We recently had a business tour at the Gripple Factory in Attercliffe in Sheffield. Michael Hodgson, Gripple’s Marketing and Communications Officer, has kindly provided an insight about how he got involved with JCI Sheffield through his work.
I began life at Gripple as a graduate trainee, relatively unfamiliar to the industry, along with five others on the company’s first ever graduate scheme.
Hugh Facey, Gripple’s founder and trailblazer, encouraged us all to join the JCI. He’s passionate about the opportunities the organisation presents, the people he met and the experience he gained. I distinctly recall Hugh recounting tales of his JCI days – International conferences, energetic debate and heavy alcohol consumption… We eventually told him we were heading to our first event that evening and he was delighted. He offered us some typically pragmatic advice: “whoever is speaker at the event, disagree with them. Walk in there and disagree with everyone.” We laughed at this but in his own way, he was sincere in what he was saying. In hindsight, what had at first come across as quite brazen, was actually advice that fit with the entire philosophy of the business; don’t accept convention. Challenge it.
JCI provides a perfect platform to do just this – politely and respectfully of course – and it’s a great avenue for meeting like-minded young professionals. The organisation seeks to learn from and engage with local business and did so when they attended a tour of Gripple’s renowned Old West Gun Works site last week.
For those unaware of Gripple, we are the market-leading manufacturer of wire rope suspensions for the construction industry, and wire joining and tensioning solutions for the agricultural industry. Much celebrated for our culture of innovation and 100% employee ownership, we celebrate our 25th year of operations in July.
As a recently registered JCI member, I was delighted to run the tour and presentation along with two of my colleagues and we were pleased to welcome passionate guests who seemed genuinely enthusiastic about our values and the culture of the business.
Each year brings new ambitions for growth at Gripple and since Hugh laid the foundations nearly 25 years ago, we have grown to operate in over 85 markets across the globe. While many things have evolved, we strive to maintain the mantra which sets us apart – a culture of innovation and a desire to have fun along the way, ultimately driven by our people. In many ways, the JCI shares that notion and it’s likely that both organisations will continue to be unashamedly unconventional. Hey, we might even disagree on stuff too. It’s what makes us great after all.
Categorised in: Events
This post was written by makedo