The people – we recruit our consultants at a particular point in their career. Typically, they come from large, successful consulting firms, where they’ve had a good grounding. They’re not just capable consultants, they’re in the top quartile. But at the big firms, they find themselves pushed to specialize and sell.
Our model allows them to focus on consulting. We don’t have a lot of rules or restrictions because we trust our people and their experience. When they join us, they find an environment that’s low on bureaucracy, and high on collaboration. And happy, talented and empowered people are great to work with. Whether internal or client work, Berkeley is more fun and exciting than other firms.
When I worked with the client team at Royal Mail, they had the idea of putting barcodes on letters. I spent an afternoon with them, working to put together the pros of this move – improving operational efficiency and making considerable cost savings. Within a few hours, we’d put together a pretty substantial financial business case.
In time, this led to seed funding, then a full business case, and eventually implementation. It turned into a multi-year assignment for Berkeley, from literal inception until final delivery of the project. From what I initially helped draw up on paper, we were able turn this into reality and create the benefits we set out to achieve.
My values have been about always trying to do the right thing. And also thinking hard about what the right thing is – which isn’t always obvious or intuitive. Doing the right thing means avoiding distractions and getting caught up in politics. I carefully pick my goals and stick with them until they’re achieved, often over long periods of time.