Here at Nutbourne, IT services in London, we know that adaption is the watchword of a small company. It is what protects start-ups and small companies with few employees from danger. It’s something you want to keep hold of as you grow, but ironically every success makes it harder to keep. Systems grow, structures develop, people find roles and these are defined. A client strategy and client team need to be developed. Other teams coalesce. You start to need high level managers for each department. You then need a steering committee. Before you know it, you have middle managers and suddenly you can’t adapt so fast. You have 30 plus staff and you need to get as many of them on board as possible. Companywide changes don’t take days, they take months. Believe us, as a large IT solutions company, we’re aware of how quickly things can change.
You may lose people on the journey. Then you must recruit. One person leaving was annoying when there was five of you, what if six left when there was thirty? Same percentage, same motive to leave. Change isn’t for everyone. In fact, the larger you are the less your people will want to adapt. They will get used to where they sit, how they relate to those around them. They will have their manager. Politics will become a factor. Not everyone will know and rely on everyone else. You may get competition between departments; this may even end up in animosity. How do you then persuade them to give all that up when things have to change? Adaptability is hard to maintain, unless of course you code it into you DNA.
Change your attitude towards change
How do you do this? Well that’s the golden question. Naturally all entrepreneurs know they must pivot from day one. You deliver what work comes in. You quote everything for everyone and are grateful for it. Then you employ more people. Maybe you have more work than you need, and you can be picky. Maybe it’s slow growth and you have to grind away for every contract and every new client. Either way you get into a groove. Where once everything was novel, you now have set work streams and set patterns you follow as a company.
At some point, probably 10 people, you work out the profitable areas of your business and focus on these. This may require losing some clients and turning down work. It also helps define the company a little. You adapt to this change, but you start to deliver a much more tightly focused product on an altogether more focused delivery path.
That’s when you need to be able to keep the adaption. At Nutbourne, IT services London we have always been good in a crisis. As one of our guys described it ‘I don’t know what term we would use but the thing we are best at, absolutely the best at, is flying by the seat of our pants and getting the results we need when things go wrong.’ That defines us, and for many years we didn’t realise it. It’s a mind-set though, and its aided by the technical people we have here at our IT solutions company, whose collective appetite to grow, help people and solve their problems constantly force us to evolve.
Nutbourne, IT Services London, had to change
A year ago, Nutbourne had four of us in a steering committee. We got things done, but in an accusatory way. Conflict was common, and we worked to get things done, defending ourselves from criticism. This had to change. So, we did. We changed it to six people. One who had risen through the ranks, and two new recruits from different walks. We tried to remove the accusation and we tried to harness our change.
The methodology we used was traction, with some other frills added. We put in place a BHAG and then rocks and year-long crags. This forced us to change, and harnessed further change, as our goals fed into where we were going as a company. The first quarter we hit 65% of our rocks and the second we hit 62%. This changed the company, as we each had five, so thirty goals a quarter. This makes up 120 a year, and 600 in five years. These aren’t small goals either. One was developing a new website. Another put in place a new phone system. All things we need to do.
People got used to the change. We had some select out and some more recruits, who were a better fit, come in. Our teams got used to their managers, but also how they could be moved around if needed. In an industry as changeable as IT services in London, the need for flexibility is paramount. Our clients got used to us refining, tinkering and changing. New systems came in every other week. It was adaption and change. Managed week to week and day to day, and it helped propel ourselves forward.
Change grew Nutbourne
We went from a turnover of £1.6m two years running to one of £2.5m in that year. We had got back our adaptability, the fly by the seat of your pants, and had become a small company again, with more people. Everyone knew what we do and what we strive towards, and we tried to foster a culture of diligence as opposed to bumbling through.
That’s what it is to adapt. To change. And it’s something you must keep putting in place at every iteration. Nutbourneis a radically different company to what it looked like eight years ago. It’s different to the previous three. Hell, it changes every six months! But that keeps us fresh and on point Are we the best we can be? No way. Are we going to be better in six months than we are now, you better believe it (Simon Sinek). That’s what harnessing change means.
You also have to want it though, all of you making decisions. If you don’t want it, if you would prefer an easy life most companies can cater to that. The fast-growing ones, the ones on a timetable who have a head of steam and just want to move forward, those are very different beasts and tough to manage. Until you realise if something isn’t working well, change it. Don’t change for the sake of it, and don’t change things after a week, give them due time. But also, don’t wait on change and sit with something not working and accept it. Look at how you can make it better.
If you want to find out more about Nutbourne and our innovative processes as a company offering IT services in London, then get in touch! Contact us now on 0203 137 7273.