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Chris Southwell

Partner, UK

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Chris Southwell

Partner, UK

Connect on Linkedin

1 What’s different about Berkeley for you? 

I am proud to work for a firm that really puts people at the heart of all we do. This is both for our own people and also our clients, being by their side when they need us the most. Unlike other management consultancy firms, we are not constrained by a set delivery method, or alliances with software - enabling us to be focused and independent.

We typically take client-side roles, wearing their badge and driving delivery with them. Our focus on doing the right thing, even if that means ending assignments early and walking away from fees, sets us apart from other consultancies. Recruitment at Berkeley is targeted and highly effective in bringing in high caliber, experienced consultants who you want to go and have a coffee / beer with.


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

I led the reset of a hugely ambitious £330m Oracle Retail transformation program with a leading global retailer which had experienced significant testing delays and where the delivery plan was distressed and confidence low. The program team size was over 400 people, with 25 system suppliers and spread across five countries. The technology involved implementing nine Oracle Retail Modules and 150+ new interfaces with 40 integrated existing systems. The reset focused on a complete assessment of technology, approach, ways of working and supplier commercials.

Outputs from the reset involved 25 deliverables supporting a new delivery plan which recognized the challenges, lessons learnt and solutions, and revised approaches to go forward. I then led the program to deliver the plan, closing testing ahead of plan and managing to deliver the largest remote user acceptance phase and cutover plan due to COVID. 

I loved this piece of work due to the size of the challenge, the team ethos of delivery and determination and the ability to be resilient. We delivered a very smooth implementation which made a big impact to the business.


3 What are you passionate about in life?

I am passionate about people: meeting new people and building relationships, leading people and nurturing talent. I have real fire in my belly for building and coaching teams to deliver. 

Mental health and wellness are key interests for me having worked through my own mental health challenges. I am a trained mental health first aider in Berkeley, delivering awareness sessions and triaging / sign posting help to anyone who needs it. I am pleased to work in a firm where protecting and supporting mental wellness is an integral part of what we do. 

As my social media will depict, I also have two other great loves in my life: whisky and my two young sons! I am a very hands on dad, who manages for the most part to be present when it counts and manage the juggle of life and work!