SoW from the perspective a project services company

The perfect storm created by advancements in technology and changing consumer habits.

Episode highlights

The value model and procurement's strategic role
The impact on of outcome-based work on the workforce
The need to think about the 'outcome' not the 'work'

Posted by: ZivioReading time: 100 minutes

With Steve Corbett, Director, James Harvard

00:00:00 - New thinking, approaches and models to resourcing work
00:10:50 - Outsourcing, outcomes, project services managed by SoW
00:21:00 - The value model and procurement's strategic role
00:29:20 - Management consultancy fatigue
00:41:00 - SoW at the core of project services
00:46:00 - The differences between contingent and statement of work
00:54:20 - How does outcome-based work affect people?
01:01:00 - The 'work' not the 'worker'
01:09:20 - Market predictions for the next 12 months


Jonny Dunning:   0:00     Excellent stuff. So we're underway. Welcome Steve Corbett. How are you doing? 

Steve Corbett:      0:05     Not too bad, Jonny. [Unclear 0:00:6] Thanks for inviting me. 

Jonny Dunning:   0:08     Pleasure to have you here. So Steve, you're a Director at James Harvard. And I'd like to come on to a bit of your background, but tell us a bit more about James Harvard a bit more about where you've kind of come from [unclear 0:00:19] a perspective in a [unclear 0:00:19]. And just before we do that, just to lay out what we're going to be talking about today, we're going to be looking at statement of work and outcome based work delivery, but with a specific lens, looking at it from this kind of project and consulting services perspective. I'm really looking forward to getting into this. There's loads of useful areas that we're going to cover. And I think it's a great angle to approach it from. But [unclear 0:00:43] want to get us started in, just kind of give us a little bit of a potted history as to where you come from and how you've got to this point in the industry?

Steve Corbett:      0:50     Yeah, definitely. No problem. So yeah, I think looking back on my LinkedIn profile, I think I've got about 20 years work experience now, which is a hell of a long time. In there, I suppose you'd call it the general resourcing recruitment. I think, I've started in the industry like everybody. I just kind of fell into recruitment. I managed to work for a fantastic organization. I was there for about 15 years. So help build that organization up from your traditional kind of recruitment resourcing model. Then we move through into the newer kind of products and services. So your MSP route, your RPO route, employee consultant model. We had an offshore software development business over Vietnam, that they were able to put on the portfolio as well. So I started against that professional services arena over that time. So I spent a good chunk of my career there. I did a kind of 18-month gig client side for a client who was going through a digital transformation. It seems that most of my career is centered around change in one guy's or another digital change, business change, call to change. So did a piece for a client there for 18 months who were going through a big digital change and transformation program themselves. I spent three years at one of the largest outsource companies as well. So really kind of started to look at the professional services model there and what was happening in the market, where we started to come across this word "statements of work" and what that meant and that kind of thing. And then an old colleague whom I started my career with gave me a call one day and said, "Look, we're building out this business, James Harvard. It's perfect for what you have been doing, [and] what you want to do. It's really around the statement of work, services consultancy model. Do you want coming over?" And I was more than happy to. So that's my quick background. And I think, to answer your question, or what we'll get to, I think, through all that and through all those years, as you've probably seen Jonny, there's been a natural change, natural rhythm, natural wave of new models, new thinking coming into the market, which is kind of stay aware of where I've gone.

Jonny Dunning:   3:08     Yeah, it's really interesting to see how things have changed having been involved in the kind of workforce technology sector myself since 2001. And just seeing the way that how organizations resource the work that they need to do has evolved over time and how technology has enabled and facilitated that. And looking at the rise of the agency model, and huge growth of the contingent workforce market, and maturity in that market. And then other models being addressed, factors, which we can come on to discuss in a minute. I think, you previously termed it a "Perfect storm". And I think, you're right when you look at, I mean, some of the factors that we've spoken about ourselves previously around Brexit and IR35 and stuff like that. It just brought things to a rapid crescendo over the last, I'd say, two to three years. But I mean... From your point of view, there's been changes in the way that technology can work with this stuff. There's disruption going on, but you're talking about change, you're talking about transformation. How have you seen that firsthand kind of come to fruition? And what the drive main drivers you've seen pushing it?

Steve Corbett:      4:21     Yeah, it's something that's been happening behind the scenes for a long time. People think it's COVID and IR35 that has really driven this change. And it has, of course. But that's kind of the end piece. My career has always been in pure play IT technology, resourcing projects delivery. So I've always had that spine of technology and change going through my career. So let's just say the technology piece, to start with, as we've all seen, that the technology kind of revolution, the fourth industrial revolution - if you want to call that - has been gathering pace behind the scenes for many, many, many years. So we started to see this 10-years ago really, where it wasn't just technology, gizmos and gadgets that took acceleration. It was actually technology businesses, which came to the fore. Technology is just constantly evolving. The speed of technology is just unbelievable. You know, the Amazon effects now. You go on Amazon, you order something, and it's within the door within an hour. Just mind boggling! You know, 5~10 years ago, that was just unthinkable. So the speed of technology has just been just unrelenting. And what that's led to is, as I say, not just traditional companies having to change, but having to change, because there's new disruptors coming into the market, that have changed their whole business model, that changed the whole industry. We know the Airbnb in the hotel sector, Uber in the taxi sector. It has just totally changed the industry, the target operating model, [and] the business itself. So that's been going on in the background. So we slowly start to see companies looking at this digital transformation change. And then that covers technology, business models, people, [and] culture change. So that's been going on in the background. So we started to resource projects for that many, many years ago. Then alongside that, because of technology, the whole kind of people and consumerism angle changed as well. So people wanted things faster, quicker, cleaner. They are more willing to accept products, services, by the new disruptive companies by smaller unknown companies with really worried the big boys. So that's all been going on. And we'll probably bounce around a little bit into this conversation. But then you've got kind of people's working patterns - what did they want? That's our look at this market going. Well, everything has change. Actually, well, I want to change. I want to change my working habits - how I engage with work? As you say, the explosion of the contracting market, the gig economy, loads of people in the technology sector, because of technology enablement, launched their own businesses, got together with other contractors in their own businesses. So we had that. Some people want to take time off. Some people don't have the perm role. Some people want to have a gig. Some people want to go abroad, transient workforces, and you get into, because it's technology, you can go and work on a beach over wherever. Although, I never got to do that. And you can go and do that. So you've got this massive shift and this massive change in the industry that's been going on. Then you've got obviously Gen X, Gen Y, who want totally different things as well. You know, they expect to have flexible work. And they expect to work for a new disruptive technology business. They expect to do couple of years, a couple of years there, maybe two or three jobs at the same time. Yeah, that's the norm now. So all that's crushing together. Then you've got COVID. On top of that, which is magnified everything. The flexible working from home was forced on people that was on the agenda. People, I think, made a life decision at that point, and looked back at their careers, their lives, their families, and went, "Why we will get on the train at six in the morning to London? Why are we doing this five-days a week? And I want something different from life." So that changed. Then you've already said the word "IR35". You know, that came into effect in the market, which totally changed the contracting model in terms of client side and contractor. There's been a hell of a lot of stuff. So I think one of the phrases that we use when speaking to clients, I think, clients have been battling this for many, many years. You know, it is this perfect storm now. There is an inconvenient truth that big companies maybe just don't have the skills needed internally to drive them through this change, they need external help. I think there's been a massive focus, which I'm sure we'll talk about in terms of the worker. You know, if they've got a project or if they've got a thing that needs doing, it's got to be permanent. We've got to own the scale. We've got to own the person. It's permanent. Give them a permanent salary. You know, it's easy to put in accounts. We know which we're going to pay them. So it's all that. Whereas now, it's changed too. Okay. Well, what is the actual work? What is the outcome that you're looking to deliver? Why don't we focus on that and work backwards from there? What's the perfect model to deliver that? So I think that a lot of clients, a lot of boards have wrestled with this. And I think the end of the day, Jonny, I think people, clients and companies and organizations just want more measurable and efficient services now, and this now leads into, "Okay. Well, what is that?" That's more of the consultancy outcomes based, "How do we do that?" Well, it's a statement of work-ish model. And I think that's where the market and the industry is right now. And some companies are wrestling with that change at the moment, because they use of the traditional models, whereas other companies have took this on perfectly. And they're totally open to the conversation of, "Okay. Well, outcome based, Statement of Work, its milestones, its deliverables. Okay. We'll work with a partner who can deliver that for us." So lots going on in the market.

Jonny Dunning:   10:38   Yeah. And the irony is, when you look at organizations that are wrestling with it, and struggling with outcome based delivery, using statement of work, if you looked within their procurement department, they're probably spending millions, possibly even hundreds of millions, on buying services, through statements of work anyway. But it might be that the people that are dealing with contingent workforce, you know, are in that world. And so there's this kind of coming together of HR and talent functions, and services, procurement, to actually, I mean, ultimately, it's about how organizations resource, the projects and the work that they need to do. And so again, you know, we can talk about in a bit more detail later, but this concept of the work versus the worker, and, you know, staying the work isn't a new thing, it's been around for a long time, it's just a contract between an organization and a supplier to say, I will pay you x for you to deliver y. It's very pragmatic, everyone knows what they're getting, the company knows how much they're spending, the organization supplying knows what they're going to be delivering. And it doesn't necessarily have to be, it's not the right fit for everything that needs to be done. And it's a question of where it's most appropriate. It's a very effective resource or work delivery channel. So it's an option that people need to be able to use efficiently and they haven't been able to utilize it efficiency, or really create the visibility and control around it previously, that they need to this is where organizations that are providing services, those out on that outcome basis, are able now to provide a much more sophisticated offering, which really packages it up very nicely. So it just takes the problem away from the customer. Now, in some circumstances, obviously, there's going to be work they want to get done by their permanent headcount, there's going to be situations where getting into contractors absolutely makes sense, making sure they're compliant. You know, this is not just the UK with our 35. There are lots of countries addressing this now. But they need to have the option to be able to say I want to pay x foot to receive y service. And I think when you look at the way organizations have changed, you're talking about the gig economy, what people want, you know, 60 years ago, it was a job for life, you just got a permanent job, you work for one company, you got to go watch at the end of it, and that was it. Whereas, you know, we then move through this massive growth of a contingent workforce. And then this is pushed into outcome based task based different methods of delivery. But also, if you look at it from company points of view, you know, companies, our brand is so important. Now, the purpose of the enterprise organization is so important, both in attracting talent and being able to work with suppliers, and also being attractive to consumers. And so the brand is very, very important. Their permanent headcount is still very important, it needs to reflect that. But also, if you're a PLC, you're under pressure, not to increase headcount, because of the cost implications associated with that on a fixed basis. Whereas if you're, if you're engaging, contingent workforce, you're outsourcing projects, that sits somewhere else. So all of these factors have come in that mean, in my opinion, to be a successful organization in the current market, and in the future market, you need to have options, and you need to be able to choose those options and use the most effective ones, as appropriate. And you need to have partners where you aren't getting stuck on an outcome based delivery, you need to have partners that can can do that for you can solve that problem. Because I guess from from your point of view with with James Harvard, people just there's a problem landing at your door, and you guys have got to have the resource, the capabilities to just take that problem away and provide a great solution.

Steve Corbett:      14:08   Yeah, you're right. And, as I say, I think the Statement of Work thing has always been around, it's always been around, but as you say, it's always been tucked away in the corner of a company. And it was a special person that looks after that. And actually, you know, the day to day business, the important stuff or the biggest stuff was actually over here, and people wrestling how to do that. And in terms of the service piece, just just just to focus on that, you know, always get told off my book by my boss that we don't sell statement of work. We're not a statement of work company as such, you know, James, Harvard is and just for just a reference, it's a framework. James, Harvard is part of the global age group. So footsie 250 we're a standalone professional services business, digital management consultancy, so what we offer is services outcomes based. So you talk about the service of what clients wants. And going back to more measurable, efficient services. Yes, we provide, you know, projects delivered resource, but the service wrapper around that, I think it's important to focus on where clients want, you know, for project management, governance, tracking milestones, risks and issues, risks built into financial risk, shared delivery, risks shared. And I think that's the extra piece that their clients want now, and I should say, sometimes it's not the perfect solution, because sometimes a permanent person will do, or 500 people do, or a couple of compliant contractors will do. But I think where we are, where we're winning, and where we're doing it very well, and it's where you speak to a client, they say, look, Steve, we just, you know, the CEO, the CEO, upstairs is stomping his feet, you know, we've got, he wants us to reignite 2020 projects that we're all on hold, because of COVID, because of the disruption and reignite 2020, we have to get those delivered. But he's also given us the 21 roadmap to deliver as well. And that needs to be done. But also, we've got all these digital change and transformation initiatives that are going on that he wants for my guys to deliver as well. And that needs it. Also, by the way, he wants us to keep going with our COVID responses and I COVID projects and how we're going to do that. And also wants us to keep the lights on the bay. So all of a sudden, you know, the word bandwidth comes out, and companies just don't have the bandwidth internally, or the skills in Sen to deliver everything. So then then you can start to look at okay, right? What can be boxed off into a deliverable outcome based piece of work that you can you can outsource to James Harvard. And I think that's where a lot of the value is added. going on from that as well. independence. So independent eyes, and I'll kind of hold my tongue because I'm sure we'll get into the management, consultancy fatigue fatigue angle, but so independence there. So I suppose getting to the end of the conversation, how do we deliver that? Yeah, typically, it's through a statement of work. So that's where that's where it ends up there. So you've got this whole kind of service line, the clients actually look at it and go, right, okay, bandwidth, resource expertise. Everything's managed for us, you know, time taken off, we've got a fixed cost or or milestone bass or time materials based, right, we know what we're paying, they're actually, God, that's the last piece of the jigsaw that we need. You know, that's, that's what, that's what we need. So so that's where we've been successful at the moment. So yeah, lots of stuff, lots of stuff all crashing together. But this approach just seems to be gaining a lot of traction in the market at the moment. And I'm sure you've had conversations with your clients and prospects where you mentioned, s o w, or statement of work, they go, Ah, yeah, that's what's what we need. We don't kind of know what it is yet. But but that's what we need. So. And in terms of in terms of looking at the future, I think this, I passionately do believe this is the way the market will go. And it'll just be the norm in the end.

Jonny Dunning:   18:06   Yeah, I mean, it's super pragmatic. So if you're an organization, if you can clearly define your strategy, and this is always just just the way my brain works, it's always maps out really neatly in my head, define your overall strategy, communicate that strategy effectively to all parts of the business, then every part of the business knows what they need to do to contribute to that overall strategy. If they know what they need to do, then that's where you're starting to get towards outcomes. Because you know, and as I say, there's a time and a place for the different resourcing models, I'm not saying one is better or more effective than another. It's, it's a corny phrase, it's horses for courses, but where you can define clear outcomes. that sends a very clear message within the business of I'm going to achieve x within this department that works towards that overall goal. And it's going to cost why so we can budget that. So we know what we're going to get, we know when we're going to get it. And and that's going to contribute to our overall objectives. Of course, you need the right suppliers to be able to meet those goals to quote effectively to to be able to deliver on what they promised without taking twice as long and costing twice as much. And that's where some of the stuff we're doing, you know, with some cool AI, around supplier performance within services, is, in my opinion, going to be a complete game changer because so nuanced. It's very always been traditionally very difficult to measure when you compare it to goods or something more binary, or just, I'm paying for X amount of hours. But if you're if you're working towards an outcome, rather than having people sitting, for example, on a time material basis, in the right scenario, that for me is very logical, because you could look at it and go, well, it's gonna be more it's gonna be more expensive to outsource the problem because somebody else has taken on some of the risk and they're going to have to help deliver it. But But is that going to be more expensive in the long run of actually getting stuff done that needs to be done, and even just forcing organizations to recognize and clearly define what has to be done? Because I think in a lot of cases, you know, it's hard enough to, to get for organizations to write even effective job descriptions. So when it comes to creating a statement of work of saying, This is the project, really defining what it is, you know, outlining the problem and coming up with with a supplier with a solution, you know, that's in some organizations, that's a bit of a culture shift in some areas, whereas other parts of businesses are absolutely used to work. And that's what they do all the time. And so the thing that is a little bit of education for that for areas where they haven't previously used statement of work as an engagement model, and, but it's where it's done correctly, and where it's appropriate. I think it's brilliant for a business because it just gives them so much data, you know, predictability of what's going to be done, how much it's going to cost and all that sort of thing. So I think there is a definite trend towards it, and cost pressures in the market competition in the market, the speed of innovation and change, trying to keep up with everyone else. And pressures of things like COVID mean that people need to be able to define these steps towards their own company's success.

Steve Corbett:      21:03   Yeah, 100%. And you absolutely right. And you know, we talk of the value cycle, in terms of in terms of businesses, and you're, you've hit the nail on the head, you know, companies, there is a little bit of nervous around this model at the moment, some companies just get it. But when you start talking about the value model, once you start talking more in a services, outcomes model, and you start going through a statements of work, and listing deliverables, and working on working out what they are. And the model reuse is that we co create the statements of work with the client, we don't just tell the client what they're going to need. And that's great. And we've got a module in the process. And we've used it 20 times before, which we'll come on to. But we co create the statement of work or the deliverables of the whole project with the client. And then and then estimate, you sit next to a client and you can see the client's mind ticking going, Okay. Actually, yeah, what are these deliverables? What are what are we going to deliver, and they start writing them out line by line, gosh, I didn't think about that, could we put that in, and then that goes back internally into their business case, and it comes back out again, and it and the cost, and haven't thought of that, and they need to get that but they can take that out. And then all of a sudden, the project manager or the program manager to actually, you know, drag it to one side and go, Steve, actually, thank you, it's, it's helped shaped my thinking a little bit. And it's took, you know, three months off the project, or it's put three months on contingency that we didn't know, it's going to need, or we've, we've managed to model our budgets and, and ultimately, that just leads to better project delivery for the client, you know, not value for us. But James Oh, actually leads to better delivery for the client, which is, which is kind of what, you know, it should be then price in any case. So it just it just sharpens the mind, I'm sure with your with your tool as well, which which is, which is super, that just gives that client that, that focus that that transparency and insight into actually, you know, what they're delivering, you know, we've all heard the phrases, and you can look these up, you know, 85% of transformation projects fail. You know, we've all we've all heard the stats, and which is, you know, just mind bending, you know, the, the one extreme example is the track and trace project for the government, you know, six different management consultancies 37 billion pounds, I still don't think people have really understood 37 billion pounds, which is a ludicrous amount of money. And that system, arguably doesn't work. You know, where was the governance? Where was the, I'd love to send a statement of work for that, you know, where where was the deliverable? He was on the you know, so it's happening, you know, this thing, stuff like this happens, you know, unfortunately happens. So, by using this model, it can focus a client and a suppliers mind to really hit the outcomes and the deliverables that are actually needed, which can only add value.

Jonny Dunning:   24:04   Yeah, I totally agree. And, you know, if you look at the size of the global spend on services, procurement of any kind of service procured, which generally be procured under a statement of work, and in most organizations, spend matters have estimated to be four times the size of their contingent workforce spend. And I've seen global estimates, I always kind of, quote around a trillion dollars annual spend, but I've seen I've seen that estimated up to like 20 trillion. And in some of the research that I think it was really just put out with what they were kind of sizing up to $20 million, globally on an annual basis. It's massive and and something that we come across all the time is that people just don't, it's not an area that's been addressed. You know, from a technology point of view, it hasn't been addressed effectively because procurements a big thing, and on the one side when you're dealing with goods and materials, that's quite buying A lot of its catalog guided buying, when you're buying services, it's not, it's not so easy to pin down, every project is different, every requirement is different. It can be a blended method of delivery. But there are ways to measure that. But the first thing you need to do is you need to get it into a process, a process that everybody is accepting of and buys into. Because that creates the automation that organizations need, where they can do these things effectively, rather than procurement departments, having to sit there going through, you know, one procurement person having to do 50 or 100 statements of work manually per week, which leaves a no time to do anything else, and probably makes them very dissatisfied. And you need that automation, just automating the things that need automating. But then when you get that, then you've got visibility. And then you've got potential control, you might not layer on control straightaway. But it's there if you need it. And procurement departments have a massive role to play strategically, in being a center for information. They're getting external information. We talked to me, I mentioned management consultancies, we can come on to that briefly in a minute. But you know, the information that's coming in from external suppliers about your organization, the information that's coming internally about what you're doing the projects that you're working on how you're working with external suppliers, just all of the data on the delivery, when that's put forward through to the C suite. Ultimately, that is, that is incredibly valuable information that should drive us to help drive the strategic path of that particular organization. But it also needs to be flexible. So one of the things I was going to mention was around things like agile delivery. So so one of the challenges that we have to overcome as a technology organization, specializing in this area, is that, you know, the state in the work process is pretty well defined. And that core process is really well defined. But there's a lot of variation around the edges. What if it's an agile project delivery? You know, what if it's something where there's discovery happening throughout the lifecycle of the project, that can't necessarily be totally defined up front, you need to be able to manage that flexibility around how milestones work, how they're signed off. And like you said earlier about your kind of CO creation of statements of work, suppliers can add so much valuable input, a buying manager might be looking to do a cybersecurity project, they might not be a cybersecurity expert themselves, or certainly might not be to the depth of the expertise within a supplier. So shaping that requirement is something that procurement can can allow the buyer and the supplier to do on a self serve kind of organic basis, but they can oversee it. And I think there's huge scope for for organizations to take advantage of that. And and, you know, you mentioned that there's risk in all companies have perceived risk in using new models. Firstly, they spend a massive amount of money on work delivered understatement work anyway, in almost, you know, in most cases, but also there's risk in existing models. You know, we saw all of the kind of stuff around furlough and redundancies and things like that during the COVID pandemic, but also, our 35 and things like that, you know, the contracting side of it has now become, in some ways, much more risky. I don't know if you saw it, but I stuck an article up on on LinkedIn yesterday where the DWP have been fined something like 87 million by HMRC, for our 35 non compliance. So they're effectively using the cess tool to do their status determinations. And it's turned out that they've made loads of errors, and they've got a massive fire around it. So, you know, organizations, I think, you know, I 35 was one of those things people thinking is it going to happen, I was going down the line, it's here now, and as this kind of statement of intent, that would suggest that HMRC are going to take it very seriously. And, but there's risks in all of it, each each work delivery model has to be done properly, which is why you know, from a service delivery point of view for you guys, you're experts in delivering work in the in the ways that you deliver it. And and so therefore, you're you can take a headache away from the client, in areas where you have specialist expertise, I think that's where that this whole thing of using specialist advisors, and paying paying money to have an expert take the problem off your hands, whether it's, you know, yourself buying a house, or, or getting some work done to your house, or whether it's an organization buying some services, but um, you know, with, with the management consulting side of it, there seems to be a bit of a kind of a sliding scale and a merging of some types of organizations that are maybe be more typically on the management consulting side with with some of the organizations that worked on the more traditional kind of staffing and resourcing side, what what's your view of that market? Because you kind of seen it from both sides.

Steve Corbett:      29:35   Yeah. It's a good question. Just before that, going back to your your discovery, word or discovery piece, I think that plays a massive part in things. And you're absolutely right. Just just wanting to highlight that. I think a lot of work that we've won and we've taken on against the bigger management consultants I should say, as well is the discovery piece. So clients will come to us and say okay, Steve, we've got this person. project. So we've got this thing and we've got this outcome, or we've got this initiative, whatever you wanna call it, that we need to deliver. Or we've just got system, you know, thing which a gadget, but we don't really know how it works. We don't know if it talks to that machine, or we don't know if it does that, or we don't know if we can do this project or, or what else could we optimize it? We're, the amount of times I've heard, we haven't got an FBA resource is just frightening. So where we kind of do what at the moment is that discovery initial piece where we'll go in, and we will deploy a team of experts and a team of experts can be to, you know, it can be 10, it can be whatever, but to sit down with the client and co create the kind of pre project. So okay, what is the discovery bit? What are you looking to do? You know, does it validate against the business case? It's this is this project, a good idea to start with, because, you know, we've all come across clients that are panicked, who've got an initiative to deliver. So there was a shoot off in various different directions. Ultimately, that projects will kind of stutter, store and fail. So should that project Go ahead. In any case, project rescue, project recovery, we're specialists in as well. So that discovery key piece is key, which everybody can get involved in around the boardroom table for the client. So procurement, C suite, HR, you know, everybody can, can co create that discovery piece. And I think it's getting the start, right. So once you've got that discovery piece up and running, and you're delivering that, we come to the right outcomes, or the right or at least the right gateposts, to the bigger project. And then you can start the bigger projects a lot more assured, and, you know, blown our own trumpets nine times out of 10, which returns that discovery piece, we're asked to stay on to deliver the main project. And again, just that value cycle of going round and get into the right outcomes. So just wanted to highlight that. But um, yeah, in terms of the management consultancy versus traditional model versus this, this this area in between. Yeah, there has been emerging that there has been different ways of thinking derived different elements at force again, and, you know, this conversation could get many different layers. JOHN, as you know, we're a management consultancy as a whole. I think there is I've heard the word or the phrase management, consultancy fatigue in the market. Traditionally, big project, when companies have got big projects or big initiatives, I mean, you know, whopping big projects, nine times out of 10, they go to the traditional Big Four, big 10. You know, we all know who they are to come in and help them department to deliver. And that's fine. And I don't know muddy the water in terms of in terms of in terms of that that industry. But I think that just alongside the speed of change the speed of technology, agility, disruption disruptors, going back to again, clients want more measurable and efficient services. I think there's a bit of a management fatigue, where the Big Four, the big 10 have been quite relaxed or quite comfortable in their position. You know, it's the old phrase, nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM, that can come in. So I think that the big management consultancies have fallen foul, a little bit of coming in and thinking that their same processes, their same playbooks, they're saying, you know, 500, slide, PowerPoints are going to solve the problem of today, where just the speed of delivery, the speed of value needed, it's just too quick for them. So I think there's an angle there, the big measurement, so it's been a bit too slow, a bit too wooden. You know, the, the amount of CIOs and CEOs I've spoken to that have listed things like too slow to modern, you know, death by PowerPoint, not able to pivot left and right quickly, not not not agile enough. You know, there's the elephant in the room of the eyewatering cost these guys, you know, Bill, on a Monday, you'll get the, you know, the 18, the senior consultants coming in a couple of weeks later, you go into the same room and all of a sudden that rooms kind of starting to fill up with graduates a little bit and juniors who are learning on the job. So I think there's a bit of management fatigue in terms of the market of the of the bigger guys, then you go to the other end of the market, where you look at more traditional, you know, recruitment companies, digital agencies, which will always be around, you know, which is fine, which is great. But I think that with, I spoke to a C CIO the day who you coined the phrase on a project, she doesn't want to hire five or 10 disparate contractors anymore because it's kind of a bit of a higher end hope model where hire these guys off, they'll turn up on a reception on Monday morning. And hopefully they'll deliver what you want them to deliver. At the time they do, that's not to dislike them. But I think there's a piece in the middle where, where James Harvard is really doing well, where we are. We don't want to be a big four, we, we don't want to be a big 10. You know, the bigger management consultancies hold permanent employees of, you know, 5000, globally, you know, 10,000~20,000, so they've got, so it's a very high salary cost. So whenever they engage with the client, they've got to pass that cost on, which is where the invoices start going up. The James Harvard model is a hybrid model is a disruptive model. In other words, disruptions use a lot, but it's a disruptive model, where, you know, we are probably just under 30, permanent employees have very experienced delivery program, project managers could have technical staff pre sales, you know, x CIOs, x, big for people that have been RAMs, you know, the circuit, and now I've got this disenfranchised with that, with that industry. And then below that, we've got retained experts associate module. So guys that we trust, we know we've worked with guys that have delivered, you know, you look at all the big change programs and projects that have been delivered, you look through their, their team sheet, and it'd be one of these people or two or five of these people that have done it. experts in their field SMEs, and then we're very, very lucky, you know, we're part of the global Hayes business. So we've got a massive supply chain and talent pool, if we then need to go and get, you know, individuals from that talent pool. So and then obviously, we've got the service wrapper around that. The project management, the governance, very strict, very strong governance around that, that manages all the risks, issues, tracking changes, you know, the pure project PMO facility, they're typically delivered through a statement of work, and that just offers clients something a little bit different, we're faster, we're more agile, we can pivot left and right for project needs it we can scale up, we can scale down, we deploy them, we're a bunch of delivery experts that can add instant value, rather than going through, you know, a pre sales 500 slides slide deck, and then we may do some work in three or four months. We co deliver co create with the client, we don't take the project away, then down the corridor and deliver it back on a Friday afternoon, you know, we can we can we can augment and supplement a client's team. So all these and obviously we are be crew talking about cost and price, but we're just at a better more transparent price point that the bigger consultancies can offer. Because we don't hold that massive bench. So all of a sudden, the model, this kind of model is very, very appealing to clients, you know, because they get true experts true agility, much better price points. delivery and financial risk shared as well know what they're getting Statement of Work procurement, understand it. And that's the thing where we're winning at the moment and, and we're taking a lot of load off the Big Four, you know, what the Big Four will the big 10 always be around cost a little Johnny there always be there. You know, there's an old boys network that always be around. But I think this space in the middle is quite exciting. And for a business like James Harvard, we are growing at a fantastic rate seems to be well received in the market, and the market seems to be walking towards us as well, a little bit. So um, so yeah, that's that's the kind of proposition that we have. 

Jonny Dunning:   38:37   Yeah, I think when you say the markets kind of walking towards it a bit, I would agree that there are a lot of trends in the market that are moving towards a greater acceptance of, and a greater willingness to work within an outcome based scenario, globally. And so when you when you look at it with in terms of what you guys offer, you mentioned about the Flexible Capacity and things like that. So do you see that as a clear advantage to have the ability to just scale up and up and down like that?

Steve Corbett:      39:09   Definitely, its one of them. One of the advantages, yeah. You know, we are we are quite lucky that we're part of the global haze group. So we've got probably the biggest supply chain in the world, you know, has been the biggest resource business in the world. So we quite, you know, we do quite well, in terms of that area. We've built up, you know, we're made up of 2030 delivery experts that have, you know, I think our senior team, I think we've worked out I've got about 250 years experience combined in terms of delivering programs and projects, basically, because they're old, but I'm about to come back 200 years of delivery experience, you know, which is invaluable. As a result of that, you know, we've got our own networks of experts that we know that we've worked with before. True experts who all are very passionate about working on the best projects, and to actually deliver value, you know, one of the, one of the phrases that we use, we don't want to keep the client in the problem. For as long for as long as we have to, you know, we don't have the land and expand mentality that the bigger management consultancies have. So we've actually, it's about delivering value quickly, not keeping the client in the problem. So you know, scale up scale down, and a much better price point and the bigger and bigger agencies. So sort of the bigger management consultancies, and how do you how much is how important is Statement of Work at the core of the proposition? And it's, it's, it makes it a massive part of our proposition, because obviously, typically, how do we deliver or is typically through statements of work or a contract of services, the service elements are what we wrap around, that is our is our big kind of advantage. But the end vehicle is is predominately statements of work. So. So that's where we, that's where we put a lot of emphasis that as I said, that's where we co create that with the clients. That's where a lot of our value is driven from, so the client knows what they're getting. So that's a massive part of our of our proposition.

Jonny Dunning:   41:22   And in terms of when you look at the delivery service, delivery of a service, and the fact that it's based around outcomes, and the fact that it's contracted through a statement of work, where those outcomes are captured, and they're delivered against. And in your experience of working with customers, what do you see as the kind of key factors growing right from the start of the process that arrive in the successful combination of the desired outcomes being delivered?

Steve Corbett:      41:51   Good question, I think you have to start correctly, you know, you have literally have to get a blank piece of paper, I sit down with a client and understand, and it's about client engagement client client relationship, but it's about getting the right people in the room, to crowd around the project to crowd round the problem, or to crowd around the outcome, whatever you want to call it, and then build it from there. I think the key points is to get is to get the key, as I say, the key people in the room and start to build a statement work from scratch. Okay, well, what is the what are you looking to achieve? You know, what is the project? So what ultimately is the outcome? We don't talk about resource yet. We don't talk about, you know, the middle of it, I want to talk about what the project is, what the outcome is, and the why, you know, why do you think that's going to add value? You know, why are you doing this? Why has someone told you to do this? Why do you think this is a good idea? So proper consultancy? Because ultimately, we want the best outcome for the client. So if we think that the project or the initiative or the bit of work? isn't the right thing to do, we'll tell the client, yeah, what we'll give him our benefit of our years of experience of consultancy, and doing this before we'll tell the client, but I think it's, I think the most important thing is to sit down with the client, first of all right at the start, and to map out exactly what why how, when, you know, it's all the W words, what how, why when the client is looking to deliver, and then start slowly to build that deliverables, outcomes statement of work, how are we going to get there? What time scales the whole piece. And so so in the end, everybody has a documents, or artifacts that can they can always point to, and then the service wrapper that goes around that. So we've constantly got touch points with the clients, milestones, meetings, reviews, you know, different sprints is the project going well, we'll speak with our consultants will speak to the client will speak to the client stakeholders. And we'll drive that service all the way along to make sure we drive out as best as possible, the right outcomes for the client.

Jonny Dunning:   44:05   Yeah. And I think that, you know, certainly something we see, as a tech provider, there is a clear route to success from making sure that the suppliers the client is working with are on boarded in the right manner, and they've got the right capabilities. They've got the right accreditations, clearances, whatever it might be to deliver the work, and that, you know, they are compliant with whatever procurement need them to sign in terms of or agree with in terms of service agreements, etc. And right through any competitive process that might be involved. I'm sure you guys probably come up against that with some of the with the bidding for some of these types of projects. Right through the creation of a genuine is is an artifact of document a statement of work, which which is there and it's in some ways a living document in the sense that there could be amendments to it. As the project goes through delivery. It's realistic to assume. 

Steve Corbett:      44:56   Yeah, and [unclear 0:44:57] was supposed to go across Germany, but absolutely right. So we have the right change requests the right change gates the right change process internally, James Harvard, because you know, more or less, we specialize in delivering change programs in some way, shape or form, change programs naturally change, you know, they'll go left, they'll go right, they'll go up, they'll go down. So you know, getting those right change requests, change mechanisms, change gates, in places is key as well.

Jonny Dunning:   45:22   Yeah, and I think one of the things that we we have seen ourselves to be doing we see ourselves as a leader in this area, is taking the definition of what's going to be delivered. And taking that through into a delivery phase. Because I think that quite often can get lost, you create a statement of work, and you get to the point of contract. And that statement of work just goes and sits in a shared file somewhere that no one ever looked at, again, that's you just lose this whole delivery part of it. So you're, you're being promised something, you're saying you're going to pay for it. And then there were just invoices coming through, and no one really has a much visibility in most cases around that. So you've got that part of the process, the delivery phase, milestones being approved, milestones being amended, partial milestones being delivered, all the flexibility required around that. And then your was your payment and performance management, stuff like that. But so I see the delivery of services under a statement of work as relatively simple, not surprising, because that's my focus. But I think there are lots of misconceptions in the market. And there's definitely been a bit of kind of, you know, some some gray areas or some just a miscommunication of the use of statement work around things like the I 35 changes where it's not a workaround for 35 It's a completely different way of delivering resource and getting work done. And but just just from your point of view, bearing in mind, you've worked in outsourcing, you've worked in traditional recruitment, you've worked in the consulting side. And what do you see as the as the kind of key differences between this kind of recruitment contingent model, and then true services, or the different kind of si w models that you're seeing in the market?

Steve Corbett:      47:00   Yeah, it's a good point. And you know, this would probably be my disclaimer and my word of warning to the market and my free consultancy, I've sat on numerous sides of the fences. So I've worked in different models, so know how they will work. I think where there's opportunity in the market, there's always going to be people who take opportunity for the opportunity. So one word of warning is that there are I've seen, there are traditional recruitment companies that offer contractors, you know, pscs, that will speak to clients. And because of this word statements of work is quite trendy, and it's linked to I 35. And that, they will say that they do certain of work. They don't, they just don't, they will, in some cases, unfortunately, just get a standard contracts or contract, you know, a traditional we've had for years and years is get a big marker pen and write. So w at the top of that contract, you know, maybe put a fixed price and times on there, if they're daring enough for a fixed price on their says the client say, we do statement work, we can take all your problems away. You know, they don't clients needs to be aware of that. You know, I say quite jokingly, but clients need to be aware of that they don't want to be caught out. I think that a pure service model outcomes model like a James Harvard, traditional recruitment companies just just can't compete with that. You know, I've just been blown away by internal James James Harvard governance procedures, the internal James Harvard's team, in terms of the project management, the PMO, the the milestones and gates, we internally have to go through and the governance around a service and what we're delivering to the clients. So, yeah, I just feel just a word of caution to the market in terms of make sure you understand, you know, what you're getting, and to test to the supplier, you know, ask for governance models for frameworks for models for case studies, you know, getting, you know, insist to meet the team and really quiz them in terms of the IR 35 piece, which is the white elephant in the room, you know, some recruitment agencies, some clients see statement of work automatically as an IR 35 get around. It's not It's not an people again, needs to be very, very careful because they will be caught out. And, you know, we never sell we never we never promote our service and what James armor does, as an owner 35 get around. It's just not it's ludicrous.

Jonny Dunning:   49:52   I always say... I'm sorry to cut you out. I always say very simply, if you are, you know, time and materials is Paying for an individual's time, buying something procuring a service via a statement of work is outsourcing a problem to a service provider who will deliver on an outcome basis. So I see is kind of quite, you know, binary. However, there are some sort of, there are some gray areas in how that's how that can be delivered. And I think you're right. There are there are some misinformed or under informed people in the market, whether that's on the client side, maybe they sit within different areas of procurement or more within HR that aren't so used to dealing with this delivery model. And, and there are also is the same kind of, you know, uninformed, misinformed element within some of the traditional recruitment businesses. Having said that, there are also some extremely well informed, extremely well prepared staffing companies that are addressing this now, there are a lot you sort of, say about the the positioning of James harbor within the Hayes group, you need specialist expertise, because you can't really expect a team that have only ever dealt with contingent workforce to suddenly adapt to this new model. And it's just a different way of getting the work done. And I think what what I am always impressed with and pleased to see in the market is were organizations that do want to pursue this type of model, put specialists dedicated resource behind it that actually understand it. Because you know, for from a tech provider point of view, that just makes our life easier, because they're not trying to get the tech to do something you shouldn't do. It's for statement of work. And that's what they're using it for. And from the client point of view, as well, however, they're delivering that service, there's just a far greater possibility of the right outcomes and the best possible outcomes. But I mean, if you look at it from the perspective of, you know, I would, I would class James, Harvard is, in our parlance is a project and consulting services organization. So it's at the very heart of everything that you do. But have you seen any kind of gray areas that where you see this, this kind of more to be explored, and more to come out about it?

Steve Corbett:      52:11   Yeah, we're starting to have internal conversations around... We're constantly one of the big things that we're constantly talking to our clients, we're constantly talking about our clients about what problems they've got, what kind of avenues they want to go down, where they need the biggest help. So we're starting to see products, services, you know, things around cybersecurity, so see, so as a service is quite, it's quite strong for us at the moment. architecture as a service, you know, this as a service kind of was banded around as well, but got it just easier to kind of communicate that way. So see, so as a service architecture as a service, burst teams, that there's different areas, and then it goes into different industries as well, different industries really need our help. At the moment, you know, some of the old manufacturing businesses have been very traditional bricks and mortar, you know, they are right at the start line, you know, in terms of how they get to the finish line of digital change of transformation. So different areas of industry. So, yeah, I think this, I think this area of the market will only grow, it'll only morph, it will. It will accelerate in some areas, some way others will drop off. Whatever is they are Johnny, I can obviously tell you because we were looking at ourselves at the moment. So don't give the crown jewels away too much yet. But yeah, there are there are areas that will grow.

Jonny Dunning:   53:42   Yeah, and I think when you look at services, procurement, and the engagement of suppliers to deliver services, understating the work, it goes across all industries. I mean, you know, everybody uses consulting firms, everyone has specialist providers, as you say, you know, we've you mentioned, your colleague was saying, We're not an Esso w business. So W is just a contract is just a vehicle. It's just an engagement type. And it's the delivery of services under an outcome basis. And one of the areas I wanted to touch on, which is a little bit more of a kind of, you know, existential type question is just, how does this affect people? So how does this affect people who are delivering work? How does this affect the way that people earn a living in the sense of just this people orientated view or angle on Statement of Work? And is this concept of outcome based working? Because I've certainly seen it kind of already existed, it's sustaining work has been around for a long period of time, it counts for a huge amount of spend of very complex and very important services delivered globally. And, but then I've also seen growth, things like the gig economy, which has moved towards this kind of chunk, task, outcome based approach on a more individual level. What's your view, if you take a step back and just look at it From an overall experience overall kind of resourcing industry's perspective, there's still people doing work. How do you fit? What do you feel? Are the effects both the kind of positives and negatives for individuals?

Steve Corbett:      55:13   Yeah, it's a good question when you look at the, the human and the people, elements of our model of the industry as well. So we've spoke about just massive disruption, massive change. And that's had an effect on companies, technology processes, business models, accounts, but it's also had effects on people as well. So I think the reason one of the reasons where we've been quite successful, it's because in terms of it in technology, it's very projects LED, it's very delivery LED, in any case, a business, cylindrical kind of it programs and projects change, always happening. So people who deliver that already in that mindset, of chunks of work, traditionally used to be permanent people. So a permanent member of staff would be a a tester, a project manager, or an expert, or whatever. And they'd work in that company, and then just go through the, you know, the, the cycles of projects there. And then obviously, people started to look at the contracting market, and thought, sure, what contracting would suit me, you know, do six months piece of work here, three months piece of work there, six months there. And that's it to grow. But I think now we've, you know, we've started to turn towards this statement of work outcomes based delivery kind of model, people are really getting excited about this now. And there's a number of people out there that are really project delivery, focused value lead, so they want to work on the best projects and programs. So we are generating now as part of our business, a kind of a group, a society, a community of experts that want to work in this model, and this spans from portfolio careers. So you know, there's very experienced people out there that just want to do a couple of days at clients a couple of days, a client B, and maybe eight hours a client see an ad, but they want to add value, as much as I can be part of a team that's delivering a chunk of work as an overall program. So I think that the industry is taking many turns, I think that the people elements plays a massive factor in this as well, you know, people are learning leaving permanent roles. They're looking at, like, you know, lifestyle choices, how do they want to work? Where do they want to live? How do they want to get paid? What vehicle they want to engage with? You know, when we speak to our associates, and experts in the field about projects and programs and what we need and delivery, you know, they just get, so I'm excited about it, you know, and they're, and they're more than willing to come on client calls with us pre sales calls with us, you know, to to scope out and to help to help out drive out what the statement of work should be. It's a massively exciting area, and an area it's only going to grow because, you know, I've the the massive change that we're all going through. So I think it's various different levels, company, technology, people culture, lifestyle, I think it hits everybody at the moment. It's, as I say, it's an area that's going to keep growing.

Jonny Dunning:   58:11   Yeah, do you think there's a fundamental trigger for people where they like working towards an outcome? You know, you we all know, for example, tech, friends who work in a tech industry, who might sit there and be working in a permit role, contract role, whatever it might be, could even be a project based role where stuff never gets finished. So it's not that fulfilling, in a sense, you might be doing clever work each day, unless you get towards an objective or something very rewarding, just naturally within the human psyche, that's kind of locked into our DNA about achieving an objective. And do you think that plays a factor for the type of experts you're talking about? 

Steve Corbett:      58:49   Yes, I do. And I say that without getting too deep into it, this touches on the past, and that additional nine to five, you kind of turn a wheel, you're not really sure what you're, you know, what the outcomes are, and find a job to do. You know, that's the way it's been for years and years and years, I think I should say humans are naturally aligned to picking up something a piece of work, whatever it may be, and having an outcome delivering some things in it to the end, you know, giving birth to something, watching it grow, you know, putting their name on it. And I think that this market, and especially James harbor attracts those kinds of people, which the top 5% in the market, which again, adds to the value cycle that goes to a client to say, look, these guys are naturally aligned to delivering a piece of work, they want to add value, then what they don't want to keep you in a problem. They want to come in and as much value as you can, and love them. Our consultants and other associates will cry around your projects and be quite honest and say, Look, you know what, there's only so much money I can add here. I'll do a couple of days, you know, I'll do my bit and then I'll stand back. And that's the kind of community that we're building which is, which is benefits us and it benefits clients. And it's it's an exciting area to be in at the moment.

Jonny Dunning:   59:55   Yeah, I agree. I think from that people's perspective, there is You know, people want to do what they're good at. Yeah, people want to use their skills. And it's like, when you, when you look at kids, when I look at my kids, you know, I wouldn't necessarily say to them, learn this skill and that skill, what or you know, go down this path. But my, my main thing would be find something you're interested in, find something you're interested in and pursue that you get good, get good at something. And, and, you know, when you look at that kind of the application of somebody skills, but you say people want to work on the best projects, they want to see something through to fruition, they want to feel the recognition of having achieved something, they want to work out, you know, use their skills, and do what they're good at. And on the other side of it, from an organizational perspective, there is a growing trend, or train of thought or acceptance of the need to address as you brought up earlier, the work that needs to be done. So in some ways, it's almost counter to the individual viewpoint, in the sense that it's looking at the work not starting with the work, not starting with the individual. What what's your view on that side of things? 

Steve Corbett:      1:01:11     Yeah. Again, it ties into this big tapestry that we spoke about in terms of where we've come from where we've come to, I think there are, as I say, I think we're speed of technology, speed of delivery, speed of companies need to change burning platforms everywhere. I are 35, contractors, permanent, inconvenient truths, around skills, you know, it's a whole menagerie of of stuff. So what spits out with that what never changes is the work, what actually needs delivered, you know, what needs to live in, there's a big mess going on here. But you know, what will never change is the word that that needs to be delivered. So if companies focus on that, the kind of model or the kind of vehicle to get those outcomes and is actually quite irrelevant. And it's a massive mind shift for companies to, to think about, you know, to go to a provider, or supplier or a consultancy and say, Well, this work here needs to be delivered. And these are the outcomes over to you, we kind of don't really care how you deliver it, or what people you use, as long as it fits in with the statement of work, obviously, it's quite, it's quite a mind shift to, to get companies to follow. But I think we're slowly getting there. Now, I think companies are focusing on the work the outcomes, you know, the endpoint that needs delivered. And the more traditional models that we've been using just aren't fit for purpose anymore, or just don't fit in with the new world. You know, we talked about this, this new normal, I don't think it just fits in with with the new agenda anymore. 

Jonny Dunning:   1:02:52     Yeah, I mean, if you kind of go one level above that, if you say, from an organization's point of view, the most important thing for them to address when they're resourcing anything is what they start with what needs to be done. Yeah. Rather than saying, we're going to get a contractor in to do this, or we're going to get a permanent put, we're going to build a permanent team around this, or we're going to outsource it. If you start with what needs to be done, then in the first instance, you can work out what's the most effective way to do it. And if you've got options, if you've got the right supplies, you can deliver under a statement of work, if you've got access through staffing companies to effective delivery of contingent labor. And if you've got a highly effective permanent headcount pool, then then you've got options, you can do it in the most suitable way. So yeah, I agree, I think it's a very important standpoint there. For me, the beautiful thing about this two sided part of the conversation where you're looking at the individuals viewpoint on getting things done, and using their skills, which is a very personal, it's very individual person related thing, versus the company side of it, where they need to look at what is it always start with what is it that needs to be done, they both tie back to one thing, and that's the outcome. They both tie back to the delivery of an outcome, which is the successful conclusion for for the person doing the work, or the supplier doing the work, and also for the organization that's actually getting the work done. And as I said, that's very pragmatic, but it's, it's definitely it's definitely something that's got more exposure now than I believe ever before.

Steve Corbett:      1:04:26     Yeah, everything is under a massive spotlight at the moment. As I say, there are burning platforms out there that are we've seen companies go to the wall, you know, big blue chips have gone to the wall, and you know what they will there will be more, you know, there will be more blue chips, big global companies that are struggling right now, who will not new will not make it into the next, you know, 510 15 years, unless they change now. So this is where these models are being quite effective. And you know, if you focus on the work that needs to be done, have an open Mind, look at options, look at what the best vehicle to get there is. You know, some companies look at a model like ours and go, it's gonna be expensive. You'd be surprised, compared to a list of options, you know, we're probably mid table, but you have that service wrapper, you have all the guarantees around it, you know? Don't look at cost, look at value, the old, the old, the old phrase.

Jonny Dunning:   1:05:27     It depends what's good gets delivered, doesn't it? So if you actually look at it and go, Well, you can be more effective for us to resource this in this way. Well, well, is it you know, there's a lot of complexity, a lot of different contributing factors that that will affect that. It's not just a question of a, you know, you can't just boil it down to rates for example, you can't just boil it down to rate cards, consultancy A versus consultancy b 30%. Difference in rate card, but the cheaper, cheaper rate car company takes three times as long to deliver. It's more than it's more than just that. So So yeah, even when you look at that against permanent headcount, if you're doing it on a cost cost benefit analysis, you know, have you got the internal expertise? Or if you're looking at a contractor base, what are people actually doing? How long have they been doing it? Is anyone really focused on the outcomes? And that's the thing, I think that a lot of companies are getting switched on to around outcomes from a strategic level is, you know, what you're going to get you know, where you're going. And, you know, when you look at the change that we talked about the pace of change, you mentioned, Amazon, I remember hearing something where Jeff Bezos was talking about their their approach to strategy, whether they are like the meetings that their management teams are having now or not about what's happening now. Yeah, they're about what's going to be happening in a year's time or two years time, how it's going to be completely different. Because the work to deliver what's going to happen now happened a year ago, the strategy to do that, and that is the change is happening so fast. Yeah. And obviously, they're an extreme outlier in terms of their levels of success and their levels of changing and adaptation. But actually knowing what you're going to do, that's clear steps towards an objective. So that that makes real sense. In my kind of slightly scientific brain, the way I like to look at things I'm not a not so much a creative, more of a kind of scientific type of brain. But yeah, it's, it's certainly something that people are waking up to, and they're waking up to it, because of the opportunity, they're waking up to sa w because of the risks inherent in their current supply chains, where they will have huge spend on services delivered under SW that they have very little visibility on, you've got compliance risks around that as well, which obviously are 35 is causing people to address. And, but it's making a lot more people aware of it. And it was interesting to you, you you described starting to work is like quite sexy right now. You know, when we started with our building out our technology around statement work, I really wouldn't have you know, the idea of talking about sacred work. Actually, was it, you know, could have imagined it, but... 

Steve Corbett:      1:08:00     Yeah, just as that point, Jonny. And, you know... 

Jonny Dunning:   1:08:05     Have you seen some of those contracts? I mean... 

Steve Corbett:      1:08:08     Yeah, well, I wouldn't call them. 

Jonny Dunning:   1:08:09     I just love reading through them. 

Steve Corbett:      1:08:11     Yeah. But one of the things that we gladly do, and you know, where we add value is an education piece, to talk to a client about what this whole thing is, you know, what it what it means ways of working, how to write a statement of work, what should be in a statement of work, you know, educate on IR35, we, we educate, on, consultancy, on delivery on how this thing worked, because I think there's a lot of companies out there that that are just bamboozled. But at the moment, you know, they're just like rubbish in headlights, disruption change, they've got to do something as IR35. There's different work models, more for talent, whatever you want to call it. And they're just ended, they're kind of just paralyzed in terms of which way to go. So we, you know, it's an education piece, I think, for me, you and others, like us to go out there in the market to preach the gospel and say, you know, look, there is another option, you know, one with value one with service, one with transparency, to get that work done. And once you kind of start explaining that to a client, the client is prick up, and they go, Ah, yes, that's the final piece of the jigsaw.

Jonny Dunning:   1:09:20     And if you look ahead, obviously, we're still, you know, in, I'd still say we're still fairly deep in the hole pandemic situation, obviously, the kind of numbers coming out the UK as we relax restrictions, you've been told it's they're ramping up, actually, they've leveled out a little, obviously pan out over time, and it's a global issue. But I guess the next 12 months is a relatively short timescale. But do you have any particular kind of predictions over the next 12 months or even the next 24 months as to how the market is going to change in the way that it's getting worked on?

Steve Corbett:      1:09:55     Yeah, good question. I think I'm biased but I think this model will only grow. Just taking a step back, I think, where are we now into July? I think, coming to the end of April, May time, it was obvious that the market in terms of technology, business projects and programs was taken off again. You know, yes, we're still in the grips of COVID. And Fingers crossed, we can get out of this. But the market made his own decision, the economy, capitalism made his own decision about right. We started, you know, you can even go back to January, February, maybe. But, you know, April, May time, you could see this shift in the market of clients coming back on line to go, Joe, well, we're back on this working from home thing, funnily enough, worked. So that that's what the conversation itself, but working from my work, productivity is the same may have gone up a little bit Greenlight. And that's my comment before about CEOs now coming down the stairs going right guys, we're back on, we need to deliver 20 2021 projects, which will change COVID blah, blah. So the market went back up again. And this is we'll spin this wheel spin now to get projects done to get work done. So, you know, take it from a granular kind of recruitments the level our colleagues on the high side of the business are absolutely flying, you know, we're back to pre code COVID levels. The contractor market is a tough market now, because there's a race for skills and there's a drain for skills off the market. Permanent headcount, permanent recruitment is always tough. There's a total war for talent there. So companies are going, Oh, how else can we do it? What out? Where else do we go to so James Harvard is doing sounds like a sales pitch, but doing extremely well, we are just exponentially growing, you know, month by month, year on year, because people are now looking at this model going, you know, what your proposition fits what we need. To deepen it, it just fits what we need. So this services, outcomes based consultancy, constant value add model just works, and it will only get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. Where we go to next how big we could get? Who knows, you know, we want to keep it true to the market, we want to stay as a disruptor quite a bold consultancy. You know, I think once you get too big, you start to fall into the areas of the bigger guys, you start to get slower, and what are we doing to do that we want to be quick to service our clients quick to deliver agile, keep all that all that service method in there. So, you know, the outlook and the market is very exciting, you know, fingers crossed, we go on top of the COVID pandemic, and things get back to normal. But definitely the market and the need to deliver is just growing exponentially. 

Jonny Dunning:   1:12:52     Yeah, it's been a scary time. It's been a sad time and a difficult time for people all over the world. But from a business perspective, when you look at what the market is trying to do at the moment, I think where the challenges, change and disruption is created. And to a certain extent, that's always creates an exciting situation. It just means things move along. And when you get an urgent emergency situation, like a global pandemic, who would have thought we'd ever lived through that. That just forces it's there's no you can't have any fluff around things. 

Steve Corbett:      1:13:30     Yes. 

Jonny Dunning:   1:13:31     It's absolutely strips away any layers of complacency, where people just have to get stuff done. It's like the challenges that procurement teams faced, you know, government procurement departments in sourcing PPA and trying to deal with all of the all of the chaos that was caused by the pandemic, but it does create opportunity, it does create, change. And, you know, hopefully, there can be some positives that come out of it, like you mentioned about working practices and remote working, it works. You know, I agree with the whole thing of, you know, organizations being able to be flexible, where, you know, it's nice, going into the office, I currently go into the office couple of days a week is great, I really enjoy it go face to face with my colleagues, you know, bouncing bouncing ideas around whiteboards, and all that sort of stuff, just being together and feeling that energy is fantastic. But likewise, you know, we spent a long period of time not going to the office at all, and we still managed to be very, very productive. So I think it's really whatever whatever the people working in your organization need, and you need to be able to provide that and that's going to change the way office space is utilized. Got to change the way people work generally. But... 

Steve Corbett:      1:14:39     Yeah, so to go across your head, but I think you're right. I think through everything that's happened, I think there is a natural - and I don't use the word global reset because that starts conspiracy theories -  reset. This is a point in time now, where businesses people - it sounds horrible - have been given an opportunity to look at what they're doing, and to make a change, to make a reset to go, "Okay. This business model that we've been following, has it been the right one? Is it the right one?" We've always had this change agenda here. Now is a perfect time to do it. Now is a perfect time to reset business models, size of businesses, products, offerings, agility, platforms, whatever you want to call it. And people as well have looked at lifestyle, 09:00 to 05:00 versus gig economy versus portfolio versus statement of work whenever. Now is a reset time for companies to reset what they're doing, change their platforms, change their thinking, change their business models to get ready for what is going to be an exciting future. And that's where we're kind of doing well as well we help our clients to achieve that. So exciting stuff.

Jonny Dunning:   1:15:55     Excellent stuff. Well, listen, I really appreciate your time. Let's wrap it up there. Also really appreciate getting your perspective from that angle of the consulting services angle. It's really interesting to get that viewpoint on the market. But yeah, thanks so much for your time. There's probably loads of other stuff that we could discuss further, but, yeah, I appreciate you taking the time. It's been a very interesting conversation. And yeah, good luck with everything and hopefully we can catch up again soon. 

Steve Corbett:      1:16:23     Good luck to your Jonny as well. Take care. 

Jonny Dunning:   1:16:25     Thanks a lot. 

Steve Corbett:      1:16:26     Cheers. Bye bye.


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