Alastair James

Alastair is a highly experienced consultant with expertise in risk, change and project management, and extensive experience advising at board level. He established his independent consultancy practice in 2018, following 22 years’ experience in top-tier management consultancies and nine years in industry. He now offers a range of leadership and team development programmes via consultancy, facilitation, coaching and training.

After studying mathematics at Oxford University Alastair worked for five years as an engineer at Marconi Defence Systems and then at Andersen Consulting as a management consultant. The major part of his career was 20 years with the Management Consultancy practice of Deloitte, 12 as a Partner. He founded and led for seven years the Deloitte Operations Excellence practice, growing it to be the largest services team in the consulting business, and serving on the Operations Service Line Leadership Team. He has led a wide variety of complex programmes, with varying mixtures of operational transformation, IT systems enabled change and organisational change management. He has worked in the public and private sectors and in large multinationals and smaller SMEs and charities. In 2013 he left Deloitte to join his client, multinational security services and outsourcing business, G4S. He was hired to undertake two roles:

  • reporting to the Board Risk Committee, establish a new Group Risk function; and
  • reporting to the Main Board to lead a project to address, to the UK government’s satisfaction, a number of key governance, risk and delivery issues which had led to two high profile public sector contract failures.

Following successful delivery of the latter project and completion and early implementation of the risk process design Alastair was asked to also take on the internal audit function, being appointed as Group Director of Risk and Audit, reporting to the Board Audit Committee. The focus of this role was to complete global deployment of the new risk processes and enabling IT systems as well as integrating internal audit into these processes and transforming the function to be more risk focused and value added.

Throughout his career as a Partner, Risk and Audit Director, line manager and strategic change leader Alastair has always:

  • taken a big picture approach, understanding how the different components of a business interact to create customer and stakeholder value;
  • been fascinated in how leadership styles and a genuine commitment to corporate values contribute to organisational success; and
  • recognised the need to balance, especially at the Director level, the creative strategic aspect, which will drive growth and an engaged workforce, with the professional scepticism and assurance aspects, which drive business stability and create sustainable value.

Alastair is highly effective at breaking down a business problem into its component parts and helping leaders to identify a path to success and recognise how they need to operate as leaders to navigate that path.