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NL October 2022


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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Still not jailed...














Other Stuff!

Bruce Garvey's latest publication.














Please help with a CMCE survey. 












Tudor Baron on Ethics. 



Image: BBC Newsnight

Past Master Vicky Pryce - on BBC's Newsnight 17th October. 




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Issue 81:  October 2022


Our Master's Voice

It has been over three months since the last newsletter, and it would be fair to say that quite a lot has happened in that time. When I talked, at the start of my year, about Back to the Future, I expected things to be different and not to return to the way things were pre-covid. What I didn't have in mind, and certainly never expected, was a war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis, a “car crash” of a mini budget (according to the Times), two bereavements (which have quite dominated the past two months) and TWO Prime Ministerial resignations!

We had the Election Court in September the results of which have already been notified so I will not repeat them here. Congratulations to all the new appointees and I look forward to working with them in the year ahead as Immediate Past Master. Neither will I repeat my “Highlights from the Election Court” here.  There’s still quite a lot to talk about and this will, of course, be my last newsletter as Master.

It has been a busy period and I will attempt to recap on recent events in the section below: “Event matters”. A couple of things are worth highlighting: 

I am certainly looking forward to a change of pace next year as well as a return to international travel - Australia beckons!  I’m picking up some new responsibilities as well as being Immediate Past Master and I will continue to edit the Newsletter - but I hope others will get involved over the coming months.  Meanwhile here's a brief recap of my City and Livery activities over the past few months.

On 7th July I was particularly honoured to be a special guest at the Actuaries Installation dinner. I was invited by outgoing Master Julie Griffiths and was made most welcome by new Master Keith Jones and his wife Sandra. Cathy Cant and I had a very enjoyable evening, especially strolling in the gardens at Drapers’ Hall beforehand. 

Writing now, it seems slightly strange to be talking about The Queen's Jubilee celebrations but on 14th July I attended the Queen & Commonwealth Reception at the Mansion House. The musicians and choirs were extraordinary and there was a very engaging drinks reception afterwards. Good networking once again.

Several members attended the Company of Carmen’s annual Cart Marking celebration on 16th July – all organised by Andy Miles. It was a warm day and we made sure to sit out of the sun as we watched the parade of vehicles old and new. There was a very enjoyable lunch at the Guildhall afterwards at which the lady sat next to me saw my name badge and said “I used to know a “Steve Cant”. He was a trainee at London Transport in the 1970s.” Well, I replied simply “That would be me then!” A long reminiscing conversation then ensued …. Always wear a badge at these events. 

Many Masters across the Livery have been disappointed this year because there were no invitations to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party forthcoming. Never one to let an opportunity for a party go, our own Julie Fox set to and organised a Livery Garden Party on 24th July. This took place at Lincoln's Inn Field. About 90 Masters from my year group and the previous year group, and their consorts mingled and enjoyed a Pimm's or two and an entertaining lunch and an afternoon tea. Well done Julie.

On 7th October I was again honoured to be a special guest at the Company of HR Professionals Installation dinner. I was invited by outgoing Master Andrea Eccles and was made most welcome by new Master John Renz.  I was joined on that occasion by Julie Fox and we had a very enjoyable evening.  I had another “badge moment” when introduced to a Court Assistant… it turned out that we were both at PriceWaterhouse in the 1990’s! 

Alas I still cannot report on being Jailed & Bailed, which was, like most other events in my Master’s calendar, postponed. However I did achieve more than my target, raising £1,280 plus gift aid. Many thanks to the many friends, family and colleagues who supported this fundraising effort. More on this in the Newsletter when it finally happens. 

Clerking Arrangements - Update

As our Clerk, Julie Fox, comes to the end of her very successful year as Master at WCCSA, we will revert to previous arrangements for our own Clerking.  This is effective now.

To be clear, we will retain the services of both Julie Fox as Clerk and Walter Gill as Assistant Clark.

I thought it would be helpful just to remind everybody about “who does what”, after a year when perhaps this was not as clear as it could have been.  The broad allocation of responsibilities is summarised in the table below and in more detail in this spreadsheet which gets down to task level and also shows who else from within the Company is, or should be, involved.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, the Clerk or the Assistant Clerk. 

Event Matters

In this section there is a brief summary of a number of events over the last couple of months. These are in addition to those reported above. Overall there's been something for everybody and turn outs have been good. That's not to say that there aren't still some people that are unable to attend events for various reasons. We look forward to seeing them again soon.

Wine Tasting in Kent. 
Back in the Elizabethan era, 16 members of the Wine Club enjoyed an early September tour of a couple of new wineries in mid Kent – Mereworth Winery and Balfour’s Hush Heath winery.  The trip was organized by Chris and Hilary Sutton who have seen, over many years, how the local hop fields are disappearing, to be replaced by vineyards. Read Chris' reports on the trip here

Summer Celebration on 21st July
The high point of July was our own Summer Celebration on 21st July at the Museum of the Home in Hoxton.  It was a great occasion for networking, chatting and simply enjoying being together on a decent summer evening.  At the event our Immediate Past Master John Pulford presented the Company with his gift – a banner (strictly it’s a “Gonfalon”) with our Coat of Arms.


The Church Service and reception on 22nd September
After the Election Court the Court processed to the Church displaying the new Gonfalon, which was then was duly blessed at the Church service by our new Honorary Chaplain: Fr Tim Handley SSC, Priest-in-charge of St James Garlickhythe.  

At the service, I read a series of remembrances provided by colleagues of John Corneille from the entire range of his long and illustrious career. This set of remembrances is now available on the website here.  

Our Gift to Clerk to the Court of the Chamberlain on 4th October

I was delighted to be able to donate our Company’s gift to Clerk to the Court of the Chamberlain at Guildhall.   The gift was, of course, Calvert’s stopwatch.  It had been a long process – reported here over several years. Thanks are due several people:  Ajay Chhabra for highlighting the gap some time ago. John Cowdell who wrote to me, as editor of our Newsletter, asking what a suitable icon of our profession would be. Karol Sczlinski, who came up with an idea but nothing happened. Finally, Calvert suggested donating his ancient watch….and the rest is recent history.  Without these members' efforts, the idea of a gift may have remained just that – an idea…. So thanks to everybody that has been involved and I’m pleased to report all those named here were present at the short  ceremony.  We were all made most welcome by the Clerk who gave those present a brief tour of some other gifts from Livery Companies and celebrated Freemen of the City. 

CMCE Virtual Showcase: Deconstructing Uncertainty

On 20th September Freeman Bruce Garvey gave a stimulating and interesting illustrated talk based on his PhD research and on his recently published book: “Uncertainty Deconstructed: A Guidebook for Decision Support Practitioners”.  Bruce titled his talk “We should have seen it coming” or “Taking The Risk out of Uncertainty” and it was certainly an academic “Tour de force” featuring a review of various decision support tools and techniques (some of which we would recognise), how behavioural factors are crucial in dealing with uncertainty and introducing such interesting concepts as “wicked problems” and “cognitive dissonance”. A recording of this showcase is still available here and as always we’re pleased to plug a member’s publication. Further details here

MMIW 14 – 26th September 

Malcolm McCaig introduced the latest in the “My Most Interesting” series.  Bob and Sally Garrett returned for their second appearance in this series and regaled about 20 of us of with tales of how they had not so much managed their careers, as “careered” around the world - including China – carving out a successful business by reacting to opportunities and learning as they went. Their talk was illustrated by one slide which I, and I'm sure others, found interesting and engaging. It provides a history of Management Consulting in the 20th century, and I certainly found myself looking at it and trying to plot my own career path. An extract (below) shows where Calvert’s watch fitted in.

Oh yes… Sally deserves a medal. 

MMIW 15 is already scheduled for 30th November and will feature Karol Sczlinski: “In the wake of a Tsunami”…

Common Hall & Lunch – 29th September

About a dozen Liverymen attended the Common Hall at the Guildhall at which the new Lord Mayor was Duly elected. The 694th Lord Mayor of London will be Alderman Nicholas Lyons of the Tower Ward.  It was an interesting but surprisingly long ceremony, and we ended up having our celebratory lunch quite late. The Company had been invited by the Master and Wardens of the Worshipful Company of Stationers to join them for lunch in Stationers' Hall. 

CMCE Virtual Showcase: - 6th October - Heads, tails or heads and tails – getting entangled with quantum.

Nick Bush (who apparently can’t get enough of this topic) reports:

“There are three types of people in the Quantum Computing world” according to Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny “those who understand it, those who don't understand it, and those who do and don’t understand it”. The mayor wasn’t speaking at CMCE’s recent Showcase on the subject – it was at a recent City event that I attended but his in-joke encapsulated one of the fundamental and slightly mind-bending concepts introduced at the showcase by Quantinuum’s Dr Mark Wolf. Rather than the bits that underpin “classical” computers and exist as zeroes or ones, quantum bits – qubits – harness the properties of sub-atomic particles which exist in multiple states. These qubits can become “entangled” to perform calculations that can solve problems that would take years using classical computers.

Once over this conceptual hurdle – which it’s easiest to just accept rather than ponder too deeply – Mark dealt with the many applications that quantum machines can address, including chemical simulation, optimisation of, for example, supply chains and transport schedules, drug design and derivative pricing. 

And the exciting thing about quantum is that it’s moving from the lab to commercial adoption. Quantinuum, a joint venture between Honeywell and Cambridge Quantum, are already offering products that support cryptography and chemical simulation. So, in conclusion, the challenge for companies is to start to create the skills in quantum knowledge and, critically, to identify those previously insoluble problems that would give them competitive advantage. Conceptually, quantum computing may be a challenge for us, but it’s one that we need to rise to, in order to embrace the opportunities that will be arriving very soon.

Other events

The following other recent events will be reported in the next “Get to Know Philanthropy” newsletter – in November. 

  • The Pan Livery Pro Bono workshop held on 3rd October
  • The Pro bono Workshop held on 11th October.

Management Consulting Accreditation?

Do you have  a view? If so, please tell us. As part of their ongoing work on Excellence in Consulting, CMCE and Coventry University Business School are undertaking a project to understand the benefits of accrediting management consultants, and how to realise these benefits. Can you help this important project by completing a brief questionnaire? The link is here and the views of anyone with experience of buying or supplying consulting services (that’s most of you then) will be welcome.

The project’s findings, including the feedback that we receive from this questionnaire, will be published in early 2023. If you’d like more details then Liveryman Jim Foster is leading the work.

Get To Know - Tudor Baron on Ethics

Over the next few issues of the Newsletter, I expect to feature our New Court Assistants here:  Malcolm Green and Ian White. This time, however, something different. Junior Freeman Tudor Baron submitted an interesting article on ethics for publication in the Newsletter. I'll let Tudor introduce himself and the article:

“I’m a Certified Management Consultant with 8 years’ experience in Healthcare and Life Sciences. I am also a Board Member of the Institute of Consulting and a Junior Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants.  I direct Baron’s Consultancy, a purpose led advisory service in Healthcare and Life Sciences, where I provide transformational leadership to businesses and stakeholders, focusing on 4 core values: impact, innovation, agility, and ingenuity, to respond quickly to their most complex and critical challenges.

I was asked to present a short lecture to a group of potential student members at a virtual event held by Chartered Management Institute on 14th June 2022 on the broad subject of Ethics.  I relished at the opportunity to share my thoughts and highlight an area that I feel is of critical importance to the professional and its future. I hope I inspired many students to think ethically and about their careers as management consultants in the future.  The summary can be read here and a full version is available here."

And Finally....

With everything else going on recently I’m guessing many will have missed the news of Marilyn Loden’s passing.  Marilyn was a Management Consultant and feminist thinker credited with coining the phrase ‘glass ceiling’ back in 1978.  Apparently, she conjured up this vivid, colourful and now very well-known metaphor while speaking, off the cuff, at a conference about lack of advancement in the workplace. The phrase stuck but, while things have changed for the better since 1978, the Glass Ceiling is clearly still in evidence in many places. 

Thanks for reading this far… Next issue before Christmas.

Have you had your Covid autumn booster jab yet?  Mine made me feel ropey for a day - so it must have had an effect!  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).