Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time.
Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery.
Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches,
Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.
Back in 2001, I was working as an interim COO on a really complex assignment with massive potential impact for its employees. It was then I felt alone and wanted to find similarly driven people that I could trust and lean on in difficult times. I wanted to build a business construction that was sustainable and within which I could one day hand over my clients and business network to the next generation. My friend Alan, had a group practice law firm in Brussels and that inspired me to build the same but for interim management. Three years later, I had found the people I wanted to set it up with and Lovegrove Consulting bvba became The Bayard Partnership cvba. The rest they say is history.
In two words: the people! All the people that have joined us since our inauguration on February the 9th. 2004. Everyone, even those no longer around, have in their own way contributed to making Bayard special. From our mistakes, we learn, from the things we do right, we celebrate. From the beginning, I wanted a partnership where the people that contributed the most, owned the most, where transparency and integrity were the values that would run through its veins. We have it and we do everything to ensure it stays that way. Some say that our governance model is also special. For example, we have an un-written rule that we never vote when making decisions, every voice must be heard. We have no big chiefs to over-rule even the newest Associate with a good idea. Instead we have passionate, hardworking, intelligent and curious people with integrity and drive that want nothing more than to wow their clients with their solutions and contribution. Don’t get me wrong, we can take decisions and we can make changes but we do so in a way that is tested and fair and ensures the long-term sustainability of The Partnership.
I cannot pretend that building Bayard has always been easy. Achieving excellence, never is. Today The Partnership has reached a maturity level, far surpassing my initial expectations. But there is still a way to go. We have loyal clients that are very supportive of our model and although we have recently started Bayard UK, I want to stay on to oversee the continued growth of The Partnership, perhaps into more of our neighbouring countries and like Francis, supporting The Partnership in whichever way it finds best. But more than this, I couldn’t walk away from my fellow Associates and Partners, I enjoy their company far too much!
I have reached a stage in my career where I can decide what I want to do when I wake up in the morning, so if I choose to work, it's because I find it a pleasure. In fact, my work has almost always been a pleasure. So, hopefully my future will be the same as my present, for as long as I have good health and people around me. I love every day. I enjoy Bayard, I enjoy running our charity ‘Young Belgian Talent’, I enjoy reading and writing and giving speeches. I enjoy all the challenges I take on. Sometimes I take on too many, it’s true, so I need to learn to say ‘no’. I am hoping someone will teach me how, one day.
A thought provoking collection of short stories and observations combined to show us how Inspirational Leaders win the support, trust and loyalty of their colleagues, family and friends.
The Change Manager’s Handbook
A step-by-step guide to sustainable change and an easy to read kaleidoscope of a book. Full of practical tips and tricks, it is complimented with a downloadable ‘Toolbox’ of more than forty project ready templates, tools and cartoons that every Change Manager will find useful to bring about sustainable change in their organisation.
Making a difference
In this very personal and inspiring book, Harley takes a broad view on effective problem solving and project management. He shares with us his proven nine-step approach to identifying and tackling the fundamental issues that are key to achieving genuine and lasting results.
With Transition, his first novel, Harley has brought together a collection of fictional characters formed from a lifetime of experience in business. He has painted a picture of a company so real you can almost believe you are a part of its management team.
Case history: “Blue ocean”
Our client (a recently recruited CIO of a large multi-national) was under pressure to dramatically reduce his annual IT budget ahead of a company flotation on the stock market. At the same time, employees across the globe were complaining about almost every aspect of IT. The equipment they were using and the entire infrastructure behind it was outdated, slow and unreliable.
New technologies and solutions were needed to ensure better access to information, not just in the office but at home and on the road too. The problem was, there were no funds for acquiring new equipment or software licenses.
Proof of concept
Working with the CIO, our program manager approached the challenge in much the same way as he had previously worked with investors for his SME clients. By building a very small, fully working proof of concept, using only the resources he had around him and without any funding, he demonstrated to the business a glimpse of what they could have, if they pledged their support.
The business witnessed first-hand that what was on offer was not just better than what they were using at the time but also way better than what their competitors had. The new technology would take them from last place to first.
Bulletproof business case
Working with the management team, a bulletproof business case was built, with arguments and reasoning from all sides. Suppliers were selected for their desire to go the extra mile and to be a part of a truly ground breaking project. In this way, substantial discounts were achieved along with payment terms that allowed deferments way beyond the normal payback period.
Financially the total solution made perfect sense because it could be rolled out quickly and paid back in well under three years, while it was designed to last ten.
Take ownership and deliver
A large part of the ‘Blue Ocean’ project’s success was down to our manager’s ability to interpret the innovative vision of the CIO and to convert it into motivational tasks for others to take ownership on and to deliver. On this particular project The Bayard Partnership supplied a program manager / change manager, an enterprise architect, and a project manager.