Tony Chamberlain goes undercover at Staging Connections

Tony Chamberlain, managing director of Staging Connections left the boardroom for a few weeks to join his team on the front line for the new series of Undercover Boss Australia- aired on Monday 10 October on Channel 10.

Tony Chamberlain, managing director of Staging Connections left the boardroom for a few weeks to join his team on the front line for the new series of Undercover Boss Australia– aired on Monday 10 October on Channel 10.

He worked side by side with his staff as they created, designed and delivered live events across Australia.

In 2008 Tony was appointed managing director of Staging Connections after gaining experience managing over 12,000 staff for his previous role as CEO of Chubb Australasia

Chamberlain took up the challenge to go undercover to experience the inner workings of his team at all levels. Disguised as ‘Douglas Holden’and complete with a wig and a hat, Undercover Boss allowed him to be involved in all stages of event styling, set manufacturing, coordinating operations to operating AV equipment and driving trucks around Australia.

Before and After: Tony Chamberlain and his alias Douglas Holden. Through Undercover Boss Australia, Chamberlain got a real taste of what his team do every day to support the Staging Connections brand. 

On ‘Douglas’s’ first day on the front line he spent time with the straight talking Shane, a Staging Connections’ truck driver. He got to hear Shane’s honest point of view of the company, something he would only get the opportunity to hear because of the anonymity of the character he was playing.
Shane talked about disgruntled staff, lack of incentives and rewards for employees and even that there was no Christmas party.

Although difficult to hear, these comments were invaluable to the managing director. Undercover Boss gave Chamberlain true insight into what is happening in his business, good and bad.

Tony Chamberlain with Stagging Connections’ truck driver Shane Osbourne

‘Shane’s passion really shone through, and its employees like Shane that we really need at Staging Connections. He had some fantastic ideas that we intend to implement for logistics, rewards and incentives’ said Chamberlain.

Working as a set builder Chamberlain got to experience a side of the business where he has full responsibility for – safety.

Tony Chamberlain with Stagging Connections’ set builder David Evans

‘I noted a number of areas where appropriate safety equipment was not being used. This is our responsibility as a Management Team to protect our employees. Safety should always come first. I am especially grateful that I could see this as an outsider, to really see what hazards there are in the business and to create a better working environment for our employees.’ Chamberlain said.

He also spent time with event stylist, Kristy who demonstrated the work that goes into pulling off a 1000 person gala event.

Tony Chamberlain with Staging Connections’ event stylist Kristy Foulcher

‘I now understand the passion our staff have when seeing an event come to fruition. I was so proud of what we had achieved when I saw the event in full swing and the faces of the people attending,’ said Chamberlain.

The profound experience for Chamberlain can be summed up as the managers of the business needing to get ‘Back to Black’ meaning, for them to get out and join the front line of the business to really see how it works. As a result, each quarter the managers of Staging Connections will each spend a day in the field to see firsthand the issues.

“It was an incredibly rewarding time that allowed me to get involved with my team on a level that many MD’s never get the chance to see. I gained an insight into the extraordinary people who work for Staging Connections and I am proud to be able to now implement positive changes for the company and for my staff, based on all that I learnt” said Chamberlain.

Confident that the Undercover Boss experience will positively impact Staging Connections’ internal structures, Chamberlain’s management team have already begun making constructive changes to the business.

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