Q & A with Maureen Robson Norman of whyaye

Industry Insights

Q & A with Maureen Robson Norman of whyaye

24th November 2021

Founded in 2019 by Maureen Robson Norman, Anna Bisset and Lisa Smith, digital transformation specialist whyaye is bringing a fresh, new approach to the UK consultancy landscape. Its clients include multinational financial services, consumer goods and energy companies.

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, whyaye delivers outcome-led, technology enabled change into organisations, drawing on its extensive industry expertise and employing a collaborative approach to generate real results.

Here, Maureen talks to is about the company’s rapid growth – and how it has risen to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.

whyaye is an innovative new player in the UK consultancy and digital transformation landscape – why did you set it up?

Anna, Lisa and I met while working on a Royal Bank of Scotland project seven years ago.

The three of us worked together for five years and the timing seemed right to set up a business. We’d been collaborative partners and clicked. We shared the same values –wanting to make change happen in a transparent, positive and outcome-focused way – but we also believe that people need to enjoy their time at work so we strive to find the ‘yay’ in every day.

You had only just launched whyaye when the pandemic struck – how did you deal with the challenges it created?

With resilience and tenacity. We started trading in October 2019 and onboarded our first major client as Covid hit. It was a very shaky time, as we had no way of knowing how clients were going to respond and that presented a huge amount of uncertainty for our business.

What was the biggest thing you learned from that difficult period?

Don’t underestimate the power of the three leadership principles I Iive by – be brave, be true and be kind – and your own as well as your team’s ability to recover and be determined.

You’ve grown your team significantly in 2021 – what’s the secret to successful recruitment and retention?

We pride ourselves on our culture as are determined that we’ll keep it the same as we grow – we’re very careful when recruiting that we’re the right fit for them and they’re the right fit for us.

It’s fun to work here and we want to make sure that doesn’t change.

We embrace a growth and open-minded mindset. We are not big fans of traditional hierarchies; for me, an organisation is a diverse network of individuals who all have their strengths and specialisms but also learn and grow together supporting each other.

You recently launched a new apprenticeship scheme – why was this important to you?

We are really passionate about working with individuals who want to start or accelerate a career in tech and particularly in the local area, so an apprenticeship scheme seemed like a great opportunity.

We had a fantastic range of talented applicants and our two successful apprentices have just started with us. It’s something we are keen to continue to run and will be looking at it again in 2022.

What role does marketing play for whyaye?

Marketing plays a huge role for whyaye and our brand is at the heart of everything we do. We have developed a strong marketing strategy alongside Horizon Works in the past few months and are looking forward to continuing to raise awareness of who we are, what we are and connect with new and existing clients in the coming year.

What are you looking forward to over the next few months – and into 2022?

We have been extremely fortunate as new organisation to have experienced rapid growth throughout covid, something that we don’t take for granted. I can’t wait to continue to recruit top talent into whyaye, add more value to new and existing clients and put the ‘yay’ into more people’s days!

For more information on whyaye, visit https://whyayeltd.com/