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100 Days as CEO of C5 Alliance

January 22, 2019

While I have no pretensions to the US presidency I’ve been reflecting on my experience as CEO of C5 Alliance after some 100 days in post, particularly when compared with my previous role in the public sector.

Energetic Pace of Change

Of course many of the principles of leadership are similar, whether in the military world or the commercial space, in the sense that people are central to both. But one striking difference is the pace at which change can be achieved in the private sector and this level of momentum demands responsiveness from the leader. The level of energy at C5 is infectious and it stimulates everyone involved, from the most junior employees to the senior team.

Over the last three months we’ve reset the governance of the organisation, improved internal systems and made significant progress in implementing the ambitious goals we’ve set ourselves. This has led to us accelerating some of the plans we have for 2019.

Responsive Team

It’s very enjoyable for me to be closer to the coal face. With such a responsive team one can shape progress and release the benefits remarkably quickly.

I arrived with a general understanding of what C5 could do but I’ve been increasingly impressed, by the breadth and depth of the capability that exists in the organisation. If I could take the potential that C5 has and go back to the start of the transformation project in my previous job I could deliver it in half the time at half the cost.

Collaborative Delivery

The breadth that exists in C5 is reflective of the wider BDO organisation. We’ve identified areas where we can combine our skillsets to create an even more effective package of services for our clients and we’ll be doing more of that over the coming year.

I’m excited by the potential of this business, the BDO leadership and the funding they have invested in the organisation. Our ability to grow and deliver more for our clients is very exciting and it motivates our people at all levels as we engage in new technologies. This creates an exciting buzz which is self-fulfilling. You can’t help but get caught up by the sense of momentum.