Our Thoughts

Check out our latest views and thoughts

Enabling the third sector to keep on giving

The not-for-profit sector has had to quickly adapt its practices during the pandemic. With a growing demand for charitable services, it’s important that organisations embrace continuous improvement, modernise their processes and use new technologies to achieve efficiencies.

Look to the future

In order to overcome COVID-19-related challenges to services and fundraising, organisations should consider adapting their operations in line with guidelines, for example, switching to virtual fundraising events. Charities should also consider a forward-looking culture of continuous improvement, focusing on sector pain points and consistent impactful changes to prepare for the future.

Three ingredients of effective change

When considering change on a small budget, the golden triangle’ model, consisting of people, processes and systems, can provide a roadmap for successful implementation. With help from external experts, charities can become more efficient and benefit from improved access to fundraising. However, for successful change to happen, people must buy into new processes and technology.

Remember that change is personal

By building on the lessons learned during the pandemic, not-for-profit organisations will be in a better position to embrace positive change. As part of this, leaders should remember that change affects everyone differently and ensure employees feel supported at every stage of the transformation process with consistent and honest communication.

An attitude of ongoing improvement

Charities must focus on continually improving in order to become more resilient and continue their crucial work. Although large-scale change may be the ultimate goal, through minor shifts in the right direction and by keeping people at the core, change will allow charities to support their communities for years to come.

Email Jack Considine for more information.

How to transform traditional training methods

Remote working looks to be the future, with many UK businesses planning to make it a core part of their company culture. However, this will create new challenges when it comes to upskilling employees, particularly for larger teams. So, how can leaders make the most of a switch to remote training?

1. Consider the benefits of a remote training approach

Remote training brings with it a number of benefits, including:

  • Being easier to manage and organise
  • Having the capacity to train more people at once
  • Eliminating the need for employees to travel to a particular location

These aspects also make it a more cost-effective choice for businesses, enabling them to bring their workforce up to speed on core skills and industry developments in one fell swoop.

Upskilling employees using remote working technology solutions also makes training sessions easier to navigate and absorb. This is especially true if they are recorded for people to access at any time.

2. Assess the IT infrastructure needed

The infrastructure required to support remote training will vary depending on company size. For example, although it is technically possible to carry out a remote training session with over 500 people, the IT infrastructure of both the business and individual employees may struggle.

Smaller companies may be able to rely on traditional broadband alone, whereas larger teams might need to invest in fibre internet to make the remote switch a success.

3. Support employees throughout

Every person differs regarding their skillset, understanding and resources. Therefore, businesses should consider this throughout any form of transformation to ensure that nobody is left behind.

Making sure that everyone is on board with any changes will make for a smoother transition to remote training methods. This can be achieved by training people in groups which cater to their unique requirements and gaining employee feedback to allow for the improvement of future training sessions.

Traditional training methods will always have a place in business. However it’s time for a more digital approach to take the stage. By providing the right tools and tailoring training around the workforce’s needs, companies can make upskilling a more efficient process than ever before.

For more information contact Ben Brown here

Versatility is in our DNA

Versatility is one of our core business values. Our team’s ability to to adapt to any problem means we always deliver for out clients, whatever the challenge.

Janet Smith, Programme Manager:

Versatility is important for Entec Si as it enables us to pivot towards the many differing requirements that a client may have for support, without needing to look elsewhere.”

Megan Evans, Project Manager:

“Versatility ensures we can best meet the needs of our clients and can approach situations from different angles if required. 

“I attribute much of my versatility to an 8 year career as a primary school teacher. Planning, project tracking, presenting, mapping processes, analysing data, producing reports and policies, comms creation and dissemination, minute taking and action chasing … all these were skills used in teaching that I have continued to develop since.”

Courtney Brooks, Business Analyst:

“Versatility is shown at Entec Si with every piece of work we do and with every client. Our blended team approach means working with client teams to complete the task at hand.”

Peter Marsden, Principal Consultant:

“Since Entec Si was established this value has been an integral part of our DNA. It is what we bring to the fore when faced with new and different challenges – our ability to adapt quickly to changing situations and demands – nothing phases the Entec consultant. Our ability to rapidly shift our thinking and approach, explore new ways of doing things and involve others in the process. 

“The very first Entec commission in 1996 was to put right a failing finance system implementation at Dublin University – three months later it was fully recovered.

“This would not have been achieved without applying a versatile approach to identify the issues, resolve them but through engaging with the various stakeholders IT, business and suppliers. Our versatility isn’t just about finding solutions but how we effectively facilitate and manage others to make things happen. The tougher the challenge the more ready we are!”

Shaun Richards, Project Coordinator:

Versatility – the ability to adapt and thrive. Just about sums up our year!”

Tamara Pleasant, Senior Business Analyst:

“We always demonstrate versatility in delivery, flexing our approach to suit the client and objectives. This year it’s stepped up – our staff and partners have gone above and beyond throughout the Covid-19 crisis.”

The meaning of integrity

Honesty and integrity are second nature for us. We believe it’s vital to treat our clients and ourselves with decency and fairness. That’s why integrity is one of our core values. Our team reflect on how they bring integrity into their work.

Charlotte Stanyer, Project Support:

I view integrity as being comprised of three key aspects: taking pride in your work, the ability to generate trust in others, and consistency. 

“I believe I show integrity in the way that I take a huge amount of pride in my work, whether it be something for Entec Si Consulting or Solutions, or work for a client. My work ethic is built upon a great sense of enthusiasm and a passion for success. I am always looking for ways to improve the work, the process or my own knowledge and skillset. I ensure work is completed and presented to a high standard, consistently and despite any external factors.

“I also demonstrate integrity by fostering strong rapports with colleagues and clients through regular engagement and realistic expectation-setting, delivering with high quality work. I work autonomously and drive progression to ensure work is complete as expected and this strengthens others’ trust in me and my abilities.”

Sue Johnson Gregory, Principal Consultant:

“To me, integrity is bringing the best you can be, to make any initiative or change happen.  It is having an innate sense of what a successful journey looks like – and pushing to go that extra mile to get there.  It is admitting when you got it wrong, and it is being human.  My amazing former colleague and friend, Zoe Eccleson, once said “We do the right thing”.  I truly believe doing the right thing is the best we can do.”

Pete Britten, Project Manager:

  • “Honesty: I’m always honest when things aren’t going well, and provide solutions rather than excuses
  • Leadership: I always try and lead teams by example, rather the do what I say but not as I do
  • Sympathetic: I think I am approachable as I am always sympathetic to people’s needs. I believe this is due to my integrity, but it also builds on it.
  • Standing by quality: I will always prioritise quality, even if it means going out of my way to move timelines, change budgets etc. to ensure clients/users get the best possible product”

Sarah Frost, Resource Manager:

“This is one of my favourite quotes and one I shared with Peter, Eman and Dave during my presentation for the role of Resource Manager in December of last year (seems a lifetime ago!).

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; its choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy, and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them” Brene Brown

“This is something I stand by, live by, each and every day. For me integrity is about being true to you, and who you are. Core values and beliefs are so important, but also being authentic. I am the same at work and home, I am always striving to me the best version of me, all of the time.” 

Jack Considine, Business Analyst:

“Even before joining, integrity was hard to say in words, but after a year at Entec it is clear that we all do the right thing at the right time, which describes this value perfectly.

“Whether internally or for our clients, I feel each member of the Entec family conducts themselves with integrity and it reflects not just in our delivery but most importantly in our relationships.

“Without integrity, we may be able to deliver, but we won’t be able to build lasting relationships, which I feel is at the core of this firm.”

Matt Garrett, Programme Manager:

“As much as possible I am open and honest with our clients. I try to keep them in the loop so they are always informed of any changes and rarely get surprised by project change or issues. It isn’t always my favourite thing to do but I have never been afraid to have the difficult conversation and put my cards on the table to discuss any issues that might arise.”

We’re all about commitment

Commitment sits at the very heart of everything we do. As a team, we always give 100% for both our clients and each other. Find what some of our team members feel about this key value.

Amarpreet Assi, Project Manager:

“Commitment to me means going above and beyond to help the client achieve their objective and getting stuck in at all stages regardless of your role within the project.

Julie Smith, Senior Consultant:

“This year has been one hell of a challenge for us all. The commitment and drive from the whole #entecfamily is extremely heartwarming. The commitment, energy, enthusiasm and willingness to just get on with the job in hand has been key to the success of this year.”

Peter Marsden, Principal Consultant:

“Commitment is always at the heart of our Entec Si way – whether it’s a small task you need to get done by 5pm or a major programme change we always own it, make it happen.

“It’s a value that shines through our behaviours and attitudes. There has never been a challenge like covid and it has asked for new levels of commitment, whether that be working more flexibly, longer hours to meet deadlines, being on furlough, at home with the kids around or simply feeling isolated from our colleagues. It has been about a collective survival and we each given commitment in our way to this.

“Balance is important with commitment – when you go the extra miles it takes its toll and you need to recover, take a breath and take time to reflect.

“Commitment often drives the new business – we get a reputation for getting stuff done and it sticks with repeat commissions and clients asking for named consultants. This is our way and we are proud of it!!!” 

Sarah Frost, Resource Manager:

“Over the past nine months the absolute commitment I have witnessed from our directors to ensure that as an organisation, and as a family we ‘survive and thrive’ through this pandemic has been inspirational. Our team have recognised and responded to this; we are fully committed to support them and do as much as we can do ensure we all come through this together.” 

Collaboration is the word

Our company values are critical to everything we do. One of these is collaboration. It’s a behaviour that’s at the core of our blended team approach, whether that’s working with clients, partners and associates or collaborating together. So we asked some of our team what collaboration means to them.

Eilis Garton-Marrows, Project Support:

“Two heads are better than one. For me, collaboration is about connecting with people in order to execute great ideas. This has also seen a positive impact on my learning and development!

Luke Taylor, Programme Manager:

Collaboration is at the core of what Entec Si does. We have built our success on the collective value and strengths that different individuals bring to situations and the ability to play people to their strengths and how we work together to get the job done (as Bob the Builder would say). As the common phrase goes we are greater than the sum of our parts.

Throughout the lockdown period, I believe that we’ve really been able to harness the power of remote working to collaborate more easily and it has enabled us to get insights from different individuals who may have been maxed. I have benefitted whilst developing the Business Development team, processes and systems from the ability to call on experts and work with others where I have gaps has allowed us to make swifter progress but also enabled my 

From a consultancy perspective, I think collaboration runs at the very heart of what we do. As consultants we aren’t expert in every field but what we are experts in is getting the right people, with the right experience and skillsets in to the right conversations to ensure that we all achieve the outcomes that we’re aiming for

Dave Fisher, Business Support Manager:

It has been truly fantastic to see how colleagues across the company have demonstrated the Entec Si core value of collaboration during the Coronavirus pandemic.  As Business Support Manager, focusing on internal operations within the company, everyone has ‘stepped up’ and worked together on key priorities.  Whether it was new systems, processes, internal projects – whatever has been needed, colleagues have made themselves readily available and have worked together positively, contributing their own individual skills, knowledge and strengths.  The positive impact for the company and my own work has been enormous.”

Eman Al-Hillawi, Principal Consultant:

“Collaboration is also about how we work with our associates and partners to make the business tick. Associates, including Ammba, Simon Barnard, Jayne Bacon, Mark Baxter and others have helped us deliver on so many different projects and programmes where we needed a blend of skills that are outside of our organisation. Furthermore, our partners such as MDP, Schofield & Associates, Pearl Comms, Jude Jennison, Alison Delaney, Clive Griffiths, Dean Williams, and others offer a level of support and challenge that keeps us on our toes and moves us forward as a growing and developing as an organisation. In our collaborative approach to partnerships and associates, we truly live and breathe our blended team approach.

Tim Powlson, Senior Business Consultant:

Within the Entec team, we collaborated extensively on creating the TOM slides.  A group inputted thinking and ideas, a smaller group pulled together the initial model, then a slightly different group working up the communication pack.  This then allowed another level of understanding and review before releasing it to the wider team for the whole company feedback and collaboration (which is now underway).

With our clients, Sue Johnson Gregory and I have been collaborating with Heart of England Mencap Exec team.  We have supported them to build and communicate their strategic thinking ready to share with their Senior Leadership Team while also collaborating with their IT and operational staff to build a more detailed picture of their technical landscape and challenges.

Collaboration may be enabled by technology but it is actually a collection of behaviours driven by a belief that we are greater than the sum of our parts. Whilst there may be individuals with great skills and ideas, we should recognise that, as a group with patience, the outcome is nearly always improved when worked on together.

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Contact us at info@entecsi.com