Maybe one for Facebook, our founder and director Chris Davies said, but achieving Shodan first degree blackbelt last weekend with his local karate club Tiska St Albans is testament to the ‘two P’s’ we apply to our business; persistence and patience.
“When it comes to sport, give me a ball and I’m fine” Chris says, but martial arts is a different discipline entirely. Learning how to bend the body into specific and intricate moves is not easy, it requires practice, practice, practice and the two P’s.
Karate means ‘open hand’ and is predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes. At its heart is respect and discipline, respect for others, the art form and your superiors in particular Sensei your teacher and discipline in, yes using the two P’s.
So what has this got to do with the Model Office world of Governance, Risk and Compliance?
Firstly it’s the two P’s, being entrepreneurial is not easy, it takes plenty of self-belief and a very thick skin to ride the start-up roller coaster. Developing an idea into a real business is something that takes guts and vision. The most important lesson we have learnt here is building the right team around that vision. We are lucky enough at Model Office to have great people around our virtual board plus great investors, both invaluable to forging a culture for challenge, ingenuity and creativity, all required ingredients for building a business.
Secondly, we have built a new disruptive RegTech which can automate audits and streamline compliance activities. This means that industry incumbents will be defensive and maybe fearful when they see new tech. We have faced a multitude of challenge such as is it designed to replace compliance officers, it’s a challenger to existing industry support service/networks we do not need to change or it will not add any value are common objectives we have faced. These objections tend to be appeased when we stipulate that we are a software development business, so we build the software around our customer needs.
Our vision and mission at Model Office is to empower professional practice whilst reducing compliance time and costs. We have successfully done this for 100’s of firms over the past 3 years and as we continue to build the technology, we are keen to work with our customers to ensure their needs are met in a challenging and changing market, particularly now during the Covid19 Pandemic. We have made our Financial Resilience Diagnostic free of charge so firms gain heat mapped dashboards and assess the strengths of their firm’s financial ratios and cashflow. You can sign up and download it for free here.
We have also developed an Action Tracker, Compliance Diary system that allows firms to automate audit actions and provides alerts to ensure stuff gets done. We also have a Chat Bot offering guidance on the system and improving scores and are now developing AI text analysis to scrutinise compliance documents such as Business continuity, AML policy, File reviews meet the rules.
In building this tech, we have had to face our fears, deal with failure, pick ourselves up and be grateful for what we have built. These are traits that apply to Karate training, we have built something that brings a holistic approach to governance, risk and compliance, moves the industry away from ‘swivel chair compliance’ in using dispirit sources and need to keep honing the art of building tech to make it useful and relevant to the industry in which we serve.
Shodan in karate means new beginning or step, this first degree black belt is essentially showcasing the basics are learnt and now it’s about applying them and building the art form into something more meaningful. We have certainly attained this at Model Office and more, we are moving through the black belt stages (Dan’s) so we have a platform that can offer value across the financial services industry and support firms through this testing time to ensure firms attain a highly compliant, client-centric and sustainable professional practice.
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