Our MD Mark Stevenson shares the Cherry approach to reducing the impact of the current crisis.

Like thousands of businesses across the globe we prepared for the Covid-19 virus, yet the unprecedented fast pace at which life has changed has left everyone understandably shaken.


As a Marketing, Customer Relationships and Partnerships Agency we are fortunate to be able to easily adapt to home working – from a logistical position; but our focus, in this early stage of remote working, has been focussed on ensuring that our teams stay connected and remain ‘together’ so that we can continue to do great work for our clients, partners and other stakeholders, which in a serendipitous kind of virtuous circle way, will continue to support and nourish our people.


Suddenly everything feels different; but whilst it’s clear that we must all remain focussed on what’s important in these challenging times (and it’s not always the P&L), we are all, I’m sure, experiencing new ways to not only run our businesses and unlock extra value from our hitherto processes and systems (the plumbing as it were) but what has struck me in these early days of a ‘new normal’ is that our people – our own and those of our external support staff are building on and leveraging / tweaking established processes to great effect.


Change ultimately requires the support of everyone in a business to succeed and at Cherry London I have been overwhelmed by the actions of our staff, who are ‘opening my eyes’ to the opportunities this ‘new world’ is presenting, quite simply they are rising to the challenges and finding innovative ways to continue our business indeed allowing it to thrive (emotionally at least) in these challenging times.


It’s clear that we all need to do what we can to reduce the impact of Covid-19, helping each other through; so we wanted to share our simple 4 point approach, just in case it helps any other businesses – even if it’s just one, then great we’re pleased to have helped. If it doesn’t, then at least it will have taken your mind off of things for a short time. Please make of it as you will, but only in Partnership will we come through this together:


The Cherry Way:

1.  Operational changes

Things have changed, so we have to positively respond, finding new ways of functioning:

Like many businesses a lot of our work requires input from multiple stakeholders which typically took the form of face to face meetings. These have been replaced by daily huddle conference calls and Zoom meetings. To ensure our digital meetings are effective we have spent time thinking carefully how to optimise them, such as planning tightly timed agendas with assigned roles and using google documents for real-time contributions from participants. Out of this adversity we may even improve areas of our businesses – there are already strong opportunities for post Covid-19 positive change!


2. Line Management

 The situation over the next weeks may well be challenging, personally and professionally. It is important to recognise the impact on your team and offer support: The lack of physical and social contact can impact negatively on people’s mental well-being so now more than ever mentor-mentee check-ins are vital. We have briefed all staff so that they are clear on their responsibilities to the people they manage and also the steps they should take if they have any concerns or need support themselves.


3. Team spirit

 To maintain the camaraderie, involve everyone in the solution:

 Collaboration is at the core of our business and the team dynamic is vital. We sent out a rallying cry to our team and they owned it, organising Google Hangout exercise sessions, zoom team events and my personal favourite ‘Random Acts of Kindness,’ a form of Secret Santa where you send a colleague a playlist, book recommendation, drawing etc. simply aimed at brightening their day.


4. Collaborative approach to clients’ changing needs

 Remain flexible to meet the needs of your clients:

 No S***, the situation created by the Covid-19 virus is evolving daily, which means our client’s needs are hugely changeable and dynamic. At Cherry we pride ourselves at working in partnership and with agility. Rather than creating strain, this crisis is deepening our client relationships as we work shoulder to shoulder, collaboratively to find creative solutions to the many challenges that they are wrestling with.

At Cherry we are focused on positive action, what we can do rather than what we can’t do. As a species we are blessed with an interminable tenacious spirit. The strength of our resilience lies is in the strength of the collective and this is true within businesses and across our communities. We all need to own our part and at times like these we need to have faith in one another, often it’s them that surprise you the most.


Wishing everyone well and please stay safe.

by Mark Stevenson

Managing Director of Cherry London