Gosh, it’s December already. Christmas, Chanukah and the Festive Season are again upon us, and Claire is nudging me to write another year end / new year blog. Did you know that the Roman god Janus, for whom the month of January is named, is depicted as having two faces, one looking back and the other forward? Janus was the god of beginnings, endings, transitions and gateways. Very OD. I shall try to summon up the spirit of Janus as I write, though I imagine he’s quite busy at this time of year.
This time last year I shared my hopes that the lockdowns were behind us, and mercifully that has come to pass. But, in our business, in our families and in the wider communities with whom we work, Covid has been very present, and it is with gratitude that I notice it feels less figural now than it did even a few months ago. If 2020 was about survival and 2021 about recovery, then 2022 has felt more about healing and convalescence. That takes time and energy. I feel there is plenty more still to be done.
Not that we have sat on our hands. If you’re remotely interested in what we get up to at Mayvin, you’ll have seen the delight and pride we take in the successful launch of our Masters in People and OD, which kicked off in April. This is very much a labour of love – our contribution to an important field of practice that makes the world a better place. And we were no less excited at the recent launch of our Tony Nicholls’ first book, Managing Change in Organizations, in which he challenges us to look at management through new eyes. Hear him talking about this in two podcast episodes an interview with Tony and The future of organizations/organizing. And look out for programme offerings underpinned by his ideas.
Mayvin works with organisations looking to make things better for their people, their customers, clients and service users, and for the wider world. Sometimes the work is complex and detailed; sometimes it’s simply creating a space for people to pause and reflect for a moment so they can discern the next wise move. At a time of great uncertainty and unrest we are proud to be supporting organisations across the UK Civil Service and its many agencies; local authorities; universities; many parts of the NHS; major charities and NGOs; and companies in sectors as diverse as financial services, energy and media. Many describe our work as ‘life changing’ and it is an honour to feel so trusted. We look forward to more good work in 2023 and already have some very significant development programmes lined up.
Janus is also the god of boundaries; and the crossing of boundaries, great and small, is always charged with emotion. (That’s why we have ritual.) On 31 December, Tony Fraser, our much-loved founding Chair, will finally make good on his threat to retire. We’ve managed to stave this off a few times in the past but it would appear that this time he is resolute, which is fair enough after 12 years. We will miss greatly Tony’s incisive questions, his clarity, his wise and always useful perspective.
From January, our James Traeger will chair our Board (albeit with a more hands-on remit than Tony’s) and my role will become more overtly CEO-like. Sarah Fraser, meanwhile, will step into a more COO-type space, Rachael Geddes will also take a more strategic operational role across the business and our team of brilliant Client Relationship Managers will be led by Sarah Rahim. We are excited about the future and look back at the past with fondness.
As we close the year we also remember with gratitude two giants in our field whom we have lost in recent months, Wendy Palmer and Mee-Yan Cheung Judge. Both were inspirational practitioners and wonderful people who will have touched many reading this blog. May their memories be for blessing, as we say in Judaism.
Wishing you a good Christmas and a happy new year.