Elixirr was founded with one very clear intention; to take out the bad in consulting and put the good back in. To challenge what the industry had become. And ultimately, bring back the essence of why consulting really began; to help businesses get ahead, and stay ahead.
I wanted to get to know clients beneath the surface and work openly and collaboratively from start to finish, to deliver outcomes driven by cutting-edge thinking, not methodology, and to look at every client’s business with the laser focus and dedication I would if it was my own.
When deciding to launch Elixirr in 2009, I knew I was taking a risk – both personally and professionally. But I had no doubt in the need for change in consulting, or my desire to leave the industry in a better place than I’d found it.
No reward without risk
After 25 years in the industry myself, I was eager to make real change happen for clients, increasingly experiencing first-hand the lack of innovation firms were taking in their approach.
Starting off as a small, but determined, team we needed to prove we were capable of building a firm that could one day challenge the best in the industry. We were driven by building lasting relationships with clients and delivering notable value for them – not just by sales and revenue. When large corporate consultancies began to dominate the market and it increasingly became saturated, the once bespoke nature of consulting started to become lost.
Knowing the risk I had taken, I was determined to see the reward. I had a lot to prove and a reputation to build.
With just a handful of clients, each project delivered determined whether our team would get more opportunities. This required taking the utmost amount of accountability for every piece of work and every client’s outcome.
While this was a matter of survival in our early days, we maintain this ethos today. The quality of our work and the impact we make has always been paramount to our success, whether we have three clients or 300.
A three-phase journey
After laying the groundwork, we stepped into our growth and diversification strategy, moving from a single-partner firm to over 20. This fostered diversity in backgrounds, geography and industry experience. Our firm was expanding, and so were our capabilities.
Following more than a decade of organic growth, in 2020 we hit one of the biggest milestones in our firm’s history, listing Elixirr on the London Stock Exchange. This decision pioneered the way for our next stage of growth. Not only did it allow us to pursue further acquisitions and speed up the diversification of skills and services we could offer our clients, but it truly put us on the map. It made our competition sit up and notice and put us in a position to make industry-level change.
Crucially, our IPO also provided every member of our team with equity incentives that weren’t possible before. It allowed each employee to be a part-owner of the business, creating a greater sense of pride and investment throughout. This reinforced our message of a firm of entrepreneurs – our employees care about the impact our business makes because its success is theirs too.
Knowing your value
Despite our growth, our mission, purpose and values have never wavered.
Accountability has been the backbone of our journey and along the way, we haven’t compromised on value – both in the work we deliver and the standard we hold ourselves to. We aren’t afraid to walk away from projects that don’t serve us, or won’t serve the client in return. We hold ourselves to extremely high levels of quality and we hold those we work with to the same bar. We recognise our worth and unlike many of the bigger players, won’t take on work just for the numbers.
We hire the best of the best and have built a reputation based on delivering unparalleled quality – deep strategic expertise from the ground up.
This commitment has encouraged an environment of mutual loyalty. When you value clients individually, they value you in return. This is demonstrated through incredibly immense levels of client retention, with one of our very first clients in 2009 still working with us today.
Leaving a legacy
From the moment Elixirr was established, I’ve been on a journey to build the best consulting firm in the world. I’ve never been afraid to change the way things have been done, and while our competition is burdened by history, we are unencumbered by it.
We are a firm of straight-talkers. We work with clients who are ready to shake things up. Who aren’t afraid to be bold. Who are ready to lead the way.
The culture and model we’ve created across our firm is one our competition simply cannot mimic or reproduce. But I hope what we have created sets the bar for the future of consulting. One where mediocre isn’t acceptable. One where ‘B teams’ don’t exist. And one that truly helps set businesses apart.