Every assignment matters, but the example that springs to mind first is a retail client which had a very large UK network (300+ branches), serving over one million customers per week, but which was loss making and in need of transformation.
Berkeley helped shape the turnaround strategy and then I took on leadership of the transformation program that followed. We built a great team of client staff and external suppliers to deliver a wide ranging program of technology, branch format, organizational change and staff re-training. We also helped the client divest a number of branches to operate as a franchise model within another retail partner. Within two years, the transformation program delivered a recurring £46m per annum profit and loss turnaround from a £130m investment, whilst improving customer satisfaction. It became one of the single biggest drivers of improved financial performance across the group.
In the early years of my consulting career, I spent a lot of time focused on delivering the scope of the change programs in front of me and not always enough time thinking through the people factors needed to embed lasting change in the client organization. I would see some programs that were great success, and some that were failures.
Once at Berkeley I learned how to take a more rounded, more comprehensive people approach - delivering major change in a way that sticks. Too many transformation programs fail to achieve their target impact because of wider employee resistance or management behavior that does not support the change. Over the years I have learned to really think through all the organizational and change management aspects of delivering effective change. Every situation is different, but I soon learned some core principles which help to reduce the risk of resistance to change.
Work-wise, it would be to always be involved doing hands-on, real consulting work with our clients and consultants. I love the buzz and the newness of every new client organization, building relationships with new clients, and I love us being able to make connections for people and apply our experiences from other organisations to help each new firm I work with. I don’t ever want to end up away from the coal face of the “real” client work. On a personal level, my biggest goal is about my wife and I bringing up our two kids and helping them to achieve their full potential, and always having fun doing it.