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10 years of Mayvin: reflecting on a decade of People Change

In this short animation, founding directors Martin Saville and James Traeger reflect on Mayvin's first decade of creating People Change with our clients and community.
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In this short animation, founding directors Martin Saville and James Traeger reflect on Mayvin's first decade of creating People Change with our clients and community.

Founded in 2010 by Tony FraserMartin Saville and James Traeger, with Sarah Fraser joining the director team in 2014, Mayvin has helped people across the public, private and third sectors to manage the uncertainty and messiness of today’s organisations and create real, lasting change. Over the years, Mayvin has grown in size and aspiration and our clients and community look to us for the latest thinking in the fields of Organisation Development and Design (OD & D), HR, Leadership and Management.


James Traeger: Let’s have a discussion about Mayvin, 10 years on. How do you feel about 10 years?

Martin Saville: Yeah, it’s like WOW look at this incredible group of people we’ve brought together and some of these amazing things that we do and the reputation we have.

Without having any sense of how we were going to get there.

It feels like a number of those things we talked about in the early days we’ve really managed to somehow bring into being, and I feel quite delighted and amazed about that really.

James Traeger: And that’s I suppose one of the things that works isn’t it, that principle of regarding all of this as experiment and seeing how far we could go.

Because it has always been important to us, I know, that we’re a Jewish business. There’s a particular outlook and a particular approach to change and an attitude towards the world which comes from a Yiddish or Jewish sensibility.

And so Mayvin is a Yiddish word which means ‘Trusted Expert’. It also means ‘Smart Arse’ (laughs)… cos everything in Yiddish is double-edged, and that’s important to us. They’re often quite paradoxical, there’s often an irony and a humour, a lightness against the darkness which I think is a very Jewish world view because I think it helps leaders understand the paradox of change which is often about accepting and understanding that where you are is where you are.

Martin Saville: Yes, most of the leaders that we work with — the kind of challenges they’re dealing with are impossible (messy, complex, crazy). Their jobs aren’t doable if you look at it in a traditional rational way.

That way of making sense of their situation which helps them actually operate more skillfully, more compassionately, in a way that is less oppressive to themselves and to others. And actually is ultimately therefore more effective.

[What about the future?]

James Traeger: Yeah, yeah. For me I would love the people who are starting to come up in our community and in our business to see their ambition be fulfilled for Mayvin. And for us to be in a supportive role for their ambition.

Martin Saville: Yeah, nice.


Discover more reflections and insights on the Mayvin blog.

Animation by mistermunro

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