It wouldn’t be right to celebrate ten years of DFC without recognising the wonderful team that has built it and keeps it alive.
The ‘team’ has always been crucial, even when there was just two of us. We talked every day, checked that we were pointed in the right direction, that our work was being done right and that we were busy enough. But we also made sure to check that we were not too busy, that the workload was shared fairly, that we were ok personally as well as professionally and we felt able to do those things we wanted to do, rather than just the things we needed to do. And yes, we needed to make sure we had time for fun too.
In these early years, the idea of ‘team’ was actually more like a marriage. It was family. The success of DFC relied upon us checking ourselves and checking each other against those important factors, not just for Quality Assurance.
When the opportunity came to grow, we knew things would need to change (we certainly had to drop the ‘marriage’ tag!). But we knew we wanted to keep that same early team ethic. We were keen to grow with the right people, people that would be comfortable with the openness, honesty and responsibility needed to keep us and themselves, i.e. ‘the team’, in check.
We were fortunate to initially grow by recruiting people we already knew and trusted (at times accused of ‘getting the band back together’). This meant initial growth was slow, but it was also purposeful. Each new member of the team had ability to bring something special, to push DFC forward individually but also care about the team ethic we hold dear.
Nick summed this up beautifully recently…an unexpected but insightful answer to the request for ‘one word to describe DFC’
DFC has continued to grow, we have spread our net far, bringing special people from different universities, different countries and different disciplines. With such wide ranging recruitment, it can be challenging to maintain a clear team ethic; but because we have continued to be careful and select the ‘right people’ the challenge is rarely one of ‘trying to keep the team happy’…our team take on that responsibility for each other, with only a rare nod or nudge from us directors.
We now have a young, hungry and diverse team that bring many different skills, bundles of potential and a desire to take responsibility for the success of DFC. This means that we can challenge them to help develop our recruitment strategy, technical capability, product delivery, innovations, research, training, business development, finance. The team take on these challenges daily and with vigour.
That vigour has been crucial during 2020, where we have essentially expanded from 3 offices to 29 offices…a huge challenge for all of our team in a variety of ways.
If there is only one important thing to celebrate this year, it is the success of our team spirit. I couldn’t be prouder of each of them for keeping that spirit up!
So is this all a romantic notion of ‘team’ from a director wearing rose-tinted glasses? Well there is really only one way to check myself…ask the team! ‘One word to sum up DFC…’ here’s the results:
Selfies of (some of) our team!
- Posted by Iain Macfarlane
- On 20th November 2020