My Leadership Moments: Hilary Thomas, PA Consulting Health and Life Sciences Leader

News by #FutureLeadersForum in My Leadership Moments

My Leadership Moments is a discussion series of the ICMCI Future Leaders Forum (FLF) moderated by FLF members in which renowned consulting leaders share highlights of their professional journeys to help younger colleagues shape their future.

On 31 March 2022, the My Leadership Moments digital column featured Hilary Thomas, PA Consulting Health and Life Sciences Leader, who shared glimpses and insights from her professional path from medicine to management consulting in a conversation moderated by Francois Kriel, Director at Kriel & Co.

Hilary Thomas described her inspiration to get into medicine and specialise in oncology. She shared how her own experience with cancer and going through therapy changed her perspective and made her reflect on what she wanted to do. This was how she started thinking about another career and got interested in management as she was convinced that she would be able to achieve a greater impact for patients by running a hospital rather than running her own clinical practice. 

Reflecting on the current changes in corporate culture driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the advances in technology, she highlighted the much greater awareness of mental health and the democratisation of processes allowing people to be closer to the leaders, to be part of flatter and less hierarchical organisational structures.

With regard to her most defining moments as a leader, Hilary emphasised:

• The small things matter: tokens of appreciation can demonstrate care and make people feel welcome.
• Watching leaders in business that you want to learn from is equally as important as identifying who you do not want to be like, singling out behaviours you do not           want to adopt.
• The beauty of consulting is all about teams: knowing the different strengths that people bring and how you can all be mutually supportive.
• Leadership presents an opportunity to learn from a range of people but also an opportunity to nurture people.

For more personal stories from Hilary Thomas, please watch this short video (Ep3).

About the guest speaker

Hilary Thomas is Health and Life Sciences Leader at PA Consulting, a consultancy bringing ingenuity to life. She applies her extensive medical experience to support PA’s clients at all stages of the Life Sciences value chain. Her expertise also helps to shape thinking across a number of areas of Digital Health, Decentralised Trials, and Product Innovation.

She is a senior, accredited clinician with particular expertise in oncology and medical management, having been an acute trust Medical Director and Professor of Oncology at the University of Surrey. Hilary Thomas is motivated by having positive impact for patients and in her consulting career her team’s approach to transforming Quality of Care has benefitted patients in over 30 countries across infectious diseases, immunology, oncology and several rare diseases. She was an elected member of the UK medical regulator, the General Medical Council, for nine years. 

Previously she was Chief Medical Adviser at KPMG for over a decade and has worked globally across many therapeutic areas to better understand patient experience and how it might be improved, enhancing outcomes and access to innovative medicines.

About the facilitator

Francois Kriel is accredited by the Institute of Management Consultants and Master Coaches South Africa with specialisation in the areas of change management, data privacy and digital transformation.

As a director at Kriel & Co, he leads a dynamic team experienced in facilitating digital change at several high-profile organisations in a variety of sectors. Kriel & Co has formed a multi-disciplinary change management affiliation with the tech law department of top-tier law firm ENSafrica. This unique combination of leading attorneys and consultants aims to support the digital privacy era in line with legislation while fitting the practical needs of any size organisations committed to protect data and personal information.

Francois Kriel is a Leadership Committee Member of Privacy Officers Africa and supports Stellenbosch University as guest lecturer in digital transformation to business management honours students. He is an advocate for collaborative leadership, mentorship and LGBTQIA+ inclusivity.

About the ICMCI Future Leaders Forum

The ICMCI Future Leaders Forum brings together young consultants from all over the world in a structured effort to boost the conversation about the future of management consulting. It offers a platform to exchange views about the profession and to coalesce knowledge to the benefit of clients and consultants while growing a strong international network and developing leadership skills in the global arena.