Hi, I’m Tim.

I’m Director of Clients and Partnerships at Novoda. I’m here to make sure our clients get the best possible work from our team while supporting the team to thrive.
I’m also working to grow our partner network. I’m always excited to meet like-minded, complementary organisations to explore how we can combine our knowledge and skills and work together to do more good in the world together.

I believe good digital is positively impactful.

To me, good digital does more good than bad in the world. For example, the way an organisation uses technology might have a positive impact on people but collect data in a way that isn’t ethical. You have to look at everything on balance.

As a company, we’re still exploring exactly what good digital means to us. We understand there will always be shades of grey, but ultimately it comes down to whether we believe there are good people and good intentions behind a product. 

It’s important to remember that nobody has the perfect digital business right now because we’re all still operating in a capitalist system which requires us to prioritise profit alongside people and the planet. Thankfully it feels as though that’s beginning to change, but it certainly doesn’t help our cause to ridicule or hit out at people if we feel they’re not meeting the highest standards of ‘good business’.

We need to have conversations, learn, grow and support those who are willing to make changes. We need to nurture our ideals, define what ‘good digital’ means to us and keep working towards improving how we do business.

I believe good business focuses on the bigger picture.

To lead and grow a good business – a business that creates good in the world – you’ve got to be clear on what ‘good’ looks like across every area of your business. Firstly, your company has to be built on a strong foundation. This means ensuring your governance, contracts and banking are ethical and sustainable. 

You also have to attract the right kind of people to work in the company who align with your ethos, values and goals. Even more importantly, when you find those people you have to treat them right and ensure they’re given every opportunity to shine. I’ve seen many good people moving on from good jobs because they’re not feeling fulfilled, challenged or valued. 

To grow a good business, you’ve got to build a great service or product in a way that’s sustainable and safe while also being scalable and profitable. Then, as you continue to grow, keep focusing on ways to serve your customers better, meeting their needs and adding more and more value.

Ultimately, the best businesses are people-centric. They attract and retain good people who focus on making a positive impact on the people they serve.

I’m passionate about sustainability.

I believe every business should have sustainability goals, but these goals need to be more than policies, processes and objectives. Organisations are made up of people who all have personal lives and values. If you focus on uniting everyone in your business behind your commitment to sustainability, they’re more likely to start making more sustainable choices for themselves as individuals. 

If you want your business to genuinely make a difference, you have to do more than ensure everyone in the company understands your sustainability goals. You have to find a way to make those goals personal and accessible for everyone.

I lead with empathy and pragmatism.

We need more empathy in leadership, and it needs to be balanced with pragmatism. In her book Radical Candor, Kim Scott talks about “ruinous empathy”. This is when you focus too much on the needs of individuals – for example withholding information that might upset them – to the point it becomes detrimental to the company. 

The best leaders listen and understand a person’s position, whilst also clearly articulating what needs to change – the difficult part is marrying those two together. 

I believe there’s always a way of opening up someone’s capacity and enabling them to shine. If you find out what that is and it fits into where you’re going as a company, that’s a beautiful thing. And if it doesn’t quite fit, that’s okay too. 

If a person leaves a company, leaders might feel like they’ve let them down. But if you’ve invested in them and they’ve simply decided they want to follow a different path, that’s far better than them quitting out of the blue because they haven’t felt seen, heard or valued and haven’t been given the space to discuss their needs. 

I encourage people to talk openly about their struggles.

The business world can be a lonely one, which is why I’m a firm believer that people are better together. Even if you’re technically competitors, there are still ways you can learn and grow collaboratively. I encourage all business leaders to open up, ask questions to their communities, and talk about what they’re finding tough – this gives others permission to do the same.

Not only is it a slog to find stuff out for yourself all the time, but you also risk repeating other people’s mistakes or learning things that don’t end up working for you. Ultimately, it’s a lot quicker to learn from other people’s mistakes than your own. And the more you talk about your failures, the more you’ll hear about others’ – this creates a beautiful circle of sharing and learning.

Sharing the emotional side of doing business is what brings people together and creates community. And when we work together, we make progress faster.

I’m at my happiest enjoying the simple things in life.

I’m happiest when I’m reading, walking, or chopping vegetables. I find calmness in the simplicity of things like that. Today, I’ve made sourdough and brought it into my office because it’s the warmest room in the house – now I’m just watching it grow and bubble away nicely, doing its job. That’s given me joy today.

That’s me!

If you feel moved by any of my values or the beliefs I’ve shared here, or just generally fancy a good chat, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me an email at tim@novoda.com and let’s grab a coffee.

Tim Craven