An interview with Laurna Woods, CEO of Beattie Communications Group.

An interview with Laurna Woods, CEO of Beattie Communications Group.

An interview with Laurna Woods, CEO of Beattie Communications Group.

I have been chatting to Laurna on how she has been running an international business while being located in her home in Scotland and how IT has provided her with a tool that has improved business.

Do you think that you have changed your style of leadership or management over the last few weeks, how?

I’ve not so much changed my leadership style but it’s definitely been amped up and put to the test to cope with the pace and volume this situation has thrown our way – I am responding faster and aiming to be on the front foot as best as possible to steer our way through the crisis. I am lucky that I’ve always been naturally very proactive and assertive, which of course are critical qualities in any challenging situation, but striking the balance between mitigating the fallout and remaining positive to see and maximise any glimmer of opportunity is key, and I’m constantly reminding myself of that when in firefighting mode. My own leadership team have risen to the challenge and come into their own, too, which has been a huge support. We’re playing brilliantly as a team in these testing times.

How do you inspire and motivate people right now?

Constant communication! We cannot over-communicate right now, be there for each other, see each other’s faces as well as hear their voices. It’s important that everyone is in a routine to ensure we’re continuing to deliver our best service and greatest work for our clients – while maintaining our own levels of motivation and super charging our energy. As well as our daily stand-ups, we have regular virtual team get-togethers for creative sessions, quizzes and even wine time! We haven’t mastered the group exercise yet but we’re working on it!

What has been the best change you have made as a result of social distancing?

I think that most people will give you the same answer, and that’s harnessing technology to communicate. As a communications business, we thrive on the connectivity of people and I never thought it would be possible to achieve as much as we have in a virtual world. So the change has been using technology more to communicate across our UK network, it was always there but we didn’t believe in it like we do now that it’s tried and tested.

What will you never go back to doing and why?

Unnecessary travel. I think we will all re-appraise what we deem to be essential movement, in our personal and professional lives. While there is no substitute for person to person contact and relationship building, and there will always be a place for that, this moment in time will be remembered, I think, as the moment we all hit pause and reflected on what we do every day and why. An 8-hour round trip for a two-hour meeting may no longer make sense and our multi-site training can easily take place seamlessly, efficiently and on-demand via Teams or Zoom video conferencing. And the planet, our productivity and profitability will be all the better for it.

What will you do more of now life has changed?

Enjoy home! I am desperate for things to return to normal in so many ways but in travelling not so much, I don’t always get much time to treasure all that’s wonderful and relaxing at home and in the garden. I’m always shopping, eating out, visiting friends and family. I’m not saying I won’t be doing that but in future, I’ll certainly be savouring home a whole lot more. And when I do take in experiences, I will be supporting local and British, this will certainly be the year of the staycation, I am sure many people feel the same as me in that they want to do their bit to help re-build our economy and enjoy all that our wonderful country has to offer.