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  • Dan Wakelin

Reflections on our project with Ninety One

2020 was challenging for so many of us, in different ways. As we emerge into a new year, we wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on some of the positives from last year. Not least the fantastic projects we were able to work on remotely, and the clients we’ve supported along the way.


One of the first change management projects that I became involved with when I joined HCG over two years ago was for Investec Asset Management as they were then, now known as Ninety One. I recently asked Tahera Hammond, Global Head of Workplace at Ninety One, what her reflections were now they’ve moved into their new home…


A project like no other. Two and a half years in the making, pouring every bit of experience, passion and vision I had not knowing back in 2018 when I started working with HCG that the world will do an about turn and flip everything on its head.


It started as you would expect – numbers of heads now and what it could possibly be in the future, how we worked, how we think we wanted to work, did we want to change, what do we love about our current space and what we will happily get rid of.


Changing physical space is a wonderful opportunity for something new and fresh, if it is so desired. For me, leading the project to relocate our head office undoubtedly is a career highlight where I have been able to bring to life our new brand and colour palette, our new name, technology and a plethora of work settings for our staff to choose from.


Having the right professional team was key from our workplace strategy partners to ensure what we created was right for us through to my operational FM team – I wanted everyone to share the success as well as work together on all the items that inevitably don’t go smoothly as we dealt with wobbles along the way.


I so wanted to give our staff a huge ‘wow’ with a big reveal late May 2020. Alas, this was not to be, and I continued to maintain excitement and anticipation with photos, newsletters and competitions.


My personal highlight is knowing that when staff do return to offices, they will be interacting with a space that has been created with their needs at the forefront of every decision, the attention that has gone into the detail and that when we asked how they wanted their office to be, we listened – Over 60% of staff completed our staff survey, which showed their engagement – why would we not listen.


Of course, it is a workplace I am so proud of. People and places connect – with this workplace, I know from our staff this will be an easy ask and they will be proud of it too.


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