We’ve recently launched a new way of supporting our clients. Business Consulting helps Executive teams to solve some of their most complex problems working with our teams deliver real business outcomes quickly. In this blog, Matt Dunn talks to some of the Business Consulting team about their extensive experience in delivering successful transformation and some of the lessons learned along the way.
Kevin Paterson has worked with Eton Bridge for over 10 years. Having spent the early part of his career in Senior HR roles, he went on to run large scale transformation for Vodafone, Dixons Carphone and Costa Coffee. He’s currently leading a complex integration for a European retailer as part of EBP’s Business Consulting team.
Tracy Kingswood has spent over 30 years leading retail transformation with 18 years in Asda 14 years with Dixons/ DSG. She’s currently building and leading the Transformation Management Office for one of EBP Business Consulting’s retail clients.
Q: What’s the best advice you could give anyone starting a transformation?
I think that there are 3 critical considerations for any organisation starting out on a transformation programme:
- Clearly define and document the vision, i.e., the destination
How will the organisation operate, what will the organisation look and feel like when you get to where you are headed? So many companies kick off a transformation programme on the basis that they simply don’t want to be where they are, without setting a clear vision of where they are heading. You need to inspire the organisation to engage, that is far simpler if it is being pulled towards a destination as opposed to simply running away from the current environment.
- Set clear success factors
How will you know that you have reached your destination, and/or whether you have been successful, if you don’t define clear targets.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
Remember to adapt your communication to the audience, the Exec. will relate to different ambitions and language to other teams across the business; and you will need to motivate both to succeed. Remember to be honest and transparent around the challenges that will be faced and any (potential) negative consequences of the transformation if they are required/planned. It’s best to be honest from the start to maintain credibility and trust.
Q: As someone who’s used Consulting companies, what do you like about the way EBP Business Consulting works?
As someone who has employed and personally worked within a variety of consulting companies across a number of sectors what makes EBP Consulting different is the genuine drive to add value by delivering outcomes to the client as opposed to maximising their own revenue.
Their approach is engaging and collaborative, looking to work across all levels within the organisation from the senior Exec. team to front-line staff. The team guide the client through the change, providing advice and recommendations and then work together with the client or roll up their sleeves to deliver the best solution and outcomes.
The depth and breadth of experience, enables EBP Business Consulting to apply the relevant methodologies without drowning an organisation in unnecessary administration. This means that change can be achieved quickly, efficiently and effectively delivering sustainable solutions that are embraced by everyone across the organisation.
Q: What’s personally motivates you to keep delivering really complex difficult transformation!?
The challenge. The need to deliver change, whilst the business continues to operate, through winning the hearts and minds of colleagues at all levels within the organisation is extremely rewarding… and challenging in equal measures. The realisation that you are helping organisations to deliver tangible change, improving the success of the business, the engagement of its employees and the service it offers its customers is intoxifying. The harder the challenge the more rewarding the success.
Q: You’re new to Consulting, what have you enjoyed the most so far?
I love the freedom the role brings. When you’re a permanent employee, you are often constrained by hierarchy or office politics. Working as part of the Consulting team we’re all equal and bring different skills, knowledge and experience, which when leveraged correctly leads to a more rounded, holistic and better quality output for the client. The team I am working with are fantastic. They are so knowledgeable and selfless in sharing their own experiences and I’m continuing to grow and develop personally which will obviously help me in my role going forwards.
Q: What’s your view on the challenges most organisations face during transformation?
Most organisations need help with 3 main challenges during transformation and that’s often when they need help from a consultancy:
- To support the Exec. who may not have the bandwidth to focus on some of the longer term issues/constraints impacting their business because they are so busy on the “day job”. We provide a deep knowledge and experience which means we can accelerate solutions. Our work often forms the basis for discussion at ExCo and helps to drive the direction of the business. Our independence allows us to ask those more difficult questions to enable them to step out of the day to day and think more strategically.
- To bring expertise and capability the organisation doesn’t currently have. The fact we have years of experience in retail and are subject matter experts in our fields means we can mobilise at pace and provide our clients with tools and models to help improve the capability of the teams and ways of working.
- To “do the do”. Most organisations are resource lean but have large scale, complex programmes they need to deliver. A lot of consultancy firms just provide advice and thought leadership but don’t actually get their hands dirty and support the business to deliver change. We do both, providing the thinking, building the tools and resources and working with the teams at ground level to get things done quickly and efficiently to deliver tangible outcomes.
Q: How does it feel when you’ve successfully worked with EBP clients?
In a word – amazing!! With my current client: I’ve worked closely with a director because he recognises our expertise and trusts our decision making; I’ve been thanked by a colleague because we spent extra time and effort to support them on completing project documentation; we’ve been acknowledged by the Exec. members who have recognised that changing the way they work has helped them to deliver. Any one of these brings a smile to my face and makes me realise how lucky I am to do the job that I do!
Eton Bridge Consulting quickly identified where the programme issues were and adjusted the scope to target these as quickly as possible. By creating a hybrid team through the identification of key talent in the business, they were able to leave the programme in a sustainable position having created the foundations to enable it to deliver.Programme Lead Global Logistics business
Their approach is that of a partnership which I have found to be quite rare when hiring, and their delivery is always of the upmost quality and timeliness.Mike Byford Change & Transformation Director, FTSE listed hospitality company
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