Alex Waterston

Executive Transformation Consultant

I remember...

...when Waterstons was born. My brother and I were ousted from the basement of our house. Our TV was moved upstairs and new desks and computers covered the green, cord carpet that had been both the grass for our farm animals and a terrible source of skinned knees. I was thirteen at the time.

Twenty years later I would come to Waterstons to do some contract work and enjoy it so much that I would say yes when asked to stay but I actually started my career as a game developer. I joined a company in Oxford straight out of university and began designing behaviours for Crash Bandicoot's mortal enemies. It was a lot of fun but I quickly realised that the people side of business was really what I enjoyed. I spent nearly seven years managing teams of games developers and shipping games. Then, triggered by two years spent running my own app agency, my career acquired a much more strategic focus.

Working for Waterstons has been an eye-opening and humbling experience. I've always been aware of how Waterstons operates but actually working in an open and trusting environment like this inspires so much creativity that it is bewildering. I am extremely proud of what my parents have built.

Human Centred Design

There are three things that I love – businesses, people and stories – and my role here at Waterstons lets me think about those three things every day. Using Human Centred and Service Design processes we help to build better businesses by focussing on the people within and the customers without whom the company would fail.

When I start a new project I learn everything there is to know about the company. Then I spend my time interviewing people and from their stories I begin mapping customer journeys. Depending on the project these might be consumers, other businesses or internal customers in other departments. I combine these journeys with process and systems maps to find spaces where new, exciting opportunities might lie. Sometimes our recommendations mean real business process and cultural change.

I've mapped journeys to help manufacturing companies provide better customer service, airports to streamline the passenger experience and a large online retailer to define the future of fashion shopping.

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