Managing Director Way With WordsWay With Words Group
MD Christmas Message



Economies that were not so long ago “talking it up” are now filled with innumerable stories of retrenchment, downsizing, “resizing” or even “mobilising” so that companies and people can find a “new way” to do business. Amongst all types of business people I get to see, I am constantly reminded how challenging the world is out there and, really, how lucky we are.

Dear staff, team, wonderful people … Way With Wordians.

What a year it has been.

Let me start by saying that on occasion I get to meet and chat with various folk from the local and international business community. If there is any way to summarise the news out there for what 2011 has seemed to be about, it is that this has been a year of true emotional and physical fatigue.

The swings and roundabouts of so much change, the speed of change, political and institutional leaderships in turmoil and crisis from one part of the world to another, financial powerhouses finding themselves without choice having to re-assess their core values, and an almost unpredictable set of currencies and business models, now seem to paint the new landscape we live and work in.

Economies that were not so long ago “talking it up” are now filled with innumerable stories of retrenchment, downsizing, “resizing” or even “mobilising” so that companies and people can find a “new way” to do business. Amongst all types of business people I get to see, I am constantly reminded how challenging the world is out there and, really, how lucky we are.

I would never want to say we are lucky because of others misfortunes. I would not want to say we are lucky because of sheer chance, or having avoided the tsunami of pain many companies feel today, or because we are not in the same group who lost jobs, or who quietly carry on but with the uncertainty of the future eating away at them.

I want to say we are lucky because …

No matter what the situation we face as a business, our positivity, dedication and focus, by each and every one of us is what actually makes this company so special. Not anyone joins Way With Words. We are fussy about who we employ and about who we are – and it shows. All of us go the extra miles for each other. Note I said “miles” not “mile”! This, for me, is the essence of what contributes to our luck.

So how is it that Way With Words is so lucky these days?

Let’s just look at some comparative facts about where we have come from.

THEN: In 2007 there was 1 manager, 7 typists in office and a small team of around 30 transcribers in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

NOW: In 2011 we have a staff component of 13 managers and administrators, over 100+ trained and contracted transcribers located all over the world, including; the United Kingdom, United States, parts of Continental Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia, Canada and even as far down as Chile!

THEN: In 2007 we had an 80m square office consisting of one room, which we all shared.

NOW: In 2011 we have now spread out to over 200m square of office space, each department with its own sections and we might assume expanding again!

THEN: In 2007 we had no planned organisational structure or game plan. Our services covered transcription, copy typing, translation and other support services, if clients wished.

NOW: In 2011 we now have distinct departments for Sales & Marketing, Operations, Accounts, Human Resources & Training, Quality Control service, a 5 year Company Plan that has been applied to some extent now, and a mandate to provide one core service properly and professionally: English language transcription.

THEN: We provided essentially secretarial services based on offering primarily transcription. We defined ourselves as a secretarial business largely within the London area.

NOW: We revised who we really are and created a new brand with the specific goal to create worldwide recognition. We also launched our first stage of evolving the business as a recognised brand worldwide for five new divisions over the coming (5) years: Transcription, Transcription Resellers, Transcription Projects, Transcription Recruitment and Transcription Academy. Each division is required to ADD value to the core brand.

THEN: In 2007 we billed in one main currency (GBP), our client base was relatively local and client enquiries compromised a relatively small handful of regular organisations and individuals. Our internet presence was relatively limited to a few old static web sites and a couple of emails.

NOW: In 2011 we bill in 22 currencies, our client base has spread worldwide in all seven continents, and we are busy rolling out the latest generation of multiple service dedicated sites including establishing a clear brand presence in Social Media as well as refining for use shortly a new generation of workflow software.

Our clients are located (and now billed in local currency) in the United Kingdom, South Africa, United States of America, Canada, European Union, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, UAE, Singapore, Mexico, Hong Kong, Israel, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, New Zealand … and the list continues to grow.

Our clients range from private individuals to large entities, from the British Museum, the BBC, Microsoft Research, InterCall, Ernest & Young and the Financial Times in England; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the United States; the Welsh Assembly in Wales; the World Health Organisation and Credit Suisse in Switzerland; the International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands; the ITER Organization in France; Sasol, Harith Fund Managers and Naspers in South Africa; HSBC World Bank and IQPC in the Middle East; the Australian Institute of Criminology in Australia; Concordia University in Canada; to TV shows, market research companies, conference organisers and universities around the world.

Some new client profiles are even proving more and more diverse in terms of the type of industry we serve.  Examples include The Citizenship and Immigration Department in Canada, Pictet & Cie, Swiss Private Banking in Switzerland, the University of Sharjoh in the UAE, the European Foundation Centre in Belgium, Fahad Alfadhel (government) official in Bahrain and the Cabinet Office in the United Kingdom.

We have started to know and grow as a business with the boom of social media and have established formal company accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube (videos), Twitter and our very own new generation Blog.

So, after all this, shall we agree: “what a lucky group”?

In every sense of the word, each person on our staff has added an invaluable dimension that they often “don’t see” to making this small company a powerhouse of growth and positivity.

It is said that only parts can make a whole and the parts in this lucky group are literally made up by an incredible team of staff, managers and dedicated transcribers.  We operate worldwide, we continue to grow year on year. We have fun, we have occasional tears, we are serious, we are committed, we are supportive and we manage (without hesitation) each and every turn that comes our way. Whether it’s a new client, a relevant business opportunity, a transcriber’s achievement or a birthday, we celebrate!

Finally, without this team there really is no spirit …

While we have shareholders, management and unbelievable staff, at the end of the day having our very special transcribers who are individuals, real people as they say, work for us really completes this picture.

Our transcribers bring into focus what truly important and matters to us all and why we are here at the end of the day considering ourselves so lucky. From the moment of selection, training and induction to the moment transcribers become “live”, they create the very heart of who we are, our service, how we are seen, and affirm the very essence of the name we want to create and grow. Without them we are an empty home a business without a family.

In conclusion, it should be said that because of each and every one of us–staff and transcribers, shareholders and even friends–we are who we are today. We will see great changes in the year to come, good changes, changes that are natural to affirming who we are now and how we will be seen soon. Changes that make us realise the one theme that made 2011, starts off 2012:

We are lucky!