The Portfolio Executives

Robin Davis

  • Specialism: Leadership Impacts (using The GC Index®), Strategy, Governance, Operating Models, Architecture, Frameworks, Risk, Continuous Improvement | Assessment, Improvement, Transformation
  • Track Record: Fnality International, FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), DLG (Direct Line Group), Barclays Wealth, Tokio Marine, McDonald’s, Debenhams, Accenture, BT, NHS, Lloyds Group, DWP, Microsoft, HMRC, JPMorgan
  • Offer: 1-2-1 BAU advisory to CIOs and/or their direct reports, which will include: • Facilitating the strategic debate • Aligning teams to common goals • Evaluating creative ideas through a strategic lens • Shaping actionable strategic plans • Facilitating the process of creativity and innovation • Delivering outcomes through collaboration
  • Robin says: “Whether you’re a start-up, small business or a large enterprise, it is important to have an end-to-end strategy, aligning Business and IT. Delivering that strategy is a balance of capabilities and maturity across the People, Process and Technology dimensions to achieve the intended outcomes. This takes consistent tuning: it is hard enough to play all the right notes, let alone play them in the right order. I will help you conduct and orchestrate.”
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After 20+ years working as a consultant, both in a Big-4 consultancy and as an independent, clients often only engaged for transformations to be implemented and not embedded. Worse, due to constraints, this often meant the transformation was effectively done to them and not with them. Then they are left on their own.

Such transformations often take years and can easily derail during their embedding journey. Engaging a team of consultants for years is, as you will expect, very expensive. I knew, with my experience leading teams and guiding leaders and execs over the years, and the pleasure of really seeing outcomes get realised, this was a great opportunity for me: not only to create a more stable income (rather than the famine-feast cycle), but also to provide leadership with a value for money, cost-effective solution by engaging a portfolio of clients who will still benefit from a consultant’s experience.

Due to the covid pandemic and due to IR35 changes, I was already pivoting towards a Portfolio Exec way of working with a small business coaching service. It was fortuitous that this attracted Charles’ attention to accelerate and structure that journey. It also helped that we already had quite a few high-performing mutual connections too.

My first success was, through Charles’ introduction to a mutual contact, identifying a better value-add to a potential client other than the ‘cold call’: The GC Index® for helping leaders, their teams and organisations determine their business impacts, providing a standalone offering as well as bootstrapping my own capability offerings. As I had had my GC Index profile conducted a few years previously and had been thinking of this kind of approach, this more formal introduction (and subsequent certification) was, again, fortuitous.

There are many things I have learnt along the way. Most are quite obvious once pointed out but would have taken several iterations of trial-and-error to get the balance and client approach just right. However, engaging Charles has shortcut that lengthy journey with a tried-and-tested approach.

The most important element though was to not try to cover all bases (Portfolio Exec and traditional contracting work approaches, capability offerings and past experiences). Instead, to inject more personality and lessons learned to bring the capability offerings alive.

Everything now feels more aligned and natural: more aligned to my experiences, my capability offerings and strengths, and my direction. In addition, initial soundings from contacts seem to confirm there is a market opening for my offerings.

I am looking forward to engaging with my clients, either for the People-focussed GC Index® offering, and/or the further largely Process- and Technology-focussed offerings.