Get Living is the UK’s most experienced and progressive build to rent operator of large-scale residential neighbourhoods.In 2013 Get Living was created following the acquisition of the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village. They were one of the UK’s first property investor, developer and letting businesses with a consumer facing brand. Managing close to 3,000 market rent homes in East Village E20, Elephant and Castle and New Maker Yards in Manchester, the company has developed a revolutionary model for rental housing. With a further 5,000 homes in the company’s identified pipeline, Get Living’s ambition is to take their total portfolio quickly to 12,500 across the UK.
Get Living had reached a point in its evolution where an agreement was needed amongst the Executive Team and Investor Group to design a longer-term operating model. The leadership team wanted to change the culture of Get Living into one that empowered its people to drive the quest for ever greater improvement in resident experience, operational efficiency and ultimately investor performance.
Get Living had arrived at a stage in its development where the current company structure would not support their longer-term growth ambitions.
They, therefore, required a talented and capable interim HR Organisation Design Consultant. Someone with the stakeholder management skills to navigate through the internal nuances of an executive committee and the senior level skills with investors to design a longer-term operating model and organisational structure.
“I really can’t remember the last time I rated anything top marks! BIE has been superb from identifying a match to navigating and concluding the process. I’m struggling to put anything down to improve, which is annoying.”
Get Living instructed BIE to find the right candidate and to help the Executive Team create the profile for the position.
The candidate was required to help and support the Executive Team create a business case to be presented to all shareholders. They would help secure investor support, gain budget sign-off and create an operational plan to be delivered.
The successful candidate was Ali Humphries. A highly commercial and skilled Group HRD with good organisation design experience, plus both public and private investor exposure having worked as part of the Executive Team that IPO’d Aldermore Bank.
Ali worked closely with Rick de Blaby and Greg Hyatt to gain investor commitment for a new Executive Team Structure. She focussed on leadership effectiveness and coaching support. She also supported Get Living to design more efficient teams under those leaders.
Ali’s contract was subsequently extended to the end of FY2020 on a part-time basis. She continued to support Get Living on some of the day-to-day people and HR activities, hiring a number of roles, and ultimately replacing herself with a new Director of People and Culture for the business.
Following Ali’s successful appointment, the BIE team continued to support the Get Living CEO, Rick de Blaby, and the wider executive committee in the following areas:
BIE has sourced both interim and permanent candidates for the finance function, placing an interim number two in finance to allow the CFO to lead on the future planning of the business, and a permanent Finance Director who reports into the CFO.
BIE has placed their new permanent Director of People & Culture; whose remit is to create a small and efficient HR operation. BIE has also sourced several people in the HR function to support with change consulting.
BIE has placed several interim Programme/Portfolio Management/PMO consultants to help Get Living build their change capability across both corporate functions and their neighbourhood operations.
Get Living is an organisation with huge capital value, however a relatively small headcount of <120 staff. Through placing just eight individuals into permanent, interim and consulting roles, BIE Executive has supported the creation of a structure to enable future growth.
CLIENT’S VIEW OF BIE
“At a time when we’ve sought to achieve a real step change in our growth and on-going performance, the culture change and organisational design were critical. BIE really took time to understand our business, our people and our ethos, so that they could present us with candidates they knew would fit and be key players in all that we aspire to attain.”
Rick de Blaby, CEO, Get Living
CANDIDATE’S VIEW OF BIE
“Get Living is a great business and I think the best is yet to come. It was a unique opportunity that BIE presented to me, and Get Living and their investors gave me the room to be brave and help them make some significant step changes to enable them to be future fit. BIE demonstrated a deep understanding of the client and I was delighted that they always took the long-term view and built a partnering relationship and delivered some great candidates.”
Ali Humphries, Interim HRD