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4/13/2022 Interview

Get a handl on…DX with Neil Vose

As our new Head of Digital Transformation at handl Group, Neil’s work involves enabling businesses to tackle their customers’ challenges with the support of the latest systems and technology.

Here we ask him a few questions about his role within handl, what DX actually involves and what the future will look like following adoption of a Digital Transformation mindset.

 

So Neil, can you tell us exactly what DX is?

DX simply means Digital Transformation. It’s a way of building smarter businesses and empowered people through the application of creative technology. That’s it in normal language!

 

How did you personally get into DX?

For me, DX has been an exciting journey across a marketing, technology, consulting and start up background.

 

What got you hooked on DX in particular?

I have to say it’s been a natural progression. I guess it’s my passion to be curious, and to always think about ‘What If’?...

 

You’re Head of Digital Transformation. In what way is digital transformative?

It’s all about ‘people plus technology’. Combining human intervention with the application of leading technology is essential in delivering successful digital transformation.

 

What are the benefits of investing in DX?

If applied correctly, it leads to sustainable competitive advantage - and overall, enables brands to be easier to do business with.

 

So what is your objective at handl Group?

To help make the People + Technology vision become the default methodology for product and service innovation.

 

Where do you start with a DX project of such scope?

You start by clarifying goals. You also need an understood and communicated ‘Northstar’ – with clear stakeholders and tasks.

 

Is there a formula for DX? Are there certain steps that every project must take?

Broadly speaking, yes. There are guiding principles that you would expect, such as an understanding of customer need, value chain creation, process steps, etc. But it’s also really important to build a culture to foster DX, and to utilise current and new data/insight as critical foundations in decision making.

 

Give us a quick update on what you’ve discovered so far at handl Group.

The Group has a very diverse DX agenda. Some brands are born digital, others only just starting out on their journeys. DX can’t be forced change. My role is to try and enable a new way of thinking. Create thinking space for brands to envisage a future. That’s hard to do as day-to-day priorities will always take preference.

 

Can you talk us through some of the digitally-enabled highlights you’ve discovered so far at handl? What are we already doing well?

We have some very exciting digitally ‘native’ brands: such as EQL, Claimspace and Cogent Hire. They are disrupting their respective markets, and we need to learn from their DX journeys and embed best practice across the Group.

 

Tell us something about your plans for the Group in the short term.  

If each brand had at least one DX task to attain this year, that would be progress. It would give us confidence to invest more in the future.

 

And in the longer term?

I want to align handl within a broader digital change ecosystem. Establish links with start-ups and entrepreneur networks so that we can help incubate the next generation of innovation leaders across our value chain.

 

What would you say is your biggest learning working in DX?

Take small steps first. Learn fast from projects that don’t quite work out. Build on success.

 

What’s been the highlight of your career?

I would hope that it’s still to come! If I was pushed, I couldn’t point to one role or company. Rather, it’s been about the people who I’ve worked with.

 

Who would be your fantasy dinner party guests, dead or alive?

My table of ten would include David Bowie. Bob Mortimer. Desmond Tutu. Eddie Merckx. The Queen. Helen Mirren. Shane Warne. Serena Williams. My wife.

 

How about a favourite band & song?

Super Furry Animals (current) or Prince as a live act. Loaded (Primal Scream) as a seminal track.

 

For anyone looking to get into DX, what’s your top career tip?

Code. (Which I don’t and wish I could). Question the norm. Listen. Learn (ongoing). Specialise (be really knowledgeable in a few sectors).

 

Which digital tools have transformed your own work life?

Slack. Otter

 

Now can you just give us a few words to wind up this session?

Digital has enormous potential for transforming handl Group’s portfolio of companies in a way that will set us apart from our peers. I’m genuinely excited to be a part of that transformation process.

 

Neil, many thanks.

 

Neil Vose joined us as Head of Digital Transformation back in November 2021 and has been accelerating and spearheading digital transformation ever since. He’s a key member of the team and essential to assisting the business with the move to digital.

 

Take a look at what else Neil will be looking after here.

 

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