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Dr Neil Berry, Chief Executive Officer, Rockborne

What has been your path to power?

 

I’ve spent nearly three decades as a trusted advisor, helping clients sole their most challenging issues by disrupting the status quo, accelerating innovation and delivering market leading data and analytics solutions for some of the largest organisations in the world. Having previously been a partner at both KPMG and IBM, I have a wealth of experience in running consulting organisations, operating across multiple functional areas in both business and technology roles. 

 

As CEO and managing partner for Rockborne, I help to develop the next generation of data and analytics professionals by bringing together the most diverse and talented individuals with our unique approach to training, continuous professional development and mentoring. 

What impact has the pandemic had on demand from your clients?

 

In general terms we have seen that overall client demand has actually strengthened in some areas, however we have also seen that demand be significantly delayed in terms of starting projects and transformation programmes. This has created a significant backlog, particularly in areas around compliance and risk.

Do you get a seat at your clients’ strategic discussions? If not, what will it take to get you there?

 

We are somewhat unusual in the space that we operate, in that the Rockborne partners are all industry and consulting veterans, and so have a very different perspective and skill set which means that we often help our clients to shape their long-term data and talent strategies. We all have a great depth of experience of transforming businesses thought data and analytics and that allows us to have a different kind of conversation with our clients.

 

What are your key areas of focus for the business in 2022?

 

We are very proud to be opening our second, multi-classroom training facility, allowing us to deliver against our growth objectives whilst still maintaining the highest possible standards, and being able to focus on helping to address the diversity imbalance. As well as rapidly increasing the number of graduate consultants who will be available to our clients, we will also be adding to our curriculum to broaden and enhance our learning opportunities as well as delivering on new skill sets and technologies.

 

How do you apply your leadership skills a) within your own business and b) on behalf of your clients?

 

I see my role within Rockborne as being very simple. I focus on quality, I try to make the right key decisions supported by a great team who have as much autonomy as possible, and I look to make sure that we only hire the best people. For my clients, it is very much the same, as I want them to benefit from the quality of the consultants that we can provide, and the long-term strategic support that we can give them.

What key skills or attributes do you consider have contributed to your success in this role?

The experiences that you go through, particularly the difficult ones, both personally and professionally help to shape your attitude towards work and the people you work with, and I think it is essential to have both resilience and tenacity in abundance to be successful.

 

How did you develop – and continue to develop – these skills or attributes?

I don’t think that personal growth and comfort can easily coexist, and so I think that pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, always having an enquiring mindset and continually seeking feedback on your performance are the only ways to continue to stretch your boundaries and develop personally.

How do you ensure that your proposition keeps pace with your clients’ goals and requirements so that you are leading rather than lagging behind their demands?

 

At Rockborne we place great emphasis on our trainees being prepared for work in all of the aspects of the jobs that they are doing, by having a laser focus on business, consulting and communications skills outside of our core technical training. By modifying the core technical syllabus we can keep pace with technical innovation, whilst at the same time producing business ready consultants for our clients. As all of our senior team have huge experience in industry and consulting around data, we are constantly horizon scanning to ensure that we are picking up the latest trends and keeping up to date with a portfolio of technology alliance partners that help us to deliver the best possible content for our people.

 

Dr Neil Berry
has been included in:
  • 100 Enablers 2022 (EMEA)