Monday 30 September 2019
What do Trilby and Svengali, Lord Alfred Douglas, Ridley Scott and Judi Dench all have in common? One word, but to be more specific, one place - Hampstead. Which is where Crest took itself for its summer away day last week.
Granted, late September is a stretch for a summer away day but the last few months have made for an incredibly busy period at Crest towers. Despite our tardiness the weather played ball and we were able to enjoy some glorious late September sunshine, albeit not too far from the office in sunny north London.
Why have an ‘away day’? What is the point?
With everyone at team Crest juggling multiple clients and many of us working in a variety of geographical locations it is a rarity that the whole team are able to sit down together and take the opportunity to work on our plans for the next year. It also gives us the chance to reflect on the work we have delivered over the last 12 months. Which is exactly what we spent last Thursday morning doing, covering all areas of the business; namely what our priorities are and how we continue to deliver the best work we can for our clients whilst making an impact. Doing this away from the frenetic hustle and bustle of the office is vital. Making sure that the whole team are involved in the business planning process is at the heart of what we do. As Directors we spend a lot of time talking about our values - but it's absolutely essential that we both live by and run the business by them - and working together as a team, where everyone is able to pitch in is a crucial part of this.
So that’s the bit where we all worked hard.
Our afternoon was spent walking through Hampstead’s many, varied streets learning all about its history (a health resort no less, famous for its life affirming water) and its eclectic mix of former residents. The artist Constable whose Hampstead landscapes are well known played a significant role, but perhaps less documented is former resident Marie Stopes. Who knew that this pioneering woman rejected her son for marrying a woman who (wait for it)... wore glasses?
Daphne du Maurier, George du Maurier and any other du Maurier you may care to mention walked these not so mean streets - hence the Trilby and Svengali reference. Staying true to Crest’s work, the walk was not without its nod to criminal justice; Judges Walk earned its name from the time the city’s judges decamped here whilst seeking escape from the Great Plague of London in the seventeenth century. We also got to see the Watch House - the original home to the 1830's Hampstead Police Force. Another favourite was the Admiral’s House which for all Mary Poppins fans, was captured on screen as the Banks’ family’s noisy neighbour, ‘Admiral Boom’.
Obviously any away day worth its salt should end with a refreshing drink and whilst this was firmly on the agenda, back to work beckoned and the team were once again spread far and wide. Managing Director Harvey hurtled towards a TV studio to talk about our most recent report on serious violence and Jon and Manon in an entirely different direction - to Watford to run a focus group for one of our clients. Business as usual resumed.