David Worthington of 10 Associates
David Worthington of brand design agency 10 Associates catches up with BQ as part of our Meet the MD series to talk all things management and design...
What does your role involve?
I’m simply an enabler of brand achievement - spotting potential that others miss so our customers achieve what they want for their brand to succeed, and for my ‘group of friends’ to have what they need to deliver on our promise. Easy really.
What is it the company does?
10 Associates design brand identities, build brand strategies from development through to activation, and the brainchild behind all of this is Brandschool® Being one of Yorkshire's finest Brand & Design consultancies we have a brilliantly blunt Yorkshire way of doing things.
In 2004 we decided to start up 10 Associates. Nervous? Yes... Uncertain? No. Equiped and eager for the challenge? …. Absolutely! Over 200 rebrands, countless engagement campaigns, many awards... and a book that reflects our own 'ends well story' in the 'ends well' stories of so many others. We now look backwards – and forwards... knowing that day was meant to be.
From our fabulous studio, based in a wonderful 18th century Watermill in the mini metropolis of Mirfield, we drive and support our clients to deliver lasting brand equity – it's what we obsess about.
Where did you start your career?
I was spotted in the 80’s at my college show, finished education on the Friday and on the Monday, began working in an advertising agency in Bolton. Great times!
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
Glass collector at 14, then bar work at college, graphic designer in Bolton, moved to Yorkshire to become a senior designer at JDA Bradford, senior designer in Elland, first business partnership in Elland (a fast learning curve), account manager in Huddersfield, senior account manager in Heckmondwike, then finally found my ideal role in 2004, MD and founding partner at 10 associates
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
The challenge of constant change, to always innovate and to remain totally focussed and fully energised at all times.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
It took me years to understand what stress looks like as it comes in so many guises. Experience teaches you how to spot it, deal with it, control it, and to ultimately use it to make positive change.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Cherokee Indian in an old Errol Flynn cowboy film and teach them all how to bloomin’ well shoot straight!!!
Any pet hates in the workplace?
People refusing to take responsibility for their actions. Everybody makes mistakes and our culture here encourages learning from them.
Where do you see the company in five years time?
Acknowledging and harnessing the amazing success that our ‘process’ has delivered, ensuring that we develop into a ‘destination’ brand consultancy where clients come to 10 for brand achievement.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Get great people around you to share the decision making process, consider ALL opinions, ALWAYS act on your instinct and make the decision that feels right to you.