A day in the life with Deniece MacDonald

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Deniece holds a dual role within 4global; Chief Operating Officer and Senior Partner.   As COO, she has responsibility for managing business operations, informing strategy and driving success.  In addition to this, Deniece is a Senior Partner in Major Events, actively supporting the planning and delivery of major sporting events, most recently undertaking the role of Security Advisor to the FA for delivery of the Euro 2020 tournament in London.

What does a typical day look like for you right now?

A typical day for me is driven by fear… fear of the inevitable pain that will be caused if I step too far from my usual early morning routine when we return to some semblance of normal.  As such my day still starts at 0530, where I join the Beach Body team for a quick blast of Cardio before putting all of my newly purchased workout kit to good use (my house now resembles a CrossFit box).  I then shower and eat before starting my day with the all-important daily call, catching up on team activities, sharing key messages and prioritising our direction for the week.   

From here my day is filled with a mix of client calls and management of general 4global operations.  With industry needs and direction changing rapidly, being responsive and agile is key and definitely reflective of how my daily schedule develops week on week.

How have you adapted to remote working?

During my time with 4global I have always undertaken a mix of remote and office working and as a result I felt I was well prepared for lockdown and working from home, how wrong I was…. long term working from home is a whole new ball game and I found myself faced with many different challenges both personally and professionally.

With all of the uncertainty around Covid 19, I felt a huge level of responsibility to provide emotional and professional support to the entire 4global team with a need to be more visible and available than ever.  However, this was clearly not possible in the usual context of having an informal coffee, an open-door policy or engaging through general team catch ups.  Conscious of this, and the need to maintain a strong team spirit, my first action was to create a number of forums where I could provide direct support to the team but also a way that the team could maintain contact and support each other through the difficulties of lockdown.  The introduction of daily calls, virtual coffee afternoons and quiz sessions has, and continues to provide a great platform for the team and will undoubtedly continue to evolve even post lockdown.

What has been your biggest learning moment of the C19 era to date?

Not necessarily my biggest learning moment, but definitely my proudest moment, has been witnessing how professional, hardworking and resilient 4global team are and the manner in which they have approached the challenges that the current situations has presented, both in general society and within our industry.   Every member of the team has demonstrated the true values of 4global, particularly in relation to ‘care’ and ‘innovation’.

What is the lasting impact that C19 will have on the industry?

There is no doubt in my mind that Covid will have a lasting effect on the entire sport and leisure industry.  In the short term, I believe one of the major challenges will be regaining and building confidence levels of the general public so that they return to sport and leisure facilities or feel comfortable attending a major sporting event.

I therefore believe that the industry will look to the success of the virtual world and how well it has been embraced throughout the lockdown period, further developing online interactive services and esports to maintain public interest and engagement. 

Although digital transformation has been the buzz word for some time across a multitude of industries, I believe that Covid 19 will be the catalyst to drive this forward at great speed within the sport and leisure sector, becoming an integral part of all sport and leisure activities in the future.

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