Mayvin team walking

Reflections of 2021: being influential, artful and skilful in OD & D, which also means taking a good look at our own messiness…

Well 2021, our 11th year in business, has been another big one for Mayvin. Like everyone else in the UK we started our year in lockdown, and of course, are all hoping against hope that we don’t end the year in the same state. I wonder what we’ll do if we run out of Greek letters for new Covid variants?

Client work and events

We’ve been busy! In financial terms our turnover doubled between 2020 and 2021 and we’ve done some amazing client work. Ranging from redesigning a government agency, to developing leadership capability in a University, to academically accredited Organisation Development and Design programmes in the private sector (including a financial services company and a large media organisation). Not to mention 7 cohorts of our accredited Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner programmes for the UK Civil Service. We’ve completed 26 cohorts in total now.

Other highlights include our ground-breaking programmes of free events for our growing community of practitioners. Most notably Mindfully Moving Towards New Working Patterns and our Artful Start the Week sessions which have really taken off this year. Why not come along and give them a try? If you’d rather engage with us in your own time, have a listen to our shiny new podcast. Or take a look at our latest animation – in which we try to put our finger on what it is that we do for our clients and what makes us different.

Prof. James and the Masters

Also in 2021, James was honoured to be named as one of HR’s Most Influential Thinkers for the second year running. As well as being promoted to Professor of Practice in Leadership and Management at Hult Business School. Plus he was personally invited (by the Vice Chancellor) to host an open lecture (“Practice-based Learning: What difference makes a difference?”) for our accreditation partner, the University of Chichester.

Talking of which, our other big news is, of course, the launch of our Masters in People and Organisation Development in partnership with the University of Chichester Business School and featuring powerful input from NTL Institute. We are so excited to be making this contribution to the field of Organisation Development and judging by the comments of those who have seen the prospectus, others are excited too. Modesty aside, I have to say it’s a pretty cool programme so do let us know what you think, and if you like it tell your friends.

What’s been happening inside Mayvin

Meanwhile inside Mayvin, exciting things have been happening. In the last 18 months our employees have doubled in number. We are now 15 employees and 32 Associates – tiny in comparison to our clients of course, but to me we feel like a proper business. I couldn’t be happier at company meetings when I look around the Zoom grid (or the meeting room) at the amazingly talented group we have attracted. 

It’s not been without its challenges of course. The addition of each new person brings further complexity and we’ve found ourselves treading on our colleagues’ toes from time to time, needing to work out who is responsible for what. My personal journey has been of constantly reinventing my role, while learning to let go, look further ahead and increase my capacity. Back in the Spring we started thinking about customer journeys and our operating model – grown-up stuff!

All of which suggests a rational and sober process, but in truth it wasn’t always. We’ve started to discern our shadow and notice the places where what we say is at odds with what we do. Of course, these are the very dynamics our clients experience. We try and head towards them and learn about them, both for the health of our own business and so we can be useful to our clients. This is what we call Practice-based Learning.

So, as I close this blog and we look to the close of the year and on towards 2022, let me thank you, the Mayvin community, for your ongoing support of our work and, more broadly, of what we stand for. We have always seen Mayvin as a business that supports a community of practitioners. We stand or fall by our relationship with you and the work you and we do is important, perhaps now more than ever.

Martin Saville 

December 2021