I think what makes Berkeley different is the unique roles that we play and how we do them. Our sweetspot is bringing in a small team, often just one or two consultants, and putting them into the most critical roles alongside the client’s senior leaders.
From that position we can work with the leaders to think hard and clarify the transformation opportunity or challenge, help them get their stakeholders align, build the business case, mobilise the transformation effort, secure the budget and resources (both internal and external) and then orchestrate delivery of the transformation – whether it be strategy, organisation design, people change, programme delivery or technology solutions. We do all of this thinking and acting entirely on behalf of the client – which sounds like an obvious thing to say, but is really meaningful - it’s a values and mindset thing.
We feel our role is to make our client’s look good and achieve their goals, it is not about Berkeley. It is not uncommon for parts of the client organisaton to only realise the key people have been from Berkeley when the work comes to an end!
For over 20 years, I’ve been lucky enough to undertake a great mixture of consulting work across some fascinating clients – Unilever, Dentsu International, Cathay Pacific, William Hill, Sainsburys and the NHS. I have particularly enjoyed focusing on technology and data-enabled strategy and transformation, in the marketing, media and customer relationship management space. Whilst I have done my fair share of challenging back-office transformations, I guess it is the front-office areas I get a kick out of. Probably because the proximity to the customer and consumer is that much closer.
By accident! I had initially wanted to go into marketing (having been the focus of my Masters, following my Management degree) but somehow found myself at KPMG, consulting in the consumer and industrial markets team. To be honest, I was never convinced I wanted stay in the management consulting industry, even at the point I joined Berkeley. But Berkeley has converted me. I think it is the 100% focus on solving problems that is so unique to our industry. I am not sure there is another job out there with the same level of variety and constant change to be wrestled with. And over the years I have realised that’s what I ultimately enjoy the most. So, dare I say it, that means I am and always will be a management consultant.