Looking back . . .
The last three years have been quite a journey for MSC Digital.
Like any other SME, the COVID pandemic turned our world upside down and we had to adapt quickly to become a remote-first organisation without it impacting the work we were doing for our clients, or the growth plans we had for the company.
Fortunately, having spent the previous eight years designing and building cloud-first digital and technology environments for central government departments, we had built our own company that way from day one so could adapt quite readily.
As it turned out, in December 2021 we were ranked at #32 in the Tussell Tech/Tech UK list of the 200 fastest growing technology companies in the UK public sector with 471% growth!
As a company formed exclusively to assist the UK public sector, we were naturally thrilled.
Our passion for delivering real change in the public sector through digital and technology transformation played a large part in that growth. Our government clients trust us and our reputation in the public sector is everything to us.
We won more contracts and expanded the work we were doing with existing clients. Admittedly, our growth was largely unplanned and organic, but it had sustained us, and we weren’t complaining.
But like many start-ups who experience rapid growth, we had been living day-to-day, month-to-month, keeping busy ‘doing the do’.
The net result was that our overall direction had become blurred, and it felt like we were drifting a bit. Doing well but without any really clear direction.
Looking forwards . . .
After a number of sleepless nights and wakeful moments, I realised we needed to press the pause button to really think about our purpose, the sort of business we want to be, who we want to work with and the sort of relationships and engagements we want to pursue.
Beginning with a two-day workshop in Autumn 2022 – and with some invaluable external help and support – myself and some of our senior consultants began reflecting on why we founded the company in the first place and discuss our ambitions and the sort of organisation we wanted to grow into – and, really importantly, who we want to work with (and who we don’t).
We knew we still wanted to be a purpose-driven business, for example, and to differentiate ourselves completely from other, larger consultancies. So, we worked on articulating the sort of contribution we want to make to the world and the impact we want to have.
We explored the sort of personality we have and therefore want the business to have, how we wanted people to see us and think of us, and we worked hard at defining the value we bring to the organisations we work with.
We considered the commercial implications of all this: how do we focus and develop our services; how we can grow sustainably and ensure we can reinvest in the business and our people and deliver on our desire to contribute more broadly.
We also identified the barriers or challenges we’d need to address along the way. It was really inspiring stuff and felt great to take a moment to reflect and look at future possibilities.
As a result, we were able to clearly identify our purpose (“our why), how we intended to work with people (“our how”), and a crisp, clear way of describing what we do for our clients (“our what”).
Finally, we drafted our manifesto, by which we will judge ourselves and expect others to judge us in all that we do. Here it is:
Public services matter.
They knit together our entire social fabric: how we are not just served but protected; kept well; educated. They drive our prosperity, nurture our culture and protect and look after us at our most vulnerable.
And we know first-hand the challenges for those who deliver them, who are increasingly working to do more with less, often round-the-clock and without what they need to do the best job.
So we are 100% here for public services and public servants – we always have been. It’s where we come from and where our heart still is.
In upcoming blog posts I will share how we developed our vision, broadened our scope and began to shape the future of our company and the services we offer to the public sector.
It’s exciting stuff. I hope you’ll stay tuned.