Ever wondered what a consultant does? We spoke to Bill Grieve, a different kind of ‘consultant’, about his role and experiences in the Middle East. Bill’s piercing eyes can be intimidating, no doubt stemming from his background as an experienced former Special Forces officer with unique skills that set him apart – so we were careful what we asked!
So Bill, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a consultant, and the principle function of a consultant is to give good advice – accurate, useful and up to date, in a variety of circumstances.
Advice is based not only on logic and fact but situational reality – and sometimes I also take appropriate actions where needed for the client.
The type of advice I give is often called upon by leading CEOs, business heads and industry leaders who find themselves facing uncertainties, difficulties and demanding expansion.
Are you a specialist consultant or a jack of all trades?
I have experience in a lot of diverse fields and a range of skills developed over a lifetime that often impress my friends, amaze my enemies and shake opposition. Passion brings its own skills and experience. Observe a young person with a digital game, if they are passionate, they quickly develop skills and experience and often become masters at the game rapidly through dedication and focus – just so with a good consultant.
How do you view business in the Middle East?
We have a great range of mature and developing businesses in the region, however many are seen as easy pickings for criminals and fraudsters as well as CSL managers and employees (CSL stands for Cheating, Stealing and Lying).
What also negatively impacts on businesses is the FFF management system – Family, Friends and Fools – often found as a consolidated group running what might be very good companies into the ground, taking every opportunity for personal enrichment and leaving behind chaos, confusion, friction and poor productivity in their wake.
Who do you work for?
I am still licensed by the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Justice in a range of special classes and I often advise and work for large companies and groups as well as law firms and global corporates. I never divulge my clients’ details and most of the time even my close associates don’t know who I am working for. In this business you are only as good as your last job.
Can you give us an example of the consultancy work you do?
Anything from routine in-house corporate work to specialist assignments and tasks. Generally I advise my clients on the most appropriate course of action to take for resolving problems, sometimes under difficult and tense circumstances, to achieve the best possible outcome in line with their expectations and, where necessary, I will get involved myself to ensure a positive executive outcome.
Routine work can be standard strategy, change management, new management insertion, system/process analysis, performance enhancement, talent bridging, interim management and productivity or process measurement and development.
No two days are the same and situations often unfold at high speed necessitating agility, expertise and rapid decision making – and sometimes very practical, pragmatic solutions.
On top of normal consulting, I have carried out planned escorting of senior business figures into potentially dangerous environments, accompanied VIP children and families travelling, carried confidential documents and valuables, terminated potentially violent and threatening senior executives, broken single-nationality mafias and crime syndicates, carried out scientific large-scale downsizing in big companies and attended high-level meetings as a minute taker.
All in a day’s work!
Any last words?
The greatest wrongdoings in a company or organisation are disloyalty and dishonesty – both are unforgivable.
Lead, follow or get out of the way! People are either part of the problem or part of the solution – if they are a part of the problem…it’s going to be a rough ride if they are on my radar, I don’t suffer fools lightly.