Penman Consulting News

Pairing Science and Business

Posted by Alex Tibbitt | April 6, 2018

An increase in Client demand due to pressures on industry and looming regulatory deadlines have required Penman Consulting to expand rapidly over the past two years. However, organisational growth inevitably causes pain. So how does an organisation manage this growth effectively?

In addition to hiring subject matter experts, Penman Consulting promotes staff development through training courses and further education.  We spoke to Alex Leadbeater to learn about his part time study and how it contributes to Penman Consulting.

“I am Business Development Manager for Penman Consulting and Active Steward, based predominantly in our UK offices.  My role combines traditional business development activities for our consulting business and software sales with wider general management activities across the organisation, including the maintenance of our quality management system.”

“My first degree from Exeter University was a BSc (Hons) Information Technology Management for Business, which combines Computer Science and Business Management. After University I worked primarily in sales and marketing roles in the UK and abroad.  In January 2016 I joined Penman Consulting to support its growth, focusing on business process management and marketing, which has morphed into my current role.”

“Last year I started my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with the Open University. It is a distance learning course which enables me to fit the study around various work trips, travel, and social life. The programme is also triple accredited and ranked as one of the top business schools in the world.”

“Personally, I find I easily fall into a routine of work and static way of thinking. Over time this effects job satisfaction but also limits personal improvement – a quote I heard at a previous job is always at the back of my mind “…the definition of madness is doing to same thing over and over and expecting different results”.  Starting an MBA adds a new challenge to my personal development but also gives me a new set of tools to deal with the complexities of a growing organisation.  So far, the most important thing I have learned is that context is everything – a solution which might improve project performance on the one hand will almost always come at a cost, and the art of management is to try and anticipate this.”

“Unlike an undergraduate degree where (if I remember correctly) much of the time is spent digesting academic content for regurgitation in exams, my postgraduate studies focus on the application of theories, concepts and approaches in relation to my practice, then evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.  In business it is unlikely the situations you encounter will ever be truly replicated, because managing people is unpredictable, so learning a set of management tools which enable you to evaluate situations based on changing context is far more advantageous. I am also finding it useful to listen to other MBA students experience and how they solved similar problems, which I have not considered previously.

As Penman Consulting continues to evolve from its roots as a small family business into a global consultancy, the business needs to evolve its understanding of how the management of strategy, operations, marketing, finance and most importantly people all integrate together. Hopefully my studies can support this!”

“I am definitely not considering further study at this point – still got a couple of years of the MBA left!”


It is important to remember that developing skills, sharing knowledge and working with multidisciplinary teams are vital to handle the challenges that the chemical industry presents.

Over the last three weeks we have spoken to three of Penman Consulting’s team who have taken up part time studies, Jamie, Helen and Alex. The three of them highlight the value developing skills, continued learning and working together within Penman. The skills they are learning will help our organisation to grow and allow us to offer higher quality services.

Keep an eye out for more Penman Consulting news and read about How to grow a Product Steward here

Get in touch to find out more about Penman Consulting and what we can offer you.