Crisis Talks – Hannah Gledhill, Hotel Chocolat
Our Crisis Talks series explores how project managers are adapting and pivoting to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, Emma De Vita (editor of APM’s Project journal) speaks to Hannah Gledhill, senior project manager at Hotel Chocolat. The British chocolatier has small project team focused primarily on product development. Just prior to lockdown, it had begun a process of transformation, working closely with the Kaizen Institute to foster a culture of continuous improvement and greater efficiency. That commitment to transformation has continued throughout lockdown, despite the mounting challenges, as Hannah explains.
Hotel Chocolat experienced the same initial challenges as many businesses – unfamiliarity with virtual technology and practices, and a period of uncertainty around which projects would be affected and how. However, as Hannah explains, the team was already geared up to go through “an element of pain” as it kick-started the Kaizen transformation to become a slicker operation.
They hadn’t bargained on a pandemic, perhaps, but the period of uncertainty has provided a test of their new culture. Listen now to hear how Hannah and her team emerged from the initial crisis management phase and kept the nation happy in lockdown through the medium of chocolate.