9 December 2019

Why I believe leadership and great logistics need to sit hand in hand

In this blog, Emma Djemil, People Manager at Carousel, reflects on Carousel's first leadership conference.

When I was applying to work at Carousel Logistics I did some background research, as you do, and looked at the website to get a bit more information about the Company. From the very outset, I got the distinct impression that ‘People’ were at the forefront of the business’ proposition. And, as you’d expect for someone in my profession, it was really encouraging to see.

Fast forward 18 months and imagine my excitement at being part of Carousel’s inaugural leadership conference for senior colleagues across the group. At the event, the opening message from our CEO Graham Martin was “People have always been at the heart of what we do” – really underlining that my first instinct about Carousel was right. He went on to add that, in fact, the Carousel People have always been a key differentiator over our competitors. It’s something the business has always prioritised – we were the first logistics organisation to ever win an Investors in People Gold standard – and as we move into 2020 the emphasis again needs to be on realising the full potential of each member of Team Carousel; because with great talent we can continue to give a great service to our clients.

Fast-growth is exciting, and it makes leadership all the more important 
The leadership event was largely prompted by our rapid growth over the last three years and our desire to keep People and Service at the heart of what we do.

Carousel continues to go through a significant period of growth and as any business that’s scaling will tell you, though tremendously exciting, we do need to be wary of the impact it can have on other areas, like client delivery. For instance, one of the things that make a small business culture so enticing and effective can become more difficult as the businesses get bigger. Sure, we’ve got a lot of people who have stayed at Carousel because they liked the way it used to be, but how do we keep what they like about Carousel while also creating an environment that new people want to join too? It’s a fine balance between keeping it the way it has always been and striving for what it could be. The question to ask is: What are the non-negotiables when it comes to our culture? It’s a challenge that hasn’t bypassed us, but that’s why it was so great to get this group of people, with very different backgrounds and experiences, in a room to talk, connect and dream.