Name: James Walker
Job title: Director, Media Services, Accenture Marketing Sciences
What keeps you busy all day? Meeting clients, often in far-flung geographies – Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be visiting Poland, Romania, Germany, Netherlands and the US for example. I usually travel every week, which is … er… interesting
What keeps you awake at night? Depends on the location…!
Describe your working day: My normal working day is split evenly between client meetings, business operations and developing our people.
What’s your busiest time of day? Early afternoon – it’s the only time in the day when the entire world is awake!
What brands/accounts have you worked on? Too many to list! Over the years I’ve been lucky to work on most of the great global brands.
Best day at work: Joining Accenture after my company was acquired and having the opportunity to create the most comprehensive media and sales/marketing service available in the market. Coming on board with Accenture allowed us to grow the business together with further acquisitions, invest more in people development and increase our geographic reach.
Worst day at work: We all learn lessons as our careers progress. This question reminds me of an incident at one company where I worked many years ago as a youngster, when I had just been promoted to the board. The board was reviewing a particular project opportunity which I was opposed to. In response to the presentation I set out my reasons why I thought that proposal was a bad idea, and why we could not deliver the work profitability or do it well. I was over-ruled, and the project went ahead. The project was a disaster and lost lots of money, just as I predicted. So six months later, when the project came up for review at a board meeting, I looked forward to saying “I told you so”. However, the presentation ended, and just as I was ready to bask in glory, the meeting turned on me and I was blamed for the debacle: “If James knew this was the wrong thing to have done, he should have argued more effectively and persuaded the Board not to go ahead with the project”. A valuable lesson: Take your responsibilities very seriously.
Name one thing you’ve achieved that has made your bosses sit up and take notice: The several occasions where I’ve been able to genuinely turn businesses around.
Ambitions: To demonstrate that I can make a contribution in all environments through a balanced career of boutiques, successful start-ups and large corporate firms.
Advice to other rising stars: Never do nothing; always look for opportunities, push boundaries and don’t give up!
Quote from the boss: “James is a down to earth no frills kind of guy who drives for value and actionable insights for clients, but he has also been a pioneer and innovator in marketing analytics over the last decade. I couldn’t wish for a better choice to lead our media business in today’s environment of global economic downturn and rapidly changing media opportunities and challenges,” said Tim Breene, Chief Strategy & Corporate Development Officer, Accenture.