Episode 44 - Charlie Hodgson - Charlie Hodgson Performance

 
Charlie hodgson.jpg
 

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Today’s guest is Charlie Hodgson, former England international and Saracens number 10 and founder of Charlie Hodgson Performance, his leadership coaching business.            

As a professional rugby player Charlie achieved everything you could want to over his 16 year career. He won multiple premiership titles with his club Saracens, played for England and went on the 2005 Lions tour. If this wasn’t enough, he is also the all-time record point scorer in the premiership with 2,625 points scored. To put this into perspective if you don’t follow rugby, the closest player too him who’s still playing professionally has 1,569 points – almost a 1,000 points behind Charlie.

As I’ve said before on this podcast I’m a big believer that you can and should learn from the best, regardless of their industry, and sport is no different. Given the hyper competitive nature of elite sport, teams are always looking for an edge and given Saracens success over recent years it was fascinating to sit down with Charlie and get his first-hand insights and advice of what led them to be so successful.

Since retiring from professional rugby Charlie has combined his experience of developing winning teams at the top level of elite rugby with his coaching training and launched Charlie Hodgson Performance to help executives and their teams leverage the leadership principles from professional sport to develop their own high performing cultures.

Charlie shares so many fascinating insights from both his sporting and business careers in this interview including:

  • How his club Saracens were able to go from a midtable side to the best team in the league  and the off field changes they made that were critical to this success.

  • The importance of developing a positive and supportive culture in your organisation and the key elements to consider if you want to develop your own high performing team.

  • How you can break down barriers between the different areas in your organisation and start to help your teams work together better.

  • And much much more!

It was great to get the chance to sit down with someone who has spent so long at the top of elite sport and learn what it takes to succeed at that level, both individually and as a team. There’s so much in this conversation that you can apply to your career and your business and I know you’re going to get a lot from what Charlie has to say.

You can get in touch with Charlie via email at charlie@charliehodgsonperformance.com

And you can find out more about Charlie Hodgson Performance at https://charliehodgsonperformance.com/


This episode is brought to you by Create Engage the Digital Marketing agency for the disruptive Management Consultancy.

Digital Marketing has moved forward, but most consulting firms haven’t. Many Consulting firms still see their corporate blog as their sole Digital Marketing channel and find themselves frustrated when these blogs yield little if any results.

To help those of you who want to harness the power of Digital Marketing to grow your Consulting Business but don’t have the knowledge, capacity or in-house capability to do so I launched Create Engage, the first Digital Marketing agency for the Management Consulting Industry.

If you’d like to find out more about how Create Engage can help you use Digital Marketing to take your business to the next level then drop me an email at Nick@CreateEngage.co.uk or go to our website www.createengage.co.uk where you can download our free case study that breaks down down the Digital Marketing strategies used by one successful Consulting firm to help them grow over 400% in just 3 years and gives you the secrets they used, so that you can apply them in your own firm.


Specific things we discussed in the show:

Sarcens RFC - https://www.saracens.com/

The Forgotten Highlander by Alistair Urquhart - https://amzn.to/2Jqsylz

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl - https://amzn.to/2WPH3Ce

I used to be a miserable F*ck by John Kim - https://amzn.to/2LQqhCc

What we talk about:

Timestamps to follow shortly…

Episode 43 - Julie Baddeley

Julie Baddeley

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Today’s guest is Julie Baddeley.

Julie is one of the UK’s most experienced female business leaders having held numerous executive and non-executive positions on the boards of many well known FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies over the last 20 years.

Julie is currently non-executive director of Ebiquity plc and Senior Independent Director of Marshall of Cambridge.  In addition to these roles she has established the Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement at Cambridge University, something we discuss in today’s show.

Before moving in to her portfolio career she was a partner at Accenture, Executive Director at The Woolwich and has been on the boards of Harvey Nash, Greggs, and the Department of Health to name but a few.

I was introduced to Julie by former guest of the show Harry Gaskell who worked for Julie before she left Consulting. Given her wealth of experience and current area of focus he thought she’d make an excellent guest for the show and he was certainly right about that.

Today’s episode is rather different to some of my other conversations and instead of going in to detail on Julie’s career we focus on an important topic that Julie is hugely passionate about and one that will be critical for Consultants and their clients over the coming years and that is climate change.

In addition to her non-executive roles Julie is currently leading a series of initiatives with investors, scientists and advisors to help Board chairs and non-executive directors recognise the impact that climate change is going to have on their businesses and the importance of doing their part to reduce the environment impact of their businesses.

With her substantial board level experience Julie brings a pragmatic business lens to the climate change conversations and in this episode we go in to huge detail about why helping tackle climate change is a sound strategic business decision and why Consultants should be focusing on this as an offering for their clients.

Our conversation really opened my eyes to some of the challenges that businesses are facing when it comes to climate change and how Consultants can, and should, be looking to support their clients with this, both to help the planet but also to help their profits.

You can get in touch with Julie on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-baddeley-675a2011/

or drop her an email - juliebaddeley@gmail.com


This episode is brought to you by Create Engage the Digital Marketing agency for the disruptive Management Consultancy.

Digital Marketing has moved forward, but most consulting firms haven’t. Many Consulting firms still see their corporate blog as their sole Digital Marketing channel and find themselves frustrated when these blogs yield little if any results.

To help those of you who want to harness the power of Digital Marketing to grow your Consulting Business but don’t have the knowledge, capacity or in-house capability to do so I launched Create Engage, the first Digital Marketing agency for the Management Consulting Industry.

If you’d like to find out more about how Create Engage can help you use Digital Marketing to take your business to the next level then drop me an email at Nick@CreateEngage.co.uk or go to our website www.createengage.co.uk where you can download our free case study that breaks down down the Digital Marketing strategies used by one successful Consulting firm to help them grow over 400% in just 3 years and gives you the secrets they used, so that you can apply them in your own firm.


Specific things we discussed in the show:

What Price Climate Change? by Alex Cameron and David Archer - Click here to download

Engaging Boards With Climate Change by Alex Cameron and David Archer - Click here to download

Engaging Company Boards with Climate Action research by William Cross, Diane Mouradain, James Roberts and Sudhiksha Unnikrishnan for Imperial College Business School - Click here to download

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells - https://amzn.to/2Ur4dgk

Accounting for sustainability - https://www.accountingforsustainability.org/en/index.html

Task Force on Climate Change Related Disclosures - https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/

How to Set Up Effective Climate Governance on Corporate Boards: Guiding principles and questions by the World Economic Forum - https://www.weforum.org/whitepapers/how-to-set-up-effective-climate-governance-on-corporate-boards-guiding-principles-and-questions

What we talk about:

Timestamps to follow shortly

Episode 42 - Michael Mahony - The Berkeley Partnership

MIchael Mahony The Berkeley Partnership.jpg

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Today’s guest is Michael Mahony, Co-Founder of the Berkeley Partnership.

Michael was one of four founding partners of The Berkeley Partnership, growing it from an idea to where it is today. In 2018 Michael retired from Berkeley and now works with a number of consulting firms, helping them shape their business strategies.

Founded in 1990, The Berkeley Partnership is an independent Management Consultancy who work with many household names and global organisations helping them to develop strategies and transform their businesses.

The Berekely partnership are unique in a number of ways and have successfully grown their business whilst doing the opposite of what most people would consider conventional consulting wisdom. They are industry agnostic, only recruit from the upper grades in Consulting, have an extremely low partner to Consultant ratio and are heavily focused on limiting the amount of travel their consultants have to do when delivering for their clients.

The fascinating thing about Berkeley is that they’ve been able to build a thriving business by doing all of this and as Michael explains in our conversation, they’ve create a place that the partners and consultants want to work. 

Knowing some of the Berkeley story, I had always been intrigued by their model and how they’d been so successful while pursuing such an unorthodox approach. So when I was introduced to Michael, I jumped at the chance to get him on the show.

We cover so many interesting topics in this episode including:

  • What led Michael and his Co-founders to Launch Berkeley and how they managed to survive their early years, launching the business just before the 1991 recession.

  • The Berkeley Partnership business model and how the team decided to set the firm up as they did.

  • And Michael’s advice to others thinking about launching their own consulting business

I really enjoyed this conversation with Michael and it was great to get so much advice and insight from someone who has been involved in the industry for as long as he has.

If you’re a partner thinking about how to improve your own business or a Consultant thinking about going out on your own then this interview is a must listen.

You can get in touch with Michael through his LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelmahony1/


This episode is brought to you by Create Engage the Digital Marketing agency for the disruptive Management Consultancy.

Digital Marketing has moved forward, but most consulting firms haven’t. Many Consulting firms still see their corporate blog as their sole Digital Marketing channel and find themselves frustrated when these blogs yield little if any results.

To help those of you who want to harness the power of Digital Marketing to grow your Consulting Business but don’t have the knowledge, capacity or in-house capability to do so I launched Create Engage, the first Digital Marketing agency for the Management Consulting Industry.

If you’d like to find out more about how Create Engage can help you use Digital Marketing to take your business to the next level then drop me an email at Nick@CreateEngage.co.uk or go to our website www.createengage.co.uk where you can download our free case study that breaks down down the Digital Marketing strategies used by one successful Consulting firm to help them grow over 400% in just 3 years and gives you the secrets they used, so that you can apply them in your own firm.


Specific things we discussed in the show:

The Berkeley Partnership - https://www.berkeleypartnership.com/

Trust Based Selling by Charles Green - https://amzn.to/2Uynsc6

Managing the Professional Services Firm by David Maister - https://amzn.to/2D0OcYA

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence by Norman Dixon - https://amzn.to/2K613Pj

What we talk about:

00:04:59 - Michael’s early career and what led him and his co-founders to launch the Berkeley Partnership.

00:16:14 - The importance of optimism and how to overcome the fear of launching your own business.

00:19:09 - How Michael and his co-founders balanced their different wants and desires for the company in the early days.

00:20:08 - How the Berkeley Partnership survived the 1991 recession and what this taught Michael and the team for future recessions.

00:23:04 - The importance of building relationships with your clients and how to do it effectively.

 00:24:40 - The Berkeley Partners business model and their unique approach to running a Consulting business.

00:32:00 - How Michael and the leadership team had to adapt to ensure the guiding principles of Berkeley endured as the business grew.

00:33:52 - How the leadership team made decisions without a Managing Partner.

00:35:14 - Why Michael and his co-founders decided to build Berkeley as a business for the long term and not with the goal of building it to sell.

00:36:43 - How the workforce is changing and the impact this is going to have on Consulting firms and their clients.

00:40:12 - How the Berkeley Partnership built a successful business without creating a ‘pyramid’ structure and how they were able to sell this proposition to their clients.

00:56:14 - The major inflection points on the Berkeley Partnership’s growth journey and how Michael and the leadership team overcame them.

01:05:06 - How the Berkeley Partnership ensured they recruited the best people for the firm.

0:1:10:00 - Michael’s advice to anyone thinking of launching their own Consulting business.

01:15:58 - Michael’s book recommendations.

01:19:20 - Michael’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, in the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

01:21:55 - How to get in touch with Michael.

Episode 41 - Charles Vivian - North Highland

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Today’s guest is Charles Vivian, Managing Director and Portfolio Group Lead at North Highland.

Charles leads North Highland’s UK and north eastern US practices, a $100 million dollar consulting business.

While you might be expecting the typical consulting career journey, Charles has had the complete opposite and has a hugely varied career that has spanned working for a global consultancy, founding his own start up, working for a boutique consulting firm and then working his way up to where he is now.

Outside of work Charles has undertaken some phenomenal adventures including climbing Mont Blanc and running the Marathon De Sables, the world’s toughest foot race. In fact the reason that there was a slight delay on releasing this episode was that Charles was flying out the day after our interview to trek across the Artic!

Charles’s approach to growing a business, growing your career and enjoying your life were fascinating and no matter where you are on your journey there’ll be something in here for you.

We cover so many interesting topics in this conversation including:

  • Charles’ start up journey, what he learnt from failing and his advice to other thinking of going out on their own.

  • The importance of culture when it comes to building a consulting firm and how North Highland have created a culture that is open and supportive while welcoming challenge from all levels of the firm.

  • The differences and similarities when it comes to working across the UK and the US and the importance of understanding the culture of the region you’re working in when it comes to building a Consulting business.

  • How Charles fits adventures like his trip to the artic in to his schedule and his advice for others looking to balance work with doing more of the things they enjoy outside it.

I really enjoyed this conversation with Charles. His unique perspective having worked across such a diverse range of businesses gave some fantastic insights and I know you’ll get a lot from this conversation.

You can get in touch with Charles through his LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-vivian-2931b72/

or drop him an email - Charles.Vivian@northhighland.com


This episode is brought to you by Create Engage the Digital Marketing agency for the disruptive Management Consultancy.

Digital Marketing has moved forward, but most consulting firms haven’t. Many Consulting firms still see their corporate blog as their sole Digital Marketing channel and find themselves frustrated when these blogs yield little if any results.

To help those of you who want to harness the power of Digital Marketing to grow your Consulting Business but don’t have the knowledge, capacity or in-house capability to do so I launched Create Engage, the first Digital Marketing agency for the Management Consulting Industry.

If you’d like to find out more about how Create Engage can help you use Digital Marketing to take your business to the next level then drop me an email at Nick@CreateEngage.co.uk or go to our website www.createengage.co.uk where you can download our free case study that breaks down down the Digital Marketing strategies used by one successful Consulting firm to help them grow over 400% in just 3 years and gives you the secrets they used, so that you can apply them in your own firm.


Specific things we discussed in the show:

Quedis - http://www.northhighland.com/en/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/north-highland-announces-qedis-rebranding

Marathon De Sables - https://marathondessables.co.uk/

The First 90 Days by Michael D Watkins - https://amzn.to/2HPIbkL

Get Abstract - https://www.getabstract.com/en/

Harvard Business Review - https://hbr.org/

What we talk about:

00:04:52 - Charles’ trip to the Arctic and how he’s able to take a week off the grid while running a $100m Consulting business.

00:07:38 - Charles’ advice to those who are looking to do the same.

00:09:00 - How Charles found his way in to Consulting and why he decided to leave his career as a surveyor.

00:14:54 - Charles start up journey and advice to you if you’re thinking of starting your own business.

00:23:31 - Failing in his start up and how Charles overcame the failure to build the career he has now.

00:26:18 - Charles’ advice to those who want to balance their family commitments with doing something more entrepreneurial in their career.

00:29:26 - What Charles saw in Paramjit Uppal - Founder of Quedis - that led him to join the company

00:32:28 - Charles approach to interviewing candidates and how it helps North Highland recruit the best talent for the business.

00:35:36 - North Highlands culture of ‘upwards challenge’ and how they manage it to ensure it remains a positive force for the business.

00:40:14 - Managing Millennials - how the workforce is changing and how Consultancies have to adapt to give millennials the careers they are looking for.

00:45:40 - Charles career journey with North Highland and how he’s climbed to where he is today.

00:48:00 - The cultural challenges when merging consulting firms and how Charles and the team had to adapt when Quedis merged with North Highland.

00:49:30 - The difference between running a consultancy in the UK and the US and why you need to adapt your style to the region you’re working with.

00:51:09 - Charles’s advice if you’re thinking of launching a US practice for your Consultancy.

00:56:15 - How Charles balances his entrepreneurial ethos with working in a larger corporate business and how his entrepreneurial experience has helped North Highland achieve the growth it has in the UK.

01:04:54 - Charles advice on career planning and the importance of life phases.

01:08:39 - How Charles has had to develop as a leader as the business has grown and where the biggest step changes have been for him during his North Highland journey.

01:13:29 - How North Highland have built their sales culture and the importance of everyone at the firm being a sales person as well as a delivery person.

01:16:15 - How Charles makes times for his hobbies and the impressive adventures he’s been on.

01:23:22 - Charles’ book recommendations.

01:27:34 - Charles’ closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, in the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

01:30:38 - How to get in touch with Charles.