Digital Business and Technology
A: 2006 in Melbourne; transferred to London in 2008
A: My colleagues and I find this question very easy, but I’m afraid the answer is rather boring and always the same: the people, the variety, and the challenge. You can probably read a variation of this answer on every other profile on this site. But that’s because it’s true. Hence, I won’t say much more on this point, except that it’s a perpetual delight to be surrounded by such a talented, curious, and opinionated group of people. I am challenged every day, and while it’s certainly not always comfortable, it’s a great way to discover more about yourself and continue to grow.
A: I have enjoyed many of the projects I’ve completed here at Strategy&, but my favourite experience was a yearlong secondment I completed with the National Autistic Society (NAS). The NAS is the U.K.’s largest autism charity with around 3,000 people in more than 80 branches U.K.-wide. I was keen to take a bit of a break from consulting and apply my skills to something quite different—and that’s exactly what I did. My role was as a sort of right-hand man to the CEO, who had been in post for about a year. The challenge was to help him shape the charity’s strategy, get it approved by the board, and then kick off and run a programme of initiatives to deliver the change. It was a hugely exciting role, with the scope to change an entire organisation, covering elements including strategy, finance, operations, branding, and technology. Part of the challenge was to concurrently run a wide range of disparate initiatives, but this was all overlaid with doing so in a charity—which is a very different environment to a typical for-profit organisation. In the latter, decisions can typically be boiled down to a comparison of financial outcomes, which is very easy to measure. In a charity, results need to be evaluated in terms of social and personal outcomes, and this is hugely challenging from both conceptual and stakeholder management points of view. Overall, the work was very impactful in shaping the charity’s focus and action for the coming years.