Episode 33 - Seb Chambers - CIL Management Consultants

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“Keep day dreaming, because if you don’t day dream, you don’t visualise the future and if you don’t do that, you’re not going to get there.”

Today’s guest is Seb Chamber Managing Partner of CIL Management Consultants.

Seb was introduced to me by a previous guest of mine, Dom Moorhouse, as someone I must get on the show and Seb certainly didn’t disappoint.

Seb’s route to Managing Partner is a really interesting story and one that while uncommon, gives an insight in to a lesser travelled route that I know many of you will be fascinated by.

Instead of climbing the ladder to Partner Seb bought in to CIL, something that we discuss in detail in today’s episode, and grew the firm from there. Before you think ‘well that’s okay if you have plenty of cash’, Seb didn’t and there’s a lot you can learn from Seb’s approach here for those of you with aspirations to buy in to a business yourselves.

But this is only part of Seb’s story and we cover a range of topics in addition to this including:

Growing a Consulting firm where the head office is based outside of London and why Seb sees their Froom head office (a town 30 minutes outside of Bath) as an asset to the firm.

Seb’s advice to those looking to climb the Consulting career ladder as well as those with aspirations to build a career at the top of their firms for as long as he has.

The CIL meme wall, yes you heard me right, meme wall - the first I’ve seen in any consulting office – what this says about CILs culture and why culture is critical when starting and growing a business.

I really enjoyed this wide ranging conversation with Seb and it was great to dig in to topics that I’d not discussed with any other guest before.  

Whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, looking to climb to Partner in your firm or you have aspirations to buy in to a firm and be a part of growing a business there’s something in here for everyone.

You can find out more about Seb on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastian-chambers-3ba205a/

Or drop him an email at schambers@cilconsultants.com  

If you’re interested in finding out more about CIL you can check out their website - http://www.cilconsultants.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 discuss in the show:

Bounce by Mathew Syed - http://amzn.eu/d/9LTUgvI

Ted Talks - https://www.ted.com/talks

Elyn Saks TED Talk – A tale of mental illness – From the Inside - https://www.ted.com/talks/elyn_saks_seeing_mental_illness?language=en

What we talk about:

00:04:53 - Seb’s background and how he got to where he is today.

00:10:49 - The story of how Seb bought in to CIL and his advice for others looking to do the same.

00:16:45 - How Seb was able to buy in to CIL even though he didn’t have the money himself.

00:19:58 - How Seb assessed CIL when deciding whether or not to buy in and his advice to others considering buying in to a business.

00:22:56 - Seb’s advice on structuring your business to survive during both the good times and the bad.

00:25:38 - Why Seb sees their Froom head office as an asset to the business and the hidden benefits of having your head office outside of London.

00:34:41 - Seb’s advice to those thinking of starting their own Consulting business and considering whether to start it where they live or launch it in a major city.

00:40:26 - The CIL Meme wall, what this says about their culture and the importance of focusing on culture if you want to develop a successful business.

00:48:40 - How CIL assesses cultural fit during their recruitment process to ensure they hire the right people for the firm.

00:52:25 - Seb’s advice for junior Consultants looking to build a successful career in Consulting.

00:57:28 - Seb’s advice for Partners looking to build a career at the top of their firm for as long as he has.

01:02:00 - What led Seb and the CIL management team to buy out EY and the process they went through to do so.

01:07:10 - Seb’s book recommendations.

01:11:00 - Seb’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, In the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

01:12:30 - How to get in touch with Seb.

Episode 32 - Gian Power - TLC Lions

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“There’s always a barrier in the way, There’s never a perfect time. So just go and do it”

Today’s guest is Gian Power. Gian is the Founder of TLC Lions and Unwind London.

Having started out in Consulting, Gian’s life was turned upside down in 2015 when his father was murdered while on a business trip to India.

Following the 3 month investigation to find out what happened to his father, a period that Gian says was ‘the most difficult time of his life’ he returned to Consulting but found it just wasn’t the same for him. That’s when he set out to do something different and that decision ultimately led him to found TLC Lions.

Since launching TLC Lions, A collection of motivational speakers who share their inspiring stories to help organisations improve employee engagement and well-being, the business has gone from strength to strength, working with clients such as Deloitte, BDO, Amazon and Just Eat to name but a few.

We cover some really interesting topics in this interview, a number of which I haven’t discussed with any other guests before including:

The story of how Gian founded TLC Lions and his advice to others thinking of launching their own business outside of Consulting.

Why being busy is just an excuse and what you should be asking yourself instead.

How Gian makes decisions and the importance of trusting your gut when deciding whether something’s right for you.

The importance of mental health or wellbeing as Gian calls it and Gian advice for both individuals and corporates on ensuring their wellbeing or that of their employees is as good as it can be.

and much much more!

I really enjoyed speaking with Gian and hearing how he’s managed to come back from such a terrible tragedy to create a successful business and happy life for himself and I’m sure you’ll get a lot from what he has to say!

You can find out more about Gian on his LinkedIn profile - https://www.linkedin.com/in/giansinghpower/

If you want to find out more about TLC Lions and Unwind you can do so at the links below:

TLC Lions - https://www.tlclions.com/

Unwind London - https://www.unwindlondon.com/

Specific things we discuss in the show:

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss - http://amzn.eu/d/ftLXivO

Derek Sivers - https://sivers.org/

Anything You Wnat by Derek Sivers - http://amzn.eu/d/9YZqQiD

Paul Obershnider - https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-oberschneider-61694a59

Dr Kamel Hothi OBE - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamel_Hothi

Calm app - https://www.calm.com/

Mo Gawdat - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo_Gawdat

Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat - http://amzn.eu/d/2NMXTVf

Mental Health First Aid Course - https://mhfaengland.org/

What we talk about:

00:02:00 - Why busy is an excuse and what you should really be thinking about when you say you’re too busy.

00:03:30 - Gian’s background and how he got to where he is today.

00:08:05 - What led Gian to found TLC Lions and take the step out of Consulting so soon after coming back to work following his father’s death.

00:11:20 - How Gian was able to set up a business in an industry he had very little experience in and the advice he gives to others looking to take a step out of Consulting.

00:16:10 - How Gian makes key business decisions and the importance of trusting your gut.

00:19:00 - How Gian selected his Lions and the critical factors that Gian considered when deciding whether someone was right for TLC Lions or not.

00:22:45 - How Gian was able to secure his first Lions and persuade them to join him when he was just starting out.

00:25:51 - Gian’s mental health journey, how he overcame the death of his father and his advice for others dealing with mental health challenges.

00:33:01 - Gian’s advice for assessing your own mental health and the one question we should all be asking ourselves.

00:38:51 - What Consultancies should be doing to support their employees wellbeing and how they can act early to support those who are struggling with mental health challenges.

00:43:20 - Gian’s book recommendations

00:50:45 - Gian’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, In the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

00:55:40 - How to get in touch with Gian.

Episode 31 - Nigel Walsh - Deloitte Digital

Nigel Walsh Climb in Consulting

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“Innovation isn’t about getting all of the latest tools in to your environment and creating the longest set of buzzwords that don’t deliver anything. Focus on the ‘why’ and then work out the fastest and easiest path to that point.”

Today’s guest is Nigel Walsh. Nigel is a Partner in Deloitte Digital and leads the firms proposition for InsurTech disruptors and how they engage across the insurance sector.

Nigel is a respected industry commentator and influencer and is regularly featured in industry trade news sharing his take on the latest trends in innovation and InsurTech. He is the co-host of his own podcast, InsurTech Insider, where he shares the latest news, insight and debate within the InsurTech space. If that wasn’t enough he is also co-author of the recently launched InsurTech book sharing a chapter on ‘frictionless insurance in a land of utility’ which focuses on the intersection between customer experience and the rise of the sharing economy. 

We cover some really interesting topics in this conversation including:

What successful innovation looks like and how corporates should be approaching innovation to deliver results.

What really matters when it comes to selecting your insurer and why there’s more to think about then a toy Oleg.

Disruption in the Consulting industry and what changes our own industry is facing.

Collaboration in Consulting and the story behind Nigel’s industry leading podcast which he co-hosts with another Consulting firm.

And much much more!

It was great fun speaking to Nigel and getting his perspective on innovation within the Insurance industry and beyond.

If you’re looking to move in to the start up space or want to understand how you can work with innovative tech businesses as a Consultant then this episode is a must listen!

You can find out more about Nigel here:

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nigelwalsh/?originalSubdomain=uk  

Twitter - www.twitter.com/nigelwalsh

And get in touch with him at ndwalsh@deloitte.co.uk  

Specific things we discuss in the show:

The InsurTech insider podcast -  https://ii.11fs.com/  

The INSURTECH book - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1119362210/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_4NZXBbJ3Q14W5   

Pocket app - https://getpocket.com/  

'InsurTech top 50 influencers' - https://InsurTechnews.com/influencers  

Denim Labs - https://denimlabs.com/  

Bold Penguin - https://www.boldpenguin.com/  

Chris Cheatham - https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrischeatham/  

What we talk about:

00:03:00 - What big corporates need to consider to deliver effective innovation.

00:04:34 - The importance of starting with ‘why’ when it comes to innovation.

00:09:08 - The difference between exponential and incremental innovation and why you should focus on the former.

00:10:33 - Innovation in the Insurance market and what you need to consider when buying your own insurance.

00:15:40 - Innovation in the Consulting industry and the changes our industry faces.

00:19:38 - The ‘gig economy’ and what it means for Consulting.

00:23:27 - The benefits Nigel’s seen from running his own podcast and how his partnership with 11:FS came about.

00:25:55 - The challenges and questions Nigel faced from internal colleagues when launching his own podcast.

00:29:28 - The common misconceptions that people have about the Big 4 and why they’re wrong.

00:32:26 - The importance of building your personal brand as a Consultant and how Nigel has built a successful personal brand for himself within the InsurTech space.

00:34:31 - David’s advice to Consultants looking to grow their personal brand, whether that’s through a podcast or another medium.

00:38:18 - Nigel’s book, resource and app recommendations.

00:42:23 - Nigel’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, In the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

00:45:50 - How to get in touch with Nigel.

Episode 30 - Karina Brown and Jim Stichbury - GroHappy

Karina Jim GroHappy

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“It never felt like as much of a dramatic risk as people think. In the early days we knew that if it really goes wrong we can go back and we won’t have lost that much, in fact we will have gained a whole load of new skills that we wouldn’t have developed otherwise. Making the decision was hard, but once we’d made the decision it wasn’t as scarey as we’d anticipated.”

Today’s guests are Karina Brown and Jim Stichbury.s Co founders of GroHappy.

GroHappy is a B2B software business that helps companies to give their employees the career development that they crave.

GroHappy's tools and technologies help employees to get clear on their career aspirations, have better conversations about it and discover recommended steps (from podcasts, to courses, to events) to move towards their goals.

I was introduced to Karina in the very early days of GroHappy and I have had the privilege of watching as Karina and Jim take GroHappy from an idea that they worked on in evenings and weekends to a successful, investor backed, tech start up with a growing professional services client base.

I had a great time speaking with Karina and Jim and we cover some really interesting topics in this conversation including:

How Karina and Jim came up with the idea of GroHappy and how they managed the earlier phase of the business to turn it from a side project in to their full time focus.

Karina and Jim’s top tips for prioritisation and productivity when growing a start up.

The importance of advisors when growing an early stage start up and how Karina and Jim identified their gaps and then found advisors to fill them.

The lessons from their recent funding round and their advice for those looking to do the same.

Any much much more!

If you are planning on starting your own business, you have an idea that you’d like to give a go but aren’t sure how to do it or you want to learn how to apply successful start-up principles in your own Consulting career then this episode is a must listen!

You can find out more about Karina and Jim on their LinkedIn

Karina – https://www.linkedin.com/in/karinabrown01

Jim – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesstichbury

If you want to find out more about GroHappy you can check out their website -  http://www.grohappy.co.uk

Specific things we discuss in the show:

Zero to one by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters - http://amzn.eu/d/4aIRRuT

Harry Gaskell - https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-gaskell-ab94271/?originalSubdomain=uk  

London and partners growth programme - https://business.london/business-growth-programme  

The Design Sprint by Google - http://www.gv.com/sprint/  

The Agile Manifesto - http://agilemanifesto.org/  

Deep Work by Cal Newport - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0349411905/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_O0JUBbCPADQ23  

The Alliance by Reid Hoffman - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1625275773/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_E1JUBb8938SZ6  

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0571339794/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_J3JUBbFFGRDQ2  

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1784703931/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_-3JUBb3VKXC34   

Exponential Organisations by Salim Ismail et al - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1626814236/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_C4JUBb48HC81D   

Reinventing Organisations by Frederic Laloux - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/2960133501/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_m5JUBb86N2TZ4   

The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0670921602/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_65JUBbT0ND3J1  

What we talk about:

00:04:00 - Karina and Jim’s background and how they got to where they are today.

00:05:51 - How the idea for GroHappy came about and how Karina and Jim decided to turn it in to a business.

00:08:09 - The questions Karina and Jim asked themselves and each other before launching the business.

00:10:19 - Karina and Jim’s advice for how to have honest and open conversations with your manager/career advisor.

00:12:39 - How Karina and Jim made the move from full time Management Consultants to full time entrepreneurs.

00:15:01 - The common fears that people have when thinking about starting their own business and how to overcome them.

00:19:07 - How Karina and Jim have successfully grown GroHappy and the pivot they took to achieve that success.

00:25:41 - How Karina and Jim identified the senior advisors they wanted and how they persuaded them to come on board.

00:30:48 - The strategic and operational techniques and tools that have helped Karina and Jim to grow their business so rapidly.

00:37:16 - Karina and Jim’s book recommendations on productivity, prioritisation and working effectively when growing a start up.

00:39:40 - The importance of taking time to unplug when growing a business and Karina and Jim’s approaches for this.

00:43:07 - The “outside of work” challenges that come from growing a start up, how Karina and Jim have managed these and their advice for others thinking of doing the same.

00:50:02 - GroHappy’s successful fundraising round and Karina and Jim’s advice for others looking to raise investment for their business.

00:56:28 - Karina and Jim’s book recommendations.

01:00:20 - Karina and Jim’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, In the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

01:04:45 - How to get in touch with Karina and Jim.