Having worked in ‘big consulting’ previously, I had just done an MBA and was thinking about moving across into industry. I didn’t feel big consulting was for me – I didn’t want to specialise deeply, felt uncomfortable with the idea of selling work clients didn’t need, and wanted to feel like I could positively influence my company. To be honest I stumbled across Berkeley and it sounded almost too good to be true – a firm that would fix these things and allow me to continue with all I loved about consulting. Many years later, it’s been borne out.
I’d have to mention two. The first was working with the NHS in Ilford, where I managed the delivery of a new polyclinic in an area that was in real need of increased local health provision. It was like a little hospital, just without inpatients and operating theatres – so covering GP services, pharmacy, health diagnostics like X-Ray, consultant outpatient appointments, and third sector activities like fitness classes and therapies.
I managed the delivery of the project, from managing the building contractor, to developing new processes, IT, staffing, public engagement, communications, and PR. It was complex and challenging, very exciting, and it felt like it made a real difference. We were in the Evening Standard and on the TV when it opened, so it was all quite high profile.
The second was being Programme Director for an industry-wide new capability for the Royal Mail. The programme involved barcoding all letters and enabling the Royal Mail network to track them through the system. This gave customers visibility of their mail consignments through the network, enabling better proof of delivery and integration with other marketing channels. It also provided surety to Royal Mail that they were being paid for all the mail they processed.
This was a three year process from inception, through building a business case, engaging and contracting with a plethora of suppliers, through to delivery of the capability. It touched all aspects of the business (commercial, products, customer, operations, engineering, IT, procurement, legal…) and reached out to customers and other key players in the industry. The programme had a major impact and was tough but hugely rewarding. I loved working with the great Royal Mail team and the suppliers, and I get a reminder of what we achieved every day when those barcoded letters come through the letterbox!
I’ve always been passionate about music – playing drums and brass in bands and orchestras, collecting music and going to gigs and festivals. It’s given me so much over the years in sheer pleasure and enduring friendships. A lifelong love affair really. The beauty of it is that however much you know there is always more to discover.
As I get older, I find I’m getting increasingly passionate about helping people out. I feel lucky to have been able to combine this with my love of music, by working closely for a few years now with Schoolground Sounds, a South London based charity that uses music to empower and develop young people facing disadvantage. It’s nice to be able to use the skills and experience I have built up in my career in consulting, and I really enjoy working with incredible people I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet otherwise.