Cambridge Consultants Employee Reviews about "line management"

Updated Jul 11, 2020

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4.0
83%
Recommend to a Friend
95%
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Cambridge Consultants CEO Eric Wilkinson (no image)
Eric Wilkinson
52 Ratings
Pros
  • "Amazing people, incredible projects, excellent training and there *is* such a thing as a free lunch(in 27 reviews)

  • "Free breakfast too if you don't bring a car to work(in 12 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Unfair line management, don’t like dealing with issues, not very supportive, you think your a valuable member of staff but your only just a number(in 6 reviews)

  • "Distance from centre of Cambridge(in 6 reviews)

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    Reviews about "line management"

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    1. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      Politics, entitlement & some engineering too

      Jul 11, 2020 - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flagship business; the best of the silicon fen consultancies Free lunch; good perks. Variety of work on some intriguing, high-profile projects needing fast-paced inventive problem solving, Some great people; talented and often helpful. Career progress possible if you have very sharp wits

      Cons

      Very political. The company is dominated by an alpha-personality caste who administer a neo-feudal patronage system. On joining, you are indentured to a particular local tribe and must work hard to enhance that tribe/chieftain's internal political status. Then, in time, Machiavelli-fashion you can push your own agenda and scramble opportunistically up the patronage ladder to become a chieftain yourself with some lucky projects and/or grandstanding to the ruling caste. Outside of this, you can be subjected to some quite unapologetic "gaslighting" to demoralise you, even if you have talent and track-record (the company once had a motto of "let CC be the platform for ambition"; that's true, by standing on other people!). The company at least has a clear policy on mental health: it doesn't really care as long as the order book looks healthy and people smile superficially in corridors. Much of this favouritism is driven by a defensive face-fits mindset which promotes in its own image. Being Oxbridge, you can imagine the types that immediately fit in: (1) the well-heeled, privately educated entitled types who can project the urbane insouciance expected of a consultancy (2) the intensely focussed detail-oriented Mathematician types who will get a Linux box up and working in 10 minutes. Tick either of these boxes, and you'll be fine. If you have a broader background and outlook than these two silos, then you probably won't fit in. Line managers are generally ambitious technical people climbing the greasy pole to Head of Something. They are embarrassingly lacking in soft-skills credibility (there is actually no line-management of substance apart from the ritualistic facade of annual reviews). You are left to yourself and your red-in-tooth-and-claw ability to hunt for patronage in the project jungle (Hunger Games springs to mind). To be fair, line managers do have abstract good intentions, but are fundamentally on the look out for themselves and treat management as a necessary evil in ladder-climbing.

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      26 people found this review helpful
    2. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Highy political and very disappointing

      Dec 29, 2019 - Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      If you are young, Cambridge/Oxford educated and starting on a lower salary, you are likely to be popular with project managers as your time can be billed cheaply to projects and you can be moulded to the organisations way of working (different ways of working are completely ignored).As your popularity will offer opportunities, you can learn and develop technical skill sets along the way and also learn how to game the system in your favour (the latter being by far the most important way of getting ahead). Be prepared to socialise, even outside of working hours, with the right people in the organisation to network. Cambridge Consultants kindly offers its very own bar for you to do this, but any space will do (the canteen can be too noisy though). If you don’t do this you won’t even find out about new projects, let alone get to work on them. Some even use it as an opportunity to dish the ‘gossip’ to undermine work colleagues reputations by advertising other people’s minor work errors or their colleagues weaknesses and convincing others how they ‘support’ the weaker ones. If you manage to hide your own weaknesses, or present them as a ‘different way of seeing things’ and use your personal subjective opinions to monopolise the established narrative and influence seniors, then you will excel. Benefits are genuinely excellent. They include free lunches (and they are very good!), a generous pension scheme, private health insurance, relocation expenses and other perks.

      Cons

      Reputation and relationships are everything in this organisation, which makes things very political. Even though teamwork and collaboration are supposedly a company value, this is a highly competitive environment and the billability system and lack of client work ensures that each person is looking out for themselves. Working with the ‘right’ clique of people and making them ‘look good’ leads to relationships of convenience. This is common, as are character assassinations, bullying, one-upmanship and throwing colleagues under the bus. Your first impressions would never make you think that this is the case as there is a superficial outward appearance of civility and communication is rarely direct. ‘Feedback’ is used as the ultimate political tool to selectively emphasise narratives that cater to certain agendas. Many line managers often contradict themselves and have mastered the art of false comforting and gaslighting. Institutionalised snitching ensures that they are generally aware of who is doing what without having the ‘micromanaging label’ attached to them. Clients are perceiving CC as arrogant and expensive and in some departments there has been a decline in repeat work. There is not enough work to keep everyone busy all the time so it is common to see people working on fluffy ‘internal projects’.

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      23 people found this review helpful
    3. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Very disappointed

      Jan 12, 2020 - Support in Cambridge, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Free breakfast and lunch. A good BUPA package and bonuses.

      Cons

      Unfair line management, don’t like dealing with issues, not very supportive, you think your a valuable member of staff but your only just a number! Not as flexible as they make out.

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      10 people found this review helpful
    4. 2.0
      Current Employee

      Political and demotivating

      Dec 22, 2019 - Senior Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There are some brilliant people who are willing to help out. The work is varied and some good benefits such as free breakfast and lunch.

      Cons

      There is a disconnect on what the senior management say about their values and how the project and line management behave. There is a culture that encourages deception as a management technique and bullying as a way to get what they want. When someone leaves due to disagreement or is fired an email is sent company wide with their photo to let everyone know.

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      12 people found this review helpful
    5. 3.0
      Current Employee

      Senior Engineer

      Nov 18, 2018 - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Interesting projects and global top brand clients. Loads of work, so company is unlikely to go under any time soon. Some very very bright people work there.

      Cons

      Growing pains. Self-awareness issues. Diversity issues. Understaffed, overworked. Engineers are viewed as revenue generating units rather than people. 2 or 3 new levels of management introduced between engineers and CEO over the past couple of years. Line managers are either disinterested or overworked. Diversity is being tacked by the usual highly visible ways - we now hire more women, people of colour and non-British engineers. This truly is great, but fundamentally there is no diversity of through or opinion. The company is very much set in its ways. People who push for change or do not see things this way tend to leave. There is a lot of internal tension and dislike between divisions. There is also very little visibility of what everyone else is doing - no real flow for ideas and experience. The company way has been to talk thing over at lunch - which probably worked when there were 150 people in the company. Now there are 500+ in Cambridge, the canteen probably fits 200 at a stretch and the noise levels mean that you can barely hear the person next to you. Career progression is very much a function of your line manger. All our main competitors in the area seem to have gone through a lot of rebranding. It took us several years to launch a new website with a quite old brand and not very modern vision. Several years after our main competition's previous round of rebranding and website refreshes. IT infrastructure/tools... was great 20 years ago, but IT is so understaffed they have not been able to start proactive infrastructure upgrade projects. So everything is reactive. Salaries are a low for the market average. Cambridge Consultants now owns a company on the US West Coast + has offices in Boston - internal mobility is non-existent. Only a few, select, and very senior people get to do secondments. Most people in the company have absolutely no idea what the other offices are like or what they do.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    6. 3.0
      Current Employee

      Good puddings, but play the advancement game

      Jun 8, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Some very interesting client work. Some great technology is being created in-house. Bright energetic people, Excellent facilities, perks (free canteen) and work/life flexibility. Generally open culture, though increasingly "corporatized" and under strain. Early opportunities to climb management ladder.

      Cons

      People on lower/middle management ladder are all looking upwards, and are preoccupied with the politics of advancement (line management is rather laissez-faire as a result). Cliquey teams which exclude latent talent as much as they include established skills.

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      4 people found this review helpful
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