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Mark Cameron - Expert Spotlight




What is your role since leaving corporate life?

I’ve been doing a huge variety of things, volunteer work, fixed term  contracting, and working for myself. Corporate life wasn’t bad, it gave me a great foundation both on the work as well as personal front, but the world is a big place and I wanted to experience more, for example working at Lloyd’s of London was amazing, working with an Indian outsourcer was interesting, and working for myself has been empowering. 


How long have you been a member of Camelot?

I met David Clamp while contracting at Generali, he invited me to the second ever Camelot face to face event and I’ve been with them in various forms ever since,


Have you been a panel expert on any Road Tests?

Yes, I’ve participated in a number of these, it’s really interesting to see how Corporate Partners try to put themselves in the shoes of others and present as if they know what it’s like to be in those shoes.  Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but that’s why these are so important, they’re a safe space where failing is learning, and with the help of our experts the learning becomes easier.


Area of expertise?  

Continuous improvement.


Highest/proudest most recognisable previous role?

Head of Lean for Zurich Global Corporate EMEA - I never planned for such a role, I was just grateful that I could travel across Europe trying to help others find time to do their work.  A manager I once had told me the best jobs are the ones that haven’t yet been created, and that you should demonstrate the need for them.  I was running a training session in Switzerland when I got an email from HR with details of my new title, which was in fact a totally new role, one that I’d create for myself without knowing.


What is your LinkedIn profile URL? 


How long have you been doing this subject/area?

All my life! Since I was a child I have been asking my Mother ‘why? And I haven’t stopped – the only difference is that now I ask ‘why?’ to other people and I have given my mum a rest! 


Please can you provide some examples of recent projects that you’ve worked on?

Have you ever been in a role where someone somewhere has obviously put a lot of effort into creating a role profile, and then over time you get given lots of new work?

This work slowly accumulates, eventually taking over more and more time, giving you less time to do the work that was described in your role profile as needing experience of.  The work I enjoy, and have done a lot of, is when I’ve asked these questions, quantified how much time this other “stuff” takes up, and then ask “why on earth are you spending so much time on work that doesn’t make value of your experience?”.  We then problem solve to reduce this work, allowing people more time to do the stuff they should be doing.


What is your unique selling point? What makes your business approach unique?

I keep things simple, speak a language and use terms everyone understands so that we can all collaborate and contribute towards successful outcomes. Someone once said to me “working with you is easy”, I like to think that’s why.


.Please describe a challenging work scenario and how you resolved it?

A continuous improvement expert walks into the Paris office of a French Chief Operating Officer (COO)/ Chief Claims Officer (CCO), and the first words he says is “I’m here to fix your problems”. The COO/CCO took this personally, “what do you mean, fix my problems? How do you know I even have any? I suggest you leave”.

Biggest problem I ever created, and then fixed, 10 years on and now working for different companies we still have regular catch ups.


What should everyone be reading/listening to?

 A classic is The Goal by Eli Goldratt. It’s a very easy to read story about continuous improvement and bottlenecks.

Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn. I’m a running addict but I believe even running has become over-complicated. This book is about Finn, who moves to Kenya to learn how the Kenyans were so successful, and the answer was…they kept it simple.


Do you have any words of wisdom for us or a short phrase that sums up your ethos?

Don’t be afraid to keep things simple. 

People hide behind big words and technical phrases like an invisible cloak protecting them from people like me who ask ‘why? (a lot)’. 

I guarantee there’s many others thinking why but never asking – how will you ever learn if you don’t do this?


Do you have a Favourite quote?

“Run fast, run alone, run far, run together” – (African proverb).

This quote sums up everything that was wrong with my life, and what is now the secret to my success.


Why does your area of expertise need to be spotlighted?

Because demand on staff is increasing all the time, and staff are saying they don’t have time to keep up with demand - I can help with that.


And… Last but not least, how does being a member of Camelot help you/or add value to your business?

“Camelot adds value not just to my business but to my life. 

I really appreciate the diversity of views, expertise and experience within the network, the stimulating discussions we have, the learnings I take away, and the support I get during harder times. 

I love the fact that I’m able to come up with some strange ideas and never feel I’m laughed at – people will see these ideas as opportunities and build on them, creating outcomes very quickly which I’m proud to say I’ve been part of.”


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Mark Cameron - Expert Spotlight

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