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Client Story

Global construction and infrastructure advisory firm

Creating a new challenging strategy

Our client was an independent global provider of professional services for the construction and management of building and infrastructure projects. The organization predominantly specializes in quantity surveying and project management services. The CEO called on Berkeley to help him create a new business strategy covering the business’ target markets, people and operating model. 

Berkeley provided objectivity and challenge that could not have been provided internally. This was a great experience and a vital component in establishing our future strategy.”  Chief Executive Officer”

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Challenging times 

Following the divestment of part of the organization’s geographical footprint, a new business strategy that focused on building on key strengths after the disposal was required. Berkeley was selected to work with the company because our highly collaborative approach worked with stakeholders and focused on building buy-in and engagement to the strategy. There was additional time pressure because a draft of the strategy was needed for a board meeting that was only eight weeks away. 

Understanding perceptions 

To really understand the key issues and concerns of the business, we conducted over forty in-depth stakeholder interviews across a two-week period. 

Initially these focused on the Senior Leadership Team. However, it became apparent that we needed more input across all levels to fully understand some of the cultural issues that existed and so, we engaged with additional employees across the business – from apprentices to regional management. We also interviewed some key clients. Having completed these conversations, we had a clear view on how the business was run and the perceptions of it in the wider market. 

Harnessing the data 

The interviews were supplemented by research and benchmarking and we carried out detailed analysis and segmentation of our client’s financial performance. With a very long-standing senior team, this allowed us to challenge the status quo and help the team to consider what could be done differently to improve business performance. 

Delivering the message 

With the interviews complete, we identified key themes and concerns and ran a series of half day workshops and focus groups. There was some initial resistance to some of the messages but by providing the groups with strong quantitative evidence and allowing them to debate and feedback on the issues, we were able to align with the growth opportunities and create a plan to achieve them. 

Planning for growth 

The final strategy had three key messages around services, structure and people. There would be a focus on growing the core and more profitable services. Organizationally, there would be a radical restructure of the group reflecting the consolidation from a broader international base. With people as their key asset, the third key priority was arguably the most critical: building the business as the employer of choice in their industry, focusing on key elements of their people strategy across recruitment, career offer and reward. 

For the first time since I joined the company Berkeley allowed us to objectively review and challenge issues of real business importance, that had to date been overlooked, ignored, or assumed were the only way we could do things.”  

GROUP HR DIRECTOR

The strategy was endorsed by the Senior Leadership Team and the Board. It was seen by both the Senior Leadership Team and the wider community within the client as a necessary and challenging shift in operations and culture. It was agreed that the strategy would be tested over the remainder of the financial year with a view to launching in full in the new financial year. The new senior team structure had been put in place within three months of the strategy being signed off. 

Believing the need for change 

Perhaps the most significant achievement of the project was that employees at all levels recognized the need for change and genuinely believed that they could deliver it. Our highly collaborative approach meant that there was a shared belief in the strategy and that there was a real sense of enthusiasm and excitement about the future.

We are delighted to have helped chart our client’s new business strategy at such a pivotal time. The assignment was a great example of how Berkeley likes to work closely with clients on setting strategy. We brought the structure, stimulus, pace and rigor but the business owned the decisions. Through this approach we covered a lot of ground in just six weeks while retaining strong buy-in to the strategy and next steps.” 

HADLEY BALDWIN, PARTNER