Informal Drinks in the City 21 May:  Meet with us at the Golden Fleece
CMCE Virtual Workshop (3rd of 5) 23 May:  Next Gen2.0: Risky Business
Education Supper at Bakers' Hall 19 June:  AI's Role in Higher Education
Click here for our rolling calendar or here for City events

NL November/December 2019


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 latest City updates






New Freemen

An apology - Last time I promised a round up of new Freeman and Liverymen. I'm sorry that has not happened here but I will work with the Clerk to provide a complete update of 2019 in the next Issue.

















































Honorary Chaplain – Helen O'Sullivan


Lord Mayor's Show - iPlayer


CMCE Award


PM David Johnson





That Minto Pyramid






Newsletter Editor:

Website Support:

Issue 62:  Nov 2019


Welcome to the Christmas issue of the Newsletter

In this issue, the New Master sets the scene for her year of Joy ahead and summarises some recent events, we get to meet the Chaplain and the CMCE award winners, hear some reflections from Past Master David Johnson, and get a surprise down under! 

Your Master's Voice

It is a great joy to be writing to you as Master of our Livery Company. And ‘Joy’ is my theme for the year!

In my speech at the Installation Dinner and at the New Master’s reception I alluded to the notes of Love, Humility and Joy which underpin the lives of tertiary Franciscans and their links to Philanthropy, Education and Fellowship which underpin our lives as Members of our Livery Company. 

Master, Wardens, Speaker and Principal Guests at the Installation Dinner

This year my focus will be in ensuring that we deepen the impact and celebrate the successes in Philanthropy and Education, but most of all that we enjoy the Fellowship within our Company.   As a vibrant, modern Company we rely very heavily on those who volunteer in so many ways to make our many activities a success, and there have been many activities in the last four weeks. 

My first formal event was to participate with other livery companies in the very moving ceremony to lay poppies in the garden of remembrance at St Paul’s. Later that week I attended the Silent Ceremony for the installation of Alderman William Russell as Lord Mayor and the following day it was the Lord Mayor’s Show.  We had a lovely crowd marching with the Sea Cadets on the parade, and even larger support group at lunch in The George on the Strand.

The Company even got a shout out on the BBC who were filming the parade – noting our philanthropic support of the Sea Cadets.

Our Centre for Management Consulting Excellence (CMCE) delivered an excellent Consulting Research Conference at Goodenough College.  The overall winners, “Building dynamic capabilities for digital transformation: An ongoing process of strategic renewal.” Karl Warner and  Maximilian Wäger were presented with the Company’s Urwick Cup.  (Ed – Click here for more on this).  It is in the nature of excellent management consultants to be able to pull together very highly professional projects in a very short space of time.   This was certainly evident in the conference and was also evident in the production of our Annual Report for 2018/19,  which was produced in time for the New Master’s Reception.   I do feel our Coat of Arms might better display an arm with a rolled-up sleeve holding the star of wisdom aloft! 

As well as looking back to our many achievements during 2018/19, we also looked forward and discussed a strategy map for our development.  During the evening we asked those present to answer a couple of questions “What two things would you like to do in your company?”  and “What would you like from your Company?”  Most gave answers on a postcard but there was also the opportunity to complete the survey online.  It is not too late to add your thoughts andto add your thoughts and the survey is still open.  

The same evening we admitted two new Freemen, Steven Joyce and Vijay Luthra, and drank some very fine wine from our cellar. One of my election promises was to strengthen the Clerk’s office, and we have now made an offer to someone to take up the role of Assistant Clerk.  We hope that subject to references they will be in place before the end of the year.  They will report into our Learned Clerk, Julie, and having had considerable experience within a Livery Company will be a huge support in all our activities.

When I next write we will be into the third decade of the twenty-first century!   I hope you and your loved ones have a most joyful time during the holiday season.

Peace and goodwill.

Charities Supper 2020 – Wednesday 15th January

The 2019 Charities Supper broke records and now we’re open for bookings for the Charities Supper 2020, which will be held on Wednesday 15th January at Skinners’ Hall.  You should already have the date in your diaries, so please do come and join well over 100 participants to enjoy the evening, the excellent surroundings, some great food and terrific wines selected by our illustrious Wine Committee.  We will be fortunate in having three exceptional featured clients, speaking between courses about our work with them:

  • Sam Joseph.  Sam is the founder of StreetVet, which started in 2016 and is aimed at supporting homeless people via their dogs.  (Really!)    From a standing start StreetVet now has a presence in 13 urban centres across England and well over 100 volunteers – Vets and Nurses. A real success story!
  • Sue Riddlestone OBE - CEO and founder of Bioregional, celebrating its 25th year of developing more sustainable ways of living.  Sue will talk about her experiences with our mentoring services, which do seem to be increasingly in demand across the sector.
  • Anita Tiessen – CEO at Youth Business International, which is an international network helping young people to set up their own businesses.  Anita joined YBI in January 2018 after holding senior positions in two other international charities, and she is leading the expansion of YBI into new countries.  This is the tenth year of our work with YBI, and we have undertaken over 50 assignments over that period.

Also on the night we’ll award the Matheson Cup. This is awarded by the ProBono Committee to a member of the Company who has "gone above and beyond" during the past year.  

This event will be benefitting from Sponsorship – which we’ll acknowledge on the night – and this allows us to keep the prices down for members and in particular their guests from Charities.   Book now at  by clicking on this link and bring guests. 

See you there.

Meet our Honorary Chaplain – Helen O'Sullivan

Helen is our new Chaplain.  Formally, the Chaplain is expected to attend Court meetings and say Grace at Company functions as well as arranging and leading the Company’s Annual Service.  But there’s more to it as Helen explains here

Fame at Last

The Master referred to our Company’s name check during TV coverage of the Lord Mayors Show.  If you want to see and hear this yourself, then BBC iPlayer of the Lord Mayor’s Show is still available. At about 1:06 into the programme you can see our contingent approaching The Mansion House, and more surprisingly we had a mention during commentary as a livery company which supports the Sea Cadets. This is at about 1:07.  Click here to watch – but you will have to Fast Forward….

Inaugural CMCE Consulting Research Conference

As the Master has already noted, the inaugural CMCE Consulting Research Conference was held on 21 November. Some 70 practitioners, academics, students and others from the world of management consultancy came together to share leading edge thinking in management consultancy.   A report on the conference including all the winners of the CMCE Consulting Research Awards in 2019 can be found here.

Professor Michael Mainelli, (pictured below) founder of consultancy Z/Yen, a Fellow of Goodenough College and recently elected Sheriff of the City of London gave the keynote address on the importance of research to management consulting. In a stimulating address he advised that we should admit our ignorance, promote the scientific method in consultancy, and ask great questions. He concluded that most of all, we should have fun. ‘Good research well done is enormous fun. You learn all the time, and once in a while have a chance to change the world. What can beat that?’

The Conference concluded with a reception at which the Master presented the Urwick Cup for outstanding research to Award winners Karl Warner and Maximilian Wäger (also pictured below) for their research paper. This paper addresses a key issue facing many organisations: how to seize the opportunities and deal with the threats of digital disruption.  The citation from the WCoMC judging panel led by Third Warden Bob Harris was: “This research is founded on empirical evidence from senior executives in a number of large organisations that are addressing strategic change, along with the leaders of global management consulting companies providing advice on such change.  The findings are highly relevant and provide a practical model for any consultant advising organisations that are seeking to build the agility required to successfully embrace digital transformation”.  Click here for the full paper.

My life in a year 

"Being elected Master of any Livery Company is a great honour, but to be Master of a Modern Livery Company established to represent a Profession in The City is very special". .....

PM David Johnson reflects on his year as Master

Consultancy Artefact?

There was little interest in the search for an appropriate management consultancy artefact, that featured in the last Newsletter, so I’m not going to spend too long on it here. However, Karol Szlichcinski did come up with what I judge to be the winning idea.  He proposed that the ideal artefact would be a pyramid, in honour of Barbara Minto, who created the “Pyramid Principle” (see below) while working at McKinsey’s in the 1960s.  I’ve certainly used the principle many times to structure data and/or arguments and I’m sure we all have at some point.   Even the much-appreciated Maslow V2 that I shared last time was in the form of a pyramid!   Karol suggests that a model pyramid of a suitable size made of, say, polished stone or polycarbonate with an appropriate inscription might serve as a gift to the Chamberlain's Court.   Any volunteers to take this forward? 

And finally…  All the way to Melbourne to meet a colleague:

As many of you know, I like to travel. My most recent trip was to Australia where I combined a chance to catch up with my Granddaughter (aged 7½) with a Railway Study tour.   I should explain that I’ve been a member of the Institute of Transport and Logistics for over 40 years and very occasionally do a rail-based study tour with them.  I am not a train nut – but I am interested……  Australia was too good an opportunity to miss. These trips include some learning and some touristic stuff.  On a visit to the Victoria Goldfields Railway – a heritage line not far from Melbourne -  I was travelling in a fine vintage saloon car (see photo) when I overheard a conversation about livery companies generally and OUR company in particular.    Very quickly I realised that I was talking to Dennis Ciborowski a longstanding liveryman with WoCoMC.  Amazingly, I’d never met him and he’d never heard of me!   We soon put that right and fell in with one Alex Nelson who introduced himself as First Warden at The Clothworkers' Company.   Later we visited the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for a tour and dinner.    The photo shows the three of us in the MCG press room, answering questions about the Livery!

Similar contributions welcome!

Next Issue

I’ve recently agreed with Wardens a set of principles for taking the Newsletter forward. They key point is that we’ll aim for 6 issues per year. (At that rate I will not be breaking Elizabeth’s record for productivity).  So next time will be late January 2020, when we really will have a roundup of recent joiners and new liverymen. Also a report on the Charities Supper, probably some results from the survey that the Master refers to in her opening piece and a focus on Wine - more Joy!  Thank you for reading this far and don’t forget to send in your contributions. 

Very best wishes for Christmas and 2020.

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.
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