Book Launch: Single in Buenos Aires - 2 July 2019


Consulting

My approach to business consulting is summarised in these 7 principles. 

  1. Give value -  Learn what value is for a client and deliver exactly that.
  2. Find the balance - Somewhere between doing too much and doing too little there’s a sweet spot. Hit that and stay there.
  3. Light on content, tight on structure. –  I am not an expert in anything. I have seen many industries, many functions and many specific business problems. I will never understand them at the level of detail that my clients do and I do not aim to. What I can bring in is my methodology and my experience on how to make things happen.
  4. Empower people – As a project manager I usually lead a team. In all cases these people will know much more than me about the business, about what is right and what is wrong and what needs to take place. All I need to do is empower them to make it happen.
  5. Keep it simple – It takes an insecure person to hide under a complex structure. There’s big value in turning complexity into clarity.
  6. Keep your outsider perspective – I believe our main mission as consultants is to lend a fresh pair of eyes to the client. Don’t get involved in politics, games or power plays. Be honest. Say the truth. Do your best. 
  7. When it’s time to go, go. So many consultants don’t go; they just cling onto a client and stay there forever.  My goal is to enable clients to work without me. And if I don’t believe they need me in the first place I make sure I say so.

 For full details on my consulting expertise please visit www.valueassociates.co.uk.

Consulting expertise

Project and Programme Management

Usually as part of the business transformation office of a major organisation, I get contracted for assignments that can be anywhere from 3 to 20 months. I am assigned to manage one or several projects. Often, these are complex projects and involve multi functional or multi location teams from 3 to 30 people. While I am not an expert in the content of those projects I provide the methodologies and structure to make sure the team achieve what it’s supposed to deliver. Examples of assignments:

  • Digital Marketing Cross Channel Integration – eBay
  • SAP expansions – Apple
  • Change of country distribution model – Apple
  • Business plan – Indesit
  • Technology implementation – Sony
  • Creation of a Community of Practice – Sony

Strategy & International expansions

These assignments tend to be shorter and more focused. They are of various types and can range from creating a blueprint for international expansions through to due diligence and to in depth implementation plans. Other types of assignments I have completed involve new models for business expansion. Examples of assignments:

  • Interim head of international expansion for EMEIA – Apple
  • International expansion multi functional due diligence – Apple
  • Retail strategy proposal for Post Office operator – Roland Berger
  • Assessment of global brewery business line – APV

Operational performance improvement

At heart I am an operations consultant. I learned this methodology while working for Proudfoot Consulting, a niche operational performance improvement consultancy and it has stayed with me and influenced my approach to all other types of consulting assignments I have delivered since. The core of who I am as a consultant is operations. I follow a classic AS IS / TO BE / IMPLEMENT process restructuring methodology. I analyse a business, I provide recommendations for improvement I draw up implementation plans and if needed I stay on and make it happen. Examples of assignments:

  • Cost efficiencies via new crewing model – Rank Casinos
  • Sales operations restructuring – Agrana
  • Business analysis for restructuring initiatives- Alcatel and Lucchini
  • Process reengineering safety and security divisions – Dubai Airport

Restructuring and turnaround

I love restructuring and turnaround environments because of the huge challenge they come with: very few such initiatives actually succeed. What it takes is a complex combination of clarity, action, patience and stubbornness. They also take a long time, demand a lot of energy but usually deliver big results when done right. Examples of assignments:

  • Invensys – 16 months. Scope: EMEA sales area.
  • Romind – 22 months. Scope: entire company.

High growth start up

This area is very close to my heart and is based on my own experience as an entrepreneur. At the age of 22 I founded a successful start-up in translation and office related services – CET Central European Translations – which I later sold. This was my success story. Many years later I founded another start-up – Time Bridge – that aimed to connect virtual PAs with clients over a complex intranet interface. This was my entrepreneurial failure story. Experiencing both sides of the coin has given me invaluable insight into the passion it takes to start something and the rigour it requires to succeed.


I am particularly passionate about high growth start-ups, specifically those organisations that have reached the point where they need to start introducing elements of corporate structure but are reluctant to do so for fear it will weaken their entrepreneurial creativity and drive. At this point the business has grown too big for the head of one person, usually that of the founder. But it is not big enough yet for full-fledged processes and procedures. I step in at that moment and guide the company gently through introducing some much-needed structure without compromising the agility. Examples of assignments:

  • Performance Consultants International – operational consulting, management systems and organisational structure
  • British Polo Day – operational consulting, management systems and organisational structure

Change management

I do change management as part of all my projects. You simply cannot ignore it. The change curve has become one of my favourite slides in a presentation and I have learned to steer clear of clients who refuse to understand it. Change management is about taking the people with you. It’s about looking ahead and knowing what’s coming because you have seen it before and helping them through the inevitable confusion and uncertainty until the much-feared change becomes the new norm. Examples of assignments:

  • Royal Mail – change plan for key stakeholders
  • Lucchini – training and coaching, change games, change plans.