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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.”

Meet the consultant… Tim Powlson

Describe what you do in a few sentences

Put simply, I help organisations to improve how they operate. This involves understanding the organisation’s end goal and then helping to tackle the obstacles standing in the way in order to deliver positive change.

How did you decide that business consultancy was for you?

You could say that I fell into it. I‘ve always been drawn to technology and started my career training people in how to use software, before moving on to implement IT systems for a software company.

I got my first taste of consultancy work when I started a role supporting the outsourced IT service at Birmingham City Council, where I was responsible for software quality assurance. This is where I first met Entec Si’s co-founders, Eman Al-Hillawi and Peter Marsden on the Library of Birmingham project. Five years on, I’ve come to realise that consultancy is the perfect fit for me. I love the variety of being involved in so many different, interesting projects and the buzz of working in such a fast-paced environment.

What are some of the tricks of the trade?

I think one of the most important tricks of the trade is always keeping the end goal in mind, regardless of the size or type of project you’re working on. When delivering a project, it’s really easy to get lost in the detail and become narrow-sighted, but remembering that there is a bigger objective is key. You need to keep popping up to scan the horizon every now and again – sort of like a meercat!

That being said, collaboration is also a vital skill. Digital tools such as SharePoint and Microsoft Teams have shone a spotlight on the importance of this during the pandemic. However, we must remember that collaboration is a behaviour not a platform.

The most challenging and best parts of your job?

The need to juggle multiple clients and projects is the hardest part of my role and is something that took me a while to get the hang of and remains a day-to-day challenge. On the other hand, this is also what makes my job so interesting.

While it might sound clichéd, the best part of my job are those ‘gold nugget’ moments when you’re able to deliver real value to a client, for example, I recently created an ICT dashboard for an organisation. It wasn’t hugely onerous but made a big difference to how they pictured their operation.

What makes Entec Si such a unique place to work?

It’s the culture and the people that set Entec Si apart. Everyone has been carefully selected, not just because they have the right skills to do the job, but because they fit into the Entec Si family. We are likeminded and believe that to succeed, we need to put people at the core of every decision we make.

This approach doesn’t stop with just our employees – we’re also careful about who we work with. From our clients to our partners in business, we all care about bringing our best to everything that we do.

What has been your top Entec Si experience to date?

My stand-out project has been working with Birmingham Airport, where we successfully implemented a project management office from scratch. The fact that it’s such a key part of their infrastructure today is a real source of pride for me.

As a Birmingham business, Entec Si also cares about giving back to the local community, so we get involved in a lot of charity projects. One of my favourite initiatives was helping to spruce up the garden of Birmingham charity, Thrive. Being able to bring about positive change for people with learning disabilities and ill health through gardening was a really rewarding experience.

What are your biggest passions in life?

It sounds a bit cheesy, but I’d have to say that my wife and children are my biggest passion in life and we’ve made some great memories from going on fun outdoor adventures. For example, I recently spent a day canoeing round the beautiful Devon coastline with them and I’d love to do more exploring as a family soon.

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.

Meet the consultant… Julie Smith

Why did you enter the world of business change?

Before joining Entec Si, I had a 29-year career in local government at Birmingham City Council, working my way up from an administrator to a principal planning manager. It was there that I met Eman, one of Entec Si’s founders, and I was quickly bitten by the project management bug!

Seeing projects develop through their lifecycle, from day one right through to project completion spurred me on to investigate a career in this area and I joined the Entec Si team in 2017.

Why do you love working at Entec Si?

Without a doubt, it’s the people that make Entec Si such a great place to work. I think it’s very rare to find a business that lives and breathes its values in the same way that Entec Si does. I love being part of the change process; every day brings new opportunities and there is no better feeling than achieving fantastic results.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

I have a dual position, which covers both business consultancy and project management. At its core, my role is all about people, and that’s where my real passion lies. In fact, nurturing talent has led me to develop Entec Si’s Academy Practice, which is now in its second year!

My role is extremely varied, so no two days are ever the same. I’m either delivering projects, networking, catching up with the team at our Alpha Works HQ, developing the Academy Practice or working from home (Entec Si offer brilliant flexible working benefits).

Delivering a successful project can often be quite high pressured, but I always try to make it as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved. During a system launch with East Northamptonshire Council, we prepared ‘survival kits’ filled with lots of treats to ensure that spirits remained high throughout the day. These little touches can make all the difference and allow me to get creative!

What’s the best thing about working at Entec Si?

Entec Si is really passionate about developing the business change professionals of the future, whether that be through the Academy Practice, mentoring opportunities, apprenticeships or leadership workshops.

There aren’t many companies that invest in their people in the way that Entec Si does. For instance, the entire leadership team recently stepped out of their comfort zone to complete a leadership with horses workshop! Surprisingly, whether your aim is to successfully lead a team or a horse, the required values of encouragement, teamwork, trust, honesty, and respect remain the same.

What’s your top advice for the change managers of the future?

Working in the world of business change consultancy requires organisation, expert communication skills and bags of energy. In my opinion, skills can always be learnt but it’s the passion that people bring to the role that really sets them apart from the competition and will set them up for a successful career.

Tell us something that we might not know about you?

I love to travel whenever possible, and approach holiday planning with the same vigor that I approach a project at work! A very generous break between Christmas and the new year gave us the opportunity to jet off to the Algarve last December and there are plenty of other places I’d love to visit when possible.

Best moment at Entec Si to date?

While there have been many fantastic moments, it would have to be the successful delivery of my first project with East Northamptonshire Council – it was a brilliant result for a lovely group of people. We already have a strong pipeline of projects in place for 2021, so I’m looking forward to many more great times to come!

Top tips for getting the WiFi coverage you need

Wherever we are we want internet access. All the various handheld gadgets, phones and tablets want a network connection, plus, as more devices are internet enabled the need for a fast-reliable connection is becoming essential to organisational operations. There is no point rolling out an amazing ICT solution if workers are unable to connect to it.

We have managed numerous, large scale WiFi implementations in essential locations such as hospitals and airports. These tips boil down our experience…

1. Requirements

WiFi requirements icon
Understanding your requirements is critical.  Talk to those people who will be using the WiFi. Where is it most important, where is it less important?  Is it public, partner or secure?  What is the current demand and is this likely to change in the future?

2. Survey

WiFi Survey Logo
Do a survey.  Where are your black-spots and your sweet-spots.

3. Design

WiFi design icon
Design your new solution.  Where should access points be positioned and what infrastructure do you need to support them.

4. Engineers

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Assemble the team you need to deploy the solution.  You’ll need infrastructure engineers, access point engineers, coordinators, health and safety people, CDM is important… your plan will tell you the requirements.

5. Backbone

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Deploy your solution: make sure the network backbone will handle the solution.  What cabling is need to reach access points, are new switches needed?  No point have lots of shiny access points without the network to carry the signal.

6. Access points

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Deploy your solution: get the access points fitted.  Remember you may need to adjust your design as you fit.  Be ready with options and strategies to adjust the design where the practicalities demand it.

7. Testing

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Testing, testing, testing – after deployment re-survey, real life has a way of getting in the way of perfect designs.

8. Communications

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Let people know what you are doing, what you have done and listen to their feedback.  Communication; full-on two-way communication is all important.

Email us if you would like to talk about your WiFi implementation.

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