All Change


TheStartUpStory_29

Apologies to the avid fans, I know it’s been a week or two. I’ve been busy, and in a good way!

I’ve now been in my placement with TalkTalk for coming up to 6 weeks and recently it’s been all about change!

As of last week I was approached by my line manager and informed of an opportunity to move me to work in the Group Change team. The idea being that I’ll help deliver some of the change and transformation projects currently rolling out and moving within the business. This is a great opportunity and I was very happy to be asked to do this. Following that discussion, I moved across and up a floor and joined the small but highly effective Change team. I’m now working closely with a number of senior managers and the director of group change. Their day to day work involves the programme management and coordination of multiple cross functional workstreams, trying to tie different teams together and get everyone reading from the same page and moving the business in the right direction as a collective.

Now this kind of work maybe isn’t so obviously applicable to your average start-up, which might comprise only a handful of dedicated staff and arguably doesn’t require a dedicated governance or change management team. However, such an arrangement is vital to the successful running of larger companies who comprise multiple large teams, full of different people with expertise segmented and spread about the place. It’s also fantastic experience for me, since not only do I get to see and assist in managing change in a large business, but I also gain experience and softer skills in general people management, time and programme management, risk and reporting; all of which are invaluable to any business, large or small.

Rather interestingly, this new line of work which I’m now involved in, ties in rather nicely to a book I’ve been reading about everyone’s favourite social website. While in France during the summer and browsing Amazon, I came across the book “The Facebook Effect”, written by David Kirkpatrick, bought it and started reading. Now I’m not a very fast reader and I know even I should have finished this book by now, but I’ve been busy and quite enjoyed just reading snippets of the book in passing. The book isn’t all about ‘Oh my God, Facebook is massive, it’s awesome and it’s worth $X Billion Dollars’ – but more about the business function, structure and work going on behind closed doors at Facebook. The book documents the fund raising that went before Facebook’s IPO, and the really interesting and key people acquisitions Mark Zuckerberg and his team made to bolster and structure their company to really make it fit for purpose and fit for the future. The whole book is as much about the success and phenomenon of Facebook and social media, as it is about change management and the serious tactical business changes and transformations that have gone on behind the scenes. It’s been a great read so far, and really has helped improve and broaden my understanding of just what the challenges and implications are surrounding change and people management within a large organisation.

Sam