Our founder, Iyas, works directly with the boards and leadership teams of a very limited number of technology consulting and digital agency organisations. His focus is how to support them in building companies that have depth, clarity and the ability to execute in line with their values and ambitions.
This may be on a specific issue or on a longer term day a month basis for overall business health.
Provided you're genuinely open to advice, ready to commit to action, lead with your values and we like each other, then this may be a good way to move and guide your business forward.
What does the engagement look like?
If you're looking for a voice of experience to discuss tough choices, get out of a rut, exploit a new opportunity, make a change, figure out why profitability isn't where it should be, bounce around how to deal with a challenging contractor, discuss why your best consultants are leaving, why there's a project quality issue, why there's still too much dependency on your "star consultant" (or founder) to dive in and rescue a project, why clients aren't retaining you even though you've done a great job, or any other myriad of issues and opportunities that are involved in running and growing a tech consulting business, then this may well be the best option for you.
I work directly with the boards of a handful of client consultancies and agencies to help them grow and build scale, and to do it in a values-led way. I'll schedule a regular day every month with your board to dive into specific topics, and make myself available in between for phone and email (within reason!) to help on things that may be more pressing.
Although each engagement is defined according to your needs, the goal is usually to create a business that is sustainable, scaling profitably, meeting its ambitions and values-centred. The emphasis has tended to be on:
- Creating strategies, and actually finding ways to achieve them rather than leaving them as "hope";
- Creating supporting structures and processes to scale the business;
- Troubleshooting, discussing exits, rediscovering the mojo, getting clarity on direction, and other small questions!
I only do this work with a handful of organisations. The decision whether to do it or not depends on available time, and the following criteria:
- a demonstrable commitment to take action;
- a demonstrable commitment to lead with values;
- turnover over £1.5 m (smaller than this, and the service would be too expensive to make sense);
- that we simply get on with each other.
Iyas's bio and experience
- Co-founded a Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse consultancy;
- Grew it to 30+ consultants;
- Primarily blue-chip client base such as Lloyds, Mothercare, Debenhams and Yell.
- Merged into a larger Business and Technology consultancy, in which I took a shareholding stake.
- Took on a board role in merged consultancy to develop our Intellectual Capital;
- Created communities of practice and community days, which were responsible for significant increases in knowledge sharing and capability development.
- As part owner and board director, took over a team of 60 consultants, our largest, in a turnaround scenario;
- Leading with a set of principles focussed on developing our team to become world class, I put in place a structure and practices that reduced consultant churn (i.e. the % leaving us every year) from a disastrous 40% to an industry leading 6%;
- Grew the practice to over 200 consultants, started a practice in India, recruited a support team, recruited a recruiter to overhaul recruitment (too many 'recruits' in that sentence?);
- Made us a destination employer so we no longer needed any external recruitment while we grew from 60 to over 200 consultants, and saving well over £1 million in recruitment fees;
- Created an environment where we achieved recognition (ranked 4th Full Services Agency in Europe by Forrester), challenged and grew the best consultants, and (nearly) all enjoyed the ride;
- Created a children's charity alongside, and aligned our consultancy's fundraising efforts to it with fun events put on by our operations team.
- Board member and part owner when we were acquired for £42 Million ($84 Million at the time) to kick-start a consulting practice across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
- Took on the entire EMEA consulting team of nearly 500 ranging from UK to South Africa, Spain to the Middle East;
- Grew and started practices in new territories;
- Left after 3 years to go back to independent companies where I believed the values were more aligned with my own beliefs.
- Founded Beyond the Quarter to work with independent companies looking to grow in a way that is aligned with the founders' values. Using growth and values to reinforce each other, rather than in opposition.
- Resumed directly supporting consultancies and agencies, the businesses that are closest to my heart and experience.