I’m struggling to know where to start this month’s notes. It’s more than two years into my practice of reflecting at the end of each month, yet sometimes the words flow and sometimes they don’t. Today they don’t.

Revisiting some favourite books this month.
Revisiting some favourite books this month.

This month marked a year since we moved house, which has been a nice anniversary to reflect on at home. In many ways it feels a lot longer since we lived in our previous house and we’ve settled well into a new home in a village just outside Canterbury.

But in other ways it seems like less than a year, with memories of what we’ve done here seeming quite recent and fresh. The time warping effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has also played into our perception of time here too I suspect.

At work the past month has been all about facilitating change, pushing on with our work to bring together eight companies into an integrated business. Making a more than 20 senior appointments made this month felt like quite a milestone and has really helped pick up the pace of change.

As part of this I was really happy to take on a new role as Chief of Staff, working closely with our CEO and colleagues across the business. I wrote a short blog post explaining the basics of the role and I’m continuing to figure out what I need to do in our version of this role.

It’s been a particularly intense period this month, with some days feeling like one of those old school in-tray exercises that I’ve experienced at assessment centres in years gone by. There’ve been times when I’ve felt I’m at a limit and then something new has happened to push that limit just a bit further.

I’ve had to stay disciplined and make sure I prioritise ruthlessly, which I’ve had mixed success with. Plenty of days have felt like they’ve just blurred into the next without any real opportunity to get time to properly down tools.

A renewed focus on exercise and cutting back on alcohol has helped with managing stress better this month. I’ve started CrossFit sessions at a local gym which has been an interesting addition to my usual repertoire of cycling and running.

It’s been good to be collaborating with colleagues that I’d not previously worked closely with before – there have been plenty of interactive workshops as we design our new sales, account management, marketing and resourcing teams. There’s plenty more to get through, but it’s good to be underway and broadening out the range of people we can involve in the organisational design work.

This month we also hired an interim marketing director. And we’re recruiting for a permanent marketing director too. It’s been great to see the immediate impact that bringing Sharon on board as interim marketing director has had, helping focus on bringing together our marketers and delivering new campaign activity for 2022.

The experience has reminded me how much personal satisfaction I get from solving problems and getting the right people involved in the right things – seeing things that seemed previously stuck getting moving at pace.

I also enjoyed my first visit to our Bristol office and spending an evening with some business owners who are close to joining TPXimpact soon. The opportunities for regional growth in our workforce and client base are significant – with Wales and the west of England important areas for that.

Over the past few days we’ve also spent more time thinking about Covid-19 and its impact on our teams, clients and work than we have done in the recent past. The emergence of the Omnicron variant has meant we’ve had to refresh many of our working protocols, particularly in the run-up to the Christmas social season.

The next few weeks feel quite critical as the traditional work sprint to the Christmas break, going out season and a new Covid variant collide in a unpredictable period. I go into December hoping that things don’t turn out as badly as they look like they might now, but my feeling of uncertainty is stronger than it’s been in quite a while.