A Week in My Life: James McVitie, Managing Director at Creative Content Works
We're thrilled that Prolific North have featured our very own James McVitie, Managing Director at CCW, in their latest “A Week in My Life” piece. Go grab a cuppa and see what a typical week in James’ life looks like... This feature was originally published by Prolific North, you can read the original article here.
Creative Content Works was co-founded back in 2011 by James McVitie, leaving the world of traditional creative production behind to explore the future of CGI, 3D content and now the metaverse….
Today, Creative Content Works is THE technology-driven creative production company, specialising in ground-breaking large-scale production, digital twins, photorealistic CGI, VFX, strategic and metaverse ready content for leading retailers and consumer brands in the UK. With an impressive roster of clients including John Lewis, JD Sports, Nestle, The White Company, Next, Magnet, Dreams, and Funkin’ Cocktails, they help brands to keep up with creative evolution and digitally transform at scale.
We found out what a week in his life looks like.
I usually head to the gym ahead of work, you never quite know what challenges and opportunities a day is going to throw your way, so I find an early start is the best routine for me! Switching to work mode and the first focal point for the week is always sales and marketing, having an update with the team and aligning everyone on our current opportunities and strategy. Another of our main focuses at CCW is the people and our culture. As part of this we’re running a full audit across the business (our processes, 1-2-1 feedback and how best to coach behaviours to align the team) so Mondays will typically involve a session with our HR consultant on where we have progressed to vs the milestones we’re working towards. We always want to make sure that we are developing our talent, that staff engagement is high and that we start the week as we mean to go on!
Tuesday mornings usually start off with the CCW leadership team meeting. We tend to focus on bigger picture issues and the main challenges being faced by each department as well as looking ahead to ensure we’re still aligned with our plan and strategy for the year. My role tends to be the sounding board for the team, encouraging everyone to develop their own ideas and management skills to further benefit the wider workforce. I certainly don’t have all of the right answers but I try to ask the important questions. Aside from team management, most of my time focuses on sales, new business and marketing as they fuel the business growth.
Tuesday evening, I spent some time working on the 18-month renovation project which has become home. CCW's work provided some great inspiration along the way... there are some WIP pictures on insta if you know where to look. (@renovating_sandylea)
This Wednesday I met with our new Finance Director, where I continued with his onboarding with some Q&A on every aspect of the business helping to make sure he’s comfortable and confident with all of the moving parts of CCW.
Appointing a new Finance Director was a really important move for the business. As we’re growing so quickly, we need to ensure that our business is financially fit and on top of cash flow as we continue to invest in the team to fuel our next phase of rapid growth.
A big part of this meeting was also working on our future vision, including opportunities for strategic investment into the business. A big thing for any rapidly scaling business is to get your ‘ducks in a row’ to ensure financial processes, reporting and management are strong enough to give confidence in the business.
After work, unlimited cheese and wine Wednesday with the wife at the local gastropub, and some live music as an accompaniment! Always nice to be able to support local independent venues and we definitely got our money's worth!
For pretty much the whole of Thursday, my main involvement was taking part in training sessions with our senior management team on; work and well-being, life after the pandemic, mental health and much more. This is part of a wider program we have set out across the entire company where we provide multiple training sessions for managers and support sessions for team members throughout the year to ensure that everyone is cared for and able to perform to the best of their abilities. This current program also deals with coping with stress, direct line management, how to spot and identify any issues, supporting members of staff through this, the correct language to use as well as other more social and fun activities post pandemic.
This Thursday also dragged me back to my formative years; I previously went to law school where I trained to be a corporate solicitor. Typically, when big projects or new client contracts arrive this tends to land on my desk, it’s certainly not my favourite task but it’s important to make sure that contracts are watertight and ready to go for the very exciting projects we have coming up, so it’s a useful skill set to have in the business.
This week, Friday was our monthly Company Update, or ‘Town Hall’ session as some might call it. This is where we go through a deck on our performance to the whole business. We try to be completely transparent and open with the team, giving them as much insight as possible into the vision and plan for the business and the progress we are making. We communicate useful, interesting reports that the whole company can understand and benefit from, along with updates from a couple of departments which we put a monthly spotlight on. We recently hired seven new members of staff so this is also the forum for announcing team and role changes as well the many new roles we’re still recruiting for.
We typically have a handful of new vacancies every month - you can check out our LinkedIn page for more details on the latest openings!
We run an exchange program between our offices in the UK and Bulgaria to better integrate the teams from afar, so we announce updates on the next exchanges along with our social and team culture initiatives for the months ahead. Even though our offices are miles apart, this is a great way for us to build stronger relationships and feel like one team.
We also update the team on our profit share program, 10% of our end of year profit is distributed equally across the entire team (no matter what level or role they perform). The team definitely appreciate the regular updates to give some insight into how big the bonus pool is projected to be by year end!
Last but not least, we need to exhibit the right behaviours and values to ensure everyone reaches their full potential and performs well as a team. So we often end our meeting on our company values and mission slides.
Looking back on the week, we’ve been very team focused which is exactly where we should be. Regardless of the clever tech that underpins CCW, we’re ultimately a people business. Our team is an amazing asset to the business so the work on culture, personal development and wellbeing will help drive the business forwards as the year goes on!
Creative Content Works is THE technology-driven creative production company, specialising in ground-breaking large-scale production, photorealistic CGI, VFX and strategic content for leading retailers and consumer brands in the UK.
With an impressive roster of clients including John Lewis, JD Sports, Nestle, The White Company, Next, Magnet, Dreams, and Funkin’ Cocktails, we help brands to keep up with creative evolution and digitally transform at scale. CCW has a simple philosophy… produce amazing content, at speed and scale, delivered by experts.
Today, CCW consists of a passionate team of 80 creative thinkers and tech innovators based in Manchester, London and Sofia. We build powerful partnerships with brands, solving creative and technology challenges for a digital future.