The importance of understanding
yourself and your team

Matt Tipping


I asked a question in my previous post “Nature or nuture. Can you change the shape of a business?” ‘Do you ever wonder how to change your business to be more human, where all your staff are engaged and self managing all aspects of their responsibility and accountability?’. We recognised very early on that before anything else, first you need to understand, trust and really know the people you work with. Only from this point can you build trust in each other and transform and sustain purpose based business culture.

How we did this at Double

How well do you know who you work with and why they and you chose to work together?

It is very easy to forget that your colleagues are more than just the role they fulfill in the business. The greatest insights for us came when we had an away day and shared our personal visions, goals and ultimately, our reasons for working at Double. The answers were very honest; as you would expect some want to be experts at their job, some to grow their experience or be part of a happy people-centered business. For me, it’s seeing all of our people unlocking their true potential and leaving behind their self limiting barriers.

As an entire business, we have also employed a specific team tool – SDI (strength deployment inventory) that has been transformational in allowing each of us to understand and respect our personal motivational differences in our ways of working. It’s a big topic, but suffice to say, we would not have achieved our self-managing business without it. We revisit the tool at each onboarding of a new colleague as we recognise that we all have short memories and lapse into old habits in our personal interactions.

Trust to trusted

The point to all this is trust, without giving or receiving trust and having mutual respect across the business you cannot transform, sustain or improve your culture. It is not a part-time pursuit and takes a constant commitment by every member of the business, requiring honest and, sometimes, tough conversations. What we do know is that our intention, however, delivered or received, is well-intentioned.

We do still have a lot to do, as we say one of our values is ‘open and honest conversations build trust’, so lets keep talking and more importantly listening because whatever the size of your business, you can achieve a lot with a little and be a lot happier doing it

Next time I will discuss how we used our new found honesty and trust to discover the true purpose of Double.

Can I have some more?

Nature or Nurture - Can you change the shape of a business?

As retail designers we are often drawn to consistent patterns in creating new store designs, formats and experiences. We naturally focus on finding the right material palette to communicate the brand and its values. We scrutinise the layout of each site and analyse the best possible paths for customer journey, sell-through, and penetration into the store. We seek to find new ways to “wow” customers, resulting in phones coming out of pockets to fill social media feeds with what’s new.

Designing a store that embodies brand values.

Recently as part of an interview, I was asked what retail may look like by 2025. Whilst I understood that this question shouldn’t be taken literally, I believe it is clear to see that retail is pushing forward into the realm of being experience-led. Brands know that their brick and mortar stores are becoming showrooms to try-on or try-out products, and as such, they are having to push harder to create experiences and connections with their customers.