At Software Solved, we’re not just about custom software; we’re about the people behind the solutions. Laurent Brickell, our new Head of Ops shares his unique career path, showcasing dedication to transformative leadership.
Laurent Brickell joined us a few weeks ago as our new Head of Operations. He specialises in shaping digital teams and software solutions and his portfolio includes clients such as GKN, HG Capital, Capita, Sainsbury’s Group, Bank of Kigali, Kraft/Heinz, Distell Group, and Gallup. We had a chat with Laurent to reveal the leadership style he’ll be bringing to Software Solved.
From music producer to tech leader
Given where he’s ended up, Laurent’s career began slightly differently. He admits, “Initially, I wasn’t interested in tech that much, I was really into music.” His aspiration was to become a music producer, and he immersed himself in sound recording. Subsequently, Laurent pursued a degree in Marketing Management at Kingston University, but his growing fascination with technology led him to become a developer and a freelance website builder. He even operated a hosting business tucked away under his stairs.
However, Laurent’s career took an unexpected turn on leaving university amidst Brexit-induced job market challenges. He and a friend from Ukraine co-founded an agency that secured its first client, GKN AEROSPACE, a major player in fighter jet component manufacturing. Laurent recalls this as a wild and defining moment. After their contract concluded, Laurent relocated to Devon and joined Organic Agency, an SEO agency, gradually climbing the ranks from Project Manager to Technical Director, solidifying his focus on technical leadership.
Deals aren’t done until the paperwork is signed
Laurent’s career path has taught him a pivotal lesson, “My biggest lesson is that a deal isn’t done until there’s a signed piece of paperwork. It’s never final until that point.”
Impact over corporate size
When asked how he measures success, Laurent emphasises, “I measure my success based on the influence I can provide to companies and how I can transform and guide them towards exponential growth. I’ve had opportunities to work in large corporations, but I value my success based on the impact I can make, which is why I’ve stuck with smaller agencies.”
Guided by A-level teacher
Laurent’s biggest influence wasn’t a business leader but his music teacher, Mr. Tyner from Coombeshead College. Reflecting on this unique source of inspiration, Laurent explains, “He was an exceptional person who helped me understand problem-solving. His influence impacted the way I deal with clients today and how I approach problem-solving. I haven’t really looked up to business leaders; I’ve learned from various sources, but nobody has inspired me like my music teacher.”
Adapting through experience
Laurent’s approach to continuous learning has evolved over time, “I’ve moved away from formal training and keep my finger on the pulse of emerging technologies. I learn by working with clients because each one presents unique problems and ways of solving them. Combining my years of experience working, I’ve been lucky enough to work with over 100 companies from various sectors which is how I’ve really developed.”
Trusting teams to excel and thrive
Laurent’s leadership style emphasises empowerment, “I lead through influence and avoid micromanaging. I trust my team members as experts in their fields and involve them in decision-making processes. In one-on-one meetings, I focus on removing any obstacles they face and providing the tools they need. I get immense satisfaction from owning my piece of the pie and making it the best it can be. So that’s one of the key things I like to do for my team, giving them the energy to succeed.”
Empowering through ownership and accountability
Laurent believes that motivation is fuelled by ownership and responsibility, “Motivation comes from giving team members ownership and responsibility. I avoid being a bottleneck and encourage my team to take the lead. They own their tasks, and I hold them accountable. Ownership leads to satisfaction and a sense of pride in their work, which motivates them.”
Diverse experience is key to continuous learning
Laurent’s diverse experience, particularly in agencies, has been instrumental in his development, “It exposed me to a wide range of businesses, processes, and products. I’ve worked with many companies, and this wealth of knowledge allows me to bring insights and tools to any business. Although my role focuses on finding solutions, I have good knowledge of DevOps and security so there are plenty of team members who can get a lot of direct knowledge from me, but there’s also a lot of opportunity for me to learn a totally new skill set from the talented team at Software Solved.”
Transforming businesses and making an impact
Laurent envisions a future focused on transformation, “My vision is to continue transforming traditional, brick-and-mortar companies into digital powerhouses. I enjoy helping businesses adapt to the digital landscape and building teams to drive growth. Ultimately, I now want to make a significant impact on the businesses we will be working with. I have built myself a bit of a reputation for turning businesses around that are either struggling or finding it difficult to break into a new market, so that is what I will continue to do.”
Find out more about the people at the forefront of what we do on the Meet the Team page.