivotal for business leaders – providing they are prepared to do something about it. Whilst running Esteem, Richard felt the need to be challenged and supported by someone with greater experience who he could trust and respect, and whose skills and expertise would help him develop personally, enabling the business to build and grow.

Through a chance meeting at a business dinner Richard met someone who he felt might met these criteria. After several meetings and a thorough due diligence process Richard appointed a Non-Executive Chairman. Such was the benefit of this appointment that after selling Esteem, Richard decided to pursue a career as a serial Non-Executive Director/Chair to help other ambitious business leaders grow and develop their businesses. This is what Richard did for the next 10 years and four of these businesses were sold during this period.

Success breeds success

Like many successful business people, Richard has a passion for using his experience and expertise to help business leaders and their businesses develop. During the last ten years, Richard has worked as an investor and/or a Non-Executive Director (NED) within several different businesses and served on 10 boards and helped raise millions of pounds in funding for some of these businesses.

Whilst Richard served as a Non-Executive Director/Chairman on a number of boards he also met many ambitious business leaders who were looking for continual personal support, help and advice but who were not ready to appoint a Non-Executive Director. This was either because of the expense, the commitment required, or because they were looking for less formal support. His time commitments as an NED precluded Richard from providing this ‘lighter touch’ support which was a continual frustration to him.

Richard then came across the Peer Advisory Group concept which seemed to provide an opportunity for him to work with and help multiple businesses in a way that being an NED could not possibly do. Moreover, by bringing multiple business leaders together monthly, in a structured, confidential, supportive environment, these business leaders would not just benefit from the sage advice of one NED but would also benefit from the advice of multiple other successful business leaders in a business peer group environment – at a fraction of the cost of recruiting a single NED.

PAB, NED or both?

Peer advisory groups are not an alternative to appointing an NED and many Peer group members also have NED’s.They can complement each other and indeed membership of a peer advisory group might well be a precursor to appointing an NED.

After extensively evaluating a number of different Peer group organisations Richard was left feeling a bit like Ferdinand Porsche when he famously stated: “In the beginning I looked around and, not finding the automobile of my dreams, decided to build it myself”.

And that is how Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates was conceived.

The Benefits, Challenges and Etiquette

Extensive research shows that business leaders join Peer Advisory Boards for a number of well documented reasons.

Keeping your mind fit is not dissimilar to keeping your body fit, in that there is no gain without pain!

There are many benefits to be gained from being part of a Peer Advisory Board, but it also comes with challenges. Here are some of the benefits, challenges and etiquette for ambitious business leaders to consider:

Benefits

  • You will learn from a talented knowledge sharing community
  • You will develop bonds with your peers across industries
  • You will get confirmation that you are doing many good things
  • You will reduce your isolation and no longer feel ‘lonely at the top’
  • You will be regularly re-energised and revitalised
  • You will learn faster and better from your peers
  • You will enjoy collaborative learning and benefiting from the insight and wisdom of all your peers
  • You will grow in an environment where you are not bogged down in company minutia and politics
  • You will enjoy a nurturing team environment
  • You will benefit from positive and constructive peer pressure, praise and brainstorming
  • You will appreciate complete confidentiality in the safe-haven of your peer group
  • You will value the power of giving and receiving
  • You will gain and share expertise
  • You will relax in the formal structure and facilitation
  • You will grow professionally and personally
  • You will work ON the business not IN the business
  • You will become a better person and leader
  • Your business will develop successfully

Challenges

  • You will get to know your strengths & weaknesses
  • You will be accountable to your peers
  • You will be open and honest
  • You will face hard questions
  • You will feel uncomfortable at times
  • You will struggle to find the time to attend meetings and time for your 121’s
  • You will be challenged

 

Etiquette

  • You must not criticise or treat your peers unprofessionally
  • You must be prepared to listen and be open minded
  • You must make the time to attend meetings and for your 121’s
  • You must be prepared to contribute
  • You must be prepared to treat all discussions in complete confidence
  • You will be expected to sign an NDA

Things Our Clients Say About Us

Pabasso Notable Quotables – From a few of our members

Pabasso has been really valuable to me. Running any business is challenging and is going to be difficult from time to time. There are always challenges, unforeseen problems and circumstances that can be very stressful to even the most experienced company Directors. Pabasso has given me an excellent forum where I can share my concerns and problems with other business owners, founders and leaders.  The ability to unpack and discuss each other’s issues in an informal yet intimate environment with experienced professionals that appreciate the nuances of leading businesses is invaluable. Not only do I get very well thought through suggestions and advice from the group but I also value the friendships that have formed between us over time. Pabasso is a valuable part of my business life and has benefitted me enormously.

 

I often talk about the benefits of Pabasso to other leaders. I was a little reticent at first due to time commitments. However, positive relationships and a great team dynamic have evolved within the group that I would never have expected. It can be lonely at the top, and having the support of other like-minded people and sharing and problem-solving in such a safe environment is hugely beneficial. Equally valuable is the 1-1 support from the Chair, a listening experienced individual there to provide a positive, helpful challenge where necessary is essential, and I only wish I had come across this kind of membership years ago.

 

If you are running an entrepreneurial business, finding knowledgeable, enthusiastic people internally is not a challenge.  However, finding impartial people with that mindset who can help you solve problems with a different outlook on your business is.  My Pabasso Board and Chair provide an independent atmosphere of trust, support with a pool of experienced and impartial business owners who can make recommendations on common business problems that occur, which I have found invaluable.

 

Pabasso, for me, provides access to many business owners who share my day to day business issues and have also helped in my personal life. Via the chair, we are able to discuss members’ issues and arrive at solutions with action points. Basically, it’s my monthly sanctuary where I can share issues.

 

From a business owner’s perspective running a business is very often a lonely existence. So where to look for advice? Some time ago, I came across Pabasso, a group of like-minded business leaders sharing problems and finding solutions on both a personal and business front. Having been in the group for some time now here’s what I’ve discovered: A genuine openness from fellow peers.  Information is shared without restriction. Egos are left at the door. People are unassuming. I think this is because they all know how hard it is to maintain their businesses’ performance in an ever-increasingly challenging environment. There’s no reinventing the wheel.  Any problems are acknowledged, taken with the seriousness they deserve and listened to with empathy. Most problems have been experienced by someone else in the room and the solutions are readily available once the challenge has been fully explored. It’s all too easy to do nothing or sweep problems under the carpet, but the Pabasso format mandates an action plan by the individual.  I found this very powerful. A 121 with the chair is worth its weight in gold.  Your Chair will share the benefits of his experience offering a direct line to him should you need it.  So a mentor included to boot!

 

Pabasso provides an invaluable forum to try out ideas and look for suggestions. It is always surprising how much you can take from participating in other people’s challenges. It has given me a sense that ‘I am not alone’, the challenges I face are common and provides me with a safe space to try ideas out.

 

I am really enjoying the peer advisory board. The peer support element and the one to one sessions have helped me really focus on what is important, gain clarity in thinking and to prioritise my work better. Sharing experiences is a great way to continue learning and developing in your role.

 

Being invited to join a Pabasso peer advisory board has been one of the best investments in time and money I have made. The first meeting was nerve racking and painful, baring your business issues/problems to all other 11 members. It quickly became apparent that I was not alone. The round the table advice and feedback from my peers was invaluable, which gave me a different perspective and point of view to the problem. I have left every meeting with a solution (or 2) to a problem or another way to look at the problem. There is a feeling of being held accountable to act and provide feedback to the board at the next meeting. On the other side of the table, it is good to share my knowledge in a situation that someone else finds themselves in. Many businesses have or will have similar problems, knowing how others have or would deal with them helps you make a clearer judgment and helps the decision making process. The board which I sit on, is made up of fantastic like minded individuals all from different industry sectors. I would not hesitate to recommend joining a Pabasso peer advisory board. Invest in yourself and your future. It will be money and time well spent.

About Our Founder

Notable Quotables – From Richard Doyle’s LinkedIn Profile

During his tenure as NED at Arena, Richard was totally committed, thorough, supportive and, above all, challenging. I am sure it is no coincidence that, during his time here, Arena achieved significant growth.

Richard provided good insight and support as a Non Exec at NYnet for an organisation that functioned within a very complex regulatory and commercial environment. Richard’s broad experience is an asset that he brought to his role as a Non Exec.

Richard joined our management team as a non executive and during our time together I found him to be very knowledgeable and of great benefit. If you’re looking for someone with a wealth of business experience, you can’t go far wrong.

Richard has some of the best qualities you can find when working with an investor. He is goal driven, very disciplined and persistent (against all odds Richard will ensure he sees a plan through).

I learnt a lot working with Richard and recommend him for any similar or non-executive role in any business eager to grow and achieve success.

Richard is well organised and has a strong personality with the right ethics, he delivered on what he was recruited to do and helped with a number of key recruitments through his own network. Richards experience in M&A paid dividends in the sale of the business in May 2019. I would recommend Richard for a non-executive role in any ambitious growing business

Richard’s wealth of experience was evident from the first day we worked with him. His passion for the industry and our company was second to none, driving the senior management team forward, backed by facts and common sense. Richard regularly challenged all within the company, but always with the companies best interests in mind. Richard always had time for more junior members of the company and regularly had 121’s with the middle management team to assist them in their own development. A fantastic, respected mentor with lots to offer other organisations.

Richard has just the right balance of experience and entrepreneurial tenacity to drive a senior team forward. His impact on finance, operations, and commercial matters really helped push the business forward during his tenure and his bedside manner was both supportive and impactful on the coaching side. I would always look forward to a session with Richard and will continue to seek his guidance throughout my career.

I have had the pleasure of working with Richard at NYnet from 2013. He has brought a wealth of experience in the IT and Networking arena into the business. At a commercial level Richard has offered both advice and directions to the business to help shape what it is today. He has further contributed by actively involving himself in the day to day aspects such as opportunity qualification.

There are few individuals who have had such an influence on my sales career as Richard . A talented, driven, hard working business leader who likes a bit of fun along the way.

Richard is a perfectionist but also an inspiring professional. It was a real pleasure working together with Richard at Esteem.Highly organised developer with experience that can be an example for everyone.

Richard is a class act. A very astute businessman and a pleasure to deal with. I like him a great deal.

Richard is an entrepreneur through and through, with extensive business experience and success in the technology sector. Having worked for Richard and his business (Esteem Systems) for a number of years I’d recommend working with him to anyone.

Richard is one of those flamboyant businessmen who you aspire to follow in later life. During my time at Esteem as a late 20’s salesman myself, I recall his story of selling ice cream in the South of France as one of his earliest enterprises and then selling his two sports cars (a TR7 ??) to start his first UK I.T. business.  It’s that type of humbling beginnings that gives an individual credibility – someone you can believe in, rather than a manager or executive that has been parachuted in and kite flies rather than relies on skill and knowledge to steer a business. Having a boss that was a successful salesman was very inspiring and my time working with Richard at Esteem was very successful.

Richard is a character that I expected to see on Dragons Den – not as an aspiring entrepreneur but an experienced Dragon.

A leading character on many executive boards and his own investment business, it’s been a pleasure working with Richard and any enterprise under his comment and stewardship is certainly destined for higher things.

Having worked with Richard I admire his drive and determination in moving things forward. He has a sound business acumen and can prioritise the key aspects of any given situation.

I was non-executive Chairman at Esteem and worked with Richard up to the BIMBO exit. I thoroughly recommend Richard as a very accomplished entrepreneur who also has the appropriate skills to appreciate the needs and challenges of a growing and dynamic business.

I had the pleasure of working for Richard while at Esteem Systems. Richard was always very involved with the workforce, extremely supportive and motivational and I really enjoyed my time working for him.

As a Director on Richard’s Board at Esteem Systems, I witnessed ‘up close’ Richard’s excellent entrepreneurial skills that built a very successful business and have gone on, through his continual drive and committed networking activities,to benefit many others seeking to do the same. He has superb management abilities to bring out the very best in those around him at all levels. I’ve benefited from his calm insight, advice and wise counsel on many occasions and have no hesitation in commending others to do the same

I worked closely with Richard in the days when he was building Esteem as a business. He was able to communicate a strong vision and execute against this in what was an aggressive Sun marketplace. As well as this he built a strong team around him who delivered and supported the business with strong loyalty and respect. I have spent many hours working and travelling with Richard and these have always been fulfilling.

An excellent and inspirational Director, very supportive and proud to have a successful business and loyal workforce he had creative. The business clearly missed him as he stepped away from the business. A great character to work for.

Richard is a hard-working, trustworthy and reliable leader who will do whatever it takes to get the job done properly. I found Richard to be always hugely supportive, a great mentor and a great personality to be around. His creative flair, keen eye for detail and personal skills, combined with his industry knowledge and experience, mean that he is an invaluable asset to any business or project. I hope our paths cross again as it would be a great pleasure to work with Richard once more.

I’ve known Richard for more than 30 years and greatly respect his abilities in driving IT related businesses. We’ve also been friends over that passage of time with some great days spent on mountainsides.

I know him to be far-sighted and dependable, with a flair for seeing the goal, usually having defined it too. He’s a good man to know and I watch his moves with interest.

During my initial 5 years at Esteem when Richard was the Founder and CEO I found him to be one of the most inspirational and decisive senior Managers I have worked for. His drive & determination for the company to continue its success and solid reputation was clear to see. A great influence during the formative years of my career

I have always found Richard to be a consummate professional in his role CEO & Founder of Esteem Systems. His passion along with knowledge and openness to do business made it all the more easier for me to manage and develop them as a key Citrix Platinum account within the UK.

Richard hired me whilst he was the CEO at Esteem Systems. Esteem was a great place to work and it was a very successful time in my career. This was largely down to the company Richard and the team built and also the personality and drive that Richard gave the company. I would have no hesitation in recommending Richard and should the opportunity arise, it would be great to work with him again.

Richard is one of those cool, calm voices-of-reason that demand respect. He founded and ran a hugely successful, market-leading reseller and since selling the business to his management team has invested his time and considerable experience in nurturing businesses through his RADish investment business.

Easy to get along with, and thoughtful of response, Richard is the kind of experienced executive resource that many companies could benefit from engaging with.

As the Sun Account Manager many years ago facing into Esteem I have had many dealings with Richard, both from a sales perspective as well as strategy & planning going forward. Throughout my association with Richard, I found him to be extremely helpful, resourceful and accommodating. A pleasure to work with and a gentleman

In 2003 I had two career choices ; one as a Sales Executive at Esteem and the other in a senior European role at a bioinformatics company. The latter paid more than double the package. I decided on Esteem, which speaks volumes about the type of company that Richard founded and grew to a multimillion company ; and is still prospering from the foundations Richard laid.

Richard is a larger than life character with large helpings of gravitas, determination, energy and drive. As a result, he received a great deal of deserved respect and buy-in from all his staff. He ran a very tight ship and fostered an environment of discipline and professionalism that was very sales focussed. Yet he understood the need for achieving the right work balance. He built a business from scratch to a multimillion pound enterprise before exiting twenty years later and never lost sight of the customer.

It’s been a real pleasure working together with Richard in the past. I can recommend Richard Doyle as a person with great acumen and deep expertise of business solutions. Richard Doyle is a goal oriented, results driven, smart Entrepreneur, with a good sense of humour. I just hope his fishing has improved since we last worked together.

When Richard and I first met Sun Microsystems was a young, can do attitude company that lacked process and was still trying to establish itself. The reason we met was I had sold equipment without key components which Richard’s company could provide.

From this initial need our businesses came closer together and I got to know and work with Richard over many successful years. Working with Richard was a pleasure in both a personal and business sense. He held wise council on many occasions and helped greatly not only in the developed of our business but also the Sun channel. Many memories and I wish Richard all the best for the future.

I learned a lot during my time at Esteem and not just technically, Richards leadership encouraged people to be part of a team and his direct communication with the staff actively encouraged good communication. I have to say that even though I was a very junior member of staff back then I was made to feel very much included and important as did everyone else at the time. I have a lot of respect for Richard, his teachings and actions during this period of my life helped to form my professional morales and aspirations.

Contact Us

Pabasso

The Office
Boroughbridge Hall
Boroughbridge
North Yorkshire
YO51 9AN

Tel: 01423 324707
Mob: 07785 267425
Email: info@pabasso.com