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I founded AQR International on January 1st, 1989, in the middle of a recession. In my last post of 2023, I reflected on the changes since then. Sometimes it felt as though we were in a permanent recession.

Where once we were a consultancy working directly with clients, we now work with clients in around 80 countries, sometimes still directly but now more so indirectly, through a network of brilliant partners who subscribe to the same ethos and standards that we do.

AQR has evolved into an organisation that develops resources – particularly psychometric measures and surveys – which enable practitioners of all types to attend to major challenges with people and organisations in a reliable and evidence-based manner.

The quality of those materials matters. You cannot create change, development and growth that is sustainable if interventions are based on shaky grounds, inadequate theory and have little or no evidence behind them.

Our core activities are the development of these products and services as well as creating awareness of these to those who might use them.

Our relationship with the academic community has been and continues to be fundamentally important to achieving this. As has been the development of an Advisory Board formed of leading academics and practitioners from around the globe. Those who have been with us for most of the last 20 years will recognise that we constantly improve and expand what we offer.

Our network of partners around the globe grows. In 2024 we welcome WISE-Ing a team of psychologists in Italy as well as new partners in the USA and Canada.

In some territories and markets, this relationship has matured to enable the development of joint ventures and closer relationships captured through the establishment of local entities carrying the AQR name.

In the UK, Anthony and Jo Taylor have created AQR Consulting to take services to specific markets. In Korea, Poland, and Australia we have local AQR organisations.

There is more to come. Developing a strong network of excellent partners who truly understand what it is that we offer and do it most professionally is the cornerstone of our growth strategy.

Our growth is focused on a determination to enable our measures and materials to be available to benefit as many people on this planet as possible to achieve. In the belief that we can make a difference in those twin goals of well-being and performance.

So, what’s next for AQR?

In the short term, we will be looking closely at technology and how that influences what we can offer and do. We will enhance our products, especially our licensed user training programmes.

We now know so much more about mental toughness, leadership, and motivation that we need to build this into our programmes. At the end of 2023, we started a CPD programme for practitioners which, even in its initial phase, will take 18 months to roll out and cover all the new stuff we know.

Growing our network of partners will be a continuing activity where there will be an acceleration of effort.

In the longer term, thoughts turn to succession and transition.

Ensuring the integrity of what we offer will be in good hands with Professor John Perry and colleagues. The support team will grow too.

Having founded the organisation many years ago, the search will begin, gradually, to find a way to engage others to structure the organisation to explore and plan for the next 35 years and provide leadership within the organisation and outside it too.