Election of the Lord Mayor 29 Sep:  Guildhall (contact The Clerk)
CMCE Virtual-Showcase 18 Oct:  Digital Marketing 101
Installation Ceremony and Celebration 20 Oct:  Saddlers' Hall
Click here for our rolling events programme

NL May 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.

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Master John Pulford

 

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What’s up?

 

New Honorary Liverymen

Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli.

 

 

 

Other Stuff!

Chris Sutton (ChMC)
 

 

 

 

 

Ron Cruickshank
 

 

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Issue 73:  May 2021

 

Our Master's Voice

May has been unseasonably cool and it has been an unexpectedly busy month for me. You can read more about my challenges in “Trustees on the frontline” later in this edition. In more welcome news, I'm sure that many of us have now had our two jabs and are looking forward to a return to “in-person” events.  Our first major event has recently been advertised: our summer celebration on 2nd July, which you can book here.  We will be following government guidelines on social distancing and will ask members to take a lateral flow test just before attending such events. I greatly look forward to seeing many of you there.
We reported last month on our planned office move from Skinners Hall. There is no more to add this month, as negotiations and consideration of options is ongoing. More next time.   
I am happy to report that Court Assistant Ron Cruickshank has volunteered to take over as our Treasurer after the Election Court in September, succeeding Chris Sutton who has served three years. Chris has improved our accounting systems and brought a new vigour to budgeting and financial control, for which we are all grateful. Although we don’t have a formal position, the Wardens have agreed that Ron will be designated as Assistant Treasurer as he and Chris work through a period of transition over the next few months, including preparing the 2021/22 budget.  Chris is a hard act to follow, but I am confident that Ron will be successful in the role.  Ron is the subject of our regular “Get to Know …”  feature below.
Our diverse programme of virtual events has continued with good participation and you can read reports on all the recent events below. Looking ahead we will almost certainly seek to keep some of the advantages of virtual events in a mixed programme as we move back to more in-personal events over the coming months.  One such event will be the Installation Dinner which is now scheduled to take place on 20th October 2021. This year we are holding the ceremony and dinner for the first time at the splendid Saddlers' Hall, close to St Paul's Cathedral.  I suggest you save that date and await further announcements.  
Meanwhile enjoy your restored freedoms. 

New Honorary Liveryman

At the Easter Court meeting, the Nominations Committee made a case for the admission of a new Honorary Freeman: Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli.  The Court agreed that he be approached, and it is a pleasure to report the Professor Mainelli has now accepted.  This is particular “feather in our cap” because Professor Mainelli is on course to become the Lord Mayor. Professor Mainelli is a chartered certified accountant (FCCA), computer specialist (FBCS, CITP), securities professional (FCSI(Hons)) and management consultant (FIMC, CMC).  Learn more here.
 
The current plan is to appoint Professor Mainelli an Honorary Liveryman of the Company at the Installation Dinner in October 2021. More on that nearer the time.

Recent Events 

Shop Talk – 13th April with Jo Mann and Simon Davis
Jo and Simon both joined the Company at our virtual admission ceremony last December and again shared the spotlight. They talked about their experience and current interests in management consulting.  This was an enjoyable evening and again provided a great opportunity to learn more about some of your colleagues.  

CMCE Showcase 22nd April: Mindfulness, Mental Health and Magnificent Consulting
Nick Bush reports: 
I don’t know what they taught you in school and university but throughout the course of my education nobody ever taught me mindfulness, meditation or even anything that might be useful for my mental health. So I entered the world of management consulting singularly ill-equipped for its many vicissitudes and stresses. 
The discovery that someone was teaching mindfulness to management consulting strategy students at a business school initially struck me as one of those “say what?” moments. Up to that I’d tended to associate mindfulness with people who derived pleasure from tidying their sock drawers, eating meals very slowly or were big fans of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop (Ed: Are you sure you went to the Unconscious Bias lecture, Nick? ). In short, not my bag, too busy.
However, a conversation with Constança Casquinho, Strategy and Mindfulness Professor at Nova Business School in Portugal convinced me that there was some mileage in it. When I was separately approached by executive performance coach Victoria Fellowes about sharing some of her ideas and tools via CMCE, the April showcase started to take shape.
The event was one of those “if only I’d known this back in the day” moments since it was jam-packed with tools for forging better, more productive relationships with both colleagues and clients. Simon Davey has provided a thorough write-up, so I won’t repeat that here other than to repeat the definition of mindfulness as the “capacity to pay attention deliberately to the present moment without judgement” coined by the person who first defined the practice, Jon Kabat-Zinn. As people hired because of our judgement and opinions we might recoil from that definition but, on reflection, practising genuinely paying attention is the most powerful thing we can offer our clients. Victoria Fellowes’ interpretation of it as “respect and consideration of others” made it a practice highly relevant to today’s workplace. I would encourage anyone who missed the Showcase to view the 30-minute highlights video to get a flavour of the event as well as some concrete advice.
So what were my take-aways? I am applying a more mindful and considered approach to my work, taking time to check in with my reactions before firing off an email. It’s a work-in-progress for sure. And my sock drawer definitely needs some attention.

Recent Virtual Wine Tastings – our seventh and eighth
Since the last Newsletter there have been two further lockdown wine tasting events organised by the wine club, on the theme of "Dining around Europe" coupling local food and wine. The first took us down to Palermo in Sicily for "Dinner with the Mafia". Ann Chapman introduced us to local food specialities such as Caponata, Swordfish, Veal and Cannoli. Oenophile PM Patrick McHugh took us to Mount Etna for the wines, a white and red from the same estate on the northeastern slopes of Etna. His guidance on the tastings was, as ever, revealing and educational.

For the second session, billed as the last virtual lockdown tasting, we visited Lille, a former European City of Culture, where their Flemish food is influenced by both French and Belgium traditions. We were encouraged to sample some of the local produce including Oysters, Le Welsh (Flemish Welsh Rarebit!), Moules Marinière, all matched to a vintage champagne (or a non-vintage substitute), an excellent White Burgundy and a very reasonably priced Pinot Noir that needed quite a lot of time to breathe. (Ed: I managed not to do that, and the wine was, frankly, not good; however, 24 hours and two runs through an aerator did improve things!) The evening ended with Patrick Chapman providing some shopping tips which resulted in your editor purchasing six discounted bottles of Le Grand Ballon Sauvignon Blanc from Waitrose at a giveaway price. Nice one!

Our thanks are due to the two Patricks and Ann for organising, on behalf of the wine club, a great series of eight events during lockdown. We’re all looking forward to the next – real world – tasting event.

MMIW#7 – 5th May with Mary Collis and Collette Stone
On the 5th May we had an excellent MMIW#7 led by two of our leading ladies – Mary Collis and Collette Stone.   The event was attended by 23 people, including two guests – prospective members. 


Mary gave a quick run through of her career which has included SemaGroup, Atos and Vertex, but she spent most of her session talking about how she has been working with social enterprise start-ups, incubators and accelerators such as UnLtd (a former member of the YBI Network).  Mary has a wealth of experience in this area and has clearly enjoyed bringing her experience to bear, working with “amazing people – clever but unworldly” during the years since she stopped working full time.  Mary highlighted the value in helping new social enterprises to establish a clear strategy - a necessary precursor to fund raising. 
The session that Collette led was interesting and well-illustrated with some great vintage photos.  Collette provided an overview of her career, mainly with the Immigration Service (as we now know it) and interlaced that with a description of her long-term volunteering with the Girlguiding movement, going back to being a Brownie at the age of 7.  Collette spoke eloquently about the power of networking and the ability to empower young women.  Collette described an event that she organised where a large group of Girl Guides were charged with travelling independently between the London Eye and the Eiffel Tower.  Yes Colette, actually hired the Eiffel Tower.  She's become known as “that woman that does big events”!  That event raised £36,000 for Sightsavers. “How?” asked one questioner.  Collette’s response was priceless: “Have you tried saying ‘no’ to a determined 13 year old girl?!”. 
Participants engaged in a lively discussion and debate after both speakers.  We did video the evening and you can view the proceedings here.

Education Lecture 2021 – 19th May  
Simon Davey Reports:  Professor Binna Kandola delivered the 2021 Education Lecture – “Unconscious Bias and the Management Consultant” - for WCoMC to packed screens on Zoom. He started by confirming that everyone is biased (regardless of race, abilities, class or perspective) and that the only divide is those who recognise they are biased (and choose to review and reflect) and those who don’t. 
Biases arise because we have two systems of thinking – system 1 (easy, effortless, reactive) and system 2 (conscious, effortful and self aware) – but system 1 (quick decision making) can be an asset if we have lots of experience (e.g. the ability to see patterns in client needs and potential solutions) and ensures we don’t get exhausted by decision making. We need to hold the tension of our conscious and unconscious thoughts. Stereotype confirmation and group conformity arise because as humans we “don’t like random” – we need to make sense of the world, even if that isn’t actually always good sense. We were introduced to the concept of micro-incivilities (an alternative view of micro-aggressions) and how damaging these behaviours can be and how thoughtless we can be to those ‘not like us’.
Prof Kandola left us with three practical take aways: 
•    Self awareness – accept you’re biased, take the Implicit Awareness Test and have someone to talk to about your biases (learn, don’t just beat yourself up or ignore them).
•    Practice inclusion – observe, give feedback constructively, be open to feedback and listen to others' experiences without judgement.
•    Be a role model – talk about this, recognise the need for learning, ask questions and find out what your clients are doing about bias and inclusion. Always be constructive!
And as Malcolm said, “We’re never too old to learn new things and we can use our wisdom to make changes for the better.”

We have a recording of the talk available for a limited time period, until the end of June 2021.  The link to the recorded lecture is available here.

Professor Kandola is shown on the left below but what's going on with the other images?  Read on....

Future Events - What’s in the Calendar ? 

MMIW#8 – 10th June – Ian White  - Board Effectiveness Reviews
How do you judge a Board's effectiveness? What does effectiveness look like? What’s the benchmark? For answers to these and many other questions join us on Thursday 10th June for the latest in our virtual series of My Most Interesting Whatever….  Book here.

CMCE Virtual Showcase - Wednesday 23 June Professional Relationships
In our June showcase, we’re going to apply the last 30 years of research into management consulting to help consultants and clients build more productive relationships. We’re pleased to welcome Dr Szilvia Mosonyi from Queen Mary University of London who was the winner of the CMCE Client Consultant Relationships Research Award in 2020. Dr Mosonyi will introduce the framework that emerged from her study of all published management consulting research literature since the early 1990s. Book here.

Summer Celebration: BBQ inspired Buffet - Friday 2nd July
We have lined up a fantastic evening for our first in-person get together this year.  Rather than following the usual format of a sit-down dinner at an indoor location, we have selected a venue which allows maximum fresh air and plenty of opportunity to circulate and meet up with friends old and new. The beautiful and historic Tallow Chandlers' Hall will be our venue for fantastic food and wine.
We will start the evening with a Ceremonial Court in the Parlour.  While we have arranged a couple of virtual admission ceremonies during the lockdown period, many new members prefer to attend the centuries old ceremony in person. The Master will be admitting several new Freemen and also clothing three current Freemen in the Company's Livery.
We will then move outside to the Courtyard where the buffet will be served so that you can enjoy it in the summer sunshine and mingle with colleagues that you have only seen on Zoom over the last year.  The food has been selected to cater to all tastes, and the wine will be specially selected from the Company's cellar in the adjacent Skinners' Hall - so that is not to be missed.
While there is plenty of space at the venue, we are expecting high demand - and will be reserving spaces for our new members and their guests - so make sure you book early
(Ed:  Gents - Don’t forget to wear your new ties. We still have some available and you will be able to buy one at the event).

New Chartered Management Consultant (ChMC) Award

The Chartered Management Consultant award was launched with a high-profile webinar on 26 April. The Award was created in a partnership between the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), the trade association for the UK’s leading consulting firms, and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the UK’s leading chartered professional body for management and leadership. A few Members attended this official launch.  At the launch both organisations made much of having achieved Chartered status (awarded by Privy Council) and how this represents a step change for the industry, putting Management Consultants on a par with Chartered Accountants, Chartered Engineers etc. and setting a high standards for professional competence, ethical behaviour and client confidence. You can read more about the award here


The meeting itself came across as quite a powerful and well-orchestrated launch event for the qualification scheme. They had lined up some big guns to advocate for the importance of having a chartered qualification for management consultants, including Lord Grimstone - the Minister of State for Trade. 
While we congratulate the MCA and CMI on their achievement, the fact is that we, as Company, were not involved. The Master and Wardens believe that this new qualification should be a catalyst for rethinking our Company's approach to the sector. We have talked a good game in this space over the past few years but not really achieved very much, despite the fact that several of our members have held senior roles in the CMI in the past.   Now is probably a good time for a fresh approach with new faces.  A small working party is being put together to look at the whole question and you will read more about that here in future editions. 
Meanwhile our Treasurer, Chris Sutton, has achieved the new award. Chris: “I mainly applied as a personal development challenge. Everyone will have the differing views as to the real value of the ChMC qualification.  I have always been a glass half full person, and am happy to share personal experiences with anyone else who is thinking of applying”.   Chris has provided a detailed account of his experience of the assessment process (and a bit more about the launch event) here.

Get to Know Ron Cruickshank – Our Next Treasurer

Born in Inverness, Scotland, Ron started his schooling in Northern Ireland before finishing in
Queenstown, South Africa. Read for his degree in Accountancy at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, while completing his Accounting Articles with Deloitte.

In 1988 Ron and his wife, Ingrid, received an offer to work in London for a SA Breweries company called Miraflores (property development on the Costa del Sol, Spain). After commuting to Spain for the year, the owners of Miraflores requested the executive team move to Spain. In preference, Ron resigned and started a management consulting business offering SME businesses advice on business proposals, emphasising budgeting and cash flow forecasting. In the mid-90’s a golfing friend enticed Ron to join his small Accounting Practice in Swiss Cottage, London (ultimately to become a partner). During the years to come, Ron joined various Institutions, such as the IMC (now IC), BIM (now CMI) and the IoD (to name a few).

Rather than study to become a chartered or certified accountant, Ron read for his MBA at Henley Management College. Once completed, Ron founded his consulting company, Routes Business Cartographers – borne from the idea of assisting companies to find their direction through business mapping. RBC focuses on consulting with smaller/boutique organisations in and around London, covering Strategic Thinking, Mentoring, Coaching and Management Training. Resulting from many misinterpretations of finance modelling assumptions, Ron developed the 3P Triangle© as a tool to guide businesses and not-for-profit through their proposals/projects.

A continuing principle in Ron’s character is that of devoting time to ‘getting involved with all organisation he subscribes to. The WCoMC is no exception. Ron’s membership came about through the Richmond Group (independent management consultants). Bob Empson, a member of RG and the WCoMC, introduced Ron to the Company, where he became a Freeman in 2006 and a Liveryman in 2009. 

Since joining, Ron’s devotion is seen in his covering the administration of the Company’s Shoptalk meeting (2007 to 2010), a Founder Member of the Wine Club as Treasurer, an active member of the Mentor Team (trained under Patrick Lavin) and of the Pro-Bono Team (number of Projects including YBI – Kenya, SIB and several other charities). Immediately upon being elected to the Court of Assistants in September 2020, Ron joined the Education Committee and is expected to replace Rhonda Best as Treasurer of the Livery Council Skills Committee (LCSC) and take over the purse strings from Chris Sutton as Treasurer of the Company.

Trustees on The Frontline

In Issue 71 in February we reported on Master John’s exciting times with two of the charities of which he is Chairman. 
At the Davenant Centre in Whitechapel after the ejection of a cannabis cafe, another enterprising criminal had taken advantage of Lockdown and the absence of tenants to set up a 300 plant cannabis farm in the Listed Victorian school hall. This was discovered when a surveyor went in to look at the damage caused by the café. This time the Met swooped immediately and took away the cultivators and the plants, leaving 300 large plant pots filled with high quality compost for the benefit of locals. 
At the time Master John reflected with your Editor that it was unlikely there would be much more excitement, only for disaster to strike at the Krowji creative hub in Redruth, Cornwall where in December he and the Chairman of the Arts Council Sir Nicholas Serota had formally opened a £2m development of 21 new studios. At 6.30 am on Sunday 16th May neighbours reported a fire in the unmodernised part of their old school building. Eleven fire engines and sixty firefighters were required to extinguish the blaze leading to the loss of seventeen small studios and the main administrative office of Creative Kernow. The damage was extensive as you can see:  


John commented “That’s when you find out who your friends are and how you are thought of locally and across the wider arts network. A locally organised crowdfunder appeal had raised £24,000 for the artists within two weeks, £20,000 was offered by the Cornish Community Foundation and £35,000 by the Arts Council. Offers of space came from other Cornish arts organisations, Cornwall Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership. All the artists have been rehoused and a wet IT server has dried out with no loss of data.
Typical of those affected is jeweller Sinead O'Connor, who lost her studio (Ed - Not the well-known Irish singer).  Sinead told BBC News “Support had been ‘awe-inspiring’ and ‘not just from Cornwall’. A company in Leicester has given us money towards tools, and I drove to Nuneaton to pick up a retired jeweller's spare kit that they donated to us."
Being the optimistic sort, John and his fellow trustees are now looking to bring forward their plans for the redevelopment of the older parts of the school site. It’s an ill wind and all that ... 

Back to Bias ....

And Finally ....

I’m sure you are familiar with the “Missing Words Round” in “Have I Got News for You”.  Well, here’s my version, and it concerns Zoom.

Please provide your own completed caption, let me know and we’ll publish the best. No prizes, just respect for making your fellow Members laugh!
Thanks for reading this far.  Special thanks this time to Simon Davey for two event reports.  The next Newsletter will contain a report of our Summer Celebration event with photos of real people, not screen shots.  I look forward to seeing you there – Indian Variant permitting! 

Stay safe. 

Steve Cant

Editor

 

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).