Jo Styles leads Intelligent Office’s Business Development and Marketing team and is a pivotal member of our leadership team. Having worked in the legal sector since graduating university, Jo’s insight and creative thinking is helping law firm leaders transform their operations with smart support solutions. In her tenth year at Intelligent Office, here Jo tells us how all roads led to IO and the biggest agenda items for today’s law firm leaders.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOME INTELLIGENT OFFICE’S DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING…
Right from the get-go I’ve been focused on the legal sector, starting my career at Legal Week and working on their international publication LW Global. Whilst at Legal Week I was involved in launching Legal Week Intelligence, conducting research and analysis to advise business leaders on critical issues and opportunities in the sector. I enjoyed the data-backed thinking behind helping law firms make decisions about their brand and client strategy and later moved to Acritas, a legal research agency. From there, I came to IO as Business Development Director and for the last 10 years have been helping law firms find flexible and efficient outsourced support solutions that Intelligent Office can deliver. In July 2021, I moved into my current role as Director of Business Development and Marketing and am enjoying the new challenge!
WHAT ARE THE MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES OF YOUR ROLE?
Ultimately, my twin objectives are to ensure that Intelligent Office is presenting and creating solutions that help our clients build better businesses and, at the same time, to get Intelligent Office’s name and unique insights out to absolutely everyone in the market who we might be able to help. Intelligent Office is the biggest provider of support services in legal; we have more people and complementary services than any other provider and we’re the only BPO which is IIP Platinum accredited – that’s something law firms might not know about us and we need to change that! Given most of our employees join us via TUPE, we are extremely proud to have twice been awarded Platinum IIP status and to be able to show our clients that we nurture and develop our people.
YOU REGULARLY SPEAK TO LAW FIRM LEADERS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES THEY’RE FACING – ARE YOU SEEING ANY POPULAR THEMES OR TRENDS?
The Environmental, Social and Governance agenda is on everyone’s to do list at the moment – Intelligent Office isn’t just a supplier to our clients, but a partner, and we want to lead the way with best practice and initiatives they can adopt as part of their strategies too. Our clients want to be assured that we are focused on this and how we manage ESG in our supply chains, particularly when we are procuring goods on their behalf. Whilst the ESG label might be relatively new, IO has been adopting these practices for many years with a robust framework that ensures our clear purpose and strong values are played out every day. We are currently going for the Planet Mark accreditation and working towards net zero carbon emissions.
WHAT’S NEXT ON THE AGENDA FOR INTELLIGENT OFFICE?
Hybrid working is here to stay and so our focus is helping firms navigate the bumpy roads ahead as they reimagine and redesign the workplace and embed new working practices and technologies. As a result, we’re delighted to be setting up a new forum to support senior leaders in law firm operations, facilities, and office services so they can share ideas and best practices and find solutions to common challenges together.
The content of the forum will be designed in collaboration with law firm contacts on our advisory board, however themes will likely include the eco and sustainability agenda, hybrid working, health and wellbeing, redesigning and refitting the modern office, smart sourcing and procurement, to name a few! I’m excited for the launch session at the beginning of July.
AND HOW DO YOU RELAX AFTER WORK?
Outside of work I’m mostly occupied with my 12-year-old twin daughters and anticipate an interesting few years as they head into their teenage years! I’m passionate about travelling and have a ‘scratch map’ my in-laws bought me for a birthday present – I’m up to 37 countries and counting! I love going to different places and experiencing new cultures, and I hope my empathy and interest in how other people live will rub off on my girls.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
To be brave and have confidence in your abilities! In the past, I’ve let the louder voices dominate, even if I wasn’t in agreement with them, but now I have the knowledge and faith in myself to recognise the value I can add to clients through my advice.