More than the sum of the parts???

I thought that I would take this opportunity to share a particular moment which made me take a step back and think about how we handle our future large housing projects.

I have recently been appointed to the new Board of Directors at Trewin and we have started to make some simple but positive changes. The main one for the Affordable Housing side of the practice has been to assemble a dedicated group of individuals to work on these schemes and have us all together in one office.

Over the last few months we have had a large volume of work, for a variety of clients, all of it with very strict deadlines to meet. Traditionally, our approach has been  ‘one project/one person’  however, we realised that this approach with one particular project was actually proving ineffective and unfair on the individual working on it due to the workload. The team talked it through and decided that they should all get involved and work on it together.  Almost immediately the room was filled with a ‘Dunkirk-type’ spirit.

We learned a number of simple, but very positives things from this, such as:

  • multiple sets of eyes on a project act as a continuous self checking procedure, so we reduce the possibilities of occasional errors
  • when more than one person has an understanding of the project it means that there is always someone available who can speak knowledgably with the client
  • and the main thing – I saw people communicating, pulling together, motivated and excited in a way they haven’t really been for a while, boosting creativity and performance

Perhaps this is some of the added value to a project that is not always seen?  I’m not saying that I felt quite like Ben Ainslie, but when he said the other evening that winning as part of a team was more of a buzz than winning a solo gold at the Olympics, I think I can understand.

Now I am contemplating – how can we communicate the level of team commitment and enthusiasm to our clients?


Written by Matt Payne


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