There’s something about getting to the end of the year that makes you slow down and take a look in the rear-view mirror. Which got me to thinking – a lot of people don’t know how 460degrees came into being. And who doesn’t love a good origin story? So, for this edition of 460Connect, I’m asking you to cast your mind back to 1997...

Back then, I’d been part of starting up South Africa’s first SAP implementation partner and we’d just sold that venture to a global IT business. At that time, I was brought out to Australia to manage the business unit. My experiences there opened my eyes to life as a consultant – being little more than an undervalued cost-centre. 
With so much deep expertise going to waste, I saw an opportunity to disrupt the market for management consulting by putting the experts (the consultants) back at the centre of things, delivering the capabilities that clients needed, as and when they needed them. 

The first iteration of this business, CharterMason, was founded in 2004 and focused primarily on Information Technology and Telecommunications. Two years later, Certatech – a venture that would go on to become the other half of our backbone – also entered this space. It soon became a leading Tier 2 Telecommunications and Technology Solutions Professional services provider.

Over the next decade, thanks to agile business models and increased investment in technology within their respective sectors, these two businesses showed resilience, enjoying significant growth. It became obvious the two brands should go ahead and tie the knot, so we merged under one umbrella company, the CMC Group. Now we were set to leverage the opportunity to fill a gap in the consulting marketplace between global service providers, such as IBM, and local consultancies. We tasked ourselves with the mission of becoming a leader in that Tier 2 space.

By 2017, CMC Group’s leadership team saw a need to really focus on our strengths and better communicate those to support the evolving needs of our clients. The common thread throughout all our successes was our unique approach to client/consultant relationships and our ability to develop champions. This realisation became the seed from which the whole 460degrees philosophy was grown; we came to understand ourselves as the first ever Expert Management Agency. 

Why 460degrees? The name sprang from a key insight we uncovered; most innovative businesses have gone full circle (360 degrees) before they achieve what they have set out to do. Which means they have to go 460degrees before they find success. In my work life, I have been through the dot-com bubble and crash, the GFC and now a global pandemic. But it’s my sense of purpose, my “why”, that holds everything together, regardless of what spanners life throws in the works. 

Speaking of which, it’s safe to say 460degrees has weathered many storms, the latest being COVID – which is far from over. These kinds of seismic shifts in the business landscape call for companies to be responsive and resilient – qualities that are baked into our business model. 

Indeed, despite a need for constant adjustment, this year saw us launch a new venture, Sezoo. Building on 4 years of investment, passion and successful client engagements in the area of digital trust, Sezoo’s mission is to radically improve trust in digital interactions across the board. 

The launch of Sezoo represents a key milestone for 460degrees in delivering on our Expert Management vision. Collaborating with our experts and rewarding them with shared ownership completes our Expert Journey Lifecycle Value Chain, from specialist, to champion to legend.

If you’d asked me at the start of all this how I imagined things would turn out, I couldn’t possibly have predicted the twists and turns it took to get here. Which is the same place in which many of our experts find themselves standing when they first join us. My personal “why” has become supporting exceptionally skilled individuals to align their work to their own personal mission. Could there be a better job in the world than helping people fly?

The team here at 460degrees would like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. We’re excited to come back in 2022, refreshed and ready to keep finding answers to questions that have never needed to be asked before. I don’t know about you, but for us that’s an exciting way to kick off a new year.

Werner Spies,
MD, 460degrees

See what we’re about in 2021


Australia's Ransomware Crisis (4 Part Article Series)

It might sound dramatic but make no mistake; ransomware attacks have grown in scale and frequency to a point where they now threaten the safety and wellbeing of all Australians.

Check out the first in a series of four articles covering Ransomware

The Future of Digital Trust

Will emerging digital innovations make our futures fantastic or fraught? Will they increase our trust in society, or decrease it? What do you think and why?

Watch the recording of this event, as our panel discusses the big topics, benefits and risks that digital innovation promises.

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