15 years on and still enjoying every minute

Bettina Newman from BMLD spoke to Colin about 15 years of Wescott Williams…

BN: So, Colin, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned over the last decade and a half?

CW: It sounds obvious, but it is true: we are only as good as our clients. And the key for us is to quickly establish the right working relationship with people who are the most influential in an organisation. When they realise the value of our relationship and insight, they can have an additional impact upon others in the business.

BN: How do you get people to trust in what you intend to ask of them?

CW: It’s so important that we first learn about, fully understand and respect their organisational ecosystem. Only then can we challenge people to explore alternative approaches to what they are trying to achieve. Above all, I think genuinely respecting and appreciating others’ views is essential.

BN: And if people find the notion of change difficult, or they think their way is best?

CW: Good old-fashioned persistence and sticking to our principles. As we promise our clients and ourselves: deliver the best, or don’t bother. And I think that’s been recognised in the various awards we’ve won along the way.

BN: Your clients see the benefits in their working lives, of course, but what about you?

CW: It’s been a great opportunity to work with some fantastic businesses in so many sectors, all around the world. I’ve particularly enjoyed the way that more and more people are becoming entrepreneurial in nature, as are their businesses. Then there are the social impact projects – programmes such as the Global Site Initiative have been very inspiring, and to receive academic acknowledgement in a Harvard Business Paper was the icing on the cake.

BN: Your social responsibility programme remains very close to your heart, doesn’t it?

CW: Indeed. One of our founding principles 15 years ago was to devote 10% of all consultants’ time and 10% of profit to working on social impact enterprises. And we’ve been able to stick to that promise.

BN: So what will the next 15 years hold for you?

CW: Well, we’ve been involved in just about every scenario from coaching the prime minister of Belize to the merger of Lloyds Bank with HBOS, but it will always be a privilege to get close enough to people to help solve the day-to-day problems that they face.

BN: Thank you, Colin.

Find out what our clients think

“It’s been a great opportunity to work with some fantastic businesses in so many sectors, all around the world. I’ve particularly enjoyed the way that more and more people are becoming entrepreneurial in nature, as are their businesses.”

Colin Williams – Director, Wescott Williams