Social Housing – Rising to the challenge
Rising to the challenge
The housing sector, like any other sector, has faced challenges and changes over recent years. The political and environmental landscape continue to have an impact and the ramifications of the Grenfell tragedy are still not clear.
These challenges combined with the impact of COVID-19 forced housing organisations to further evaluate the specific issues that impact their services, solutions, and support to tenants, pushing them towards new ways of working and enhancing the digital journey.
The critical role of senior leaders in making change work
There was a time when leaders survived by being good at 'running the company.' In today's volatile, fast-paced and ever-increasingly competitive marketplace, few, if any, leaders will succeed unless they know how to change the company.
Does company culture enable or block successful transformation?
On 11th November 2022, the 'Financial Times; reported that 'the UK economy shrunk in the third quarter and that 'recession now looms.' This news, although expected, presents more challenges to hard-pressed executives.
Add to the economic issues, competitive pressures, difficulties with supply chains and the pace of introducing new technologies and automation, and it's clear that organisations are facing an environment that is the most demanding for years.
How can your organisation implement change in an Agile environment?
Agile and change management have emerged as important strategies for improving change outcomes. Integrating change management and Agile can improve the adoption and usage of iteratively designed solutions. (1)
Continuous improvement: back to the top of the agenda?
‘Continuous improvement, originating from the Kaizen methodology, is the practice of improving processes, streamlining work to reduce waste or improve customer service. It is now being used by thousands of organisations across the world to improve business performance.’ (1)
Has there ever been a better time for organisations to develop or reinvigorate their culture of continuous improvement?
How do you embed Human-Centred Design in your organisation?
This article is the last in a three-part series. In Part one, we went over what Creativity is, divergent and convergent thinking, and how to think creatively. In Part two, we delved deeper into how to use Creativity to solve problems and how fun collaboration can help spark innovative ideas. In Part three, we will focus on how Design Thinking can help to tap into Creativity and the importance of Human Centred Design.
Why aren't there more data-driven companies?
‘In God we trust. All others must bring data.’ (W. Edwards Deming)
In their book, ‘Competing in the age of AI,’ Harvard Business School professors, Marco Lansiui and Karim Lakhami explain how market leading companies will increasingly use analytics and business intelligence tools to integrate internal and external data - to drive business insights, predictions, and operational actions.
How can we use creativity to solve problems
This article is the second in a three-part series, and in Part one, we went over what creativity is, divergent and convergent thinking, and how to think creatively. In Part two, we will delve deeper into how to use creativity to solve problems and how fun collaboration can help spark innovative ideas.
The world is changing. The way we learn, the way we work, and the way we communicate is evolving. Today, we can share ideas and collaborate with people worldwide in ways that were never possible. This has led to a greater understanding of complex problems, better products, and better services.
More and more people are turning to creativity to solve problems instead of relying on traditional methods, which has led to an explosion in the field of creativity. Where once only a few were trained in the arts, now anyone can be creative.
Skills development – Mind the gap
‘Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.’ Richard Branson.
Corporate attrition persists, but one way to win employees back is to develop their knowledge, attributes, experiences—in short, their human capital. (1)
Yuval Noah Harari writes:
‘By2050, it’s agreed that machine learning and robotics will change every line of work – from producing yoghurt to teaching yoga.
To prosper, individuals will need to constantly re-invent themselves throughout their careers. People who will do well are those who have the capability to keep changing, keep learning and develop skills for the future.’ (2)
Companies and individuals are facing a huge challenge.
Accessible design: the benefits of considering everyone’s experience
What is accessibility?
Accessibility is an inclusive practice that ensures there are no barriers that prevent interaction with or access to any digital solution by people with disabilities.
At Sysdoc, we are care about accessibility and always try to meet the best government standards when designing solutions and working with our clients.
How creative can you be with just one paperclip?
I was sketching out a new portrait idea when my husband asked me why is it that some people are creative and can create something out of nothing?
I personally think that everyone is born creative. We sit children down at a table with a blank sheet of paper and some crayons and they start scribbling, limited only by the boundaries of their imagination. Over the years we begin to worry about what to draw, how to draw it, who we’re drawing it for and if they will like it. It is only when we choose to walk away from drawing the table that some of our creativity seems to dry up.
Then there are some who choose to stay at the table.
How can design thinking help you reach your users
‘When you understand the people, you’re trying to reach – and design from their perspective – not only will you arrive at unexpected answers, but you will produce answers they’ll embrace.’ (1)
Design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation and problem-solving that focuses on user needs and expectations through intuitive experiences. Companies increasingly recognise the value of design to help navigate their evolving businesses. There is a clear link between design thinking and better return on your investment (2) and increasing design capabilities leads to improved customer satisfaction and product adoption. Companies are facing unprecedented social, technological, and economic issues, leading to dramatic shifts in customer and employee expectations.
Tales of tragedy and triumph: storytelling with It's A Penalty
This blog is the second in our two-part series on ‘storytelling.’ In part one we discussed how effective communicators are increasingly using storytelling to get their messages across and marking themselves out as leaders. In this blog we explore a real-life example of a storytelling workshop that Sysdoc recently led.
The influencing factors of change programmes: how to get it right first time
Given the world is increasingly subject to change and uncertainty, the case for focusing on the right activities from the very start of your transformation programme is compelling. In last week’s post we looked at getting the basics right, which experience tells us includes:
✅ effective change leadership and senior sponsorship
✅ a business case and governance with focus on outcomes and benefits
✅ the right organisational design
✅ human-centred change planning
✅ behaviours and culture that match strategic ambitions
In this week’s blog post we’re lifting the lid on some of the common causes of programmes under delivering, in our experience, and why the points above are therefore important to get right from the start.
Want to delight your people? Engage them with a story
This blog is part one of a two-part series on ‘storytelling.’ In this blog we discuss the benefits of storytelling and how effective communicators are increasingly using stories to get their messages across. In our next blog we will explore a real-life situation, recently led by Sysdoc.
‘If you want to engage an audience, you have to tell a story – but for most people who prepare presentations, storytelling is not top of mind.’ (1)
Business isn’t really about numbers, profit, cash flow or dividend rates. The numbers are by-products.
Business is about people and emotion – this is an essential truth.
Six criteria for effective supply chain management
Supply-chain chaos is expected to worsen as the impact on companies and consumers starts to ripple across the globe.
Supplies of Adidas sneakers and Bang and Olufsen speakers have been hit.
Automakers from Toyota to Tesla are facing ‘unprecedented’ costs and production hurdles.
Sony is struggling to make enough PlayStation 5s – due to a shortage of computer chips.
The economic consequences are starting to be felt by companies and consumers across the globe – with shortages, late deliveries, and empty supermarket shelves. It’s expected that the disruption will get worse.’ (1)
Loneliness at work – a sign of the times?
‘Unprecedented levels of hybrid working persist beyond the pandemic. Even as offices have reopened, employees are loathe to give up the benefits of working from home – for a substantial proportion of time.
But two years into what has been an unplanned global experiment in remote work, the costs of the approach are coming into sharper focus.’ (1)
Is change a ‘trigger’ word?
I've been working since I was fourteen. I'm not going to reveal my age right now, but let's just say I've been working for a while. I've always had a strong work ethic and an understanding that to advance, whether in my career or in life, I needed to change and adapt. I realised that part of my job was to help my employer be the best it could be, and by constantly learning and improving, I was also securing my own future.
Social Housing Strategy Forum – It’s still all about people
It’s been truly awesome to have been with my colleague Donna over the last two days and having the chance to reconnect with my roots by attending the Social Housing Strategy Forum.
Transformation in the Pharmaceuticals Sector
Building on success and global leadership - Transformation in the Pharmaceuticals Sector
The Pharma sector in the UK is a world leader in terms of innovative science and manufacturing excellence, with the third largest R&D spend after the US and Japan. The rapid development and licencing of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine has demonstrated how quickly, effectively, and safely the UK sector can bring new medicines forward when truly effective partnerships are established with a common goal in mind.
Create your own website
Roll up, roll up get your professional personal website right ‘ere!
The value of networking and the Young MCA
Jack Murphy joined Sysdoc as a Consultant in August 2021, following a career change. He graduated from the University of Birmingham, then worked at Amazon in Peterborough, Nottingham, and the north- east of England as an Area Manager. He has adapted quickly to his consultancy career, bringing enthusiasm and new thinking to the role.
I asked Jack about how he is building knowledge and creating networks in his consulting role. (Geoff Hardy, Lead Consultant)
Evaluation made easy
Now is the time to evaluate the impact of your training, and it doesn’t have to be a pain in the…
It's time to catch up with technical debt
The past few years has created a significant surge in technological transformation that would otherwise have taken 5+ years. Organisations have accelerated the implementation of tools and ways of working to meet a rapidly shifting geographical footprint; where people can work effectively from almost anywhere in the world (Mckinsey survey).
Measure the value of Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 (M365) can connect us, ensure we smarten our approach, and simplify our professional lives. However, we can do more to leverage and measure the value it delivers to our teams. User adoption is a critical determinant of our return on investment in M365, and it deserves more attention. The tool we need hides in plain sight, part of the real estate of M365. It’s powerful, available, and ready to use.
What does your Change Champion Network look like within your organisation?
As a Change Manager, you are responsible for getting users to adopt and engage with the new system or processes, and one of the biggest challenges to try and overcome is developing ways in which you can motivate hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, to embrace simpler, smarter new ways of working.
Is it time to admit that hybrid working isn't working?
Perhaps for some, it isn’t, but others may argue that this is an important and potentially game-changing opportunity for organisations who are prepared with the right thinking and are in a position to make the right changes as to how they operate. Yes, we have contended and experimented with hybrid working for the past two years, but it doesn’t look like it is going away in the foreseeable, regardless of Covid and how that evolves.
Sysdoc celebrates simpler, smarter ways of working - Katherine Corich
Sysdoc celebrates simpler, smarter ways of working. Founder and Chairman Katherine Corich has always found opportunities to simplify and optimise processes, starting with her first ever user guide manual which she wrote for IBM.
Sage article: Cloud adoption, why you should work on supporting your employees first
Manufacturers can save time, effort and money through cloud adoption projects.
Around one third of UK manufacturers purchased cloud computing services in 2020. Most would have done so to make the most of well-known benefits such as improved productivity, accessibility, reporting and data security, as well as lower operating and IT costs.
However, if you’re looking at cloud adoption for your manufacturing firm, it’s really important that your people are a key part of the process.
Rather than implementing the changes then informing your employees, they should be involved from the start.
Read this article to find out why your employees should play a role during every step of your cloud journey, how to support them, and how to avoid potential pitfalls within your team. After all, you don’t want to get this wrong and pay a hefty price for delays or even lose key people.
Lessons from Consortium working
An introduction to my experience
At the beginning of this year, I started a new project working with a new client and taking on a new role for a large transformation programme. I have worked alongside other consultancies on previous programmes in the past, but this was a first for me, working within a partnership from the offset.
Why Process Excellence is key for a successful ERP Implementation
I have been reflecting on my experiences working on ERP implementation/upgrade programmes whilst also listening and hearing to what others have to say.
I think back to these projects and notice everyone was working hectically towards the programme ‘Go – Live’ and were under the impression that once they achieved this Go - Live then we have successfully implemented a new ERP System and our job is complete. I think many people can agree with me that a Go – Live date is just the start of the journey. We have got to think about the people, culture, education, efficiency in processes and where can we reduce ‘waste’.
Being part of the conversations that need our attention – It’s a Penalty
It is not uncommon for us as humans to shy away from some discussions. It might be too difficult, make us uncomfortable or make us feel as if there is nothing we can do to make a difference. However, sometimes that is all we need to do to encourage change; have the conversation.
Why work in our Digital Enablement capability?
Digital Enablement is a fancy way of describing how technology can support and enable organisations to work smarter, flex faster and generally make day to day employee life better through effective use of technology.
Process Excellence – more relevant than ever
Love it or loathe it, process is an integral part of every industry and it is going nowhere. I work as a consultant who operates within the Process Excellence and Transformational Change space and almost all issues and problem statements, I see my clients face across industries can start to be solved, or at least improved, with well-defined and understood processes. These processes in turn facilitate value-adding change, in line with business strategy.
What is your ‘why’?
I was trying to think at the weekend, as to why I work for Sysdoc. Of course, like any company, we want to drive people to approach us and be bought into our brand, but it is not always that easy. One thing I always found difficult when I was searching for a new job, was knowing what a company was truly like. We see so many hiring campaigns and videos of people laughing, deep in thought, grouped together or socialising over drinks, but that is an absolutely impossible way to find out what the company culture is like.
Who even cares about culture?
One of the issues we all face in managing complex change and transformation is affecting changes in culture.
Culture is one of the most complex and important concepts for any organisation. It’s the basic essence of who you are, it’s the deeper level of the basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by colleagues.
No Mission. No Vision. No Strategy - No Problem, Right? Wrong!!
If you need any evidence as to why, then we only have to look to our history. Unfortunately, if you Google ‘Battles that failed because of no plan’, you will find an overwhelming list of examples. The Battle of Little Bighorn is riddled with spontaneous moves on the field that did not have a favourable ending. What was the problem? No strategy. Some of you will have heard of the film ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and think what a brilliant day he must have had with no plan. However, his day ended with him going nowhere, gaining nothing, achieving zero and a collection of mini failures along the way.
Whether it be a film or a part of our history, having no strategy or vision in mind can leave us unprepared for when it really counts. (A certain global pandemic comes to mind).
Upskilling and reskilling: A conversation making its way to the front of digital learning
Spencer Holmes, Director at Totem Learning Ltd, and Sarah Vaughan, Sysdoc Digital Learning Manager have been co-hosting for the past few months vlogs with a number of inspiring guest speakers from across the digital learning industry. Vlogs that often side-track into other topics which unearth points of discussion that could easily exceed the allotted time slot of recording. However, all are linked and crucial to digital learning and how to navigate it in a remote world. A reoccurring theme in these vlogs, what a shame that it took a global pandemic for us to realise the attention we need to give to digital learning, in particular reskilling and upskilling our workforce.
Sysdoc listed in the Financial Times UK's Leading Management Consultancies 2021
It was a superb February surprise to find out that we had been mentioned not just once, but twice, in the Financial Times UK Leading Management Consultancies 2021.
Excel, we need to talk, it’s not us, it’s you
We have all had our up’s and down’s with Excel and although this may sound like a break-up, it is more of an evaluation of the relationship. Excel has undoubtedly served many of us well and it is continuing to do so. However, have we become too reliant on its familiar layout and easy set-up? Is the prospect of upgrading to a more complex software delaying teams from making the switch? As with most technology and software, it is a question of utility, not usability.
You’ll often hear the phrase ‘people are the weakest link’ when it comes to cybersecurity. After all, it’s people who click those dodgy links, right … “if only they’d stop and think”!
Don’t the statistics support this view? With almost half of all businesses in the UK falling victim to a cyber breach or attack*, raising to 75% for large businesses, a massive 86% of these are caused by phishing attacks. These use social engineering to lure people into clicking links which then allow the attacker to
Placing people at the heart of change
OCAI Accreditation for Sysdoc’s People and Culture Capability.
Sysdoc’s People and Culture Capability recently completed the OCAI practitioners course as part of its ongoing work to support organisations on their cultural journey.
The OCAI assessment is a cornerstone of Sysdoc’s People and Culture capability toolkit as it provides the foundation in helping leaders understand the current culture and defines what the preferred culture needs to be to accomplish the cultural and behavioural objectives.
Sysdoc joined London’s Stock Exchange Group, ELITE
Sysdoc joined London’s Stock Exchange Group ELITE
ELITE is LSEG’s international business support and capital raising ecosystem for ambitious and high growth companies. Over 1,400 companies make up ELITE’s strong international community of entrepreneurs, advisers and investors. Sysdoc is a Business Change Management Consultancy, helping our clients work in a simpler, smarter way so they can embrace change with confidence.
At the end of 2020 Sysdoc joined the London Stock Exchange Group's international business support and capital raising ecosystem, ELITE.
Sysdoc 'Pass it on' Wellbeing Campaign 2021
It would be a huge understatement to say that 2020 was not simple. Nobody anticipated the events that would fill our year and for many, it was one of the loneliest we have ever experienced. At Sysdoc, we are incredibly lucky to have supportive colleagues and leaders around the globe who looked out for us during that time. However, it is not just the good deeds that we received we should be acknowledging, but the ones we passed onto others.
As much as I love Christmas, I hate January. For me, January is the most difficult month of the year – oh hi January blues, long time no see…
Do you know that feeling? If not, then you can count yourself as lucky. January blues is a form of depression that some people feel after the magic of Christmas and holidays come to an end. Its secret ingredients: A lack of motivation, exhaustion, melancholy, and excess of melatonin.
How we live now
Regardless of the latest restrictions and the challenges that lie ahead, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Albeit a light that comes in and out of focus for many. There is now a future where we can start to heal, to unite, renew and to plan for a more certain outlook. If 2020 taught us one thing, it was to expect the unexpected – to be prepared to change, adapt at a moment’s notice. A quality I am sure we did not know we needed to possess as critically as we do now. This has been equally applicable for organisations as it has for individuals – with business plans and personal goals alike upturned and forward planning a challenge. What has this, perhaps necessary, blip in the history of the world taught us? What do we want the post-COVID working world to feel like? Are there elements of how we live now, that we want to continue with?
Keeping it on the DL - Guest Speaker LPI Chairman Donald H Taylor
Shall we jump right in? Are L&D teams relevant anymore?
Given the steer towards customised, personalised learning do you still need an L&D team. Well, we are walking into this vlog with a bang. It is a crucial question and the elephant in the room that we should all be asking ourselves. LPI Chairman and Guest Speaker for this month’s vlog Donald H Taylor cleverly approaches this question. So, the answer is yes and no.
Unfortunately, you cannot measure learning, but most learning takes place outside what L&D does. We live in a world where people can increasingly access information themselves and there are so many options on the market that it is no longer sufficient to just rely on L&D functions. L&D needs to adjust to this new world and as we have experienced previously, they are not the sole gatekeepers to knowledge anymore. However, they can make themselves an essential cog in the machine. The scope of what L&D should be doing has increased and it needs to adapt so it can help individuals reach their potential.
Let’s face facts, Covid-19 has given people the time and determination to take up learning on their own. Upskilling was already a huge priority pressing on people’s minds prior to 2020 and as we move to a remote world, online learning is not only essential but the default option.
Starting a career in Process Excellence - putting the jigsaw pieces together
“What a year this has been!” That is how I wanted to start this but then I realised it has now actually been 1.5 years! How time flies. I joined Sysdoc as a Junior Consultant just a few weeks before lockdown hit. I experienced all sorts of challenges of the remote onboarding process such as not being able to shadow colleagues or learn by observing. Still, during my first year (and a half), I was able to learn a lot. I like to describe my learnings and takeaways as jigsaw puzzle pieces and there are quite a few puzzle pieces I was able to collect. They might not all make sense in the first place, but I know they will eventually. The learning never stops.
You know what they say about cyber security…
Cyber security is like underwear: don’t let people see it, change it often and don’t share with strangers.
Perhaps an unheard-of joke, but a very common one amongst cyber security professionals and it has been creeping its way into how a company approaches its security. The four words that should describe an organisations cyber defences; ‘efficient, evolving, integrated and necessary.’ There is no shortage of providers advertising that this is what they can supply and companies’ now holding their hands up admitting it is what they need. However, what a company wants, and needs are two very different things, and it is the difference between a multi-million budget spend or some minor but effective internal changes.
The thirst for new technology is making organisations even more complex, and at the current rate it is progressing, there is a lot of opinion on the necessity for trendy technology and what will create the perfect formula to ‘streamline, accelerate and strengthen.’
Day 1: Social Housing Annual Conference 2020 and HOMES UK - "A virtual day of inspiration"
Having attended several Social Housing Annual Conferences in my 15 years working in the sector both in Harrogate and in Manchester, this years conference was always going to be different.
Getting up this morning and not having to travel was different and then the thought of not being able to catch up and have a coffee and a chat with ex colleagues and friends was always going to be a little different.
I need not have worried as Day 1 once again re-affirmed my love for the sector, its people and how Social Housing is making a huge difference to the lives of people across the country.
Part 2: Failing spectacularly makes for rapid learning
So, what do I know about failing spectacularly and it as the salve for our species, not just in business but in life generally?… A fair bit is the answer. Only through failing (spectacularly) is a muscle then built to BE better, to DO better and to COME BACK stronger… Whilst many of us have had a rough and jading year, I am always also mindful of those who are less fortunate. Those for whom every day is like ‘365-COVID-19’ days, crammed into one 24hr battle. Endless trails and the wearying sighs of an exhausted, collective human spirit, hellbent on survival.
Part 1: Failing spectacularly makes for rapid learning
Having recently read about the new Oxford University vaccine, it was deeply encouraging to learn how Britain’s wealthiest academic institution accidentally stumbled across their solution. Yes, rather than it being a fundamental part, of a meticulously planned scientific test, the vaccine appears to have been discovered by error. Good ol’ classic human error!
Keeping it on the DL - Sysdoc Digital Learning Vlog with Special Guest #VLOG2
Our vlog officially has a name, 'Keeping it on the DL', well on digital learning that is! Sarah Vaughan and Spencer Holmes are back again for our second vlog this year with Matt Nightingale. The wonderful thing we are discovering about these vlogs is that they meander off into different topics and we soon realised the impact it all has on each other. Steering away from the typical Q&A set up, we want to have open discussions with our guest speakers so we can create a meaningful and thought provoking discussion.
Is a democratised leadership the ‘new normal’ in a Covid world?
March 2020 saw an enforced move to distributed working which for many organisations was a significant shift from normal operational ways of working. Whilst over the last few years we have seen organisations increasingly moving to more flexible working models for their staff, these policies have normally been developed by the HR function and, for some, have perhaps been seen as a necessity to comply with legislation rather than a genuine commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the richness that ensuring this type of flexibility can afford an organisation in terms of attraction, performance, innovation, improved customer service and staff retention. Though, arguably, the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda has gained more focus with the recent Black Lives Matter movement which has forced organisations to make some tough self-assessments in this space. What about part-time and flexible working? How many organisations had a significant number of men working part-time or members of staff working 100% remotely? Probably very few.
Celebrate Certification Day 2020: Sysdoc Graduate, Aimée Le Déaut-Griffin
As a fresh out of university graduate with a Business Studies and Information Management degree (team Loughborough!), I wasn’t quite sure the direction my career would take me. My time at university gave me an overview of everything from Finance to Marketing, including bits of IT and the more I attended Graduate Assessment Centres I realised just how vast the working world was. Sysdoc was just one of the organisations that I interviewed with but after meeting with CEO Clare Hill to chat about the role I jumped whole heartedly into the start of my career with Sysdoc. I recall feeling instantly part of the family, even during my interview, and found the core values of the company motivating. Equally, as a young woman, I found the idea of not one, but two female senior leaders to be inspiring.
Exclusive Digital Learning Vlog Chapter 1, 2 and 3: Developing future skills and mainstreaming innovation
We are proud to release the first of many exclusive digital learning vlogs that will be taking place each month with a specialised professional across multiple sectors, all with the intention of discussing digital learning in that space. This month we had the pleasure of speaking with Douglas Morrison, Director of Operations and Future Skills at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre. Our hosts, Spencer Holmes, Director at Totem Learning Ltd and Sarah Vaughan, Digital Learning Manager at Sysdoc.
The challenge and reward of change
The concept of change can evoke feelings of either fear or excitement. Standing still when the world around you moves forward can be just as dangerous as jumping in feet first without assessing where you are currently, and where you want to be. We have all been propelled into our future state, potentially 5-10 years earlier than anticipated. We have been largely successful and have surprised and impressed ourselves at what we can achieve when there is no other option.
The crucial element to any organisation; People & Culture Takeover
What is the 'Why' of your organisation? We have witnessed recently a vast number of examples as to what can happen when, in a time of great difficulty, company's get their culture wrong. Were they focusing on their 'Why' and more importantly the people? If you put People & Culture at the centre point of all that you do, you have the opportunity to create an atmosphere and arena for success that will far exceed other organisations in your sector. Robin Ridgley, Head of People and Culture, Helen Cooke and Jade Tipping, Senior Consultants, delve into this topic in our latest team takeover day.
Opening up ...
Wowsers - Today is a momentous day! No, not just because I’ve written something for you (which obvs was super fun). It is because what happens today. This day. A Tuesday. 24 hrs, like any other 24hrs in November. Can and will change history for generations to come.
The Power of Imagination
“Logic can take you from A to B Imagination will take you everywhere”
So this may be an urban myth but it turns out, Einstein wasn’t a genius. He was just really, really good at unleashing his creative side.
Imagination was a big buzzword when I was a kid (before we knew what “buzzword” meant, anyway)
However, since entering the world of work, it’s almost vanished from our vocabulary. That’s too bad because our imaginations can help us solve challenging business problems, innovate, and explore new possibilities and futures.
Chapter 3: Leaders wanted: calling all storytellers, raconteurs, and yarn spinners
So, now you know about the power of stories and storytelling to build a relationship to your audience, engage them, get their buy in and leave them with a message. A good storyteller may not be a leader, but good leader should absolutely be storytellers. In a business setting – good stories and how they are told can become part of the mythos and culture of an organisation.
Why does nobody read my beautiful process maps? Because they are bloody boring.
We all recognise and understand the value of clear and consistent documented processes. At the same time, we must also recognise as much as we put our blood, sweat and tears into their creation, they are not the most exciting or engaging things to read.
Too often it feels like the need to capture process documentation is more of a tick in the box exercise to satisfy the auditors than it is an imperative to ensure the business understand and is enabled to do their jobs in the right way.
Chapter 2: Disney doesn’t own everything by being bad at storytelling
Stories are powerful in themselves but how the story is performed magnifies an audience’s personal engagement with not just the material but the storyteller too – the art of storytelling.
'Look how far we have come!' Digital Learning Vlog with Dr Andy Clegg
Dr Andy Clegg, a member of the Academic Development Team at Portsmouth University, has been developing flexible learning since the early 90’s and all the principles he discovered then are now being implemented … the only difference being there is now more technology to back it up.
Happy Friday everyone ... or is it?
It's nearly the weekend and I’m certainly ready to switch off my laptop, from a week of staring at a computer and talking to faces on the screen. I'm ready for some relaxation, getting out when it's still daylight and maybe seeing some friends face to face (whilst it's still OK to do so!)
Exclusive Interview with Guy Sorrill and Don Elliott
Following on from our last interview with Don Elliott, Program Director at Elliott Business Solutions, renowned for his success in organisational transformation, programme sales, programme management, complex delivery, and a leader in program recovery, we had the pleasure of speaking with him again. Guy Sorrill our Director of Consulting at Sysdoc asked Don some fundamental and unanswered questions, including;
Chapter One: Once upon a time
Storytelling is how human beings share information about the world – we have told stories with our voices, gestures and pictures well before there was the written word or technology. It has existed since the literal dawn of man. The collective memory that we all tap into is the product of all the stories told within a community.
You can talk about mental health at work
Saturday 10 October 2020 marks World Mental Health Day. This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is 'mental health for all’.
At Sysdoc we know that it benefits all of us to talk about mental health, whether is chatting with your colleagues or taking time to reflect.
Sysdoc Wins Silver at Prestigious Brandon Hall Awards
Sysdoc and our client Fonterra are proud to announce that they have won the Silver Award for Best Learning Team at the 2020 Brandon Hall Group’s Human Capital Management Excellence Awards.
The win is a nice ‘cherry on top’ of a successful year thus far for this team and highlights our pride in being partners rather than suppliers, with brilliant people that deliver great results.
PRESS RELEASE - Sysdoc named in UK Top 30 Highest Performing Learning Providers
Sysdoc is delighted to announce being named in the Learning & Performance Institute’s (LPI) Top 30 Highest Performing Learning Providers for 2020.
Our Journey to Becoming a Certified Great Place to Work®
A marketing exercise? A tick box exercise? Or a commitment to measure and improve our Employee Value Proposition? This is the story about our commitment to being a great place to work, always.
How to inspire the best in your digital learning
A confronting thing about this pandemic is the impact it has had and is still having, on our day to day lives. With our comfort zones uprooted and lives overturned, most of us can relate to past lives on ‘hamster-wheels’ and being ‘adrenalin-fuelled’. Some of us potentially may even be starting to enjoy and settle into lockdown, appreciating the enforced slowing down of society as whole. What’s being unearthed during this time is an understanding of our own unique ability to tolerate chaos. Our individual capacity for coping with crisis is being tested, and our resilience when faced with collective distress is pushing us all forward.
7 Habits of Highly Effective Remote Learning Facilitators
Facilitating learning in a virtual environment can seem like a daunting or even impossible task, but we’ve been doing it forever and want to share our experience with you. We hope you benefit from this article and enjoy your first remote delivery.
7 Habits of Highly Effective Remote Learning Designers
Designing training for the virtual environment can feel overwhelming. So many platforms, so much content to get through, so little ability to be there 'in person'.
The good news is that we’ve been doing it forever and want to share our experience with you. We hope you benefit from this blog post and enjoy designing an awesome remote learning experience.
Austerity driving innovation: Solutions in a time of constraints
At Sysdoc, providing innovative learning solutions is our bread and butter. We operate in an agile manner, with a dynamic toolkit that draws on a spectrum of methodologies and models to ensure we consistently exceed the expectations of our clients. One such tool comes from the playbook of human-centred design: imposing constraints.
PRESS RELEASE: Sysdoc’s timely launch of Digital Learning Hub in Leeds
LONDON - 25th March 2020 - Sysdoc is delighted to be investing in digital learning, with the opening of a Digital Learning Hub in Leeds on Monday 30th March.
So, apparently we’re not going back to the office when this is over?
Well, at least not back to the way we lived and worked before the crisis. Most of those reading this will have seen the coverage of the recent YouGov survey showing that only 9% of those contacted wanted their lives to return to the way things had been before the Covid-19 outbreak. My immediate thoughts were ‘wow, that’s a huge swing’ and then on reflection I wondered if we should really be that surprised.
Preparing for a future that you genuinely can’t predict
If the current pandemic shows us anything, it’s that there’s always a chance of something coming from leftfield and catching us completely by surprise.
In this case, the global impact of this pandemic demands we think differently about how we interact and work, posing a threat to organisations large and small that need to adapt and adapt fast. Some of the largest companies in the world have had their business continuity plans exposed as the reality that less than a third of their workforces can concurrently work remotely has come to light. This has delayed decisions to invoke wholesale remote working and added to the anxiety and uncertainty of their employees.
So, when you do not know what the future holds, how do you make sure you are ready for the future?
Sarah de Carvalho - Leading positive change
This blog continues our series on how we are 'leading positive change', where we hear from the people and charities we have supported to share their story of our journey with them.
We focus on the impact of our work with the It's A Penalty Campaign. It's A Penalty is a non-profit organisation that harnesses the power of sport to prevent exploitation and human trafficking globally.
Avril McDonald - Leading positive change
Giving back to the communities in which a business works should be an important part of any company ethos. It is key to ours.
Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing with you some stories which are close to our heart. Stories of people who are leading positive change in the world.
The solutions that we deliver are centred on our values. The people and organisations that we will focus on are no different. They are socially conscious, entrepreneurial and using what they care about as a force for good.
This blog is the first in a series on how we are 'leading positive change', where we will hear from the people and charities we have supported to share their story of our journey with them.
Sysdoc Wins Gold, Bronze at Prestigious Brandon Hall Awards
Sysdoc/Fonterra and Sysdoc/WorkSafe have picked up two wins at the Brandon Hall Group’s 2019 Excellence Awards, which celebrate organisations that have successfully deployed programmes, strategies, systems and tools that achieve measurable results.
The two wins, one gold and one bronze, reaffirm Sysdoc’s niche role as a boutique business consultancy of relatively small stature but enormous clout.
The future of work? A time for change
Over the past few years the question of what the future of work will look like has become one of the hottest topics for organisations across the UK.
The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, offers unparalleled opportunities, but also significant challenges.
PRESS RELEASE: Sysdoc launch flagship product, the Gifts, Hospitalities and Conflicts Register
LONDON – 16th September 2019 – Today Sysdoc is excited to announce the launch of the flagship product in our digital range, the Sysdoc Gifts, Hospitalities and Conflicts Register (GHC); now available to purchase.
Built in-house by our Digital Experience team, the GHC is a fully-transparent tool which allows your teams to report gifts, hospitalities and conflicts with clarity and integrity, no matter what your size of business.
Designing the future of Sysdoc
How we enabled global collaboration and team work to rebrand from the inside-out, taking a human-centred approach to branding by putting our people and our clients first through the entire process.
What does ‘brand’ mean to you? For some it has become shorthand for a variety of static visual assets, like the logo, or look and feel. But to us, brand is more than what a company ‘looks like’.
An organisation’s brand lives in the minds of the people who engage with it. It’s how people talk about an organisation, and how they interact with it – a good brand increases both trust and loyalty.
How to improve your organisation's culture: The impact of unconscious biases in organisational culture
Did you know you are the culture creator?
It comes as no shock that many of us struggle to improve ‘Organisational Culture’ when, as an industry, we still cannot even come to an agreement on its definition. It is suggested that when viewed holistically, organisational culture:
is the rolling sum of what we do (or do not do) and whether those behaviours are rewarded and reinforced (monetary, recognition, advancement) or punished contains shared understandings and stories can be reflective of attitudes in the wider local, regional or national culture in which the organisation sits can vary within the company (based on its structure) is viewed by some as static, others as dynamic and continuous (Watkins, M., 2013)
Katherine Corich - An interview with WIL
Our Founder Katherine Corich was interviewed recently for the European Network for Women In Leadership, of which she is a board member. They discussed her career shift and what it takes to lead a successful transformation programme in the 21st century, as well as her extraordinary charity work in Brazil as Chairwoman of Happy Child International. Katherine also reiterated the importance of networks such as WIL Europe and shared with the group a lesson she recently learned through her millennial employees.
You can read the interview in full below.
Think your job won't be automated?
Jobs, careers and entire professions are under threat. Who knows the speed change will take place? The technologies that will disrupt our lives in 5-10 years’ time almost certainly haven’t been invented yet.
There are those who are cynical about these views. They say it’s all hype and things will move a lot slower. However, I would like to tell you the story of the runaway train – to show how entire industries are being disrupted as evidence for our case.
I first became aware of the extraordinary story of the runaway train reading the newspaper in Terminal 2 at Heathrow. The story happened in Australia and had gone global. When we reached our destination, the local South Australian press was full of it.
So, what's your future skills?
Fans of Yuval Noah Harari are spoilt for choice.
With three books in the charts (‘Sapiens,’ ‘Homo Deus’ and ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’), twelve million copies have been sold. The books have been translated into 45 languages. Harari is an Oxford PhD and lectures at the University of Jerusalem. He is recommended by Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Richard Branson.
We were thinking about his work when we addressed a group of university students recently. The students were about to graduate with vocational degrees. Normally they could expect to be practicing their professions for over 30 years.
But how long will these professions exist in their current form going forward?
Delivering for all our customers
The fundamental fabric of Sysdoc is delivering value and providing an excellent service to all our customers. We have 30 years of history, where we have consistently demonstrated a relentless commitment to achieving the highest possible outcomes for our clients. Sysdoc is proud that our customers are at the heart of everything we do, which is highlighted by our ongoing commitment to the MCA Consulting Excellence Scheme.
Whatever happened to my career plan?
When I left University, I joined the graduate scheme of a large bank. After further interviews and tests, I was given a place on the programme for the top stream of graduate trainees. I still remember the excitement I felt when the letter arrived confirming this.
Shortly after getting this news, I received another letter. I would be mentored by the deputy chief executive of the Bank (let’s call him Mr. Harris) and he wanted to see me at the Bank Head Office.
It’s time to adopt a growth mindset for future skills
In the midst of great global change, can we afford not to consider our personal development?
Today's newspapers, business journals and online content are all gripped by the pace of technological change, and rightly so. This change looks set to continue, driven by so-called 'frontier technologies' such as Big Data, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence1.
PRESS RELEASE: Guy Sorrill appointed to the Board of the MCA
London, UK - 29th March 2019 – Today, we are delighted to announce that Guy Sorrill has been appointed to the board of the UK Management Consultancies Association (MCA) representing the MCA SME Committee, which Guy has been Chairman of since November 2018.
This progression to the MCA Board reflects Guy’s twelve-year association with the MCA, and his commitment to both the SME Consulting industry and the wider UK consulting industry.
Why design thinking will change your business in 2019
Imagine getting in to the office and going the whole day without anything frustrating you. Where your experiences with internal systems, meetings and clients was so seamless that nothing remarkable happened, except space for you to deliver great, satisfying work.
Lucky you. Most people’s experiences are far from this ideal, but much can be done to move you and your organisation closer with a bit of design thinking.
Multi award-winning Sysdoc website
We are delighted to announce that the Sysdoc website has won four awards. These awards recognise the incredible design and technical talent that helped us transform our global brand. The project saw Sysdoc.com undergo a complete human-centred redesign from the ground up to place a greater focus on our case studies and thought leadership.
High Performing Teams - The Red Arrows
I have always had a keen interest in things that go fast, machines and technology, but when given the opportunity to spend a day with the Red Arrows, this wasn’t the first thing that sprung to mind!
Don’t get me wrong, the Hawk T1 planes did not disappoint, I was amazed by their simplicity in comparison to newer planes, and what the team were able to do with them.
As a Learning & Development professional, I was more excited to see what it really takes to be part of a High Performing Team.
My assistant logs onto SAP for me, so I don’t have to (I’m far too important)
Have you ever heard this statement from a leader in an organisation implementing SAP? I’ve heard it uttered many times when I’ve been involved in deploying SAP into an organisation. There is a perception amongst some leadership teams that SAP ‘happens’ without their involvement, but the reality is that their involvement, nay their visible and vocal support for, ownership of, and responsibility for an SAP programme is central to its success.
PRESS RELEASE: Sysdoc UK CEO elected to Central Government Council
Feb. 15, 2019 - LONDON, UK - We are delighted to confirm that Clare Hill, our UK CEO has been elected to the techUK Central Government Council (CGC). The 2019 CGC is formed of a diverse range of tech industry leaders who will champion the sector and drive an ambitious programme of activity with government.
Returning from a recent visit to a contact centre I am familiar with (a bank centre taking customer calls), I couldn’t help but reflect on the dramatic changes seen in the last 5 years. Turning the clock back agents would have been giving out balances, discussing account transactions and ordering statements. They would have been taking around 90 calls each per day with an average call time of 180 seconds.
How things have changed.
Why ‘the first rule of fight club’ doesn’t exist for designers at Sysdoc…
In the past, the curtains have always been firmly closed when trying to gaze through agency windows to understand how design teams work and collaborate on projects. A company’s creative processes remained a mystery and the unspoken rule that employees were not to share the ‘fight club’ secret rang true.
At Sysdoc we’ve pulled down the curtain rail, opened the windows and are actively sharing our approach with everyone we know and quite frankly, anybody who’s interested. We’ve been refining our ways of working for many years. Whilst we acknowledge our design process will continue to grow and develop organically, we’re confident that our tried and tested methodologies will continue to add great value to our clients.
Sysdoc on the Digital Marketplace
We're delighted to announce that we are on both the GCloud 10 and Management Consultancy Framework Two (Consultancy Two) frameworks to procure services for the government and public sector.
Our solutions were developed with an understanding that people are seeking ways of working in a simpler, smarter way. In an age of digital disruption, we are harnessing the power of technology to provide organisations with what they need to fully embrace the future of work.
Sysdoc supports the It's A Penalty Campaign
For several years, Sysdoc has been a key supporter of the It’s A Penalty Campaign, which this year returns to the Super Bowl as a charitable partner. The Campaign aims to raise awareness of child trafficking and exploitation, particularly around major sporting events. Ahead of the biggest game in American Football, which takes place this Sunday, we take a look back at the Campaign events from last year.
Sysdoc CEO awarded Outstanding Alumna of the Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Programme
Prestigious recognition from the Saïd Business School at Oxford University
Desiree Botica, Sysdoc CEO NZ/ AU has been awarded the Outstanding Alumna of the Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Programme (OAMLP) at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University.
The honour recognises Desiree’s exceptional performance as CEO of Sysdoc Australasia, by applying her learnings from the OAMLP into enduring practices. Desiree attended the course in October 2012 and was promoted to Sysdoc CEO in 2016. Since taking up the role, the company has delivered strong growth, in part, by Desiree challenging herself and her team to stretch themselves and deliver to agreed targets and timeframes.
PRESS RELEASE: Sysdoc Wins NZ Road Transport Forum Trucking Award
Sysdoc announced today that it has won the ‘Industry Innovation Award’ at the 2018 NZ Road Transport Industry Awards with the ‘Transport Contractor Induction’ module developed for the Fonterra Co‑operative.
The Road Transport Industry Awards Dinner was held at the Dunedin Town Hall where it recognised outstanding contributions to the transport industry.
The future of work: Sustainable business
Eco-conscious business and industry solutions could contribute upwards of USD 12 trillion worth of new market value and business opportunities globally by 2030.
This aligns with the Business and Sustainable Development Commission Report, Better Business, Better World (2017), which concluded that companies shifting to sustainable and environmental business models will be in the best position to fully embrace these opportunities. In addition, the next decade will be critical for businesses to place this key strategic focus on environmental challenges.
Why your employer brand matters
As a key method amongst the options for employee engagement, it's no surprise then that Employer Branding is a concept that is receiving more focus. How your company is perceived and presents itself, particularly in the digital landscape, can have an impact on your employees just as much as how the outside world perceives you.
GDPR - Why your people are the key to GDPR Compliance
From May 2018, the EU GDPR ruling mandates that every organisation takes appropriate care of personal data, and that systems and processes all operate in accordance with the new legislation. However, except for the ‘Processors’ and ‘Controllers’ of the data, the 88 page ruling document doesn’t mention anything regarding specific requirements for a typical employee.
GDPR – A matter of compliance, or trust?
The new General Data Protection Regulation that comes in to play in May is accompanied by some hefty punishments for non-compliance. For many companies, incurring a fine has been considered a risk worth taking up until now, especially where the cost of attaining compliance is known to be high. New maximum fines will certainly sway the way some companies think about and approach their data compliance, but with the compliance obstacle large and looming, is GDPR actually being viewed through the wrong lens?
How I learned to gameference
You've been asked to design a new solution, product, website, eLearning course or similar. You have many stakeholders to consult and not much time. Sound familiar? Oh, and the last 'brainstorming' sessions have been drab, poorly attended… and the subject area at hand? Well, let's say it's Master Data.
GDPR - Do you have a firm grip on your data landscape?
GDPR will come into force on the 25th of May 2018, and represents a comprehensive reform of existing data protection measures.
In loose terms this concerns only data that can be used to directly or indirectly identify a person, including names, photos, email addresses, bank details, and posts on social networking sites.
To ensure compliance with key concepts such as the right to erasure and subject access requests, organisations need to be prepared to perform a sizeable review of how personal data is collected, stored and used. This can be quite a tall order given many have such elaborate data environments.
PRESS RELEASE: Double Silver Awards for Sysdoc at Brandon Hall
LONDON, and AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Today, 12th September 2017, we are delighted to announce that Sysdoc has won two prestigious Brandon Hall awards, for projects with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Fonterra.
GDPR - Data, systems, processes and people
With new GDPR legislation in sight, the path to data protection compliance has just become a little steeper for most organisations. The pitfalls are also likely to be greater once the May milestone passes – with both heftier fines available to regulators, and a greater risk that mishandling data could end up damaging the trust your customers have in your products and brand.
What is driving the future of work?
We’re living during a time of extreme change. The way we work is changing and there is no doubt that the pace is quickening. When we meet our clients it is clear that the ‘future of work’ is high on their agendas; understanding how changes will impact their business and thinking about the way forward.
Fail to prepare and the changes could cause challenges ahead. However, for organisations and individuals who prepare for what is coming, there are exciting opportunities to take the lead.
So what’s driving the changes?
Clare Hill - View from the Top
Sysdoc's UK CEO Clare Hill was recently interviewed for the Management Consultancies Association View From The Top. Questions from Alan Leaman, MCA CEO, saw Clare discuss issues which are pertinent to UK consulting today. Clare covers topics such as Brexit, diversity and future ways of working in our digital-centric world; and the role that we can play in defining these issues as consultancies.
Sysdoc at the European Business Awards 2017
On Thursday, 4th May, the 10th annual European Business Awards were held in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik. The Awards were presented at the Grand Final, and this year, Sysdoc was an official partner of the ceremony. Attendees at this prestigious event included prominent business leaders and ambassadors from across the continent.
Board games’ golden age: Sociable, brilliant and no screens required (thank you)
In an age of connected devices and ‘enabling’ technology, humans have become increasingly distant from one another. This is no revelation, but does present both a challenging trend and a glaringly obvious opportunity for learning professionals.
Exclusive Vlog Part 1: Developing future skills and mainstreaming innovation
We are proud to release the first of many exclusive digital learning vlogs that will be taking place each month with a specialised professional across multiple sectors, all with the intention of discussing digital learning in that space. This month we had the pleasure of speaking with Douglas Morrison, Director of Operations and Future Skills at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre. Our hosts, Spencer Holmes, Director at Totem Learning Ltd and Sarah Vaughan, Digital Learning Manager at Sysdoc. Mainstreaming innovation in the construction industry is easier said than done. A lot of factors come into consideration when trying to modernise an industry that has been so far resistant to change. There is a huge opportunity for digital and tech solutions to be adopted, and the industry is starting to wake up to the potential that change can bring. For many companies, it is not a goal to completely change a business model, but more so to upskill and modify its current offerings and services. Ultimately, that means building scalable solutions and supporting the new demand in skillsets to embrace those solutions.