The scale of Berkeley means that we can work in a much more collaborative, flexible and close-knit way with our clients. We work in very small and focused project teams that are really tailored to the client need and the specific situation or problem that the client is trying to work through. From my experience, this is a distinct approach when compared with other consultancies.
We have built best practice solutions that are tried and tested at other clients, alongside experienced community consultants who may have tackled a related issue before. However, we don’t try and fit off the shelf solutions or frameworks to every issue, we really focus on making sure that whatever we propose to do and execute is the most helpful thing.
I joined Berkeley during the Coronavirus pandemic, so did not have a typical experience of settling into a new role. However, it has also been a fascinating social experiment to observe and participate in, and I’ve learnt a lot about how I interact with and build relationships with people.
I’ve learnt that it’s crucial to go into every interaction with an open mind so that you can meet your conversation partner at the right level to have a productive conversation. This may apply to a client, colleague or another person that I interact with from a business perspective.
Our entry points to that interaction may be completely different, so I can’t make any assumptions about my reception or their response. I need to take to the time to make sure we are aligned and reset where this isn’t the case.
A quick check in on understanding and expectations can often save a lot of time and confusion on Zoom meetings!
Treat everyone with fairness and equality – I really believe in treating every person how you would like to be treated and being inclusive. I don’t base how I speak to people on their perceived importance, seniority or position, and in a work context, I don’t favour people just because of our relationship. This has meant that I am seen a fair and just leader, and my colleagues trust me to do the right thing without being influenced by interpersonal politics.
Mindset and attitude make a big difference. How we think and mentally approach life has a significant impact on outcomes, on par or greater than our actions. This influences my approach to work and career, because I know that if I want to achieve something, then I need to adopt the right attitude to make it happen.