Marc Harris

UK, MBA 2019

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” – Voltaire

By having a top-ranking business school such as the Kent Business School on my doorstep, it was a no brainer to take the Kent MBA. The University of Kent is an internationally recognised university and business school with impressive institutional rankings. The flexible time scales have also allowed me to study and work full time with support from my employer.

Currently I am General Manager of a Building Services Contractor with a core market of London high rise residential. My background is in Risk Management Consultancy in the Built Environment. After working for Consultants in London and Sydney I decided on a career move to safety and risk management in Construction. I joined Watkins in 2009 as HSEQ Manager and helped implement a management system that has positively impacted our Safety, Environmental and Quality performance. Following a restructure, I was promoted to General Manager to work with the senior management team supporting the Directors. My role involves the coordination of head office functions including finance, IT, HSEQ, Commercial. These, in turn, service several operational divisions.

I am personally interested in the impact that communication, IT and leadership can have in improving business functions between traditionally siloed business functions. This is also linked to productivity and client experience. Outside of work, I’m kept busy with two children. After 20 years of playing rugby, I have finally hung up my boots so am looking for a new (less physical) sport.

Achievements

  • My current organisation has gone through a period of rapid and sustained growth. When I first joined, I was tasked with implementing HSEQ systems that matched our size and mitigated additional risks. This project involved both a procedural and documentation review, but more importantly a program of cultural change. Winning hearts and minds and demonstrating the value in these new procedures to a sceptical construction workforce was my hardest challenge.
  • More recently I have overseen the replacement of the finance system with an organisation-wide ERP system. This has broken down barriers between departments, reduced duplication and errors. Ultimately it will give senior management greater visibility across all the business. Facilitation of cross-department coordination with sometimes competing priorities was the greatest challenge.

Aspirations

I’m keen to progress to a Senior Leadership Position with a well-balanced understanding of business functions. It’s important that Senior Leaders are challenged by new an innovative method. In particular I am keen to improve skills in goal setting, leadership, marketing and finance functions.

Advice

Be honest and have integrity in your business dealings. All business is personal and including a moral perspective in your thinking will bring dividends.

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