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NL March 2021


WCoMC is a collegiate forward looking Modern City Livery Company; we maintain City traditions, share expertise and information between fellow members and give back to the community through our pro bono activities.

WCoMC News

Our Master - John Pulford












Guido Castro with his partner Maureen Lipman





















See below for future events.































































































































Get to Know Collette Stone, below.





More on Ties & such below...







Newsletter Editor:

Website Support:

Issue 72:  March 2021

Our Master’s Voice

As we know, change is coming in many ways. In my garden daffodils are in full bloom and this week has seen the arrival of some yellow wagtails and flowers such as violets have appeared in the hedgerows. The swallows will not be far behind. Covid vaccinations are accelerating, and the Company will soon be able to emerge from lockdown. We are already looking at dates for in-person meetings as we seek to restore our normal programme of activities. 
Our collective wisdom has enabled us to continue to operate as a successful Livery Company through this difficult period, and I should like to pay tribute to the many members of the Court who have enabled this to happen. I am very much looking forward to meeting you all again, in person.

We heard only recently the sad news of the passing of Guido Castro, one of the founding members of the original Guild of Management Consultants.  PM Michael Jeans pays tribute below

Our Fellowship has continued through our virtual events programme, providing a wide range of activity. The Faith Group’s Reflections on Climate Change stimulated much discussion about what we can do individually and corporately to provide a sustainable future for the planet. Two Most Interesting Project events, two Pro Bono Showcases, a Shoptalk, a CMCE Showcase and a Wine Tasting have enabled members to share experiences, learn and to be engaged in collegiate and fun ways. You can read more about these events as well as our future programme below. 
The recent Easter Court meeting was notable for several reasons but I covered that in my update on 25th March so will not repeat things here. 

In Memoriam - Guido Castro 

It is sad to report the death on 28th January of Guido Castro at the age of 84 years.  According to Maureen Lipman, his partner for the last 13 years, and Past Master (and ex colleague) Michael Jeans, Guido had contracted COVID-19 but was already physically weak with Parkinson’s.  Prior to his retirement Guido had been with KPMG (Peat Marwick) for many years, retiring as senior IT consulting partner. Guido was a founder member of The Guild of Management Consultants and a member of the very first Charities Committee which initiated the Charitable Fund - so vital as part of the Guild’s ambition eventually to become a full livery Company.  (Ed. A short History of the Charitable Fund, produced by PM Alan Broomhead, can now be found on the Company Website - members' area).

Office Relocation - Update

Our planned move away from Skinners’ Hall was notified in the Master’s email about the Easter Court.   We can now confirm that we’ll be pursuing the option to move to Saddlers’ Hall. There’s more work to do to finalise things and a further report will be made in the next Newsletter.  

Recent events 

My most interesting whatever #6

Last month we heard from three Members about their respective experiences. First, Leonard Specterman told us about his journey from being a successful accountant to becoming a management consultant. He spoke about several experiences where he was involved in significant fund-raising efforts on behalf of charities and focused on one organisation: B1G1 where he is actively involved. This is a charity that essentially outsources the corporate social responsibilities requirements for commercial organisations.  As such it is like other intermediaries who vet charitable organisations to make it easier for commercial businesses to direct their philanthropic activities and donations.  
This was followed by Sally Garratt and PM Bob Garratt, who regaled us with tales of their exploits in China way back in the 1980s, redefining the whole notion of a career:  they “careered” about finding opportunities wherever they went.  Their talk was peppered with references to Mao’s China, the Cultural Revolution, and a seemingly endless rounds of dinners at the British Embassy in Peking.  As ever it was a case of “who you know”.   Both were entertaining and engaging talks, and there was a spirited discussion afterwards. 

We are still on the lookout for other speakers for future slots in the ongoing “My Most Interesting…” series so if you have an interesting experience, a project, or a customer to tell us about please do get in touch.  
Meanwhile, onto Teamwork….

Pro bono showcase - Teamwork

Also back in February, we had our most recent pro bono showcase where we discussed the move towards structuring all our pro bono work around ‘teams’.

The evening's discussions were started by Cosette Reczek and Ian White who had been working together with the support of John Corneille on a project for an environmental and educational charity, assessing their organisational strengths and weaknesses, and recommending actions for improvement. They concluded that it is essential up front to agree on "how, when and where" to do the work.
Then Patrick Chapman (Chair of the Pro Bono Committee) contributed with his experiences of working with Bob Harris on a short, sharp workshop facilitation assignment. Again, they started the assignment by agreeing how to work together, one leading the client discussions and the other documenting the outcomes of these discussions and adding ideas to the discussions, as well as assisting the client in drafting their strategy.
Finally your Editor contributed a slide which summed up his experiences working in a virtual team with Geoff Berridge on the review of the Charitable Fund.

There was then a lively discussion, especially about how to put together a great team (e.g. using a Myers-Briggs or Belbin assessment to help create an effective team). However, it was agreed that the reality of our pro bono offering is that such an approach is probably a bit too 'heavy', as often we have few volunteers offering to give their time. However, it was also agreed that there was huge benefit to be gained in terms of personal development by working in teams on pro bono assignments. This is something that has been recognised in the past but needs to be further developed in our future client engagements. Watch out for more in our new “Get to Know Philanthropy” newsletter, which will be replacing Get to Know Pro Bono, which we have not published recently.

Shop Talk – A Tour of Creativity

Our most recent “Shop Talk” event took place on 3rd March, where a good range of participants heard from two relatively new Members of the Company. The unifying theme of the evening, although not billed as such, was “creativity”. 
Peter Johnson gave a brief history of his life and work experiences including the authorship of a book about managing back pain and followed this up with an example of his recent work. He explained how he had used several tools and techniques (we all have our own toolkits!) including Jung’s axes of psychological preference, eight types on the colour spectrum and neuro linguistic programming. (Ed: This was serious stuff!)  Peter had used these tools to support a local charity (a hospice) to inject some creativity into their fundraising efforts with, it must be said, great success. (Ed: this included splashing paint onto canvas to help develop strategic priorities - fun with a serious intent...we are told). 

This was followed by Kevin (Kev) Hughes (Zooming in from the Emerald Isle) who rather creatively changed his proposed talk on the fly to focus on how he has used creative approaches to solving problems with charities.   Kev spoke about the challenge of an African forestry project set up by a group of Irish charities that had been given some bad advice and was now growing the wrong shape of tree! A bent tree does not make a decent pole for electricity cables, but it can be turned into valuable charcoal.  (Ed: You had to be there – but video recordings are available of both speakers).  
Our speakers were engaging and entertaining in contrasting ways and the discussion afterwards was both interesting and light-hearted. I think we ended up agreeing that management consultants were not the most creative bunch: they ranked after two-year-olds and accountants in that respect, but we are, overall, quite creative. More worrying, perhaps, was that was no agreement on what in fact creativity was. 

Neb's Magic Show

After the Court meeting on 17th March we were treated to Neb's Virtual Magic Show; a 45 minute tour de force that entertained, intrigued and generally baffled those present. 

CMCE Showcase - How to be an excellent client

On 23rd March, 27 participants joined the latest CMCE Showcase which was hosted by Nick Bush and chaired by Cosette Reczek. There will be a full report on this event in the next CMCE Newsletter but for now here are some highlights. The evening kicked off with a short presentation by our own Jim Foster the lead author of CMCE's latest report on “Consultant Value Add: Maximising Value from your Management Consultant".   You can find the report on the CMCE website. 
Then we heard from Sarah-Jayne Aldridge who is currently the Director of Sourcing at Network Rail and has been in Procurement for over 26 years. She gave a good overview of the process for procuring professional services and how professional procurement staff can help with that process. Key points included:
•  Defining the client’s needs really clearly - it is often the case that clients simply cannot articulate what they are.
•   Establishing where and how to realise value - where does the value sit and what is the return on investment?
•   Set out key delivery milestones.
•  She also talked about the need to avoid the “land and expand” problem (Ed - what we'd call the “sell-on”! )
The second guest speaker was Paul Vincent who is Global Head of Services Procurement at Hays Talent Solutions.  Paul built on Sarah-Jayne’s talk, especially on the need to answer the “So what?” value question at the outset.  Paul articulated an interesting five-level model for buying consultancy: 

  • Level 1 - where the client does not know where they are - and needs help to find out
  • Level 2 - where the client knows where they are but doesn't know what to do – and needs help framing a strategy or plan.
  • Level 3 - where the client knows what to do but not how to do it – and needs help in executing a strategy or plan.
  • Level 4 - where the client knows how to do it but doesn't have the capability to do so – and needs expert bodies.
  • Level 5 - where the client wants somebody else to assess the risks of doing it (and thereby provide somebody to blame when it all goes wrong).   

Different types of value occur in each of these different levels and I'm sure we can all recognise them having worked at different clients with different needs. In short, this was an opportunity to get valuable, practical advice from experts in the procurement field and contained themes that CMCE will develop in future. 

An evening with Johnson Beharry VC

As First Warden I was privileged to be invited by the Chartered Accountants' Company to a virtual evening with Dr Johnson Beharry VC COG on 2nd March. Many will recognise the name Johnson Beharry as ‘that soldier who was extremely brave’. Fewer may know that he is the only living recipient of the VC, and fewer still may understand why this signal honour was awarded.   My partner / Consort, Cathy Cant, was moved to write up an account of the exceptional evening, which you can read here.  

Forthcoming Events

Second Warden Bob Harris reports:   We have a full programme of virtual events during April and May.  Details are available on the rolling calendar on the website and we’ll produce more publicity about each event nearer the time.  These events are all open for booking now.  Here’s a summary of what’s coming up: 

  • Virtual Wine Tasting events #7 & #8 will be held on 9th April and 14th May respectively. (Ed - The Wine Club has been busy!)
  • Shop Talk – 13th April with Jo Mann and Simon Davis
  • CMCE Showcase 22nd April - “Mindfulness and Mental Health in Consultancy”
  • MMIW#7 – 5th May (featured speakers will be PM Mary Collis and Collette Stone)
  • Education Lecture 2021 – 19th May- “Unconscious Bias and the Management Consultant”.

Philanthropic Giving by the Livery

Bob Harris was invited last year to join the Pan-Livery Steering Group which is chaired by past Lord Mayor Alderman Sir Charles Bowman and to lead a survey of philanthropic giving by the livery movement. The survey was launched in October 2020 and the report was published in February 2021 - it's on the website in the City Pages.  It incorporates data from all 110 Livery Companies and several Guilds and Companies without Livery.
Headline findings are that the aggregate financial support by Livery Companies of £72m per annum puts the livery movement in the top six grant makers in the UK. While most of the financial giving derives from historical endowments managed by the older livery companies, an increasing element of philanthropic giving is in the form of professional pro bono support - in which the Management Consultants are leading the way:


The Steering Group is keen to build on this initial survey and is developing a broader communications plan to publicise the philanthropic work of the livery more widely.

WCoMC Members Survey – The last word 

The survey was carried out in December 2020.  A final report on the implications for Company virtual events was recently presented to the Court of Wardens and is available here
The main recommendations are:
1.    Continue to run a wide range of virtual events as part of a broader portfolio of WCoMC offerings, from the purely social through to the purely professional as illustrated here: 

2.    Continue to produce regular newsletters and emails and target these to appeal to our whole range of members. 
3.    Charge a nominal fee for events with external costs and speakers.
4.    Continue to explore other potential virtual activities which might interest those who prefer smaller group events.
5.    Continue to carry out membership surveys on a regular basis to ensure the Company continues to reflect the preferences of its existing and future members.

Get to know …. Collette Stone 

Collette joined us in 2017 and at the Easter Court 2021 was co-opted to the Court of Assistants and joined the Education Committee.

After a teaching career that never quite materialised Colette took up a sensible career as a civil servant and was posted to HM Immigration Service at Heathrow on the frontline at immigration control, amongst the first female Immigration Officers to be appointed. The teaching bug returned, and Collette became the Service’s first female vocational trainer and then the first race awareness trainer in the Service, with a couple of years in training video directing and production on the way.  On promotion to Chief Immigration Officer she spent a year in the Appeals Courts as a Presenting Officer, and after a spell at Terminal 4 was promoted to manage the national Immigration Service Training & Development Unit, and then on promotion to the Home Office to become Head of Leadership & Management Development for a while. This was where Collette settled into a first role in consultancy, as an Executive coach for Senior Civil Servants and their teams.  

Alongside this Colette has been a lifelong volunteer with Girlguiding, qualifying as a Leader Trainer for Girlguiding, becoming a County Commissioner twice, Region Lead for Adult Training, a National Deputy Lead for Training, an International Programme Adviser.  Last month, with a team she had never met in person and based in three other time zones, she facilitated a four-day workshop in New Delhi on Leadership for the Bharat Scouts & Guides of India – from her dining room table. You can read a fuller biog on Collette here

Company Ties& such  

Are you properly attired for coming out of lockdown? 
The New Old Ties are in and they are particularly good quality.   Quite a few Members (men) have ordered and already received their ties: 
Chris Sutton had to remind himself how to tie his.  John Watson – “I have to say it is a very nice tie!” (Ed - I think the last time I bought a tie was in 2004).   Several people declined to submit a photo on the grounds of “lockdown hair” but here's the Tie gallery!  

Whatever, we’re all looking forward to sporting the new ties at real face to face events …. sometime soon we hope. 
Tie stocks are limited and clearly going fast – so get your order in now by emailing the Clerk.  

Some Members have asked: “What about something for those who don't wear ties?”   Well, we did consult and there was a suggestion of portable umbrellas, given how much it rains in the UK!  So we are now considering branded umbrellas (with the Company Crest) that would be suitable for both handbag and manbag!
If you would be interested in such an item at about £15.00 please let me know, without commitment, so we know we can justify an economic order quantity.

And finally....A Roadmap out of lockdown? 

So, after a year with no travel, no family, no friends, no gigs, no concerts or trips to the cinema, nor formal dinners, suppers or even the odd beer, we now have a "road map" of the way out of lockdown. I’m sure we all like a good roadmap - I've done a few in my time - but I’m just not sure about this much-discussed roadmap.  Are the milestones really going to be about data or are the media going to drive us toward the dates come what may?

Thanks for reading this far….and thanks to all who contibuted to this issue (especially the tie gallery!).  Stay safe. 

Steve Cant



This newsletter is produced by the WCoMC Communications Group. Please let us know if you have any items to include in relation to any topics that come to mind! The opinions expressed in this newsletter represent those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Company.
​WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).