Monthly Archives November 2015

Former Watson Wyatt Worldwide consultant, Jackie Haffenden comes to us with substantial experience in commercial management, human resources, business transformation and change

Posted by Lynne on November 27, 2015  /   Posted in People

Jackie-Haffenden-600Say ‘hello’ to Jackie Haffenden, who recently joined the Mobius team and is already working with Travelodge managing a programme for their Central Operations team, scoping a number of projects for 2016.

This former Watson Wyatt Worldwide consultant, whose background is in retail, pharmaceutical and financial services, is an accomplished Human Resources Director and Business Transformation and Change Manager. Having worked across the UK, Ireland, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, Jackie is no stranger to the importance of correctly observing different cultures and customs.

She has substantial board level experience, managing HR and business teams through critical business changes, such as organisation re-design, new business start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures/separations, business relocation and restructuring. Most recently in the pharmaceutical industry, managing a number of team restructures as a result of changes in the NHS.

With a strong commercial background and broad range of business skills, Jackie excels in strategic, operational and consultancy roles. You’ll find she leads and develops teams to achieve stretch business targets through innovation, energy, challenge, resilience and pragmatism.

She’s come a long way since starting in the commercial management team at Marks & Spencer – and we’re glad she’s decided to join our ranks. She puts her success down to her holistic approach, ensuring commercial planning and people management are aligned as the business grows.

Past clients agree, describing her as “Pragmatic, down to earth, results orientated, extremely skilled and objective.”

We say Jackie truly is one in a million!

Oh no, not another initiative!

Posted by Lynne on November 02, 2015  /   Posted in Process, Strategy, Systems

What? Change doesn’t necessarily mean transformation? The next thing you’ll be telling us is that the Earth is round and not flat!

Chris-PlanningOver the past 30 years, Chris has been personally involved in many companies’ change ‘initiatives’, and watched from a distance as many others try to remake themselves. Such as Barclays, Rentokil, Wolseley, to name a few.

Personal involvement has included large companies who were successful in their markets, such as Sainsbury’s, recognising the need to evolve through some remodelling of process, people and IT. Through to much smaller ones like Travelodge, where the threat of failure created an immediate engagement in a Company Voluntary Administration for survival.

Initiatives come with a multitude of titles: re-engineering, business transformation, leadership through teamwork, supporting teams to achieve results, simplifying store operations, SMART, building better business, rightsizing, total quality management, performance improvement centre of operations…

Yet in the most simple form they all have one aim: to maximise competitive advantage in their market, or to change the ‘way things get done round here’ in order to be better placed to cope with the challenges of their changing market conditions.

In some cases, the results may not reach the intended benefits but, in each and every case, something – or more likely someone – will have changed a working method, their thinking, attitude or something else, as a result of that ‘initiative’ being signed off to fly. However, change can be just another initiative but transformation cannot!

The most general learning is that whilst change can be achieved in a ‘one off’, successful transformation follows a series of steps: some iterative, some in parallel and always over a considerable amount of time. Shortcutting or missing steps may create an illusion of pace and of achieving the desired future state sooner … but inevitably, by not following the given path, mistakes are made with a resultant and hard bite on the bum that slows momentum and reduces the appetite for change.

So, what are these steps?

  1. Create the burning platform – no going back, the choice is no choice, forward only. Dissenters are listened to and influenced through encouragement, but are not allowed to slow the rolling stone of inevitability. An engaging approach where right upfront you’re clear that your aim is to understand your business, your people and your business aims, such that together you’re aiming for outcomes that are meaningful, supported and measurable.
  2. Establish a strong vision that allows simple clarity for all and is sold by the leadership, who ‘walk the talk’ at all times to all people. From birth, we adopt and adapt our ways from the actions, words and compromises of those we see around us – and business change works in much the same way. Getting your hands dirty in your business for honest, and to the point, opinion based on the ‘live’ observation of your business, its market, the economic and political forces it faces will help build knowledge. Armed with this, you can publish a Project Charter that really gets the clarity of objectives that will bind your organisation together and ensure delivery of your initiative.
  3. Recruit an empowered team (and don’t compromise) with the right capabilities for the specific project: a team that will enjoy what they have to do. ‘Right people, right place, right time’ makes for an effective and high performing team.
  4. Plan the project thoroughly, taking the time for ruthless analysis in order to get to the ‘nub’ of the matter. Deep dive through the layers and complexities of your business to unearth both the opportunities and, as importantly, the ‘sacred cows’. This will help you create and agree realistic change actions that will deliver the vision.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate the vision – the benefits, the consequences, and the current position. It should be totally unacceptable for anyone affected by the change to have missed its point. Tell it from the rooftops to the foundations to ensure that you maximize soaring eagles and minimise the squawking parrots!
  6. The Earth is round – start it all over again!







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