01234 240 678

Nominet - Future proofing a major IT business

Facing up to changing markets

One of the UK’s leading internet businesses, operating in a market about to undergo significant change, de-regulation and increasing competition, was facing uncertainty about their and the industry’s future. It was a time, more than ever, for the company’s employees to unite and look at ways they could prepare for the challenges ahead – to be ready, forward-looking and, most importantly, adaptable.

Navigating uncharted waters

The Red Thread Partnership worked with the company’s directors to plan and host a one-day conference which would kick start a programme of work to help their staff to think through the issues they faced, experience different ways of responding to challenges and behave differently to ensure success going forward. The key elements of the challenge of dealing with uncertainty were weaved into a sailing round-the-world themed day, looking at issues of preparation, predicting weather patterns, navigation and dealing with competition.

The theme inter-weaved through the conference in the following ways:

  • The Red Thread Partnership hired a large space over two floors that could be divided into the upper and lower decks of the boat and the quayside of a port. The upper deck of the 72’ Global Challenge replica yacht was the space for interactive keynote speeches and down below, in the hold, the space was divided into areas for the breakout sessions.
  • Two interactive sessions were held by members of one of the Global Challenge Round The World yacht race crews talking about their experiences of the challenges of the high seas and how to overcome them. Employees were encouraged to see how those challenges related to those facing the business. Speeches from the company’s Senior Management Team and Chair of the Board brought to life the issues the business was facing and their vision of the future in an uncertain world.
  • Four breakout sessions were held throughout the day –
    • Cargo – which attitudes and behaviours to keep and what to leave behind or adopt for the next leg of the journey? Boxes were labelled and stacked either on the ‘boat’ or left on the quayside
    • Climate – forecasting what might lie ahead for the company with teams recording a one minute ‘forecast’ using weather forecasting props and maps
    • Competing - teams matched up organisational strengths and weaknesses with future opportunity or threat scenarios and discussed their rationale for each
    • ‘Copter – a view from the Board as if hovering above the boat in a helicopter. Informal Q&A with the Board in the decked ‘yacht club’ area

Prepared for an uncertain landscape

“I thought today was a really good day and built on so many of the important areas we have agreed are essential for the future. I loved that it was focused on us being in the one boat and not internally competitive. It was an imaginative choice and delivered on all fronts. Beautifully organised and delivered. I would like to say thank you and your teams for a great day.” - Chair of the Board

As the event came to a close each delegate filled in a ‘Crew Book’ to take forward with them, containing notes from the day and tips from the Global Challenge team on dealing with future uncertainty. Professionally designed sails, featuring output from the event, were raised in the main lobby with pledge flags and photos from the event as a reminder of the key undertakings from the day. These prompts and others have subsequently helped the employees of this business to be truly prepared, and take an agile approach to navigating the challenges of their market.

Designed and powered by Nuwave iBusiness