Welcome to our regular profile about who's who in internal comms.
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Time with company
Connect with Simon
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
To do it all again... 🙂
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
It's actually a bit of advice I gave myself in my 20s... I used to imagine being at a dinner party when I was retired and being asked, "What did you do?" That's always driven me - to make sure I can answer that question with a sense of pride.
What's the secret to a good life?
There's no such thing as a work / life balance - there's just life...so enjoy!
If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
To make people smile.
What's the one thing not many people know about you?
I was first published at the age of eight in an excellent book called Dear Santa.
Tell us a bit about your role:
As one of the co-founders of Gatehouse, my role is extremely varied, exciting, dull, amazing! Over the years, especially when we were a start-up, I would literally do everything from IT and facilities management to leading new and creative client programmes. Nowadays, and particularly since Gatehouse was acquired by Gallagher, my role is much less about the operational side of things, but much more about shaping client programmes, developing thought leadership and driving Gatehouse towards our goal of being the World's Leading Internal Communication Consultancy.
What’s on your internal comms agenda right now?
The main IC thing that keeps me awake is making sure we are effective at our own internal comms! It's the typical 'cobblers shoes' situation - where all our time is spent focusing on ensuring our clients have the absolutely best IC solutions, but spending much less time focused on our own and ensuring we are regularly engaging with our internal teams. Outside of that, IC is a pretty amazing industry to be in right now. With so much change in the world, we have a huge job to do, but that's against a backdrop of fundamentally shifting technology and channel capability. Comms practitioners need to be much more connected to the industry than ever before - so keeping up-to-date with trends is critical (quick plug for the Gatehouse State of the Sector report!).
What has had the biggest impact on internal comms in your organisation in the past year?
Without doubt, being acquired by a 27,000 people US-led global business has had a significant impact. The challenges as we integrate coupled with the untapped opportunity is huge...
What’s your proudest achievement or best day in your current role?
Proudest achievement is simply co-creating one of the industry's most important and influential internal communication consultancies in Gatehouse!
How would you advise someone considering a career in internal comms?
Do it! This is a great time to be part of this ever-changing industry and never have people needed to develop strong connections and engagements with their organisation. Leaders need to listen much more closely to their people than they ever have before, and likewise, the entire organisation needs to come together and collectively support the roadmap of the business. And the IC team will play an increasingly important role in facilitating and enabling all this to happen!
What do you think the top three trends in internal communication will be in the next year?
In the UK Brexit is playing a particularly interesting role as many organisations simply do not have a clear direction and long-term plan in place - meaning communications are challenging. But the easiest way to answer this question is to check out our State of the Sector report - as all of this is in there (plug number 2!!).