Bondi Innovators: Tom McQueen on growth strategies and talent networks

From his Australian roots Tom McQueen moved to London, working in senior business development roles and as managing director of a number of leading design agencies before returning to Australia – of course in Bondi!.

Tom is now consulting to growing companies, mainly in professional services, on systems and strategies for growth, and enjoying the Bondi lifestyle. Watch the video to hear his story and insights. A full transcript is below.

TRANSCRIPT

Ross:
Tom, wonderful having you on the Bondi Innovators program.

Tom:
Thanks, Ross. Good to be here.

Ross:
So tell us, what’s your story?

Tom:
Yeah, grew up in Australia, and I spent about 10 years in London working for some of the leading design and technology agencies and consultancies. Ended up leading one of them, and growing it, and just loving that journey in that industry. Yeah, I had a couple of kids, actually twin boys, and from there moved back to Australia. Yeah, like being back in Australia, and now Bondi for about two and a half years.

Ross:
Oh, two and half years now. Right.

Tom:
Yeah.

Ross:
So what are your current projects? What are you working on or planning to work on?

Tom:
Yeah, a lot of plans. Currently I’m running a business called Growth Story, and through that I help companies with a growth strategy, and support them in business development, and also help them set up systems and processes for growth. So work with a couple of companies actually in London, and yeah, looking to see how it can support businesses in Australia as well.

Ross:
So you typically working with professional service agency firms or-

Tom:
Yeah, mostly professional services. They tend to have very similar issues around just scaling, and getting over the hump, and yeah, consistently winning business. That’s what I try to help them with from the stuff that I’ve done in the past.

Ross:
So what do you think the potential of Bondi is? Well, actually, no. Firstly, why do you choose Bondi? You came back here.

Tom:
I think 10 years in London, really you have to go to a different country often to go to the beach.

Ross:
Yes. Yes.

Tom:
You go to Spain, or you go to Wales. There’s some good beaches in the UK, but it’s really inconsistent.

Ross:
Yes.

Tom:
I think coming back to Australia, you just want to be near the beach, and the surf, and the sun. It’s great for kids and the outdoors. Yeah. Bondi, really great creative community here as well. Yeah, connected with very like-minded people, and made friends, and yeah, love it.

Ross:
I lived in London, and that’s part of what prompted us coming back to Australia. Bondi, it’s pretty hard to beat Bondi.

Tom:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, London’s great. I mean, the tech scene, and I was working around Shoreditch, and Old Street, and all that sort of tech ecosystem there. Pretty incredible to be part of that, but I think all of lifestyle, yeah, Bondi’s pretty hard to beat.

Ross:
So imagine if you can get both of those.

Tom:
Yeah, totally.

Ross:
That kind of creativity…

Tom:
Yeah, yeah. Sounds great.

Ross:
Do you think that’s possible, or if so, how do we work towards that?

Tom:
Yeah. I mean, I guess what I’ve seen is when you have the creative talent, and you have the networks, and you have business, and you have support for that, those are a lot of the ingredients that you need that I’ve seen in these other tech or creative centers, I guess. London, and Berlin, and San Francisco, and New York, they all sort of share these-

Ross:
Yeah. Yeah, totally.

Tom:
… these characteristics, I think.

Ross:
Yes.

Tom:
Yeah, I think there’s definitely potential here for it. I think, yeah, just the current environment with a lot more people working from home and being around actually creates more opportunity for that than when everyone was commuting and going to different parts of Sydney every day.

Ross:
Yeah. Yeah. So is there anywhere in particular other than your LinkedIn profile for people to find out what you do?

Tom:
That’s the main place, to be honest. I’m not super into social media, so you can find me at the beach.

Ross:
Oh, yeah?

Tom:
You can find me around the streets. Yeah, I’m out and about a lot.

Ross:
Okay, that’s cool.

Tom:
in person and online.

Ross:
Wonderful to have you as part of the Bondi Innovation community, Tom.

Tom:
Thank you.

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