James Herbert, CEO of Foundry4, on the next steps as we become TPXimpact
Today we are proud to announce that Foundry4 will become TPXimpact, bringing together the skills, capabilities, knowledge, and culture of The Panoply to deliver impactful, sustainable, digital transformation at scale.
“When the facts change, I change my mind.” I’ve always thought this was an important quote to keep in the back of my mind. A warning, probably more important than ever in the identity based, polemic world that we find ourselves in, to always be open to changing your mind, seeing another perspective and having the courage to change course. The business equivalent might be “when circumstances change, I adapt my approach.”
Today is an exciting and important day for The Panoply, its group companies and of course Foundry4 as we adapt and iterate our strategy and approach to best meet the ambitious digital goals of our clients.
Achieving our goals
The original goal and model of The Panoply remains as relevant today as it was at its inception. We wanted to bring together the best specialists across all aspects of the digital transformation lifecycle – cloud, software, design, data and experience – so that our clients could access the best, focussed expertise combined with scale and breadth. This seemed like a gap that needed to be filled between vast, global but often generic and very expensive consultancies and SMEs that can either be single issue or unable to meet wider needs.
And it's worked. If you keep score by the numbers, then in three years we’ve created a profitable, listed £225 million business with a revenue approaching £80 million. We’ve acquired 13 companies and employ hundreds of talented specialists across the UK and Europe. Our client base has grown, and we’ve been involved in some of the most interesting and important projects - particularly those related to Covid. Our teams have been working diligently across the NHS, Central Government and in the not-for-profit sectors bringing the best of design, technology and data to bear on the many thorny challenges that have been thrown our way by the pandemic.
Tackling the important but hard
But the pandemic is a change of circumstances; it has thrown into sharp relief that being good at technology and all that it can enable cannot just be a project that happens somewhere over there in a transformation programme.
To thrive as we build back and to deal with future shocks we need brilliant public services and healthy, plural economies. In order to achieve this our institutions need to be good at all of this stuff. Of course, innovation matters, but in the digital sphere the next five years need to be a time of execution and deep reform. Digital transformation has spent a lot of time on the important and easy; we now need to grapple with the important and hard.
We need to ask for more. To do that all organisations need high performing, inclusive, multidisciplinary teams working within cultures and environments that support high levels of autonomy and accountability. I borrow here from Matt Jukes who says: “high performing teams are more than just the sum of the individual members' expertise.”
No single discipline can answer our clients' digital challenges and opportunities. In that context we realised we had a once in a career opportunity to bring together knowledgeable, passionate and highly capable experts into a new, unified 21st century company set up on modern lines to support our clients in their most important work. We can also use this opportunity to scale up the ground-breaking work The Panoply has already embraced on inclusion, purpose and sustainability. This is TPXimpact and it launches today.
I look forward to the next phase of this journey with Neal and Olly; it has already exceeded my expectations and we have gone so much further, so much faster than I thought possible at the start.
I will remain as CEO of Foundry4 as we make this transition carefully and flexibly, minimising disruption to our clients, partners and our own people. I look forward to being part of the future growth of TPXimpact and playing my own role in something that will be truly different and that I believe is desperately needed.
As always, see you on the other side.