You joined Node4 almost a year ago. What were your first impressions of the company and have they been borne out by experience?
From day one it was clear that Node4 was a company that was going places and I was impressed by the natural drive of the business and its employees. Since joining the team it has been a great experience working with people who are keen to improve the services and customer experience we offer. It’s an exciting time for the company, which has grown significantly with the acquisition of LETN and then Reconnix in 2014 and most recently Premier IT Networks. Node4 now employees 170 people, based at 6 locations across the UK, but has successfully managed to maintain its culture..
Tell us about your role heading up the “Best Practice & Innovation Group”
Following the acquisitions it was important to create a common ethos both internally and in terms of the customer experience we deliver. We have so much technical expertise and experience within our business now, as well as a nationwide presence, so we wanted to draw on this to ensure our customers benefit from the full breadth and depth of our offering. And of course we wanted our customers across the UK to enjoy a consistent experience of Node4. Each area of our business has developed key strengths over the years and the Best Practice & Innovation Group is focused on ensuring that our collective offering makes the most of these.
Sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit more?
The Node 4 “Best Practice & Innovation Group” meets every month. At each meeting we alternate a different member to represent our regions and departments ensuring that each and every employee has their airtime to present and discuss Innovations and Continuous Improvements
It’s great that every employee is part of the group and has a platform to shape the business through their experiences and ideas. We’re continuously analysing our performance, ensuring data is fed back into the “Best Practice & Innovation Group” which allows us to continuously improve each part of our business and service offerings.
Have you headed up similar initiatives before?
Prior to joining Node4 I worked as a Project Manager at Interserve Construction Services Ltd, where I was given the role as of business innovation champion, leading a team to develop and implement practical new products, processes and systems. Two of the projects we worked on were nominated for the ‘2011 Building Better Healthcare Award’ and we were successful in receiving the award for “Best use of efficiency saving” for the proactive maintenance scheme that we introduced.
Are there any innovation ‘secrets of success’ you would like to pass on?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that innovation isn’t necessarily about the latest shiny new thing! Most often, the real value is hidden in the business and can be found in the insights and experience of employees. Obviously, having a process and methodology is vital, but with that as a given in an organisation like Node4, innovation most often arises out of listening to the experience of the people who work with our customers every day. Of course, listening to the feedback of the customers who they interact with is equally important. Our CEO Andy Gilbert is a great champion of the customer and our whole business is built around their needs.
Finally, tell us something about yourself that will surprise your colleagues
I was part of the Team to deliver the largest Clinical Trails Centre in Europe at the Christies Hospital in Manchester. Part of this project and through the Best Practice & Innovation Group I developed a bespoke fully automated solution for the patients bedrooms which facilitated touch screen controlled automation for Heating/Lighting/Nurse Call/TV/Automated Aquarium/Window blinds/Music/Skype and so much more. This was the first solution of its kind in the UK and amazes patients every time they use it.
I also attended the London Triathlon in 2010 to raise money for the Christies Young Oncology Unit which has since been built. More recently, I ran the Men’s Health Survival Challenge to raise money for the Nottingham Cystic Fibrosis Unit in 2013 which has also now been built.