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We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious

In a nutshell

Chief Information Officer CIO, Head of Transformation, Ways of Working, Organisational Design and Business Agility


Fully Available in < 1 Month


Edinburgh, United Kingdom


  • English
  • French

Top 5 Strengths

  • Natural Leader
  • Positively Disruptive
  • Motivational
  • Outcome Focused
  • Persuasive



Nominated By


HM Expert Since

Friday December 16, 2016

About Karl

I am a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a member by invitation of BCS ELITE (Effective Leadership in IT) the CIO & CTO group and European CIO Association. I hold an MSc in Computing from Napier University, Edinburgh and am involved in continuing professional development in both enterprise management and enterprise technologies. I work on global programs and hold both a UK passport and an EU passport through dual nationality. I have extensive experience in the USA of setting up new business functions in 14 states, nationally in China and Australia.

I have a track record since 1989 of designing, launching and delivering global and national new business models, organisational designs, professional services, capabilities and client services working with VC, consulting companies or hired direct by clients. Using Agile and Lean principles, providing operational excellence and horizon planning for hundreds of simultaneous programmes and projects with teams working in all time zones.

Current Role Details

Delivering management consulting services in Organisational Design, Business Agility, Digital Transformation, Business Transformation, Service Design, Market Entry, Capability Design and Launch.

Karl's Case Studies


Back in 2010 the world was changing and the big corporate world knew that Customers (targeted, with money to spend) were fatigued from bad real world experiences and moving to online experiences that were as bad. They were asking their corporate consultancies for support and those tax and management consultancies provided people who had no design backgrounds, no user experience background and no research background who where trained to be the expert from afar but never held accountable for outcomes to end customers before.

Around this time we were courted by Accenture, PwC and KPMG, EY were not really involved in digital at this time. Each had their own rationale for what they wanted and why, but also they saw UX as a production skill not a strategic one. While there was a massive influx of graphic design into the field at that time, most of the pretty graphic UI’s failed to aid the actual experience as they were skin deep and did not tackle the end to end (UI, logic, ETL, process, latency, integrated support issues etc) experience that UX actually covered and still does for professional practitioners.

We reviewed the various offers pros and cons and went with Accenture because they were willing to let us build a capability rather than just a body shopping function. Accenture accepted that UX required two types of people with very different mental models where conflict is normal. UX people from the usability and research side able to create solutions and graphic designers from a digital side also able to create solutions. This conflict between ‘what users need’ and ‘what users will adopt’ was combined with ‘what the business needs’ to establish Accenture EUX globally.

The work started in 2011 and was complete by 2012. What was established was a new hiring protocol focused on specialist skills over the generalist policy at that time for consultants and new role profiles for EUX. New hires were locked in through a salary that would allow them to live in London and have money over at the end of the month. However it was double the standard salary for these type of roles in London at that time. A new funding model was created so that EUX staff would have hardware and software needed to do their jobs without seeking project funding and sign off, a common consultancy practice at that time. Additionally a co location space was established along with the attributes of a digital agency feel (in a corporate office). A great deal of time was spent creating internal marketing material around the services and engaging cross verticals on any opportunity that would require a great customer or user experience.

Also there were a number of strategic M&A activities going on at that time so ultimately the plan was for this group to join Fjord as part of its hands off engagement with Accenture through Accenture Digital.

EUX is still in use within Accenture as a descriptor of this capability along with the roles descriptions we created.


  • The EUX team went from 6 to 90 people globally in 12 months.

  • Chargeability went from 34% to 110%

  • All EUX staff had the software and equipment they need without the requirement for projects to pay for it.

Major Achievements

  • International Management, P&L, M&A, Operations

  • Founder Enterprise User Experience EUX

  • Launch Enterprise User Experience EUX Globally

  • Organisational design to set up new global consultancy service

  • Supported 13 M&A projects as asset and capability reviewer including Fjord

  • Defined the engagement model for onboarding Fjord

  • Implemented Innova8™for change and transformation for banking and financial services


Involved in the Program Management of Enterprise User Experience (EUX) in EMEA, AMER and APAC, across all user and technology touch points with access to cutting edge technologies.

  • Proposing and review strategic relationships and company purchase.

  • Strategic planning and leadership

  • Global recruitment and staff training

  • Lead the sales effort, particularly concerning the relationship with existing customers and major account prospects

Project Management & Planning

  • Resource planning build project teams

  • Have overall accountability for team success and individual career development

  • Manage project KPI’s and risks


  • Rapid identification of key client priorities and objectives

  • Quickly identify key client stakeholders.

  • Bid support with heuristics, RFI, RFP & POC

Major Clients, Pipeline Development

  • Bank of China - banking transformation projects, test group of 1 million users

  • Santander - innovation lab capability for rapid transformation and market responsiveness

  • Vodafone - global standards and governance of technology for customer experience

  • Pfizer - mobile sales and fleet management

  • Unilever - for treasury system to manage locked funds, distribute and manage risk

  • Barclays Private Bank - UHNW encrypted mobile communications application

  • Vodafone Europe - Usability SME for SAP SuccessFactors Program

  • Novartis - QA patient drug safety

  • Shell - Supporting set up of Design team / Apps Factory


Near the end of our work at Accenture Wipro Technologies contacted us as they also wanted their existing UX capability enhanced. We were initially involved with them on this however it was clear that they had adopted the generalist approach to a point where specialists would not be hired. In fact they did hire a large number of graphic designers who were immediately required to lean how to code in Javascript. As previously stated there are different mental models and skills that few people can cross over, to produce any degree of quality work. We had decided to walk away from Wipro Technologies and had given notice when we were invited to be involved in creating Wipro Digital from a blank canvass.

We were offered a blank canvass to create a new global consulting company. It was to be 'Digital' but the client was clear that they did not wish to influence what that might be. It was a very enlightened brief.

The three of us (Karl Smith, Andy Coghlan, Matt Burgess) therefore went back to basics to define what does it mean to be Digital. Andy is from a Strategy/Technology/Enterprise background, while Matt from an Innovation/Agency/Enterprise background and Karl from a Human Centred Design/Invention/Agency/Enterprise background.


Organisational Design Principles

From my perspective Digital is not about Technology, it uses technology but it is not technology itself. Digital is about communication, it's about Humans, how they seek to get things done and engage with other humans.

Concept Model

Together we formed a concept of "not knowing but wanting to find out"

This open thinking was essential in not assuming we know the answer. Andy came up the the Venn Diagram to map the relationships to the concepts that ultimately became the central communication device and the company logo. The circles were Technology, Strategy and Design (there were lots of discussions around the last one being UX, however we in the end agreed the customers Experience would be the at the Center to ensure advantage for our future clients) and that Design covered multiple skill sets.

While Matt and I defined the semantics. Together we defined the organisational structure and the beginnings of a service model that we would later test with clients. I proposed limiting the use of PowerPoint off the back of my experience in Accenture and instead the use of animation and film based on my Art College experiences.

We commissioned a short launch film to describe this concept shown below

We Are Wipro Digital

At this point I proposed the use of Innova8™ as previously used in Accenture to relaunch the Financial Services Vertical

Innova8™ by permission at Wipro Digital

We also decided to create a house style for all visual elements, so that we could enable the corporation to stand out and instantly be visually recognisable.

Wipro Digital Proposition

App UX Research and Design Concepts

Design Studio Magazine of Enterprise Projects

Taking our concept company to market we adopted a Test and Learn Strategy rather than assuming we knew what clients wanted we used client engagements to learn their language around the issues and resolutions they were seeking. This enables us to build out a service catalogue under Technology, Strategy and Design and their touch points;

Technology driven Strategy, Technology driven Design, Strategy driven Technology, Strategy driven Design, Design driven Strategy, Design driven Technology




Gartner Magic Quadrant

We supported involved in analyst community regarding Design Thinking, Service Design and Customer Experience propositions towards gaining positive position in  Gartner Magic Quadrant within 8 months of soft launch.

Major Clients

In the first year we engaged with and won several major clients and expanded the remit of Wipro Technologies in a number of their existing clients.

  • Alcatel-Lucent – Business Intelligence tools suit redesign service offering

  • JPMorgan Chase – Innovation service offering based upon creative technology

  • Vodafone UK – Day in the Life of a SIM

  • FedEx – Service offering including film

  • TSB – Innovation service offering based upon creative technology

  • Novartis – Retina room service and product design offering

  • Philips Lighting – Integrated service offering with digital strategy and digital design

  • US Bank, TSYS ts2 self-service credit card platform design and build, research project, with government and commercial customers in six cities on eastern United States

  • 3M – Service contract proposal of new TOM would involve Wipro hiring new staff to service agency engagement

Global Recruitment

We further supported Wipro Digital in hiring staff into Strategy and Design areas. Again we applied a financial lock in as we did in Accenture as part of the hiring process. We were involved in setting up teams and offices in London, NYC, Palo Alto and Bangalore.


Over a period of one and a half years it became clear that the commitment to Being Digital was being eroded by the use of generalists from Wipro Technologies and so we ended our engagement. Many of the fantastic consultants we hired have moved on and some have stayed.


Services Karl Manages

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Service Summary: WoW Organisational Transformation rebuilding your business to deliver valuable outcomes in a rapid and constant flow in response to customer needs


Services Karl Delivers

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Service Summary: This service focuses on accelerating success for leaders responsible for Innovation or Digital Business Transformation

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Service Summary: WoW Organisational Transformation rebuilding your business to deliver valuable outcomes in a rapid and constant flow in response to customer needs


Industry Experience

  • Financial Services
  • Government and Public Services
  • Retail and Consumer
  • Banking and Capital Markets
  • Asset and Wealth Management
  • Charities
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality and Leisure
  • Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences
  • Power and Utilities
  • Transport and Logistics

Regional Experience

  • Europe
  • North America
  • Oceania
  • Asia


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