Chris Budd shares some practical tips on the nature of leadership, and tackling the issue of who will lead your advice business after you.
Offering career progression in a small business can be difficult, but Chris Budd has come across one firm which is approaching it differently.

Chris set up Ovation Finance in 2000 as a fee-based financial planning firm. In 2018 he sold a majority stake to an Employee Ownership Trust. 

During that period, Chris achieved his diploma in business coaching. The proposition of Ovation developed to coaching clients first, then providing financial planning, then applying the technical knowledge. He has spoken extensively on this subject at many conferences in the UK and abroad.

A couple of months ago, Ovation Finance chairman Chris Budd took to the road with Illuminate Live to discuss how he transitioned his business to an Employee Ownership Trust model (EOT), and how EOTs work in practice. 

It’s not often one gets to know something before anyone else. This can be a great door opener.

The Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is, I believe, going to turn out to be one of the biggest changes to UK business for many years. It is a new business ownership model that allows owners to sell at a market value, and for the employees to gain control and access to profit without having to stump up cash. Everyone wins.

The EOT was approved as a scheme by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2014. Currently there are only some 320 EOT companies in the UK.

The workplace is a very different place today than it was a generation ago.

Fundamental changes in the way we work now need a fundamental change in how businesses are structured. Luckily, there is an answer. 

Over the last decade there has been a huge increase in the number of people who are self-employed.

Seven years ago, I received three coaching sessions. I went in cynical – but those sessions changed my life.

One of the changes I made was to become a coach myself. I took two years to get first a certificate then a diploma in business coaching. Being a coach means being interested in other people; helping them first to identify objectives, and then to work out ways of achieving them.

I live in North Somerset. To the south of our village is a large wood, covering several square miles. Various roads and paths run through the wood, and it is very popular for horses, bikes and dog walking.

There are parts of the wood that do feel very remote. Mrs B is reluctant to walk our dog there on her own, and it can feel a bit ‘Blair Witch’ at times. This is particularly acute if you wander into the paintballing centre and stumble across an old helicopter among the trees!

I’ve recently finished rereading The Dice Man by Luke Reinhart. It’s a black comedy which takes as its principle the idea that our choices should be determined by chance – by the roll of the dice. However, because we set the options, we retain control. And so what the book really examines is what options we give ourselves to choose from.

Let’s Play Dice

So let’s play. You can put down six options of what you could do next. The only rule is you MUST obey the die. What would you put down? How about these options:

If it’s a one, read the rest of this article.

Seven years ago I agreed to have three free coaching sessions to help out a friend who was training to be a business coach. It’s fair to say that I approached the idea of coaching somewhat cynically. In the event, those sessions changed my life.

Coaching woke me up to what I wasn't doing in my life, and the physical effect that was having on me. As a result I embarked on changes to my life that continue today.