I had the privilege of joining the Digital team at Methods in July as a Transformation Manager. I’ve never started a job in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, but if I was going to do it again, I would want it to be at Methods. My onboarding experience was gold standard. I felt like my hand was held throughout the process, right from accepting the offer through to my first few weeks. Both Methods’ leadership and colleagues in my team have been incredibly warm and welcoming across the board, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know the many talented people from across the business.
The Transformation Manager role is varied and covers a huge amount of the consultancy work we do at Methods, so I didn’t see a specific job description before I joined, and haven’t seen one still! Instead I’ve been fortunate enough to help shape my role, just as a colleague suggested I might do when she introduced me to the company. So here I am, 100 days in, as a Design Strategist, which has meant I am now fulfilling a role that feels like it genuinely fits me.
Having spent the last few years seeking projects that will enable me to feed my passion for the soft side of organisation design (culture, ways of working and leadership advisory), I feel very lucky that Methods has given me the opportunity to lead on this type of work. My managers in particular have consistently championed my skill set and interests, despite me being an outlier in the Digital team.
I didn’t roll onto a project straight away, which gave me the opportunity to get my feet under the desk and get to grips with the ways of working and culture. Methods takes an Agile approach to delivery, which is something I was used to, we work closely with clients, developing trust and a deep understanding of the challenge they are experiencing before we dive in to solve it. The culture I experienced joining the Digital team was one of generous support, truly human centred, kind leadership, and an open and accepting environment. I have felt supported throughout this stretch of remote working, and despite still only meeting a very small handful of colleagues in person, I have managed to forge strong relationships with many of the 250 person strong Methods group.
I have used my bench time over the last few months to better understand where we are at with diversity and inclusion in Digital, something that I have long been passionate about. I have championed some incremental changes, including getting salary bands on our job adverts, asking a D&I question in interviews to understand a candidate’s approach to this area, and securing funding and support for ten of the team to take a UAL short course on inclusive design. This is testament to Methods’ culture that a new team member is able to effect change so quickly, even if it’s initially just around the edges.
I have also been busy working with the marketing team, to freshen up our decks, so that the team have some sharp, snazzy decks to use with clients and at events. I’ve set up a ‘Culture Club’ community of practice with a few colleagues, to get under the skin of our own culture and translate our expertise and experience into an offering that we can bring to clients. A colleague and I have also set up another COP on ‘Systems Thinking’ to share what she is learning from her Master’s degree with a wider cohort, learning tools and techniques we can apply to our project work. I have also managed to squeeze in some time to contribute to a number of bids, including leading two larger responses more recently.
Looking ahead to the next 100 days and far beyond that, I am eager to demonstrate why soft org design, and in particular being purposeful about culture, is so important for our public sector clients. I am already working on a large project that has enabled me to showcase some of this potential value, and I am keen to continue thinking about Methods’ culture internally. I suspect the next 100 days will be far more client focused, but I have ambitions to establish a women in digital group at Methods, similar to Ceres Collective, designed to provide a safe space for women and nonbinary people to champion each other – something that is incredibly important given how male dominated the digital and design world continues to be. I have found the culture here to be empowering and refreshing, and feel lucky to have found a place at Methods that fits me so well. I feel incredibly grateful to be working amongst such talented people who really care about digital transformation in the public sector.
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