So is it possible to achieve employee business awareness in a practical world and an extremely busy environment like an agency? Without having to run training courses?
Steven Clark, the Finance Director of branding and design agency Tayburn, implemented Synergist and discovered that it did indeed have an effect on their business culture.
How? Everybody can see exactly where their project is up to. They can see the implications of a missed deadline, or over-servicing, or a delay in getting client approval, and so on. Their project is suddenly seen not as an isolated piece of work but a contribution to the business itself. Steven says:
“It gives so much more knowledge to the account directors, for example. It’s increased the financial knowledge to non-finance staff tenfold.”
“We have a growth culture here. Before Synergist the drive for growth would mostly come from the top, but now it’s more a part of the culture across the company. It’s having the data to make better decisions that, in turn, help growth happen. We couldn’t have made such a shift without having the infrastructure in place.”
To so many people, doing a job can feel like being a tiny cog in some great wheel that is invisible and unfathomable. One solution is to use a project management system that makes it easy to plan for small teams.
Phil Robinson, Founder & CEO of search agency ClickThrough, told us:
“[Synergist] has helped us change our culture. [Our FD’s] job has become more strategic, and people are empowered to run their own departments like proper little companies now.”
Steven Clark says:
“We give transparency to our teams, so they have the information they need to manage jobs properly. Today, designers, art-workers and account managers are knowledge workers, even mini-entrepreneurs, for us. The days of them doing isolated tasks in the dark are over.”
Says Gary Winder,
“You have to encourage people to progress. When consultants become managers they sometimes don’t like to let go and delegate. That’s a constraint on growth. Synergist helps: The manager can delegate and see that everything’s reassuringly under control, and it helps them see their area as a business, making their priorities and decisions clearer.”
Phil Robinson said: “When young graduates join us and work on small clients, the data now lets them be strategic. They understand the money side of things right away.”
Says Steven Clark: “You could say that Synergist is a career development accelerator.”
Peter MQueen, Finance Director, Mediablaze said: "Compared with where we were a few years ago regarding commercial awareness, financial controls and processes, and maximising profit potential, we are in great shape. Synergist has played a key part in that from a project management perspective. The platform is central to everything we do. Without it, we wouldn't have had the level of success we've had."