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Meeting Ralph Blundell, offering new ways to plant seeds in fertile soils

Ralph Blundell launched a new enterprise, he faced the usual worry when one takes this step of whether there will be an audience for it, but Ralph says “I was slightly worried at first that our principles be too extreme but instead I found an amazing appetite that surprised me. I was initially aiming to attract a small and tightly knit group, but instead within a very short period of time the interest was spiraling out of control. We must have had 50 expressions of interest, although I happy to say we now have a dynamic team of 10”. He added “We haven’ lost the rest, they are our extended family, the distant cousins we stay in touch with and love to be with.

So what kind of enterprise did Ralph set up? He calls it “a family” and it is a new form of collaborative international entity of high-end consultants that serves large customers and goes beyond the “usual” consultancy jargon, going much deeper by adding some familiar ebbf values.

“Our mission is to add value for our clients; working with them to enhance their business performance, and contribute to their material, intellectual and spiritual wealth. We believe sustainable economic development and global prosperity is the engine that will help us achieve a better world, and this, along with our shared values, underpins all our work.”

Central to his proposal was that the family would set aside a percentage of its income to undertake pro-bono work. Ralph said;

Our ideal of building a better world needed concrete expression. We set aside 25% of our fee revenues to support this. We can use this to work for free, to support interns, to subsidise a college placement, and to liberate ourselves from choosing between high fee commercial clients and getting involved in meaningful assignments with less wealthy organisations. Importantly we decide how to invest this by consultation.

Why did Ralph bother with setting up this new structure in the first place? He comments “I decided to do this in August last year for an intensely practical reason: I was on the verge of winning two global contracts and the client demanded to work with a formal consultancy entity. Whilst a loose association of people serving them was a great concept, they are huge 250,000 person multinationals and they needed to show that their consultancy partner was a formal, strong entity.” So to attract the right kind of people, the high-end consultants that could serve his large customers, into a new company structure he had to write a compelling presentation document, and below is just an extract of this new form of collaborative structure with its founding principles:

  1. We all run our own businesses, and want to keep doing so

  2. We want stay distinct legal entities

  3. Everyone is professionally superb, and thriving, so we have no need to collaborate because of financial insecurity or skill deficit

  4. None of us want to work for McKinsey because we love our independence

  5. We all understand the conventional associate relationship, and whilst it’s a route to earning money, it’s not perfect

  6. We enjoy collaboration

  7. We’d want to grow professionally and personally

  8. We love the challenge of big assignments – more complexity and so on

  9. We want commercial success

  10. We are attracted to being part of a team with a shared vision

  11. We want to be part of this because it meets our needs and wishes , rather than it being a contractual obligation

  12. We share and sign up to a set of values that we actively live by in our work and with each other

  13. We share the desire to build a better world,and want to turn that into positive action

He commented also on the way his own customers are changing and needing new inspirations in their work:

“In the current global negativity against the banking system, I actually find it a great place to work and make progress; doing the right thing. For example I’ve worked with a man [name withheld] who runs a major oil business and who called traders together saying that it was their moral responsibility to influence the market to keep the oil price under 100$ a barrel when the Iraq war broke out.
One German businessman in a global bank recently asked me to receive emotional intelligence and morals and ethics training, it was not me trying to push it, it was him wanting this.”

As Ralph ends

Current times are ripe for a new way of doing business. There is a great deal of rain (of crisis) that is making the soil very fertile for change, we are the fertilizers, the mulch, that are nourishing the seeds for a business leadership that is increasingly ready for a new direction and actively looking for one.

If you are interested you will have two opportunities to meet with Ralph and his new ideas for business

  1. A New Paradigm for Work – an event in London, a unique evening of story telling, conversation and networking, attracting an eclectic and interesting group of guests. Thursday 17th February from 7.00pm at ditto’s studio: The Lighthouse, Canonbury Yard, 190 New North Road, N17BJ. “I will propose that by approaching our work as service, we create wealth and transform ourselves, our organisations and our communities.” Contact Email: or speak to Alicia Bastos directly on 020 3006 7848 for more information

  2. At ebbf international’s own “A New Paradigm of Work” next “make it meaningful” series of global events in May. Click here for more information

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