I’ve had the privilege to meet many people across teams within The Panoply since December 2018, initially in my previous role at Deeson and more recently as Chief Operating Officer across the group.
As work gets underway to bring us together as an integrated organisation, it’s a good reminder that our work is human-centred – our work is a product of who we are as people, we work for people in our client organisations and our impact is felt by people in the communities in which we work.
As we began to think about how we will deliver the changes ahead, all company leaders worked together to develop a set of change principles. These inform the way we will change and we’re using them to shape and evolve the change project.
The first – and for me, the most important – of these principles is “Designing people-centred change to unite the needs of clients and team members”. This means that as we create a new integrated organisation we do so with equal attention paid to the needs of clients and colleagues.
While we seek an organisation that can scale at pace, we are focused on how to maintain human scale, avoiding becoming one of the faceless monolithic bureaucracies we see elsewhere.
Maximising autonomy within project teams and building genuine communities among peers are important parts of how we do this. For many of the businesses within The Panoply, there’s a transition that will happen from being a small organisation, where everyone knows everyone else, to being part of a larger organisation where that’s not possible.
But by deliberately designing what it’s like to work in the new organisation so that there’s consistency in teams, communities, relationships and human connectedness we can retain a lot of what makes small organisations special.
Many colleagues will have experienced large scale change before. It’s not a risky bet to wager that these have been top-down, waterfall programmes that have been slow and painful for people involved.
We operate in a world that is more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous than ever before. Our experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated just that. Traditional approaches to change just don’t cut it in that environment.
Our model for change is based on building on existing good practices from wherever they are in The Panoply, involving experts from across the group and breaking down the change we need to deliver into the smallest discrete changes we can.
That means setting ourselves up so teams working on change have the autonomy, space and alignment needed to contribute to the overall vision. Wherever possible we will prototype, test, learn and iterate our way into solving the many challenges this change will throw up.
To help make this happen we’re committed to maximising transparency, sharing information freely and distributing decision-making to those people best placed to take the myriad of decisions that we’ll face as we change.
I love that “closing the loop” is part of our change principles. It demonstrates a commitment to listening and learning that all our companies share and is vital in a human-centred progressive organisation.
At a personal level, I know the next phase in my career will be the most exhilarating, challenging and rewarding to date. The ambitious vision we have to create a genuinely different and impactful people-centred organisation is one that I’m excited to help make a reality. I’m looking forward to working with wide, diverse and inclusive teams on this journey to create a truly unique and special organisation.
If you have any suggestions, thoughts or observations about how we can make this journey as successful as possible, I’d love to hear from you. You can share your thoughts through this online form or by getting involved with one of our employee forums across the group. And please do feel free to DM me on Slack at any time if you want to – my virtual door is always open for a conversation.