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Oakland’s Mike Turner and Hiab’s Tobias Bunne set to speak at BQF Leadership Conference

Do you want to be an effective leader? Join us on Thursday 28th March at the BQF Leadership Conference where Mike Turner will be speaking with Hiab’s Tobias Bunne. We’ll be covering the key aspects of quality leadership and who better to give their insight than the winner of the Quality Organisation of the Year 2018.

Develop the skills required to be an effective leader in an increasingly VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. Learn how to navigate the business landscapes in this digital era, whilst ensuring your leadership style remains engaging and authentic. Book your place below.

This event is a leadership conference organised by BQF and hosted by GSK at their global headquarters. A host of thought provoking key note speakers will cover the key aspects of leadership and breakout session facilitators will provide you with practical tools and techniques to implement within your own organisations.

The focus of this conference is on developing and enhancing the skills required to be an effective leader in an increasingly VUCA world. Learn how to navigate the business landscapes in this digital era, while ensuring your leadership style remains engaging and authentic.

Key note Speakers:

Scott McArthur, Co-Founder & Professional Speaker, Sculpture Consulting

David MacLeod, OBE, Engaging Leadership

June Thomson, European Leader for Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry, IBM

Mike Turner and and Tobias Bunne, Quality Leadership

Michael Maynard, Dramatically Transform Performance

Guest speaker:

Karen Leftley: Achieving Brilliant Change



Event flyer Leadership

MCA Survey highlights demand for analytical and digital skills

Management Consultancies are recruiting significantly less graduates from Oxbridge and Russell Group universities according to a new independent survey conducted for the Management Consultancies Association, only 4% of young consultants were educated at Oxbridge whilst 54% came from Russell Group universities as leading firms seek to diversify their talent pool and compete with tech giants for the best skilled young people. Over the past 8 years the number of young consultants attending Russell Group universities has dropped by a fifth and the number attending Oxbridge has dropped 9 percentage points. The survey, conducted by the market research agency Savanta, found that the industry is becoming more accessible than ever to graduates from all backgrounds.

The skills most in demand from firms for new recruits are data science, technological expertise and analytical and digital skills which are all vital to meet growing client demand for digital and technology focused advisory. Three quarters of respondents believed the consulting industry is better than most sectors at attracting high quality talent, but young consultants said firms needed to offer sociable hours of work and better work life balance, continued professional development as well as competitive salaries to attract the best talent.

The MCA commissioned the market research agency Savanta to conduct a member survey on its behalf to identify the key trends, challenges and opportunities facing the consulting industry.

2018 was a positive year for the industry according to the study, with 90% of consultants saying their business performance had met or exceed expectations and members estimating their consulting activity grew by 5.7% over last 12 months. The two highest growth sectors included Retail and Leisure and Transport. Business transformation, change management and digital and technology consulting were the largest service areas that most consultants were working in according to the report.

The outlook for the industry is positive in 2019 with 9/10 consultants anticipating that their organisation’s consulting activity will increase in the next 12 to 24 months and over a quarter of members believing it will increase greatly. Over 70% of consultants however believe that a general slowdown in the UK economy will impact the industry. Survey respondents noted how clients have been delaying and even cancelling projects as a direct result of Brexit uncertainty with over half of consultants (60%) saying clients have been delaying projects due to Brexit uncertainty and almost a third of consultants (31%) believe clients have been cancelling projects due to Brexit.

Members predict that increased consulting activity will be driven by projects relating to the impact of Brexit and a changing business environment with growth driven by client demand in three key sectors: Digital and Technology, Government and the Public Sector and Financial Services. Larger firms believe they will see more activity in Financial Services and Government and Public sector whereas SMEs are more positive about outlook for consulting in the Manufacturing and Retail and Leisure sectors in the same period.

In terms of future trends likely to have most impact on the industry, consultants said AI, Automation and Cyber security were like to have the most profound impact with the increasing use of these technologies growing across the sector and demanded by businesses in the UK. The biggest internal challenges for firms are increased requirements for flexible working and competing with non-consulting industries for the best talent.

Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association said “Consultants are highly valued by clients across the UK for bringing in the smartest and best digital talent and helping to transform businesses, deliver tangible results and get better outcomes for firms. Developing top talent is not the privilege of one educational institution and this survey shows entrance to leading management consultancy firms is becoming more accessible than ever. The outlook for the consulting sector is positive this year with firms expecting an uplift in due to Brexit related activity and the constant demand for digital and tech advisory.”

Luke Cummings, Senior Consultant at Savanta, said “The story this research tells is of an industry broadening It’s horizons in order to attract and retain some of the best global talent. Routes into consulting are widening and diversifying, illustrated by a significant decline in Russell Group and Oxbridge graduates. The study reveals an industry in good health, with robust growth predications for the future. However, Brexit is a concern for management consultants, with the impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit estimated to have an overwhelmingly negative impact on the wider UK economy.”

Rave reviews updated Process Control book

The business, commercial and public sector has changed dramatically since John Oakland wrote the first edition of Statistical Process Control: A practical guide in the mid-eighties. Now fully updated by John and Robert Oakland to include real-life case studies from the Oakland Group this book is a must for anyone wishing to understand or implement modern statistical process control techniques.

The reviews are in, it’s a must have read.

John and Robert Oakland’s 7th edition of SPC shows in an excellent way that understanding of processes still matters in 21st century. The logical structure, the combination of sound knowledge and profound application experience makes this book a must-read. The fundamental concepts are easy to read, with the right level of detail and excellent new case examples, enriched with insights from Oakland’s vast experience in consulting work.

Harald Schubert, Head of Quality and Business Excellence, Bystronic Laser

The 7th edition remains the go-to reference for the practical application of SPC, smartly updated to recognise the huge impact that quantum computing, interconnectivity, big data and artificial intelligence will increasingly have on organisations, and the inevitable need to transform business models, systems and processes at speed to retain competitive advantage.

Vincent Desmond, CEO; Chartered Quality Institute

SPC 7th Edition excellently reflects how to take into account the variation in the way that services are delivered in the current digital era, understanding where the effort needs to be focused to make improvements in our organisations.

Carlos Vazquez, Head of Performance Management, Transport for London, Programme Management Office

The updated edition of ‘Statistical Process Control’ continues to form part of the essential reference text for anyone looking to make sense of data used in everyday business. Through revised case studies – based upon real life & wide-ranging experiences of The Oakland Group, guidance is given on a variety of statistical approaches to help assess data in a manner that avoids unnecessary complexities, enabling broader understanding of concepts that in turn support decision making, thereby enabling good business and meaningful outcomes.

Jonathan Davies, Group Quality Director, FireAngel plc

An essential reference point for all of those involved with process at whatever level, the latest update helps to open your eyes to the opportunities presented from the digital transformation of the 21st century. The book neatly challenges the myth that SPC can only be applied in manufacturing with a broad range of case studies to help the reader with a practical approach; well done!

Ian Mitchell, Quality & Business Improvement Director, Network Rail; Chair Board of Trustees, CQI

‘This book has always been my go-to reference for all things related to statistical process control. This latest version with its revised case studies will continue to be an essential reference for a wide range of readers teaching them how to implement statistical process control techniques for effective monitoring and management of all types of processes.’

Richard Allan, Director, Global Quality Assurance, Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

‘A timely update to this important book. If ‘data science’ and ‘big data analytics’ are to provide us with reliable repeatable insights then practitioners would do well to adopt the robust, well founded methods and techniques proposed in this work.’

Dr. John Beckford, Visiting Professor, Centre for Information Management, Loughborough University, Author of ‘Quality’ and ‘The Intelligent Organisation’

Hiab Celebrate Award Win


Congratulations to our client Hiab who have been awarded the prestigious Quality Organisation of the Year, in the 2018 International Quality Awards. Organized by The Chartered Quality Institute (CQI), this competitive award recognizes businesses who demonstrate a clear culture of quality in everything they do.

“When customers invest in Hiab they know they are investing in equipment and solutions created to the highest international standards. We are incredibly proud to be able to call ourselves Quality Organisation of the Year. This is a great achievement by the whole Hiab organisation” says Joakim Andersson, Senior Vice President Cranes, Haib.

The Quality Organisation of the Year Award recognises the organisation that best exhibits a culture of quality and puts it at the heart of everything they do. The jury argued their choice for awarding Hiab for its sophisticated approach to strengthening its quality function and embedding quality structures throughout their business practice. Their clear, extensive approach to quality coincided with strong growth and an increase in customer satisfaction.


Data Quality at Big Data London

Meet us at Big Data LDN on 13-14th November 2018! We are exhibiting at stand 241. We will be talking about data quality, governance and analytics.

Big Data LDN is the UK’s largest free to attend data & analytics conference and exhibition. It is open to all and will host leading global data and analytics experts, ready to arm you with the tools you need to deliver the most effective data-driven strategy.

With content divided into comprehensive sections, you’ll have the opportunity to ask the big questions, share ideas with forward-thinking, like-minded peers, and learn from leading members of the Data community.

We will be supporting Sean Francis from Vodafone, who is talking about data excellence and data quality. Sean will be speaking on 13 November.

Big Data LDN is back for a third year and is set to be larger than ever in 2018. The two day event is essential for those with businesses wanting to deliver a data-driven strategy. Get the latest updates on Machine Learning, AI, Fast Data, DataOps, Analytics, Microservices, Governance, Customer Experience/Customer Engagement and much more.

Expect 130 speakers, 8 Theatres, Panel Debates, Use-cases and more…

Be in the vanguard of the data revolution, sign up to Big Data LDN and learn how to build a bright data-driven future for your business.

Register free here and visit our stand at the event

Productivity hot seat – Mike Turner

Paul Connolly, MCA Deputy Chief Executive, interviewed Mike Turner recently in the MCA Hot Seat.  The interview is part of the MCA’s Year of Disruption. Disruption can be a whole host of troublesome ‘known unknowns’, which can negatively impact business confidence. Across the Year of Disruption, the MCA is running a series campaigns examining these troublesome ‘known unknowns’.  The first campaign is leading on productivity –  one of the UK’s most major economic challenges.

How to address poor productivity

The UK’s productivity performance is poor. Since 2008, we have lagged behind our major competitors. Expectations that our early adoption of digital and its potential benefits, such as automation, would improve productive output have proved misplaced. Yet digital services related products continues. The largest businesses in the world are data-driven businesses that do not manufacture in a traditional sense.

Mike makes several pertinent points including:

  • the shortage of investment since the financial crash in 2008 and how that has impacted on productivity;
  • the risk of adding technology to out-of-date processes without improving those processes as well. Potentially creating problems with data accuracy and quality;
  • the importance of data quality in business world where data volumes are increasing so dramatically;
  • the difficulty in improving efficiency in the services industry when inputs and outputs are harder to see and manage;
  • the need to adopt a holistic approach to embedding quality at all levels of the business;
  • fixing the cost element in productivity should not come at the failure of quality. Quality improvement and cost reduction must go hand-in-hand;
  • using “assumption-busting” techniques to develop new business models, especially when introducing new technologies;
  • designing new products and services with quality in mind, especially introducing Oakland’s version of APQP for services called Advanced Service Quality Planning – ASQP™.

A full video of Mike’s interview is available below. Just click on the play button to watch. Clickon the right hand icon to watch on full screen.

Oakland Data exhibiting at Buy Yorkshire

We are exhibiting at this year’s Buy Yorkshire event in Leeds on 15 May. Our stand (number A107) will be promoting our Data and Analytic services, specially around data governance and advanced analytics.

The Buy Yorkshire event has been running in Leeds for several years and is organised by the Yorkshire Mafia Linkedin group. It claims to be the biggest business conference and exhibition in the north of England. To register for the event visit

We are really looking forward to listening to several conference speaking including Uzma Sattar from Microsoft and Jason Miller from Linkedin.


Latest research into top management and quality

The Oakland Institute is working with Leeds University Business School to carry out some very exciting research on Top Management and Quality in which we would welcome your involvement.

We are looking for senior managers from top performing companies to take part in a short survey.  We want to find out how chief executives across a range of industries are leading their organisations to meet the challenges of quality, reliability and supply chain management.  From the research we will identify good practice that can help organisations to create the right culture and management capabilities to run their business well.

You will have the opportunity to get a free benchmark of your company’s performance compared to other organisations which participate in the survey.  This will be emailed to you after the study is finished.  Taking part is very easy – we are asking you to complete a short on-line survey that should take about 15 – 20 minutes to complete.

Click here to complete the survey

There may also be an opportunity for your company to take part further in the research.  After the initial survey we would like to speak on a one to one basis with CEOs from selected top performing companies.  We hope to gain more insights to validate good practice in quality, reliability and supply chain management, to determine the main features of successful approaches, and to discuss how top managers from other companies can learn from the best.  You can tell us, as part of the on-line survey if you would like your company to be considered for the next stages.

Rod Scott co-authors on new book

Rod Scott, one of our partners has co-authored a chapter in a book called “Management Consultancy Insights and Real Consultancy Projects” (enter FLR40 at the Routledge checkout to gain a 20% discount). Rod’s co-author is Professor Olga Matthias, formerly from the University of Bradford who is about to join Sheffield Hallam University. Rod and Olga wrote the chapter on Public Sector Consulting.

The book recognises a gap in the market in the field of Management Consultancy between the process methodology books, academic discourse books and the “how to” books which are ubiquitous in airport lounges. The result was a two part book comprising applied academic discourse and rich empirical case studies from global consultancies.


John Oakland receives award from CQI

We are delighted to announce that John Oakland received the CQI Honorary Award at the recent International Quality Awards in London. He was recognised for his ongoing work in quality and operational excellence.

John receiving his award from Ian Mitchell of Network Rail and Shirley Parsons who sponsored the award.

John’s acceptance comments:

“Receiving the first CQI honorary life-time achievement award was a great honour which I will always treasure. I consider myself very fortunate to have spent most of my career over the last four decades helping people and organisations manage and improve quality. What better way to spend your life than looking at ways to ensure that quality is never an accident, but always the result of serious direction setting, excellent organisation and skillful execution. I have worked with some wonderful colleagues in academia and at Oakland, plus friends in clients and the quality profession, who have contributed greatly to me winning this award. I am pleased that my recent work with the CQI has created a powerful competency framework that is now being widely used.”