In normal times the last few months for me at work would have felt quite turbulent – although with the impact of Covid-19 on the wider world hitting at the same time, the recent changes in my own professional life haven’t occupied a lot of my mental energy over the past few months.
Taking a holiday in France in late July has been great to have some family time together along with a welcome change of scene. It’s also been an an opportunity to take stock away from work and look forward once again with a fresh perspective.
At the end of March I moved on from my role as MD at Deeson which had consumed most of my professional attention for almost four years. I’ve been working with the incoming MD, Sarah Harris, to help ensure there’s a successful leadership transition.
She’s certainly had a lot more challenges than she or I expected when we planned the transition earlier in the year – and the growing success of the team and the business during the first four months of her tenure is particularly remarkable given the wider world.
During the past few months I’ve also been working with GreenShoot Labs to help the leadership team continue to plot out the growth of the business – working primarily on new business and recruitment to take advantage of the coming of age of conversational AI applications.
But now we’ve made several new hires at Deeson, including a new senior role to take on responsibility for new business, the time for me to commit to a new full-time role beyond Deeson is fast approaching.
Handing over remaining responsibility for new business later this year will signal the time for me to become a non-executive director in this business.
While I’ve enjoyed the diversity of challenges I’ve had at work since April, I also wanted to use this period to reflect on my experiences and what I wanted to do next at work. Having been so focussed on my former role, it was hard to get the perspective I needed to work out what I wanted to do next.
My role will be to work with group companies to ensure they are supported to grow and change, making sure incoming businesses are effectively onboarded and to developing a group operating system that enables autonomous businesses to thrive within the group. I’ll also be taking responsibility for group marketing and internal communications as part of the role too.
The Panoply isn’t a traditional holding company and that means this isn’t going to be a traditional Chief Operating Officer role. The business has big growth ambitions for growth, both through organic growth of our existing businesses and further acquisitions. It also has a strongly decentralised model, empowering entrepreneurial leaders to grow their businesses within the group.
I’m really excited about this move and the challenges it’ll give me professionally. I’m looking forward to collaborating with a wide range of people across the businesses that make up The Panoply and working out what this kind of role means in a new and decentralised growth business.
The Panoply’s results for the last financial year are impressive and I’m looking forward to contributing in my new role to the next chapter of the group’s story, along with colleagues from across our businesses.