Q1 In brief, describe how you entered the profession of management consulting, or when did you decide that management consulting was a profession that you wanted to enter?

Early in my career I came across a number of individuals who had this designation after their name, ‘CMC’. What was unique about these people is I found them to all be exceptional, professionally. It was later I learned what the initials stood for and from then on, I always associated it with an individual of a higher calibre. Over the next ten years, as my career evolved (and the nature of work I did changed / became higher level) I felt I needed a broader perspective along with training and so I sought the CMC designation myself. That led me to re-invent myself from an IT consultant to a true management consultant.

Q2 What do you love most about consulting?

3 things – I love working with great people (co-workers, clients), tackling and solving complex problems, and seeing tangible results downstream.

Q3 What do you like the least?

Clients not taking advice (even though that's what they hired you to do) especially when you can forecast the downstream outcomes if the advice is not taken. I have not yet found the secret sauce on how to consistently avoid some clients learning the hard way despite being given the right advice and tools to implement it. There is no pleasure in "I told you so".

Q4 What has been your most satisfying engagement and why?

Not a particular engagement per se but rather shifting my focus from working 'in' the business (that is, actually executing consulting assignments or being part of the team that executes an assignment) to working 'on' the business (that is, setting the strategic direction of the business, executing that direction and adjusting as necessary). Focusing on the business, has directly resulted in, over time, the nature of our client engagements becoming broader and more strategic in nature. As a result, we see a more meaningful impact to our clients' business. And that’s what I find most satisfying.

Q5 What personality trait has helped you the most in your career?

Approaching relationships, business, investing etc. with the long view but within an ethical framework / framed by value-based principles. Thinking strategically not tactically i.e. being tenacious / persistent / committed to the longer term.

Q6 Finally, if you were stranded on a desert island - What is one book and one luxury item you would take with you?

One book? Probably Milton's Paradise Lost. The one luxury item would be an Apple iPad Pro – so I could read newspapers / magazine / books to my heart’s content whilst that email I sent from the tablet with my precise location on a map gets responded to! Either that or a satellite phone that I would use immediately to tell someone to come get me!
Visit Graeme's LinkedIn Page to learn more.