from day one
Everybody likes to say they’re different.
Newton was created to be different; to demand better for clients.
Before Newton, consulting was fixated on delivering reports. There was very little focus on measurable results, or whether the recommendations could, practically and sustainably, be implemented.
To three friends, Tom, Kevin and Andy, this was maddening. They knew that real results come from:
- Deep commitment to clients – and having skin in the game
- Blending analytical rigour and intellectual firepower with humility, fun, and an energetic spirit
- Friendships that help teams overcome the greatest challenges
The three are still friends (and still own the company).
Their approach has seen Newton, and the challenges we tackle here, grow bigger year by year – and the idiosyncratic culture they have fostered continues to shape how we work.
Finding our feet
– and laying strong foundations
In our early days, energy was everything. Tenacity and youthful enthusiasm pushed us through the first projects. Today, the lessons we learned cutting our teeth, along with a similar spark and drive that’s present in all our people, underpin everything we do.
Work 1500 days.
Get paid for 500?
Our goal is always to deliver a result. We keep ourselves and each other accountable; and we stick around until we’ve made change happen. On one early project, we quoted for 500 days of work, but in the end spent closer to 1500. We didn’t charge the client any extra; instead, we learnt the lessons, and have always kept this spirit of entrepreneurialism, endeavour and integrity at the heart of what we do.
Fun, friendship and
Less than 1% of those who apply to join Newton are successful. Because we’re very particular about the people we hire. Our team is filled with not just the sharpest, but also the nicest people in the industry; the kind who relentlessly pursue brave ideas, and believe everything can be better. And they’re rare.
Every aspect of our business is designed around delivering results for our clients. It’s infectious. So much so, that this mindset transfers to every organisation we work with. Those qualities are so important to us that Tom Wedgwood still leads the induction of each new member of the team; and the principles of ‘fun, friendship and high performance’ continue to shape our culture.
One team -
from Head Office
to the coalface
“In 2008, with the company growing and our people working up and down the country, the three founders recognised that our consultants were best placed in the field delivering value to clients. We needed a team of business specialists who shared in the values of Newton who could focus on helping us grow. We didn’t want the stereotypical glass office in central London; we wanted a place that would enrich the wellbeing of our team, so we chose a setting in rural Oxfordshire.”
James Frost - CFO
Steve Phillips has been leading Health and Social Care since 2011
“Our work across health and social care is founded on a passionate belief that it is possible to improve services for the people that use them, while supporting the systems to meet their budgetary challenges.”
We only work in the areas we can make the biggest impact. For instance: when we were invited to help individual trusts across the UK, it started to become clear that we could help crack some of the most complex challenges in Health & Social Care. We decided to invest in this sector, and take our work from those single trusts to the nation’s largest and most complex systems – which is where we work today.
“Whether we’re enabling older people to live at home for as long as possible, improving the elective pathway through a hospital, or redesigning the interfaces between health and social care, Newton’s work with local authorities and NHS Trusts isn’t about making cuts to jobs or services – it’s about working with frontline staff to fundamentally change the way they deliver care.”READ LESS
The only non-NHS winner of an HSJ award that year
The toughest challenges:
our first £100m projects
Our founders would hardly have dreamed it back in 2001, but today, we regularly tackle some of the country’s largest and most complex challenges.
There’s no prouder feeling than standing on the deck of one of the nation’s flagship carriers, knowing that you have helped deliver it six months earlier than expected – and saved £100m in doing so.
Our involvement began in 2014. For two years, we worked hard to bring the delivery of one of the largest shipbuilding projects in the UK back on track. To do that? Well, it was clear fundamental change was needed. But we had to base this change on facts, not opinions. So we began a meticulous study of the challenge, and spent 1000 hours shadowing people through their shifts and tracking different components through the process.
Armed with this insight, we brought together a team dedicated to creating lasting – and relevant – improvement. With our help, this team successfully engaged the whole workforce and won over unions; brought managers and frontline teams face-to-face; and got everyone working better together.READ LESS
400 stores, 100,000+ employees – we helped one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains to unlock around £100m of opportunity, every year.
Like many grocery retailers in the UK, our client was losing ground to the rise of the discounters and their margins were being squeezed, relentlessly. We started at the shop floor, worked alongside their people: helping stack shelves, manning checkouts, and unloading deliveries in the stock room, day and night. We listened; we observed; steadily, we understood their challenges.
This resulted in powerful insight that had never been heard before in the boardroom. Traditionally, the focus had always been on using technology to cut costs, but our assessment revealed that addressing customer choice, stock availability, and checkout speed would deliver much greater savings.
To make the change we needed to realise these savings, we had to get 100,000 colleagues across all 400 stores to buy in to the new way of working. A long legacy of challenging programmes had left people sceptical about what could be done. But the time spent with those same people during the assessment, the relationships we’d built, and the way in which we’d created the plan together meant that those people were empowered to be the leaders of change themselves. Within two months, 60% of the organisation were energised, and up and running in the new way.
The end result: a £100m saving – and a highly satisfied client.READ LESS
I loved working with the internal improvement team to re-think how they delivered those projects for the future. At the end of the year they said, “That was really cool – you guys used lots of data, it was really rigorous, you took the emotion out of our decision-making, and that enabled us to get real results… and you really took the whole organisation on the journey."
The final piece was to take their team on a mini-version of that journey, via a six-week training course. We took them from assessment through design, planning and preparing, implementing and delivering, realising the benefits and sustainability. They were then able to say, “We will approach our future projects in the same way that this project has been approached: by using data to get to root causes, by using facts and taking emotions out of decisions, and by engaging people and taking them along the journey.”
Georgia Wickes, Business Manager
2016 - National Business Awards, Small to Medium Business of the Year
From four people sat around a kitchen table to 300 people packing out hotels around the country, the whole company has always gathered in one place every fortnight. This allows us to bring our collective experience and energies to bear on our clients’ current challenges – and to help the business feel like the single, close-knit team we’ve always aimed to be.
Cracking the nation’s
We’ve set ourselves a ‘1 billion’ challenge: continue to have a positive impact on people's lives, alongside saving a total of £1bn for our clients. That’s ambitious (excitingly so). To do it, we know we need to be facing up against bigger and more complex issues at a national level. Issues like UK productivity, the future of the NHS, and modernising the defence industry.
We’ll never shy away from taking on new challenges, new clients, and new industries – in fact, the bigger the challenge, the better.
1000 people strong. 1 strong culture.
How do you keep growing, without distorting the culture that got you this far? By refusing to settle. Some things will evolve but we’ll never compromise on bringing the brightest and most curious minds into the Newton fold. And we’re utterly committed to preserving our founding principles of fun, friendship, and high performance – and relentlessly, unapologetically demanding better for our clients.
Meet the founders and leadership team
An engineer with half his brain devoted to adding value to every client interaction, and the other half to developing our people. Andy constantly works on Improving our own business - keeping the fun, friendship and high performance, but making the changes that springboard us to do bigger and better things.
Kevin embodies and articulates our values around people, because he wrote them.
His personality runs right through how we work with each other and gives everyone in Newton the freedom, scope and confidence to be more innovative and creative. Kevin knows that data shows the way but people make it happen.
As well as governance, Tom is responsible for our work with clients - what we do and how we do it, from the success of single programmes to our whole methodology and approach.
Tom leads the induction of every new consultant who joins Newton, teaching them the methodology, culture, and values of the business first hand.
Our commitment to gender diversity
The leadership at Newton want to create the right environment for gender diversity to thrive. To turn our intent into action, we’re making a clear commitment:
will be women
(2017: 0%; 2018: 10%)