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Byron Ford

Consultant, UK

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Byron Ford

Consultant, UK

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1What do you like most about Berkeley?

The thing that I like most about Berkeley is the people. In my four-and-a-bit years here I have made some great friends – we always work very closely together and support each other, even if we aren’t on the same projects. 

Berkeley is a tremendous network of really experienced people who are always happy to help others. If you have a question, or want some advice on something, there is always someone an email or phone call away who can and will help. We are all busy people, but Berkeley people always find the time to help others. That goes for partners and consultants alike.

Consequently, I have learned more during my time at Berkeley than I have at any other time in career. Working with so many great people with so much experience is the best way to learn and develop. 

Being in a firm with such a great group of people also leads to a brilliant culture – we work really hard but we also have loads of fun together – whether its wine tasting sessions, book club, the cycling club – there’s always something fun to get involved with. 

2What’s been your favorite piece of work and why?

My favorite piece of work at Berkeley has to be the Network Transformation Program at Burberry, where I was Program Director. It was off to a flying start because Burberry is a fabulous client with the cach√© of being a global luxury brand, and everyone there is really friendly and supportive. It always helps when your client is 100% bought into the work you are doing for them, and Burberry was.

Burberry had established a great team that I was leading, lots of subject matter experts, great project managers – all of which makes a job much easier! The flip side was we were transforming Burberry’s entire global IT network, including all their stores, distribution centres, data centres – which was a significant challenge. We had lots of challenges along the way; poorly performing suppliers, round the clock transformations all around the world, difficult commercial and legal arrangements, but we ultimately managed to complete the program.

The beauty of this type of project for me was the scale and complexity meant it was delivering something for Burberry that would fundamentally change how their staff, and most importantly, paying customers, interacted with the business across the globe. That’s a really great thing to be part of.

3What might people be interested in knowing about you?

I’m all about finding the ‘balance’ between professional and family life – something that a career at Berkeley has allowed me to do. I live in the south Shropshire Hills with my wife, Ali, and young son, Rowan. This work-life arrangement is something that is becoming more common at Berkeley and has been brilliant for us as a family. It requires some long commutes and early mornings, but it works for us, and gives us a way of life that we love.

I think it’s fair to say this is rare in the consulting community but in our off-hours my wife and I breed rare breed Icelandic sheep. We breed them mostly because we love raising the lambs, but we also shear them for their wool (which is sought after for its quality and waterproofing) milk them, (for cheese and ice-cream - but mostly ice-cream!), and when the time is right, for meat. We also keep a flock of chickens for their eggs and are working our way up to rearing pigs.

When I first started consulting, I thought this lifestyle would be decades away, but with some careful choices, some sacrifices on my part with regards to travel, and a very supportive employer, anything is possible!