Simon Webster

New normal. It’s a phrase which we’ve all heard (and probably used) a lot over the past few months.

It has become synonymous with attempts to define what comes next in the wake of the global experience of dealing with an unprecedented public health crisis. But its meaning, for many, remains vague. At our Ignite Online conference in June, I remarked to our 700+ virtual attendees that the new normal isn’t something that we will just arrive at. It is not an inevitable destination. Instead it’s something which we must shape.

For us, the new normal will be defined by what we call Frictionless IP – that is, our vision for an industry where innovation is not constrained by the IP machinery which manages it. This vision is now even more important than ever before. IP exists to promote and sustain innovation, and it is innovation which will, fundamentally, solve the most important challenges of our age, including climate change and disease, and create a better world.

This is what has been, and remains, at the heart of our business - defining our purpose and our long-term strategy to deliver for our people, our customers, and our shareholders. It has been central to our plan to transform CPA Global into a digital-first organisation and will be enhanced still further through our intended combination with Clarivate.

Since Ignite Online, I have spent some time reflecting on what we have achieved as a business in the first half of this year – even in the face of unpredictable adversity. I am hugely proud of all our people for their efforts, which have continued to deliver exceptional results – financially, operationally, and experientially for our customers. These efforts, along with the commitment and leadership of our management teams, have put us on strong footing as we look ahead.

In the months to come, we remain rooted to our vision and purpose. It will be business as usual in that respect. Our focus on delighting our customers through exceptional service and the best technological solutions continues undimmed.

At the same time, the digital transformation of CPA Global is gathering pace. It is our aim to extract the positives from this period of disruption and lock in the lessons we have learned by reimagining the world of work and giving time back to our colleagues – time spent commuting or in unproductive environments – to bolster wellbeing, balance and, yes, output. We have already engaged in over 1000 hours of conversations with more than a third of our 3,300 global colleagues to discuss their individual needs – practically and emotionally – to make Digital CPA a truly positive and inclusive process for all. This work continues.

Powered by our talented teams and cutting-edge technology, we are also evolving how solutions and support are delivered to our customers, helping them address potential challenges as they journey down their own paths of digital transformation and ultimately towards our co-creation of Frictionless IP.

That future is in sight but, as I said in June, it will not simply be arrived at. It must be shaped, and I am excited by what the rest of the year has in store as we do so together.