For the last few months, we have been reshaping Spring to field, in the words of Ken Segal, “small groups of smart people”.
It’s allowing me to realise my vision of Spring as a true industry disruptor: a thing of extraordinary and unexpected brilliance, often popping up in equally extraordinary and unexpected places. Lead by the Ethos we introduced last year, it’s an exciting time and our clients are seeing the benefits in their results.
As part of this, I’ve been attempting to remap our organisational chart, away from the linear family tree style and into a more organic shape.
It’s far more of a challenge than I expected. Google ‘organisational charts’ and you’ll find even progressive brands still wielding the top down structure. Those brave businesses that have broken the mould and ventured into overlapping circles and jellybeans usually end up putting their CEO and Chair in the middle. It might feel egalitarian, but it isn’t – put them at the top or in the hub and you’re demonstrating their superiority.
This is a different world, and companies like Spring, who use creativity to solve problems and have to be on the front foot of networks and technology, are meritocracies. Whilst experience of decades might inform some of our strategy, digital natives – by definition, with lower career mileage – will be defining the channels and processes that bring it to life. The range of talents needed to deliver concepts are about people, not longevity, and are all of value.
Another challenge arises in approaching organisational mapping by customer experience. You can roughly break this down into three sections with Spring – pre-engagement (marketing, reputation building), commission (consultation, creative, campaigning) and business management (accounts and admin). But of course often these overlap, and so do people’s roles.
Hand in hand with this process, we’ve been redefining people’s job descriptions too. It recognises the fact that we’ve got a digital designer who is a weekend carpenter, a content creator who is a whizz with IT: in fact, every Springer is a Swiss Army Knife. One-size job descriptions no longer work and so we’ve broken that mould, too. We want to celebrate people’s capabilities and passions, not try to fit them all into the same box!
This is definitely a challenge of change that needs our own methodology applied – I’ll share the results when we get there.