Life as Head of Strategy

Strategy is a core function of our services at 383 with the team being involved in pretty much every aspect of a project; right from first brief through to complete deliver and ongoing management.

Even though we are heavily involved in a lot of project work, some of the work we do is still a bit of a mystery outside the studio, particularly when it comes to hiring.

To help shed some light on what we do here in Strategy at 383, I have decided to call out some of the interesting meetings, projects and conversations I have been involved in over the last week.

Monday morning: Pod team meetings

Here at 383 we work in Pods; small teams consisting of a Strategist, Client Partner and Project Manager devoted to the ongoing relationship and projects of a small number of clients. As Head of Strategy, I like to dip into all Pod team meetings not just to understand client projects for that week, but to give direction and ensure things are on track. I believe that Pods should operate with fairly strong autonomy.

I’m constantly asking Strategists what their roadmap is for a client's product or service, how they know this is the right approach and how this is going to be delivered through the studio.

Monday afternoon: Client strategy reviews

As Strategists, we are responsible for creating and owning long-term visions for any given client product or service. We effectively own where we are taking a client’s product and the steps in bringing it to life. Every week we have regular check-ins to see how our plans are forming – what new insights we are discovering, what new technology is coming to the fore for a clients sector, and how we can apply these insights to clients long-term strategic goals.

Tuesday: Client value proposition mapping

At any given time we have a strong line up of clients asking for our strategic thinking, and last week was no exception. We spent the day mapping out their existing value proposition, with a view to identifying key points of pain and friction in their existing product and how we might improve this. Once the core proposition is defined and areas of focus identified, we work closely with our Design and Engineering teams to find solutions to issues that are creatively compelling for the user and technically possible to deliver. Ultimately, the Strategist will decide the key areas of focus and the goals, but it’s the close working relationship across the teams that ensures the solution is the best experience for the user.

Wednesday morning: New client pitch

We’re involved with clients very early in our relationship and are often consulted in how the studio might reply to a client brief or challenge. For this reason, we’re often part of the pitch team, communicating our approach and solution to a brief for a new client. This part of the role demands great presentation and communication skills, so that we can effectively convey our understanding of the brief and why our solution is the best investment.


Wednesday evening: Train back to HQ

After a fairly hectic week, it’s important we utilise any downtime we might have to catch up on email and stay on top of industry news and trends. Headphones on, Spotify open, interesting stuff to read and a good cup of tea is probably how you’ll find me on any given train journey!


Thursday: Strategy away day

It’s paramount that our Strategic thinking is used not only for our clients but also internally. As part of this, we regularly take the 383 proposition and put it through our tried and tested process to ensure we remain relevant and at the forefront of our industry. Last week was our Strategy away day to do just this and to further refine our proposition and offering to clients. It can sometimes lead to tricky conversations with our internal teams, just as it can do with clients from time to time.

We believe continuously examining our industry, our competitors and our capabilities as a business, can always ensure we are at the cutting edge of our service offering.

Friday: 383 Labs Day

We like to invest time and resource in causes we believe in, and last week this was for a great local cause. It was great to see the Strategy team guiding and leading the internal work much like we do with clients. Labs Days are an opportunity for the wider business to see how the Strategy team thinks, works and solves challenging problems. We are always front and centre to make sure we’re using the techniques from our Strategy toolbox and the entire team understands the approach.

So, that's a week in Strategy at 383

Hopefully, you can see that it’s busy and challenging across a wide range of skills and disciplines that a Strategist must bring to the team. For the right person, the role can be extremely rewarding. We listen to challenges and create award-winning solutions, working at the cutting edge of technology and business, whilst applying design and creative thinking. No day is ever the same and I am constantly amazed at the breadth and depth of information we are exposed to.

If you’re intrigued and excited by this, take a look at our vacant strategy role and maybe join the 383 team. We’re always on the lookout for new Strategists, so why not drop me a mail and say hi!