Ambitious Missions Need Disruptive Thinking

Launched in 1993 in Chicago, ThoughtWorks is a specialist Technology and Digital Innovation Consultancy, dedicated to revolutionising software design, creation, and delivery. With 30+ offices in over a dozen countries worldwide, ThoughtWorks’ ability to deliver complex enterprise solutions to solve their clients’ toughest problems is underpinned by strong corporate values and business culture – a passionate, committed global group who believe that better business solutions can also bring positive social change.

RMC was brought on board by Mark Collin, Head of Retail Europe. Mark’s objective was to leverage the company’s fast-growing presence and success within the Retail sector by creating a new strategic business unit – ThoughtWorks Retail Europe. Our brief was to recruit the senior executive leadership and consultancy team for this major new initiative, with an initial focus upon hiring talent for the UK and Germany.

As Retail and Technology become ever more closely entwined, this was an exciting project for several reasons:

  • Firstly, ThoughtWorks was increasingly involved at CEO/COO level and the strategic envisioning stage rather than just technical outputs. Therefore, we needed to hire a new breed which combined breadth of retail experience and personal credibility to deal knowledgably at peer-level with decision-makers, with an ability to interpret clients’ needs and deliver through the technical development team.
  • Secondly, we needed to interview and brief candidates in even greater depth than usual in order to ensure that they possessed empathy and compatibility with the distinctive social values and business ethos of the organisation.
  • Finally, and most importantly, we needed to keep front-of-mind that we were not only recruiting talented individuals, but also creating and shaping an effective, high-performing team who would function well together as a collective unit.

RMC carried out an intensive talent-mapping programme across the UK and Germany, interviewing, assessing, and convincing Europe’s retail elite to break convention and commit their futures to the technology consulting arena. We brought this complex project to a successful conclusion having recruited an entire new Director-level Retail Consultancy team.

ThoughtWorks now has the team in place to deliver an ambitious growth plan which is expected to double Retail sales revenues in Europe within two years of formation. The team has also added significant credibility to the company’s global reputation as a unique and authoritative player in a modern retail world where business strategy, technology, and delivery are now inseparable.

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“Around 3 years ago we set out to create a new competitive advantage that would give ThoughtWorks, a tech@core company, a new outlook. Our intention was to add to a global reputation for Agile Software delivery, a deep understanding of our clients’ world.

To do so we would have to change our approach and bring in Retail experts. As a team RMC worked with us to understand our culture, way of working so that we could indeed achieve this mission. Over 40 people later across our Global Business, we have a thriving and fast growing Retail Business that is defining Modern Retail. RMC’s industry knowledge, connections and tenacity with our recruitment process and unique culture are the best testaments I could give in defining a true partnership. RMC kick started and saw this through with us. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Mark Collin
Group Head of Retail | Europe & India, ThoughtWorks
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