By Lesley Brydon, Managing Director
When markets are a bit tricky, its easy to let that define your year, but at Clark, it’s equally important to celebrate other ways in which the business is moving forward.
This year we found ourselves approaching a coming-of-age, properly transitioning from being a small business to a medium sized organisation. We’ve grown up – and as with any almost-teenager, a different mindset and approach is required to ensure continued success. So, what are the things that mark out the not-so-subtle change that’s taken place at Clark this year?
With 23 team members, we can’t operate in the same way as we did four years ago (when we had 10). Ideally these process changes would have taken place organically around 2020/21, but we were kinda busy during that time… So, we’ve embarked on a major change project this year, working with an external consultant to apply lean principles to the business and build out the processes we need now, and in the future. These include embracing all the tech tools at our disposal, including AI, balancing benefit to our clients as well as our team. The aim of the game is to save everyone time on admin every day, so they can use that time to produce even more creative work for our clients.
While we’re busy updating process and calling it transformation, our team is the main area that’s been noticeably transformative. This year, we’ve really boosted the team with eight new joiners. We’ve been firm in terms of who we were looking for, and confident in holding out for the right people – and it’s paid off big time, enabling us to take on more work, apply new thinking, and really up our game for our clients.
2024 will be the year of NOT moving. Having moved both our Edinburgh and Glasgow offices in a single financial year, we’re staying put for the foreseeable. And with marvellous new premises in Dublin Street in Edinburgh and on Ingram Street in Glasgow, we’ve got space to think and room to grow. Our offices are more than just a place to put desks, they are where we meet up, collaborate, share ideas and experiences, welcome clients, and support our teams. While hybrid working is our normal now, the office environments we’ve created are as important as ever. We’re going to have to cut down on the collaborative snack opportunities in 2024 though.
At Clark, our culture is a huge part of our business. It cuts across everything we do and the way we do it. In a smaller team, this was effortless – we just went with our instincts and chatted over everything together. With a larger team, that’s a little more challenging, so we did an anonymous team survey this year, coupled with training to uncover the diversity of thought and behaviours we have within the business. These activities have given us invaluable insight and new ideas around all sorts of areas of life at Clark, including line management, tools and kit, benefits, training, quality work, and challenge. From the survey, we uncovered a huge amount of trust, value, and satisfaction. We found some areas to improve upon too and are working those into our plans for next year. Most important were these two questions:
- If you had a friend looking for a job, would you recommend Clark to them?
- If you had to do it all over, would you apply for your job again?
The answers speak for themselves – 100% positive across both. As a net promoter score, we can’t ask for more. But ask we will – there’s always room for improvement.
So, thanks to the Clark team, not only for that score, but for being smart, hard-working, great company, competitive, kind, ambitious, fun, and ultimately, very special indeed. Roll on 2024.