We invent, pilot and help deploy tools and programmes that help organisations become better places to work.
We help people understand where they are so they can make informed decisions.
And help teams and individuals change behaviours, that help change beliefs, that support improved cultures.
All our tools have data and stories, logic and magic, at their heart: they are engaging, easy to share and make a measurable difference.
The people behind Then Somehow have been round the block…
We’ve all run companies as founders, managing directors or senior managers.
We’ve worked in media, research, and design.
We’ve worked for big companies and small companies.
We have experienced the highs and the lows, the pressures and the pleasures of work. And we are bound by our desire to help people, and make work better.
Then Somehow was founded by Steve Stark in 2014, building on his experience at productivity consultancy People Who Do, helping everyone from Nokia to Channel 4 become more productive.
Realising this was a small part of a much bigger picture, Steve established Then Somehow to design practical ways to change things in the way people and organisations work. Small things, big things, connected things.
Work culture is about what people feel, believe and do at work.
It is the DNA of an organisation, and in blunt terms, dictates whether you thrive or die.
With the pace of change in the world ever increasing, more and more companies are realising that culture is the bedrock of their success, and that a healthy culture provides resilience in the face of that change.
However, it’s one thing to know that culture is important, another to see it, understand it and change it.
Leaders are often left wondering what can we do? Where do we start?
How do we know what difference anything we do will make?
We exist to make the invisible visible.
And change practical and measurable.
We work on the culture of work.
We work on behaviours.
We invent, design, test and deploy tools and programs that help make work better.
We use design methodology to develop our tools.
We use research methodology to ensure rigour in the measurement and collection of stories and insights.
And we use creative and coaching methods to help people get more from work.
We test and iterate tools constantly based on feedback to make them better.
We measure, map and track progress so you know how you are doing and where to focus.
And we offer a suite of tools that help you make positive change.
And when we know these tools are proven, we open them up to partners so that they too can gain the benefits with their clients.
We believe in the messy stuff.
We believe in writing your own future.
We believe in discovering what really matters.
We believe in laughter in lifts.
We believe work can be more than a means to an end.
We believe in magic.
We believe it doesn't have to be this hard.
- Culture change
My first job was as a jelly bean machine salesman.
I soon transitioned to a life on the airwaves and found myself running radio stations, production companies, and classified ad platforms. After more than a decade of outside broadcasts, licence wins and mergers I switched to advising people like Haymarket Publishing and Virgin Media on emerging digital opportunities in data and gaming.
For five years I co-directed People Who Do, which was concerned with helping people and teams be more productive and effective using a variety of tools and techniques. Working with clients like Channel 4, United Business Media, and Nokia taught me about the way organisations work and the way their people exist within them.
Combining that experience with an aptitude for designing practical ways to change things I founded Then Somehow to help organisations understand and change their culture to become better places to work.
I work for moments of transformation: those times when a person starts to feel the benefits of the work they did together. Practical and pragmatic I believe there’s always a way.
In my spare time I make cider, help run a scout troop and for a while, I kept bees.
- multi-variate analytics
- data demystification
- research methodologies
Rather than assuming the apparent is either the issue or solution, I approach each challenge with curiosity. Using rigorous qualitative and quantitative methodologies, honed from an academic background in social anthropology and advanced research methodologies, I am able to explore the issues from the inside without preconception.
I have considerable experience in project management of employee research, previously overseeing multi-country surveys with tens of thousands of participants. For fifteen years I held senior positions in global market research companies and management consultancies such as The Hay Group, providing strategic guidance to household names, including the BBC, Vodafone, Toyota, and DHL. I then moved into the not-for-profit sector, where I continues to spend time working with some of the country’s leading charities.
Ian’s role at Then Somehow is to identify and explore the resident culture, and to develop benchmarks for the future and for comparison with other organisations within our database. This, while tailoring our methodological approach to the requirements of the client.
For 8 years I was Managing Director of Red Design where I led a team that created many moments of magic for some of the world’s biggest names and brands. From TomTom, to Playstation. From the French President to Fatboy Slim.
We experienced several years of double digit growth, won lots of awards, and helped many of our clients change how they told their stories, and how they bought their products to market.
During this time, in what was a very demanding, high performance environment, I became very interested in the people side of the business. I worked with a number of coaches and mentors who helped shape my thinking. I saw the amazing things that could be achieved with the right blend of people, coaching, support, leadership, team dynamics, learning, challenge, strategy and purpose. In essence a healthy work culture.
And at the same time, I became very interested in the point where brands and cultures intersect. In the age of digital transparency, your brand is defined more by what you do, than what you say. And what you do is in large part powered by your culture.
Many of the world’s most respected and successful companies, (not least Google), share that philosophy. Making culture the prime driver of their business.
I now combine my experience in design, creativity, coaching, leadership and strategy to help others be the best they can be. I work with individuals, groups and companies helping them understand their culture and approach to work. And then help them improve it through coaching, and designing and delivering tools and workshops.
Often it starts with helping them work out what’s really important to them, and then aligning that with their work, removing obstacles and embracing opportunities along the way.
I started my first business when I was 25. It was interior design and we worked in recycled fabrics and transformed pubs into bars. After that I went into TV production, starting out as a production coordinator and finally as an archive producer. I worked on historical documentaries, dramas and feature films.
I left TV to work as a manager in a yoga centre. I thought it would be a peaceful sort of job after TV production but it turns out that managing over 150 yoga teachers and 100 classes a week is like herding cats! I still love yoga though and I am now a qualified yoga instructor.
In 2007 we moved to Brighton to be by the sea and work out what I wanted to do next. I freelanced for TNSRI as an idea generator, I qualified as a yoga instructor (500 hrs Yoga Alliance accredited) and as a Business and Leadership Coach (EMCC accredited)
I started working with Steve at People Who Do on their Productivity training. I love this work and I am delighted to be carrying on helping people get into productivity and flow as Lead Capacity Builder at Then Somehow.
In my spare time I make art, do yoga and run a supper club for salad lovers
- problem solving
Somewhat to my surprise, and without any plan, I have spent the last 18 years at King’s College London. My roles there have been varied but my main focus has always been strategy development, creating partnerships with businesses, public sector organisations and other universities and generally sorting out tricky problems.
Having recently left King’s I am bringing this expertise to the Then Somehow family. The ability to see through problems and bring a fresh pair of eyes to a situation as well as a refreshingly direct and diplomatic approach is my speciality and something many organisations can benefit from whether in the higher education sector or not.
In what spare time I have between work and raising my three young children I make ceramic art, and am a committed Chair of Governors at a local, rural Primary Federation of 2 schools. I have also recently been appointed as a National Leader in School Governance, something I am very proud of.
I have spent most of my working life supporting people who are trying to change the status quo, in positive ways. Nearly 25 years ago I left my role as a manager in a very large tech company to join a purposeful tech startup. I have been Chair and Director of a purposeful SME, a startup MD, as well as working as a facilitator on many projects, at board and at ground-level.
Today I help people:
- address difficult strategic challenges
- get things done, in the short term
- remove barriers to change and to cooperation
- build collaborations inside and outside their organisations
- deliver successful projects of all kinds
I do this at Then Somehow by:
- coaching people to learn to lead (and to follow)
- improving team communication
- helping people make decisions, strategise, and most importantly implement their strategy
- facilitating workshops and events (small and large)
- mediating when difficulties arise
When not working (which isn’t very often, because I enjoy it so much), I love walking in the Sussex countryside or spending time with my family.