IBM’s Kevin Hall is the Management Consultant of the Year but there is another award that means just as much if not more to him – being Chartered. Kevin won the Times/MCA award for his outstanding work helping to deliver the vital vaccines to combat COVID-19.
He then focused on becoming Chartered and is proud to have the letters ‘ChMC’ after his name, saying:
“Being judged by my peers to get Chartered was the epitome of where you can go to as a management consultant. At first there was a little bit of me that wondered why I needed to do it but once I started it, I realised how worthwhile it was. It was a chance for reflection on what I have been doing as a management consultant.”
“It was challenging to condense the twenty odd years I have been working into so few words on my submission. I had to reflect. The interview was good. It wasn’t like a job interview it was more of a discussion about what management consultancy is and I found it very useful. It reflected how you progress in management consultancy and being judged by your peers.”
Delivering the programme to manufacture the vital vaccine tested many of the 54 competencies in the Chartered Framework as Kevin and the team worked closely with Government, Industry & Academia to manage the challenges and risks.
“In this case we were doing everything we could to mitigate risk. Mitigating the risks of the risks of the risks. At first, we were told that the vaccine had a ~7 per cent chance of working. I could just about spell vaccine when I started. But there were some wonderful industry people involved. There were some marvellous people who came up with the vaccine but there was no way to manufacture it and so that was the challenge we were given. It was very consuming, challenging you on how to go at pace while mitigating risk. Layers of complexity in the process led to layers of problems to be solved while the gravity of the pandemic leaned heavy.
“Not just manufacturing was the problem but also the components. Like the vials. Normally you would wait for regulatory approval before you start manufacturing but because people were dying, we couldn’t. But then you cannot afford to waste the vials to store it. These were incredibly important and valuable assets. Use it once and that is it. You cannot clean them and re-use. So, there were those questions to juggle with. How do you mitigate the risks? How do you transport it?”
Kevin and his colleagues have the skills and talent to answer those questions and deliver a life-saving vaccine for the nation and the world. And those are the skills which were tested when he then went to become Chartered.
“I would certainly encourage people to go for chartered. I see the value of it and I am glad I have got it.”