As this is one of the first blogs, I thought I’d use it to share some reflections on my first few weeks as part of the JCURV team. My name is Jess, and I joined in late April. Aside from an earlier stint in consulting, I’ve spent most of my career in the public sector: initially as a civil servant at the Home Office and then delivering the London 2012 Games, and most recently as Director of Change and Improvement at The Open University. So I know a bit about how to help big, complicated organisations get stuff done. And – maybe just as importantly – I also have lived experience of how not to do it! Outside of work I’m kept busy by my cheeky-chappy toddler and equally cheerful husband: we enjoy days out and weekends away, exploring new places and seeing friends.

May 21 2019: Hi everyone – and welcome to the first JCURV blog!  

We’ve set up this blog as an experiment to share more thoughts and reflections about what we do and how and why we do it. This is predominantly a space for #WorkingOutLoud, showcasing the JCURV team and sharing some of the great work we do informally. We’d love your feedback: either in the comments below, through Twitter [link @jcurvs] or - even better - over a coffee. Whatever the mechanism, just let us know! And if you’re looking for more detail about some of our key insights please also visit Our Thinking page

We’re hoping to publish blogs every few weeks at least but that frequency will depend on what else is going on: in true agile style we’re going to start small, and test and learn. We’ll be talking about some of the things that are front of mind at the time – the things that are interesting us, frustrating us, and making us think.  And of course - if there are any topics you’d like us to talk about please let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

May 22 2019: Joining JCURV: reflections from a new team-member


So how did I end up at JCURV? Having spent my career in organisations with a strong purpose and wide-reaching impact, it was essential for me that my next organisation had a similarly bold mission, and ideally one that transcends the company itself. JCURV’s mission is to increase the UK’s agility by helping organisations thrive in an increasingly changing world. This big courageous goal - increasing the agility of the UK- really appealed to me as a prospective applicant. And I can already see how that mission is instrumental in driving what we do and how we do it. I also wanted a bit of a change in organisational scene: the JCURV team is a lot smaller than my previous organisation (but perfectly formed!), flat, relatively ‘young’ (we’ve just celebrated our fourth birthday) and is run on agile principles. 

Another thing that was really important for me was ensuring a good fit between my values and those of the company. I’ve seen those values in action throughout my first few weeks, and so I’ve used them here to structure some of my first reflections;

Extraordinary:Along with the mission and values, JCURV’s people were the other key driver in my decision to join. I was impressed by everyone I met during the application process (almost the whole team – another benefit of a small company!). And - phew! - those first impressions are proving to be well-founded: my new colleagues are not only highly capable and credible in what they do – but also genuinely fun, passionate, energetic, and driven by good motivations.

Value focussed: JCURV are hugely proud of the value they’ve delivered so far for their clients and the wider economy. And so they should be: £1.6bn is a colossal amount. From day one I’ve seen how the team’s approach makes this happen: through clear goals, bold prioritisation, and delivering tangible improvements quickly and often.

Oneness:I’ve received a great welcome to JCURV, quickly feeling part of the furniture (in a good way!) and a trusted colleague. The whole team participated in a recent company strategy discussion, with a refreshing level of honesty and shared commitment. And - most importantly - that’s also been evident in terms of how we work with our clients too: they know we’re in this with them.

Sustainability: a key tenet of the JCURV approach is to build capability in others. With a particular current client this means helping their teams understand not just whatthey need to do – but also why- keeping one eye looking ahead to make sure we can step away at a safe point.

Joining a new organisation can be a bit of a risk, and – particularly for a smaller company – that risk can go both ways. But I’m really pleased I’ve made the move: my first few weeks have been varied and fun, I’m learning a lot, and I’m working with great people on important stuff. I’m looking forward to what comes next!