22nd July 2020

In Conversation With… Chris Cahill, Squad Lead at AND Digital

Check out our catch up with Chris Cahill, Squad Lead at Executive Festival Sponsors AND Digital, as he discussed the importance of collaboration during uncertain times and the ways that Leeds Digital Festival provides the ideal platform for making connections in the local tech community.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your organisation.

As a Squad Lead at AND Digital, my role is varied and no two days are the same, but at its core, I ensure that the ANDis (that’s what we call our people) I line manage and the clients that I work with are supported and empowered.  

Our mission at AND is to close the world’s digital skills gap, and I play my part in achieving that by concentrating on two main areas: 

  1. We’re committed to genuinely being a people-first organisation. I line manage around 12 people in my squad and am responsible for their performance, professional development, wellbeing and happiness. Making sure that they feel empowered is core to everything we do – it isn’t just rhetoric.
  2. The second area is around ensuring that we help our clients to build capability by working with them to deliver products, rather than delivering products for them in isolation. By doing this, clients understand how to grow their teams so that they can continue to build successful digital teams, delight their customers and, ultimately, help to close the digital skills gap, even after we leave. 

Why did AND Digital decide to get involved with Leeds Digital Festival?

We’re a growing Leeds company, and want to support and connect with others in the local community. It’s also a great opportunity to share some of the great work we’ve been doing at AND. We have a wide breadth of skills in our teams, so it’s exciting for us to be able to show how we use these to build a range of solutions at the festival. It’s also a great way to connect with potential new partners and clients.

What do you enjoy most about being based here in Leeds?

I have worked in Leeds for the past 17 years and it is truly a fantastic place to work. Even as a thriving tech hub across a large city, the tech community is so well connected. Whether you are moving to a new role (either permanently, as a contractor or a consultant), or attending one of the many meetups, you are almost guaranteed to bump into somebody you already know. That network, and the way in that it helps and supports the people within, is what makes Leeds so special.

How can collaboration help tech companies to navigate these uncertain times?

One thing we’ve all realised through the current crisis is the importance and critical need for collaboration – both with clients, as well as within an organisation. We all talk about collaboration and the benefits but, when the COVID-19 situation started, it became clear where there were gaps. 

To help other organisations fill their gaps, we’ve created an open library here of different assets we already use at AND. This includes other tools and processes that have helped us adapt quickly and successfully to remote working, while keeping our team spirit alive. Digital skills are key to allow us to work remotely, while still collaborating effectively.