The Lead Principal Associate Series: Meet Richard Hearn

Definia is a leading Transformation Consultancy dedicated to empowering organisations across industries to achieve sustainable growth, adapt to change, and optimise performance. This is why our advisory services are delivered through our ‘Lead Principal Associates’ who bring a wealth of experience being consultants, industry experts, analysts, and technical specialists.

With all our experts providing specialist skills , we wanted to shine a light on each individual and showcase just why they are the people to help you with your transformations.

In the first of our Q&A series, Definia’s Brand Manager, Becca Boulton, sat down with Richard Hearn to learn more about his background and how he has helped large enterprise organisations in the past.

Becca: Welcome to Definia! Can you tell us more about yourself and your professional background?

Richard: My background is traditionally in Financial Services and Telecomms.  Within Financial Services I have helped organisations in different parts of the industry including pensions, general insurance, mortgages, savings, retail banking, life, cards and asset management.

Over the years I have been on the design, manufacture, distribution and servicing sides of many businesses, and would identify my key skills as:

  • Delivering transformational change
  • Strategy development, approval, communication and delivery
  • Delivering platform migrations and upgrades
  • Delivering new operating models, platforms and digital experiences
  • Delivering new products and building business scale
  • Acquisitions, mergers, integrations, migrations and outsourcing
  • Managing cultural change, communications and stakeholder management
  • Turnaround of underperforming programmes, divisions or businesses
  • Reengineering and efficiency
  • Regulatory reviews and governance frameworks

Becca: In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing businesses today?

Richard: Challenge, or opportunity? It really depends how you view it. When looking at the market at the moment and businesses I would identify eight challenges (or opportunities) –  

  1. 1. Operating in turbulent times, political instability, cost of living pressures and increasing regulation
  2. 2. Attracting and retaining good staff through an inclusive and changing work cultures
  3. 3. Unwavering dedication and focus to the company’s vision
  4. 4. Being relevant and nimble to attract new and keep existing customers
  5. 5. Keeping up with the pace of change, particularly technology and AI
  6. 6. Exceeding customer expectations, not just meeting them
  7. 7. Keeping customer’s data safe and leveraging data to build stronger customer relationships
  8. 8. Remaining cost competitive

Becca: From a technology perspective, what should businesses be looking at?

Richard: Technology is an exciting area to look at and now I see three key areas for technology and what businesses should considering –

  1. Growth: There are clear opportunities to win new and keep existing customer by smarter, less friction, easier to deal with user experiences. This means more digitisation and bespoking, especially as AI matures.  We are not far away from products being priced at individual customer level, driven by AI.   
  2. Cost: Cumbersome, complicated and expensive legacy systems can be restrictive for staff, customers, business ambitions and pace of change. In hand with legacy platforms would be complicated, restricted and manual processing. Both need re-engineering, swapped out or automated – in the case of processes, robotics can really help.
  3. Risk: There is no doubt that data protection, cyber security, operational and technical resilience and business recovery urgently needs bringing up the ‘to do’ list. Investment needs to take place before an incident.

Becca: What are the biggest stumbling blocks to achieve what you mentioned above?

Richard: It is the three C’s: Culture, Capability and Capacity. But running the business gets in the way! This is where organisations such as Definia can help, staffed with people who have been in the shoes, sat in the seats of our customers and solved many of the headaches they are working on.

Ok, there is a fourth ‘C’ and that is Cost. But the cost of not doing anything can and will have a material business impact.

Becca: You will be working closely with Definia as the Lead Principal Associate focusing on large scale / enterprise organisations. Can you tell us more about the role and what you’re looking forward to?

Richard: I have known The IN Group and Definia team for many years, I have also been a customer that needed support with transformation programmes and was always impressed by their personable and partnership approach.

It therefore made complete sense that I chose Definia when joining an organisation that helped their clients with their transformation needs rather than traditional consultancies that are expensive, don’t work at pace and lack people with commercial and hands on delivery and senior management experience.

My role is to work closely with the client, lead the various ‘define, design and deliver’ components of the engagement along with the brilliant team at Definia. I am here to help clients turn around issues, help with step changes in ambition, work across multiple and complex programmes and assist across the Definia Advisory Services. I have been in our client’s shoes; I am here as part of the partnership Definia brings.

Becca: If a large scale/enterprise organisation is reading this, how can you and Definia help them?

Richard: Previously, as a client, it was difficult to find a consultancy that balanced price, relative experience and clarity on its services.  If it did, it was too big to care or too small to bring breadth and relative experience.

Definia is different. It works at price points that make sense, it brings acceleration and clarity to a programme or piece of work and has the breadth of experience across its group whilst operating in multiple sectors, cultures and business models.

Unlike other consultancies trying to be all things to all people, Definia is a transformation consultancy.  It is specifically adapted, skilled and structured to ensure those step changes in ambition and bringing about strategic change across culture, people, process, technology and data are realised for their clients.

If you would like to talk more about an upcoming project and how Definia can help you, reach out to the team today.