Putting the spotlight on markets & customers
Colm Coffey’s decision to join professional services giant KPMG last May was partly based on his experience with the Partnership more than a decade earlier. “I was working for Atos Origin in Holland when it acquired KPMG’s UK consulting practice in 2002,” says Coffey. “I was impressed by the people focus at the firm and the standards it set for the colleague experience. This stayed with me when the opportunity came up later in my career to move to KPMG.”
“Simon Collins was elected chairman and senior partner in 2012 and set out a clear strategy for the organisation,” Coffey recalls.
“We are clear about how we will be successful – by being market-focused. Our people need to understand clients’ markets and help them identify solutions to their biggest challenges.” This means KPMG wants its consultants to be able to identify clients’ strategic enablers better than the clients can themselves. But where does Coffey fit into this? “My role is to support the Partnership in developing the best of the KPMG culture and align it with our growth
aims,” he says. “It’s a case of working out how to enable an environment that allows people to perform at their best. “A lot of that is harnessing activity from partners, people managers and the people function. We are one firm and must use the best of what we have for the benefit of our clients.”
To this end, Coffey spent his first six months at the firm learning about the organisation and meeting partners and directors to understand their needs over the next three years.
He also assessed how the people function was operating across the wider business. The aim is to create a people plan that supports KPMG’s wider strategy. He hopes to see increases in mobility, career development, engagement and diversity that will lead to an overall enhancement of colleague experience at the firm.