For more years than I can remember, Kings Cross was a written off area in the north of central London and no one gave it any hope what so ever for the future. For the most part it was definitely an area to avoid, especially at night.
“Today Kings Cross stands in stark contrast to this gloom 20th century days. What happened?”David Alexander, CEO Ford Quick Lane Europe (2019 – 2021)
Some would say it was an area set up for redevelopment and the outcome was inevitable. I think that’s retrospective talk – It’s all too easy to be wise after the event (20-20 vision in hindsight?). This fails to acknowledge the significance of the ‘soft drivers’ of change. In reality, the hard drivers such as vision and resource were combined with the equally important soft drivers of story telling, tenacity and luck.
We’ll continue to need that mix, along with high quality leadership, to successfully address the sustainable growth opportunities of the future and the other big challenges our businesses (and country/planet) face – which are as exciting as they are threatening.
Humble conversations, enriched with teams offering real diversity, openly reviewing the potential strategies to address the challenges are more likely to deliver the outcomes we seek rather than ‘singular focused mantras’ of old.
To hear more of David’s reflections, and about his vision for a fairer, more globalised future, watch this video, filmed right next to Kings Cross station in October 2021.
Read Whiteboard Magazine’s feature section on King’s Cross here: what do changes in this part of London say about future innovation and growth of the UK more generally?