5 Questions in 5 Minutes with JT, Head of Client Services
In continuation of our ‘in conversation with’ series, we caught up with John Tearle (more commonly known as JT), who (re)joined the team recently.
JT previously worked at Incite for 11 years, so we were delighted to welcome him back to the mothership as Senior Director – Head of Client Services.
Read on to hear what brought him back to Incite and what he’s aiming to achieve for our people and our clients.
Or if you fancy a catch up, feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/ Tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far!
Hi! I’m JT. I live in the wonderful city of York with my wife Aarti and our dog Monty. I love cars and driving, computer games, music and am increasingly getting stuck into gardening…
Research and consulting has taken me around the world, introduced me to all sorts of people and ways of thinking, and helped me to develop and have fun along the way.
I got into the world of research and insights as part of my degree. My studies were split between business and philosophy and I did a year and industry with TNS which provided a ‘goldilocks’ opportunity between the business commercials stuff I could do and lovely colleagues who like thinking about and understanding other peoples’ needs.
I worked at TNS for five years before spending 11 years at Incite (originally sat next to two other Jon’s, hence ‘JT’). Recently, I worked at Boxclever before returning to Incite and STRAT7. Over time I have morphed from a quant research specialist in the tech sector, to a hybrid researcher and marketing strategy consultant working across sectors. I’ve always been agency side but have had a variety of client secondments and enjoyed 18 months working with the Incite US team out in San Francisco – which was fantastic.
2/ What is it about Incite that brought you back?
Incite is in my DNA and I feel at home with my family here. I loved Incite even when I left two years ago and soon found that I couldn’t overcome the dissonance between my subconscious thinking that I still worked for Incite and the reality that I was not.
There are three key things that were most pertinent to my coming back:
- Brilliant people: everyone is both lovely and talented. Junior or senior, technical or strategic, client facing or not – everyone is skilled at what they do and has something special to contribute. When out for Friday drinks you can have any combination of people from the office, two old timers or six newbies, or any other combo, and it is always a great night with brilliant conversation. Our co-founders used to say the ‘Christmas party test’ was the most important part of interviewing potential recruits. They were right and it worked.
- Commitment to quality: I love the Incite consultative and trusted advisor ways of working. These ideas get thrown around a lot these days and my experience the difference at Incite is that these approaches are always upheld and manifest in our behaviours. Critically, everyone is committed to maintaining the highest standards, doing the best that they can and never settling for ‘good enough is good enough’.
- New STRAT7 opportunities: I am excited by the STRAT7 proposition, its growth strategy and the variety of people and expertise it brings together. I think it offers exciting opportunities for its team as well as its clients. I like the idea of a consultancy focused on enabling human-centricity through the combination of tech, insights and smart thinking – I think it is what businesses need, especially today.
3/ What has changed since you were first at Incite; and what has stayed the same?
The brilliant people and commitment to quality remains. Incite has been careful to protect what it holds dear whilst scaling up, which is hard but has so far largely been successful. What has changed is the context of now being part of the STRAT7 group, which I am learning and excited about. We have lots of new friends to make and ideas to embrace.
4/ What is your new role and what are you hoping to achieve?
My role is anchored in delivering an outstanding experience for all of our clients. Championing our ways of working, continually raising the bar and ensuring a smooth and connected STRAT7 experience for all.
To do this, some of my time will be spent internally – working with colleagues to embed our ways of working and make connections across the STRAT7 group, and some of my time will be more externally focused – working with clients and helping them reach their potential and achieve their aspirations.
As to what I hope to achieve: ultimately, I want nurture a culture where people are always passionate and excited about what they do. I am passionate and excited about what I do and I think that proves to make life more enjoyable and make us all better at and more impactful in what we do.
5/ What are you watching at the moment?
I recently watched the series ‘The Last Of Us’. I am a massive fan of the games and delighted to see they did a great job with the show. It was also insightful to watch the interviews about how they made the transformation.
I’m also watching the F1 this year. Redbull’s dominance removes the jeopardy and so some of the excitement, but I think how they are working as a team and what they are achieving as a result is inspiring. Talk about consistently high standards! It’s inspirational.
Otherwise, beyond the endless line of automotive and gaming Youtube videos, I am definitely showing my age and life stage as Grand Designs and Gardener’s World seems to be creeping in a lot more than it used to.