A view from the top
A view from Debbie Klein

A view from the top

Not every week of mine starts in such auspicious surroundings as 10 Downing Street, but that's the case this week as our new managing partner, Annie Gallimore, and I attend a briefing for the upcoming Alzheimer's pitch.

We’ve had a good run of government wins recently – HMRC and the Royal Mail IPO, and this is ?another hugely important subject to tackle. Obviously, I get my picture taken in front of the iconic door, and even spot Larry, the Downing Street cat. That gets more likes on Facebook than anything I’ve ever posted.

Back at base, and I sit down with our HR team to discuss the launch of "Brighter Together", a series of new training workshops delivered by leaders from within our business.

In fact, it’s a week of launches for us, as I also kick off the 2013 "Engine’s Got Talent" competition and the 2014 Engine graduate scheme. We’re very proud of our grad set-up, as they rotate around each of our businesses. I believe it’s the responsibility of all of us to give people a leg-up as they try to get into this industry and I never forget I was once in their position. Our latest intake have already made themselves firmly part of agency life. Zuki, Rosie, Tatiana and Becca – I’m sure it will be one of you writing this column one day.

I pay a visit to see the team at JW3, the state-of-the-art Jewish community centre that opened in London in October after ten years in the making. ?I chair JW3’s board of trustees and, three weeks since opening, it’s great to see such a range of visitors and numbers surpassing all our expectations.

Next, I’m off to the gorgeous Berners Tavern, where I meet up with the other Brits who took the advanced management programme at Harvard Business School with me last year. The meal is to mark our one-year reunion, although the eight weeks we spent in Boston seem like a lifetime ago.

It’s also the week I meet with each of the heads of our 11 UK companies to discuss their 2014 business plans; it’s a chance to step away from the madness of the day-to-day and think about ?future strategy. I shift gear from numbers and vision to the really important stuff, and take the afternoon off to see my daughter sing in the Harvest Festival and play in a netball match.

I meet with Alex Balfour, our new chief digital officer, to discuss an exciting initiative we’re about to launch after his recent trip to Engine in the US. Then a catch-up with the Sky team as they have just released their third-quarter results, which announced that Sky now has more than five million broadband customers – great to know that we’ve played a small part in helping to achieve this.

I end the week by taking a prospective client around our building. We have 800 people under the same roof in London now and, every time I get to show somebody new around, I see the great personalities and talents at Engine through a fresh pair of eyes.

I get my final surprise of the week, as Captain Peck (the managing director of WCRS) stands at my office door and salutes. This can only mean one thing – we’ve won the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy business. It’s the same signal he gave when we won the Royal Navy in 2006, and the latest review process has been a mammoth task handled by a brilliant team. It also confirms that, with Partners Andrews Aldridge having won the RNLI CRM account earlier in the week, Engine is no place for anyone with seasickness!

Debbie Klein is the chief executive of Engine

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