Andy’s a Jolly Good Fellow….

Well, what a month. It seems mad to think that just a few weeks ago we were sitting together, having ‘top bants’ in the office like normal. A lot has changed in the last month, but that hasn’t stopped us! We’ve all worked incredibly hard to get used to the new situation we find ourselves in – digital meetings, phone calls and lots of interim strategies for clients because of what’s going on. We’re doing everything we can to stand true to our values and ensure we care for our people and our clients in a supportive and strategic way.

This month among everything else that’s been going on, we’ve taken part in a resolve-strengthening resilience session with Sue Firth, revived some incredible case studies of our work with clients such as Vine House Farm, Hemisphere Freight Services and Juran, and began our journey working from home. As we’ve maintained ‘business as unusual’ as best we can, MVP very much remained on our monthly calendar. In fact, MVP is one of the most important parts of our company culture and is a big part of keeping morale high amongst the team, so it was never going anywhere! Let’s start off with some of the lovely nominations for March’s Most Valuable Player.

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“Now it’s customary at this point for me to make some fleeting comment about how crazily fast the month has gone, however, March 2020 was quite different and will be remembered for most of our lives as being a long and very challenging month. It is said that in the hardest times we grow the most and this month has shown this, with the entire team raising to the gauntlet of unprecedented history emerging all around us. With that said an early shoutout has to go to Andy, Sarah and James, as well as the Leadership and HoD team for working around the clock whilst having to make some of the toughest decisions of their careers to date this month. When it comes to making the very difficult call on selecting an MVP for the month of March, a special mention goes out to Bex for her constant dedication to her role and the team as well as her unwavering attention to detail, making sure every project she works on has the StrategiQ stamp of quality whilst working on what appears to be twenty projects at once sometimes. However, my MVP nomination for March goes to Tom Wake, not just for his constant efforts in both keeping the development team organised, on-point and motivated in these rough times but also for the extra effort put in behind the scenes to help get the new StrategiQ site match fit whilst everything else is going on around him. Top lad.”

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We thought January was long… 

“I wish I could nominate the whole marketing team this month but sadly not sure everyone can have the day off…realistically! So this month I nominate Adam, who has consistently been a source of support and champion of quality all month. There’s something to be said of someone who always hits a deadline, but that’s not what it’s always about – it’s Adam’s willingness to ask the right questions at the right time, and his ability to really dig deep into why a piece of content is necessary and who it is ultimately for that makes him stand out. It’s not just for me and on behalf of the clients I work with, but he’s so clearly dedicated to helping clients across the whole agency. Thank you, Adam, you deserve a duvet day :)”

“Kate has been a huge help, not just this month, but consistently since she started. She’s been so key in keeping client accounts where they need to be, always taking stuff on last minute when things change and she’s always an absolute joy to be around (or on a call to!). Her standards of work are super high and she’s been doing a bit of literally everything, always incredibly well. She’s been an absolutely invaluable member of the team, especially this month while things have been so turbulent! Thanks for your hard work, Kate J! :)”

“Please please please can this person be MVP this month. This person has consistently delivered AND gone above and beyond every month for god knows how long! She is not only delighting clients left, right and centre but she is an absolute dream to work with. No matter how busy, she is always willing to go the extra mile to help out a colleague even if it means she has to make up the time out of hours. The care and attention she puts into every task astonish me. I really don’t know what else Bex can do to add value. She is just bloody brilliant. An absolute dream!”

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“Emma has quite literally bent over backwards for her clients this month. Holding her nerve, looking for opportunities, and re-working strategies against daily changing needs. Her behaviour and attitude are what the StrategiQ values are really about. Well done and thank you, Emma!”

Tough times really do bring people together – no more so than when those people are as genuinely awesome as everyone we have here at StrategiQ. But there’s one person who has had to make some incredibly difficult decisions, keep a calm head and not let anyone down during these weird few months. He’s made tough business decisions, tough personal decisions and worked incredibly hard not just for his own family, but also for his StrategiQ family. That’s why, this month, we’ve crowned Andy as our Most Valuable Player. Without his tenacity, motivation, aspiration and intense care for those around him, we wouldn’t be the team of 40-something marketers still going strong that we are today. Here are some of his nominations…

“A time of crisis (no matter how large or small) can bring out the best and worst of us in all of us. As a nation, as a company and as individuals – we are navigating a new scenario for our generation without certainty or all of the answers to our questions. What I am certain of, however – is the strength of our collective leadership and resolve as a team throughout these past three weeks in particular. From the faint outset of a huge transformation in all of our lives and the business – one person has been clear, honest and consistent with our values.

Even before the government’s plans had been announced, our strategy as a company had been forged. We protect the team, we protect the business, we support our clients and we utilise any spare time ahead with training and process evolution.

Exceptional times call for exceptional measures and Andy deserves recognition this month (and a forced day off) – because he has been our most valued player. Supporting the process and knock-on effect over the past few weeks has been hard work for all of us – but for me personally it’s made that little bit easier as I’m fully aligned with all decisions. A huge well done to the entire team for March and thank you to our CEO Andy who has put the team and our values first at every step.”

“It’s not every day that you have a virus pandemic that takes over the globe, but when it happens you count your lucky stars that you have a leader like Andy. Making difficult decisions under pressure whilst considering not only the impact on the business and us as employees as well as clients, it’s not easy. Andy has kept everyone well informed, calm and reassured (in true Andy fashion) that he has a plan. All of the incredible team building and core values that you have instilled in us and the company has paid off, we are all in this together and will stand by you as our leader! Thanks for all you do for us Andy, we’ll come out of this stronger, braver and possibly a little bit crazier! I think if anyone deserves a day off it’s the big man himself!”

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“This month is like no other month I have ever experienced in my professional 22 years and that is saying something as I have been through a lot of crap! I can’t let this month go without nominating Andy. It takes someone with incredible leadership skills to guide a team through a situation such as this in his calm, open, honest, agile and proactive way. Andy doesn’t panic. He has a plan. He is ready to share that plan with his team, clients and suppliers alike. He has integrity. The respectful way he has treated the team, clients and suppliers shows he honestly believes we are all in this together. Andy was one of the first business leaders I know to realise that this dreadful situation we currently find ourselves in, should be used as a reset button. He very quickly recognised that the world post-COVID-19 is going to a very different place to the world pre-COVID-19 and this is actually the ideal time to review our purpose, values, clients and processes. Andy’s positivity is infectious. And it isn’t false, or put on. He genuinely believes we have an opportunity to come out of this stronger than before and he is constantly moulding the plan that will get us there. As well as leading, he supports, he councils. He knows what tone to use and when. Andy knows how to steer this ship in the current storm and I can’t imagine wanting anyone else as our captain right now.”

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

I don’t think there’s anything I can say to top that lot, to be honest, so here, have a ridiculous GIF of Andy in a dinosaur costume. Congrats Andy, and thank you for looking after us.

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Stay home and stay safe!