Lawrence D.

Senior Partner, Programmes Product and Technology
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Lawrence D.
Electronics
Electronics
Undergraduate
Derwent
1989
United Kingdom

My employment

Senior Partner, Programmes Product and Technology
Digital Works Consulting
United Kingdom
Digital and IT services
Small business (0-49 employees)
2015

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A day in the life of a Senior Partner, Programmes Product and Technology in the United Kingdom

I help businesses with innovation - mostly product development and mostly digital / software

What I do

I head a consulting practice at Digital Works Consulting. We help businesses with the "digital space" - that is, websites, Apps, Customer databases, Social Media and so on. Mainly we don't create these things (we are not a marketing agency) but provide management consultancy and management skills to help build mange them, design them, fix them when they don't work and change the business to work in the right way to support their "presence online".

Skills I use and how I developed them

I have specialised in the Management of Innovation – with particular expertise in product and service development in highly regulated or specialist industries. I often manage very specialist technical teams to develop new products or offer new services. To make such innovation successful and enduring I often work to combine it with new go-to-market or technology strategies, organisational change and new supply chain development or improvement.

I graduated in Electronics from York many years ago. After graduation, to my mother’s horror I turned down a great management development programme at the Royal Mail and ran off to join the theatre. For two years I was Technical Manager of a film and television school, I then worked for a year as a freelance theatre and video technician. In 1991 I took an MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Technology at the University of Sunderland, close to the Nissan factory, before getting a “real proper job” as a test development and production control engineer for high volume product manufacturing. Since then I have worked on a wide range of complex design, development and manufacturing programmes including for high volume appliance controls at Strix, consumer electronics at Psion and global high volume contract manufacturing at Flextronics. It’s very likely I’ve been involved with designing or making a product in your kitchen or living room! After climbing the management ranks, my first two directors’ roles were for companies in defence systems at Thales and Racal Acoustics, in design to manufacture of acoustic noise reduction systems and Military Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. I completed a full-time MBA at Henley Management College in 2008. In 2009 I was appointed Technical Director at MASS Consultants. http://www.mass.co.uk/ We specialise in defence, cyber and secure network systems. I manage large teams of engineers and operational specialists to design and operate large complex computer systems.

After that I did some freelance work and then joined Digital Works Consulting to head the "Product and Technology" practice.

What I like most

Seeing people that I have advised succeed.
Using as many of the skills I have at once - diversity.

What I like least

"Towing the line" and spending time on things because nobody was prepared to say "this is the wrong thing to do" - I don't mistakes or errors ... but not being prepared to speak up - when they think its wrong.

What surprised me most

The great extent that people talk about things .. but won't actually do them. I don't mean lack of time or even skills - but lack of conviction !

How I looked for work

I kept my eyes and ears open and said yes to try out any type of work.
I've done lots of things - different things and its built a wide range of skills

How I found out about the job

Personal contacts

The recruitment process

I signed up for a course.
Helped one of the people on it with a product design.
Got to know them - they recommending a volunteering organisation which I applied to and joined.
They held a networking evening. I met someone there - I introduced myself I told them what I was doing as a freelance - and they said they were looking for someone like that,

This was probably the 50th networking event I had gone to that year.

My career goals when I graduated

Do something interesting.

My career history

For two years I was Technical Manager of a film and television school,
Since then I have worked on a wide range of complex design, development and manufacturing programmes including for high volume appliance controls at Strix, consumer electronics at Psion and global high volume contract manufacturing at Flextronics.

After climbing the management ranks, my first two directors’ roles were for companies in defence systems at Thales and Racal Acoustics, in design to manufacture of acoustic noise reduction systems and Military Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.

In 2009 I was appointed Technical Director at MASS Consultants. http://www.mass.co.uk/ We specialise in defence, cyber and secure network systems. I manage large teams of engineers and operational specialists to design and operate large complex computer systems.

After that I did some freelance work and then joined Digital Works Consulting to head the "Product and Technology" practice

What has helped my career to progress

Working hard, learning all the time. Forming an opinion. Taking well judged risks.

Courses taken since graduation

In 1991 I took an MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Technology at the University of Sunderland - I learnt practical skills which I used for the first 10 years of my industry career.

I completed a full-time MBA at Henley Management College in 2008 - I learnt a lot about dealing with people under pressure. I got a broad perspective on how large businesses operate. MBAs are not about startups!

What surprised me about my career so far

That I have been able to change industrial sectors several times and within 3-5 years have enough knowledge to be leading people - it's being a life long learner

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Doing what I'm doing today with a bigger team around me

My advice to students considering work

Try lots of things - "commit" but don't see it as a final choice until you are sure.

My advice about working in my industry

Think about why the people around you are there - if it's similar to you - you're in the right place!

Other advice

Recognise the difference between friends and work colleagues.

Contacting me

I help with career planning and choices, job applications and interview technique.

Expertise in design, engineering and manufacturing industries.

As an experienced Director in mid-size and international corporate firms I can provide insight into what senior managers and leaders do, what motivates them and how graduate level entrants might communicate or work with them.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Lawrence ’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Lawrence a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Lawrence to be your mentor.

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