Times are changing for Dr Adam Read

Written by: Dr Adam Read | Published:
Dr Adam Read, practice director for resource efficiency & waste management at Ricardo Energy & Environment

Each month, Dr Adam Read, Practice Director for Resource Efficiency & Waste Management at Ricardo Energy & Environment discusses the big issues from his point of view, and this month reflects on his impending change of employment and what he expects for both Ricardo and Suez in the coming months.

I am in reflective mood

I have just finished packing for my two week holiday, and when I get back I will only have a few days left with Ricardo before I set off on my new journey of exploration with Suez. For most of you this may not be newsworthy. Yet for those that know me, this came as quite a shock when it was announced a few months ago with the most common response from my peers when I have met them at industry events over the course of the summer has been "we thought you were a consultant for life." Well I guess I proved them wrong.

I have been in consultancy since 1998, and I really have enjoyed the ride. The last nine years with Ricardo (formerly AEA) has been challenging and rewarding in equal measures as we adapt to suit the needs of the sector, and more importantly our clients.

Sometimes we get it right, predicting the next big "need" and sometimes we might have developed tools that sat on a shelf, but trying to stay ahead of the game in the UK, Europe and internationally certainly has kept me and the team on their toes.

But being fleet of foot, adapting to changing circumstances and needing to pick more winners than losers each year has left me a little tired and a new challenge was just what I needed. That isn’t to say I wanted to leave my team behind, far from it.

Consultancy to the left

I think Ricardo are well placed to go from strength to strength, with 50 excellent specialists across a diverse range of issues including the circular economy, waste operations, procurement, technology due diligence and expert witness support.

I am a little saddened I wont get the chance to work with our newest batch of recruits including Darren Perrin from Eunomia, David Woolford from M&W, and Richard Davidson who is returning to the UK after seven years based in the Middle East. I expect they will all make telling contributions to the business, enabling new services to be developed and new geographies to be serviced.

In addition, there will be two new graduate consultants starting in September, and I expect two other significant appointments in the coming months as the team builds on its market leading position and looks to grow to meet the expectations of the Ricardo Board.

I wish my former colleagues the very best as they develop longer and wider relationships with key clients in new sectors, as well as continuing to deliver the highest quality work for existing public and private sector clients both at home and abroad. Under the steady hand of Andy Maunder, they will get the simple things right.

With business managers Jess Twemlow, Sarahjane Widdowson, and Phil White, looking outward to new relationships, partners and opportunities, I will expect to continue to see good things from the team I helped to shape and build. But times change and so must we.

Delivery to the right

I am really looking forward to the summer, a chance to recharge the batteries, spend time with the family and soak up some sunshine. But it will also be a chance for me take stock on my time in consultancy and to position myself for what will undoubtedly be a busy few months in my new role at Suez.

I have been fortunate in that I have spent time with all of the Suez Directors in recent months and am now reasonably up to speed on priorities, targets and new initiatives – some of which are very exciting and I look forward to sharing with you in my blogs in the coming months.

Week one in September will see me based in Maidenhead, getting all the systems, IT, and associated internal stuff working. I will also be spending time with Gev, who will be irreplaceable as the external affairs director at Suez, as we look at his plans for the second half of the current financial year, and various commitments in terms of journals, speaking engagements and working groups etc.

Week two will find me at RWM at the NEC, where I will be supporting a number of Suez presentations, including the launch of the latest report on infrastructure needs and demands, and leading a workshop on effective and innovative partnerships.

I will also be supporting the CIWM as a member of their executive committee at its AGM on the Wednesday lunchtime, and as a fellow providing doctor’s surgeries advising on careers and development opportunities. So if you are planning on being at the NEC then come find me, text me, or email me beforehand. If in doubt, check in at the Suez sponsored refreshments and lounge area, I doubt I will be far away.

I am already looking forward to working with my new communications and marketing teams on some new campaigns, including the development of their blog and webinar programmes and on a number of high profile speaker engagements. I might even give new boss David Palmer-Jones and Stuart Hayward-Higham a run for their money in terms of market engagement and visibility in the coming months.

Plus, I expect to be working closely with Amanda Padfield and her municipal team on new bids, regional engagement and market forecasting, bringing some of my old consultancy skills to the fore. So I won’t be lacking in things to get my teeth into.

I will also be part of the Suez team at LARAC this October, so that will be another great opportunity for me to catch up with so many of my friends and peers in the sector, and help join the dots between existing customers and potential clients. So if you are planning on going, let me know beforehand and we can catch up.

Self reflection over

The last few months have been a period of transition, learning to let things go, handing over clients, projects & initiatives and building up a new network or colleagues whom I will be spending my days from September onwards. It has been good to take a step back and think about what has worked and what I can learn from in my time n consultancy, and I must thank Ricardo for enabling me to transition out gently, provisioning support to my team as they grab hold of the reigns and step forward.

You should expect a big showing from the Ricardo team at RWM, LARAC and other premier events, plus of course their on-going portfolio of webinars with Recycling & Waste World will continue and should thrive.

I would also like to thank the team at Recycling & Waste World for letting me be self-indulgent with this blog, normal service will resume in September.

Anyway, I must finish that packing, get the car loaded and get going. Next time you hear from me it will be with a Suez hat on- and probably a suitably branded polo shirt. I will share my new adventures as I check out some of their exciting sites, report back on any number of equally interesting events, meetings, workshops and webinars, and get stuck into the business of being a waste and resource management contractor. Particularly, one who wants to be market leading and have a voice about the big issues facing our sector.

I am excited about the role and the opportunity, which I'm sure will be full on once I have enjoyed my much needed holiday. hope you all have an enjoyable summer too.

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