I joined Chartwell in the beginning of 2014, moving from a COO role in a technology company. My education is in Physics and Philosophy, which I studied at Oxford University before moving directly into an Operations Consultant role at another consultancy.
The philosophy behind Chartwell is what sets it apart: each of the partners passionately wants to create the greatest possible impact in the shortest possible time and consequently they exhibit an extremely high level of commitment to developing their staff as fast as possible. That means that the opportunities you’re given to develop are well beyond anything else I’ve seen – since joining Chartwell, my learning has accelerated much more than at any other point in my career and I was able to progress to be recognised professionally as a Senior Consultant.
There have been two main drivers: opportunities and support.
In terms of opportunities, the stage I was at in my career was quickly recognised and I was brought on board a multi-million euro cost reduction project, tasked with delivering a part of those savings. As the project progressed, I was able to move from managing the implementation of just one part, to managing multiple parts simultaneously, until eventually I was responsible for the entire savings initiative and my advice and judgement became well respected by the top level management of the company. I could also take on responsibility for the development of other Chartwell consultants, investing the time to figure out the most important drivers to their success.
I was only able to seize these opportunities due to the support offered by the senior team. Going well beyond the methodology I was familiar with, managing a change programme across a whole firm requires an entirely new set of skills. The partner’s decades of experience meant they knew how to guide me in the issues I faced and could make sure that when I was taking on new challenges I had a solid foundation of support and advice to build on.
Few weeks could be described as typical, but to give a taste of the kind of work I will be involved in day to day:
MONDAY: I’m likely to be found catching up with the team leaders of the smaller initiatives I’m supporting to understand how performance has been over the weekend, what the top losses were and what progress we’ve made on the highest priority areas. These meetings allow us to agree on the direction for the week and are a chance for me to coach the team leader in an element of our methodology or develop their attitudes towards improvement.
TUESDAY: This could see me running the weekly overall project review, which I will prepare with the site manager. This meeting is a major driver on continued improvement, even after Chartwell’s support has ended.
WEDNESDAY: In the morning I could be supporting another consultant’s daily meeting and in the afternoon I might be out on a line, helping a team member understand and solve a sticky problem in a structured way.
THURSDAY: It might be important for me to spend time analysing information to find major opportunities away from the areas of current focus, to bring even more value to the client.
FRIDAY: Fridays are in the office and dedicated to staff development, so I might be training the team, coaching another consultant one-on-one, or receiving advice on a problem from one of the partners.