Rachel Davis

Joint Managing Director

Peter Howarth

Joint Managing Director

Welcome to the latest edition of the Armstrong Craven Review.

2021 began with much optimism as we saw the start of the global roll out of the first approved COVID-19 vaccines. A superb achievement showcasing the art of the possible when multiple functions pull together with sheer focus and determination - science, manufacturing, logistics, programme management – the list goes on.

Despite this positivity, it’s clear that we still have a long way to go and that the impact of the pandemic will be long and far-reaching, extending way beyond 2020.

In our last edition, our Head of Insights & Talent Analytics, Elizabeth Birrell wrote of the importance of resilience and ‘True Grit’ both on an individual and organisational level. This is still so true – people are digging deep and continuing to summon inner strength that perhaps they never thought they even possessed. And thought leaders will be writing of the pandemic’s lasting effects on our health, well-being, and ways of working beyond the actual virus, for years to come. 

And at Armstrong Craven, we have been continually humbled and awed by the spirit, determination, and innovation of our team as we ourselves try to steer through these times. At the time of writing, the team are over halfway through our challenge of cycling virtually from our UK headquarters in Manchester to our office in Singapore using under-the-desk ‘bikes’. An idea from a colleague that we jumped on to help staff well-being and support our 2021 nominated charities of Mind and the UK Sepsis Trust.

We are also fortunate to be working with some of the world’s most influential companies as they navigate through the pandemic. Some are at the front line of vaccine and therapeutics development and are having to ramp up activity at a speed and scale never seen before, whilst some have really struggled as their core markets collapse, and they search for solutions to help them adapt and survive.

And through all of this, HR has played a vital role in driving change, adapting to new situations; mobilising or furloughing the workforce at a moment’s notice, often navigating through brand new legislation and different restrictions from country to country. The pressure on HR to multi-task, to think and act both for the short and long term, has never been greater.

In this issue, we examine talent issues that are current and posing an immediate challenge, and those that are of vital strategic importance where there is a real danger of being relegated to the background during crisis mode…

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the US. During these polarised and often divided times, how can businesses implement a DE&I strategy which looks beyond unconscious bias?
  • Is Tech Talent truly sector agnostic? How to attract the tech talent you need in line with your digitisation strategy.
  • Succession Planning: the importance of strong succession plans aligned to future business strategy.
  • Recovery of the workforce: how will HR shape the post-pandemic world of work?

We wish you all the very best for the remainder of 2021 – health and happiness for you and your families most of all. We also look forward to continuing our partnerships with many of you, and to developing new ones through 2021.