2020 New Year message from our CEO Safaraz Ali for our associates, partners and business customers…

So here we are 2020! Happy New Year

Like most years it starts with some bad albeit some tolerable jokes.

Not only do we get the usual “see you next year”, this time we’ve also had the “see you next decade” there’s also the vision 2020  jokes doing the rounds and being able to see so clearly and then last but no means least the cricket inspired jokes and how the year is going to go really quick because its 2020. This is how New year is done.

I never thought I would be quoting Royalty but here goes – In the words of HM Queen during her Christmas speech:

“The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference”.

This sums things up quite well, there are a gazillion way things could have gone and every path faces hurdles – time, energy and of course other resources as well as opportunity cost.

We must try to do our very best to do the right things at the right time, have the right people in our team, ensure they are doing the right things. In addition to picking the right people to partner with, the right people to train and the right people to sell to.

Burslem Celebration Day - Rachel Wild & Students
Burslem Celebration Day – Rachel Wild & Students

I hope I don’t sound like a grumpy old so and so, but I have noticed that I’ve started to preach whenever I get an opportunity that passion, energy and even your right intention does not ensure you will get the results that you need. The world is black and white, and no one really cares about your passion, they do care about your results and your deliverables. So, its boils down to right actions again – get our steps in the wrong order and the wrong direction and we’ll fall over.

Hopefully we can move further forward this year with the vision that we have and share. I will say also that whilst a great vision is essential as that’s where it starts from, it needs to be credible and still be in a position where we can seize opportunities. The best businesses are those that can balance between the two that is strategic but remaining opportunity driven and do so in a lean and agile is the way. This can change from moment to moment but what needs to remain is that whatever we do, it is credible and does move us forward.

The real question for all of us – are we the person and the organisation that we think we are and want to be known for?

In this it isn’t really about our sector and the market place generally, it’s about us, and in regard to Pathway – are we really lean, agile and responsive organisation that makes a difference in all that it does, one that makes a return – a profit knowing its purpose and is not shy to say that AND one than can grow for the long term in a sustainable manner?

I tell myself regularly we haven’t come this far to remain here, could we become a leading provider in our field that has a story to tell for another 20 years?

If we are to have any chance of that we must protect our culture our reputation and get our actions and outcomes to do the talking for us.

Pathway Birthday Celebrations
Pathway Birthday Celebrations

Strategy is one thing, but unity is another and we need to be completely united and on the same page when we disagree – we need to come together and take collective action and responsibility in the same direction. As an individual and as a business we need to be big enough to realise when we are wrong or not good enough or underperformed and confident to lead and stay the course and remain focused. Stay strong even when we are not feeling it and have the willingness to adapt to whatever business, life throws at us. There is a saying which often comes to mind learn to cut your clothes according to your cloth and stay consistent.

It’s amazing what we can achieve as long as we all push in the same direction and we don’t care who gets the credit, I would imagine it’s like running cross country or marathon we keep on preserving until the finish line- no ifs or buts.

 If you had asked me last year what lies ahead, the best I could have done is guessed and had an aspiration but no facts to base my opinion on. I know have a lot more to go on this year, the journey ahead is still not certain but there are some certainties.

Pathway Group Burslem - Team Photo outside centre
Pathway Group Burslem – Team Photo outside centre

A couple of final messages before I sign off – It is very common these days to hear people talk about the virtues of thinking big, I have a contrarian view that at times aiming big can make you fall short and I don’t think that’s the right thing for the majority of the team to do, if I had wish here I would say that more of us that can think small the better it is at this moment in our journey, by thinking small, we think detail and by doing so we will improve. I know it doesn’t sound too glamorous or inspiring and I hope you get what I actually mean, but I think 2020 for Pathway needs to be the “year of the small” – put away the telescope a little and look at the microscope more, solve small details/problems, understand them more -map them out, improve them and keep doing so.

The skills industry is still in a state of flux. There seems to be a mixture of hope, fear and confusion in equal measure. We need to for most of this year focus less on what’s going on in the marketplace and focus on the here and now– carry on providing real solutions, great customer service – think detail, think small and provide a memorable difference and a meaningful difference in that we do.

Pathway Group - Team Photo - AGM 2019
Pathway Group – Team Photo – AGM 2019

Keep on keeping on and thank you once again for everything and I truly hope this year becomes a landmark year for all of us in business and personally.

Thank you so kindly,


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