Crelos June 2012 Newsletter


June 2012


Welcome to the Crelos regular update

Somehow it feels hard to get excited by regulation. In this edition we focus on why we should and why regulation matters. Regulation is a principle, rule, or law designed to control or govern conduct. The act of regulating is generally talked of by business owners as problematic and constraining of creativity and but by those who believe in democracy, as a necessary part of civil society. In the UK we have over 50 regulatory bodies covering all aspects of social life ranging from gambling to pensions, nursing to social care, civil aviation to rail and financial to professional services.

Crelos consultant Elizabeth Ferguson interviewed a number of leading practitioners in legal and accounting service firms to understand how the vast waves of international regulation is providing a change challenge to professional service firms. Her findings generated a healthy dialogue at our recent Change Mastery Event on May 30th.

A thought provoking point raised was how regulation and regulatory reviews spark a feeling of loss of trust between professions that have previously been unregulated, or have even seem themselves as playing a part in the regulating, rather than being regulated. Accountancy and even more so law firms are gradually facing up to the realisation that they are not untouchable and, like the financial sector, are expected to pay the price for their role in the events leading up to the global financial crisis. What became evident was the tinge of regret that changes are being put upon them by the regulator, rather than coming from within these professions.

It will be interesting to see how lawyers and accountants work to rebuild some of the trust that has been lost. How they work and do things differently, redefine commercial relationships and re-contract psychologically with the public will be key to this.

In this edition of Crelos Quarterly, in addition to reviewing the impact of regulatory change on professional services firms, we also ask the question of whether regulation is being used to avoid dealing with major global economic, social and environmental issues. On a completely different note, in Recipe for Change, we congratulate Duke Corporate Education on their recent Financial Times Award and discuss why we enjoy working with them. In our Events Section, you will see that this month Crelos is busy continuing to spread the word about how women can change the gender agenda and Crelos Consultant and former Olympic Medallist, Miriam Batten, is doing her bit to understand the learning from the Olympic Games.

As always I look forward to hearing your feedback, thoughts and comments. Have a great summer and good luck to Team GB at London 2012!

Ali Gill
CEO, Crelos Ltd

At A Glance...

Shaping our current thinking

Sector in Focus

In Practice


Did you know?


Shaping our current thinking


Papering over the Cracks: The Dangers of Regulation

Over the last ten years or so years regulation has increasingly been used as a form of protection – to protect consumers from organisations, to protect the environment from abuse or, in the case of the Royal Mail, to protect a service from an increasingly IT dominated world. However, have we come to a point where all this regulation is simply papering over the cracks of the real problems?

Read the full article



Sector in Focus


International Regulation: a Change Challenge for Professional Services firms?

Legislation and proposed regulation is driving change on a scale hitherto unseen in the accountancy and legal professions. In this article Crelos consultant Elizabeth Ferguson discusses the impact of the changes with a diverse group of senior business people working with and in these professions and draws conclusions on how firms may need to work differently to embrace the opportunities that arise.

Read the full article



In Practice


Proud to be Part of the Duke Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network

Crelos is proud to be part of the Duke Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network. We offer our congratulations to Duke CE who has been ranked the world’s #1 provider of custom executive education, according to the 14 May edition of the Financial Times. This is the tenth consecutive year that Duke CE has taken top honours.

Crelos’ CEO Alison Gill says “we enjoy working with Duke CE because they recognise that each business’ change challenge is unique and requires a different recipe for success. This allows us to work in the way we work best, bringing insight and creativity to help design and deliver programmes that accelerate change.”

Read the full article





The Conversation.

The Conversation is a blog by Kysen Managing Director, Clare Rodway, capturing interesting conversations she has in the course of her work providing PR services to professional services firms. Clare attended the Crelos Change Mastery event where change consultant Elizabeth Ferguson talked about ‘International Regulation: A Change Challenge for professional services?’ Clare’s blog comments on how law firms are reacting to the ‘revolution’ within their sector.

The Conversation

Alison Gill addresses OC&C Strategy Consultants – ‘Making Strides: How Women Win in the Boardroom’.

Crelos CEO, Alison Gill addresses the OC&C Strategy Consultants Alumni - a session on 4th July 2012 - about the current status of women in the world of work and offers practical guidelines to help build a gender equitable world of work by encouraging a next generation of women in to the boardroom.

Alison will share practical tips about managing masculine and feminine dynamics to create gender equitable teams, provide evidence of how men and women network differently and suggest ways in which women can help other women to succeed and change the status quo.

For more information about attending this event please contact:

Miriam Batten talks ‘Olympics Past and Present’.

Crelos Consultant Miriam Batten takes centre stage at the Eversheds HR Summer School training event in Henley on Thames this summer. The event which takes place on 17th and 18th July is aimed at HR Professionals who want to test their thinking around how the HR function adds to the organisation’s effectiveness and how they personally contribute to the business.

Miriam will be discussing being an Olympian and the challenges of leading a team to deliver at the Olympics this summer.

Follow this link to the event for more information or to book a place:

HR Summer School - Growth with fewer people



Did you know?


Facts about Professional Services

Accounting dates back to the very earliest days of human civilisation. The book Hisba, written in the 12th century by Ibn Taymiyyah, detailed systems of accounting that were practiced by Muslims in as early as the mid seventh century A.D.

Luca Pacioli wrote the first book on double entry accounting in 1494. He is frequently referred to as the father of accounting.

The legal profession was abolished in Prussia in 1780 and in France in 1789, though both countries eventually realized that their judicial systems could not function efficiently without lawyers.

The ‘Magic Circle’ is an informal term used to collectively describe what are generally regarded to be the five leading UK-headquartered law firms, and the four or five leading London-based commercial barristers' chambers.

The Big Four was once known as the ‘Big Eight’, and was reduced to the ‘Big Five’ by a series of mergers. The Big Five became the Big Four after the demise of Arthur Andersen in 2002, following its involvement in the Enron scandal.

In 2010 Deloitte with its 1.8% growth was able to beat PricewaterhouseCoopers with its 1.5% growth to gain first place and become the largest accounting firm in the industry. In 2011, PwC re-gained the first place with 10% revenue growth.

In 2011 the UK House of Lords completed an inquiry into the financial crisis, and called for an Office of Fair Trading investigation into the dominance of the Big Four. It is reported that the Big Four audit all but one of the companies that constitute the FTSE 100, and 240 of the companies in the FTSE 250.

In 1965, the United Kingdom began to update its legal system. Over two thousand obsolete, outdated and strange laws have been repealed since then, but plenty of funny laws are still on the books today including;

  • Dying is illegal in the Houses of Parliament.
  • Placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down on an envelope is considered as act of treason.
  • All wild deer, swans and bears are the property of the royal family.