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Meet S&S - with Jacob Perring

By S&S 23/10/2018

 

Jacob Perring, Strategy & Architecture Teams Partner

Tell us about your journey to S&S?

My experience prior to joining was working the Interim IT Strategy and Architecture market. Pat (Lynes) reached out to talk about an interesting concept he’d launched, this peaked my interest and I met him for a coffee. The rest is history.

The moment of realisation for me was Nine months later, sitting in our client workshop room at S&S HQ, co-creating the design of a 12-month transformation team with the client and one our Transformation Partners. For me, this is the sort of partnership I was looking for with clients. Really getting into the detail of organisational culture, the problems associated with technical debt and introducing new ways of thinking and working.

One of the best parts for me about working here is that we’re all striving toward making S&S a renowned and trusted client partner. This growing confidence in our model is what is driving us from being just an idea a few years ago to now a viable alternative to management consultancies and traditional recruitment models.

For me personally, it’s great to be involved at this level and not sat behind a preferred supplier list.

 

What has been your highlight since joining in February?

It has to be our most recent Future Business Summit. Following the success of our debut event in June, we were keen to build on that success of our second summit, unpacking the transformation every company needs to go through.

The spirit of the event was bringing in experts from around the globe, sharing their experiences and stories of successful enterprise-wide transformation, whilst also introducing new ideas.  We did this alongside the 150 Senior Execs and Change Leaders who joined us on the day.

What was truly validating about the whole process was the culmination of the hard work the S&S team put in to make it a success.

It was a proud moment for us all.

 

You head up the Strategy and Architecture practice here at S&S. Tell us about your Strategy Gigs group.

Strategy Gigs is an executive networking community that includes around 100 members, offering both an online and offline experience. They are a collective mix of IT Strategy, Architecture and Innovation experts, as well as top-end CxOs across a range of industries.

The group is used as an advisory and discussion hub for formal and informal conversation topics. These can range from culture change to technology trends and market investments.

It gives members exclusive access to insider knowledge that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them. It’s an informal dip in/dip out experience where people speak freely and exchange the personal challenges they’ve encountered during transformation.

 

What have been some of the most recent trends from the group?

I’ve seen three major recurring themes recently:

  1. Company fatigue with the overused word ‘transformation’. The reality is that organisations should have an iterative approach to change, creating a culture of continuous improvement and learning. The current mindset leaves organisations lurching from one transformation to another, implying that it’s temporary in nature.
     
  2. A lot of people are approaching me about going Interim or looking at a variety of portfolio/gig-based engagements. People’s preferences are changing and they now want a different relationship with their career.
     
  3. I’ve also noticed a rise in senior leaders and Interims engaging online, so helping those individuals to be brave about sharing their knowledge and experiences with others, has become a much more common conversation in recent times.
     

How has the media landscape changed for an exec over the last few years?

Disruption has become centre stage for the mainstream press. Who better to call for insight, than a CxO who has spent the last 20 years working at the coalface of change and innovation?

If you are to look at SME-led publications like CIO Magazine or Harvard Business Review, the modern day boardroom can now harness these publications as a platform for discussing trends and findings, then widely distribute their learnings. From an individual perspective, this is also great for personal branding and thought leadership.

The rise of social media has created an informal environment whereby individuals can share and exchange experiences and knowledge. To be able to express your views from an individual perspective rather than a company one is a great freedom and has subsequently opened up new channels of interaction that were previously left untapped.

 

How does the S&S model fit into this new transition in business?

Organisations are no longer seeing The Big Four as the only option. Instead, they can partner with a high impact, delivery-led SWAT team that removes the stress of costly management consultancies or traditional recruitment models.

With the stresses of transformation and disruption building within organisations, how do you find the time to fight fires whilst delivering the innovation? We’ve been deploying mission-based SWAT teams to help with this for many FTSE organisations over the past few years.
We work with businesses and deploy top-end SMEs to work with them on an advisory, short-term basis to inject talent. This talent comes in the form of purpose-led teams of Interims.

 

If you are keen to embark on an Interim/portfolio career, or would be interested in joining the Strategy Gigs Community, reach out to Jacob at jacob.perring@sullivanstanley.com

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