My Working Day – Richard Dodgson – CEO of Timebased
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But, how do these business leaders go about their daily routine?
Business Leader spoke to Richard Dodgson – CEO of Timebased about his working day.
WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY WAKE UP?
Most days I’m usually up by 7am, ready to do the school run and get into work for a 9 o’clock start.
WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
I usually like to start the day with some fresh fruit, granola and dairy-free yoghurt. Though if I have more time, I do also like eggs with salmon.
WHAT IS THE REST OF YOUR MORNING ROUTING BEFORE YOU START WORK?
I have three children, so four days a week I’m in charge of the school run before heading to the office. I’m lucky that the office is only a ten-minute walk from home so I can walk in every day.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO AT THE START OF YOUR WORKING DAY?
On a typical day, the first thing I do is check in with the team to see if there is anything pressing to sort out before setting the days agenda. No two days are the same, so I am always prepared for the unexpected and having open communication in the office is imperative to tackle any challenges that could unexpectedly crop up.
On events days, I like to be on the ground to make sure everything runs smoothly, so it’s just addressing any immediate issues and last-minute changes beforehand to make sure I am prepared.
HOW DO YOU PRIORITISE YOUR DAY’S WORK?
Prioritising your day is absolutely critical as an event organiser. Usually we have multiple events going on at the same time, so it’s a case of speaking to the team, the client and the vendors to understand what has already happened and what needs to be completed. Constant communication with the team is the secret to effective planning and making sure that you don’t lose the bigger picture.
DO YOU PLAN MEETINGS OR ARE THEY A WASTE OF TIME?
The events industry is built on relationships, so meetings are crucial for Timebased. The face-to-face time we have with our clients and vendors is the reason that we’ve maintained such long-term relationships – we’ve been working with GQ for 22 years.
When planning an event, there are so many moving parts, everybody needs to be on the same wavelength in order to get events off the ground and this can only be executed effectively with constant communication. That’s why I also much prefer phone calls than emails.
Internally, we have a very open office and a close-knit team that allows us to keep up with everything that’s going on and how we can support each other.
DO YOU HAVE A WORKING LUNCH OR IS IT GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK?
I try to always have a quick and easy lunch. I sometimes like to hold lunch meetings too, they’re a nice break in the day and can be a relaxing environment to get things done as a team.
WHEN DOES YOUR WORKING DAY FINISH?
It can vary from day to day, but mostly I like to finish on time and be at home to spend some quality time with my family. This being said, events are unpredictable, and I need to always be on call in case something goes wrong. It’s not unusual to walk through the door at 1am after a big event!
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S WORK?
If I have an event the next day, I check in with all the vendors to make sure that they’re happy and ready to go. That gives me and the team the opportunity to solve any eleventh-hour problems. Controlling everything you can in advance creates the room to deal with what can’t be controlled and greatly reduces the risk of something going wrong. In events, you only get one shot, so you have to get it right on the night and that is achieved through thorough risk mitigation.
FAVOURITE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY?
I like the DJ mixing apps that you can download on your phone. I’d never put my skills to the test at one of our events but it’s fun to mix your own tunes. I have DJ’d at my son’s school parties before and they seem to enjoy it!
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?
There’s nothing better than sitting outside with a fire burning and a good book in my hand. At Timebased, we also implement a four-day working week to provide employees more time to unwind and enjoy the benefits that London offers outside of work. This is something that has allowed me to spend more time with my family and friends, enjoying cultural activities and practising my golf swing.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
Make a decision, even if it’s the wrong one. You can always make another one.