Why we focus on how we work, as much as what work we do

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team are heading, setting the overall business strategy and financial budgeting.

I work with the team to ensure that there is continuous organizational performance improvement that is always customer focused, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Whilst always having been involved with systems implementation throughout my career, I have an operational background and no specific IT experience. However, if anything, I believe this makes me more qualified to ensure the team deliver great service, drawing from my operations experience, and having been on the wrong side of poor IT support in the past. I can relate to how crippling this can be to a business, making it paramount that we ensure that IT issues are as invisible as possible, leaving the customers to get on with running their businesses smoothly.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

For as long as I can remember, the Q2Q blog has focused on all-things-technical – which is good, considering we are IT specialists. However, in my role as organisational development director, I believe there’s so much more to the successful IT equation than just the industry knowledge.

Understanding people and their business goals plays a huge part in solving the whole puzzle. And, while there is no getting away from the fact that IT support is a fast-paced world – and staying ahead of the curve is key – in a service-led industry it’s impossible to truly plan from one week to the next, as you can’t predict which of your customers will encounter issues and when. 

As I am sure is the case in many businesses, when each working day sees you focused on delivering timely solutions to keep your own customers’ lives running smoothly, finding the time to reflect on your own working practices can end up in the “nice-to-have” box, that gets pushed to the back of the queue.

Organisations that home in on facts, figures and other traditional KPIs will often find that overarching targets might make sense in isolation but can actually work against each other when you attempt to combine them into a holistic approach.

In the world of IT support, an obvious metric would the number of ‘tickets’ – or customer issues – which are raised, actioned, and closed in any given timeframe, combined with how long the client had to wait for the fix. 

While customer satisfaction must be at the top of any performance review, it’s worth understanding what actually makes the customer satisfied. If you’re so busy looking at the speed in which a case is closed, without realising, you could be encouraging the team to focus on quick fixes rather than getting to the root cause of a problem.

Although you may be hitting your targets in terms of hard data, the solution is only the same as taking a painkiller to mask the source of pain. Issues will continue to surface if the team is only incentivised to consider speed of closure as a good measure. The customer may be happy in the short term, but somewhat less-so when the issue inevitably reoccurs.

In the past – when things have been busy at Q2Q – we have used some of these basic metrics ourselves. But, over the past 18 months we’ve been looking at things a little differently at HQ.  We’ve been ensuring that we find that time to look at how we work, giving it as much focus as what work we do.

The development began by refining our internal mission statement. We used a tool which ensured the whole team contributed to the task, from start to finish. Involving the Q2Q family in the entire process meant they bought into the underlying ethos of the brand – and feel responsible for living and breathing it – as opposed to having something forced upon them by someone in a leadership role, as is the case in many businesses.

Brand value creation completed, we then took the time to consider the various building blocks needed in order to thrive in line with our purpose, rather than a checklist of tasks and projects. We now have monthly meetings which solely look at whether we’re still adhering to our shared ambition, and if we’re not, implement any necessary changes in order to increase our scores.

Unsurprisingly, this new approach led us to re-evaluate our internal KPIs, and in doing so, there’s been a conscious shift in the behaviour and methods of working at our HQ. The focus on preventative maintenance has increased significantly, and although our customers won’t necessarily see what we’re doing in the background – that’s actually a good thing, as they certainly benefit from it!

I’m incredibly proud to see the team working together to implement a ‘get it right the first time, for the last time’ attitude when it comes to clients’ IT headaches. While the task in hand might take a little longer, it’s by far the most effective – and satisfying – long-term solution for our customers.

Furthermore, this new technique also sees the team interact with each other in a far more collaborative way – and it’s now rare that a complex problem will have just one of the tech experts working on it.

While there will always be a lead techie responsible for delivering the solution, in order to develop a true learning culture, every new discovery will be shared. Even the seemingly day-to-day issues will be aired in the office, with the view to bringing potential new ideas into the mix. 

As I’m sure you’re now able to imagine, it can be quite a noisy office at times, but the sense of team now is stronger than ever, which pays dividends when we have particularly challenging days!

While my own role at Q2Q is to look steer the ship in the right direction, there’s nothing I enjoy more than looking at a client, friend or family member’s operational structure, to see if there are any cultural changes which could make a world of difference to their success.

Whether you’re looking to understand what your IT company should be providing in terms of a holistic approach, or would simply like to understand how to shift the cultural attitude of your own organisation, the kettle is always on a Q2Q HQ, so get in touch with us here.

Why we focus on how we work, as much as what work we do Why we focus on how we work, as much as what work we do