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Goodbye from Ash Roots

news #people

Time to move on and try my hand at something new

Over the last four-and-a-half years I’ve been fortunate enough to lead and be a part of an amazing digital transformation at Direct Line Group.

We’ve not just improved the digital customer experience, but also evolved how people think, challenge, question, and strive to be better – core principles of how stuff gets done.

It’s always the people that you miss, and that’s never been truer than how I feel about DLG. What's special is not just who they are and what they do, but the indescribable feeling when we’re all together.

Or, put another way: the digital culture we created and the legacy left behind. It goes without saying that I’m immensely proud of the team and what we’ve achieved.

Speaking of achievements, there’s been so much to celebrate: mobile first and easier quote and purchase journeys, increased Google rankings, multiple rebrands, new apps, online servicing, new social media destinations, faster and cheaper agile change, real-time data and analytics, A/B and multivalent testing, a cloud and micro services platform, third party insurance experiences, people-led design thinking, prototyping and UX, a digital talent attraction and development platform, fleet of foot collaborative culture underpinned by Agile principles and approaches, tools and workspaces… dare I go on?

So what have I learned? Here are my top 12 learnings from leading a digital transformation:

1. Don’t waste time telling people what you mean, show them.

2. Thinking is planning, but planning is not thinking.

3. Be yourself, even if that makes you feel vulnerable.

4. Respect the whiteboard and the collaborative power it brings.

5. Never give up. Good intentions will always come out on top.

6. Don’t let the fear of not having an answer stop you from seeking one.

7. Never say something cannot be done until you’ve tried it (a few times).

8. Value those around you and help them be the best they can be.

9. Prioritise relentlessly and don't sweat the small stuff.

10. Pause, reflect, learn. Repeat.

11. When faced with a problem, focus on the opportunities - no matter how small they may appear.

And my most recent reflection, as the team adapts to new beginnings, is the ability to

12. Embrace change. Change creates opportunities. Without it things cannot improve, relationships cannot progress and people cannot grow.

So that’s me pretty much ready to sign off. My heartfelt thanks to everyone involved, and I look forward to seeing how others take DLG Digital to the next level. The best is certainly yet to come.

Ash