The Secret of Life

The Secret of Life

The Secret of Life

PF+A Director of Strategy John Hibbs works with students to educate, inspire and engage the next generation of thinkers, not only in how to become an architect but in how to build a successful business, whether it’s designing houses or selling lemonade on the side of the road.

Let’s take a five pound note for example. We believe it holds a certain value that can be traded throughout the world for goods and services. The government have declared it legal tender but without the statutory title, a note or a cheque is worth next to nothing - a flimsy piece of paper at best. So, why do we put such great worth onto what is essentially the pressed pulp of wood?

Go back 500 years and the world was a very different place to today. Most people were born, lived and died in the same place expecting to perform the same jobs as their parents. And the economy was very much based on trading commodities with like-for-like intrinsic values. Life was simple, and few people questioned if there was anything more.

But in 1492, the discovery of America sparked the change in global economics.

The new continent brought with it a new hope. If they had no idea about a quarter of the earth’s land mass, what else had they been missing? This huge discovery provoked people to start questioning their long held beliefs. As wealth, trade and commodities started pouring in from the Americas, the public recognised that there was more to life than the drudgery of everyday. People began to invest in the future with the belief that tomorrow could be better; this saw the beginning of global growth.

Today, the world has evolved to be based on trust. Almost everyone believes that another day will bring them closer to what they want. We can see this as people are happy to borrow money, use credit cards and even the most cautious people are willing to take out a mortgage. Contemporary legal tender no longer has any intrinsic value, it is just a piece of paper or the number in a bank account. Our whole economy relies on trust; money is not a tangible object, but rather an idea we are all exposed to.

As much as with money, business equally bases itself upon trust. These same principles can be transferred across anything in life. You cannot see or touch the love of your family, you just trust that they do and it’s there. Likewise, PF+A is only a business because everyone believes it is. It is not something that can be pointed at, but a group of people that all believe that what we do together is worth something to others.

Trust and belief pervade all aspects of our lives today. In fact it lays the foundations for our whole existence. If you live in a house, went to school, work for a business, support a football team or ever use money then you to are abiding to the laws of trust whether you have noticed or not. Trust is the secret of life and once you realise that, everything appears a lot more promising.

John loves inspiring the future stars of tomorrow about business and all other aspects of life. If you would like him to come and talk to your people, please contact us.


Guernsey Studio

Guelles Court
Guelles Lane
St Peter Port

9am - 5:30pm   |   01481 712633

Jersey Studio

12 Britannia Place
Bath Street
St Helier

9am - 5:30pm   |   01534 767950

Ollie Muston MCIAT


T: 01481 712633

Having been educated and grown up in Guernsey and developing a passion for technical design work, information technology and an intrigue for building design and history during his GCSE years, Oliver decided to commence his career in 1999 as an Architectural Technologist with Lovell Ozanne one of the largest architectural practices in the Channel Islands,  During those first inspiring 9 years he gained his BTEC HNC qualification increasing his fundamental experience and developing his knowledge base by working on multi-million pound commercial and residential developments including, Mixed Use and Redevelopment Areas (MURA), offices, apartments and industrial units.  

Moving to the States of Guernsey’s Property Services Team in 2008, Oliver was able to learn invaluable working skills and practices, increasing his expanding skillset in tendering and contract administration, whilst having the opportunity to work on public buildings and the differing challenges brought about by these types of projects. These projects encompassed education premises, States buildings with high security requirements, projects at the airport and harbours and fully accessible health facilities.  Full Accessibility audits for the health facilities became a prominent project for Oliver as his career progressed and he carried out a number of audits and reports for substantial business within the Island.

Now with a total of 21 years’ experience within the industry, his expansive knowledge not only covers all areas of a very vast field, but includes all aspects of a project from inception right through to the final handover of a completed project; which, for Oliver is the most rewarding experience. 

Oliver’s exceptional wealth of knowledge has lead him to gain his chartership with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists and was formally invited to become an Interview Assessor for the Institute in 2015, a position limited to only a small number and in which someone can only be invited by the Institute.  Oliver completed the necessary assessor training a few months later.  

Ever striving to continue growing and expanding his professional knowledge, Oliver is a driven member of PF+A and one of the top in his field. With his professional yet friendly approachable nature he is an individual able to facilitate and communicate to clients, contractors, sub-contractors and other third parties to ensure that a project is always the best it can be.  Internally an exceptional trainer to the less experienced members of the team with an ease of teaching methods to ensure an unseamingly level of continuity for their development.

In his spare time Oliver enjoys spending time with his young family of three daughters, experiencing travelling and cultural diversity and of course Guernsey’s beautiful outdoor environment.

Chloe Whitmore


T: 01481 712633

Chloe is the first point of contact in the Guernsey studio. She has moved from a career of more than 20 years in the legal profession to managing a creative environment and its people - a welcome change for her! Her experience and legal background are a great asset for the Group.