After almost a decade at the helm, today Intersol CEO, Ian Hynes, hands over strategic leadership of the company to Mick Confrey.

Founding the company as a sole trader in 2013, Ian Hynes today takes a ‘step back’ as part of broader succession and continuity planning, enabling Mick to ‘pilot’ the company to the next level. Ian isn’t leaving the business but is assuming more of a part-time role to support business development and relationship management, promoting the core standards, principles, and mission statement of the company.

“Reinforcing the (forensic) investigative interview meeting as the ‘golden thread’ of investigation case management and becoming the provider of choice for professional investigation and interview training, qualification, advising, and conducting”.

Steadily developing the company from a sole trader to one with a management board and 30 employees, Ian was asked to identify some of the key challenges to that development.

His response?

“Realising and understanding that we are ‘disrupter’ business helped me understand the challenges and develop strategies and apply tactics to secure growth. On reflection, it was inevitable that growth would be interminably slow in a niche sector that largely ‘doesn’t know what it doesn’t know’ and has done the same things in the same way for centuries, without challenge, the ‘but we’ve always done it this way’ viewpoint. Consequently, our sales cycle is often tortuous, almost always commencing with an education phase, and with a conversion time extending into years! Sadly, it is a disaster that drives the business, we have been described as ‘the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ when my aim is to position it at the top of the cliff, or, even better, to ring-fence that cliff!

Interestingly, as we organically grew and developed the operational arm of the business in response to the demand for support with serious and complex civil investigations, these issues manifested themselves in a different way, almost proving the point. Clients used to a poor and flawed investigation, often with the objective of ‘burying bad news’ and protecting reputations behind NDAs and CA’s, storing away problems for the future and creating more ‘victims’ of civil investigation injustice, failed to appreciate the time it takes to undertake a professional investigation that withstands scrutiny. Resorting to the fastest route from A to Z, cutting corners not knowing what’s in them, or deliberately turning a blind eye to future impact. Stakeholder expectation management remains up there with the major challenges, indeed we have lost 2 or 3 clients because of our refusal to investigate their pre-determined outcome or alter reports to fit a preferred narrative. Those clients are no loss, and we remain subscribers to the power of ‘No”. If you want an issue buried, concealed, erased, or overlooked, DON’T come to us!

Poor workplace investigation costs lives, livelihoods, and careers. If you are a learning organisation and value your staff, our advice and investigation planning are free and, if commissioned, you will find us a fraction of the cost of investigative lawyers!

In conclusion, a big thank you to all the team at Intersol, present and past, the board that has supported me/us, the third parties who help develop and enable us, and those clients who have retained the faith in what we do.

Over to you, Mick.