About Cordelia


“Do you know you have a crack in the ceiling?”

“Yes, but we don’t notice it any more.”

In that exchange lies the heart of consultancy. All a consultant can provide is illumination and thoughtful spanners to help one see and work on the issues.

Consultants should not strategise for you, solve your problems for you, or restructure your business for you. No, the best they can do is give you the verbal tools so you can do it yourself.

Cordelia is not about Powerpointed aphorisms, exhorting one to think ‘out of the box’, pursuing hairy audacious goals, or driving the words innovate and excellence into meaningless exhaustion. Cordelia is about inspiring new directions. We believe that a good consultant is someone who sits in a tree and drops apples on Newton’s head.

We can’t show you ‘one we made earlier’.

Consultants can tell you who they worked for and what they worked on. This can be reassuring about quality and delivery but it does not tell you what they can do for you. A consultant can help if they share your values and you can get on with them. So choosing an advisor is like opting for ice cream. You need to know it’s good ice cream, but then it’s just a matter of which flavour you like. The purpose of this website is to give you a flavour of Cordelia.

Why Cordelia?

The client presented Cordelia with a plan to divide the organisation into three divisions, with himself as part-time chairman supervising the three divisional heads.

Cordelia told her client, who happened to be her father and the King, that this was a terrible idea, even though it meant she would not be rewarded with one of the divisions, and would be banished from the business.

We believe that Cordelia is the perfect role model for a consultant, as the only thing a consultant should provide is the truth as they see it.

A true story:

The client read our report, took a long gulp of wine, and said, “It doesn’t read like a normal report; it’s lucid about the unpalatable, it gives us a new way to identify the problems, but doesn’t tell us anything that deep down we didn’t already know.”

We replied that we were 15-day-old experts in his business; if we had told him things about his business he didn’t know he shouldn’t be in the job.

I thought this was where we got banished, but luckily he laughed and said, “Good point!”

Another true story

A colleague of ours, when young and before he knew better, gave his presentation to a crusty cigar-chomping Texan. Our colleague pointed out that the Texan’s business had many problems; his marketing department hated the customers, the factory was obsolete, senior management had no controls, the sales department was at war with dispatch and Finance couldn’t get information from anybody. The gnarled old Texan pulled the cigar slowly from the corner of his mouth and said, “Boy, you gotta piss with the pecker you got.”

This earthy comment illustrates that consultants should always work within what is practical, what you can get people to do, and with the resources that exist. Selling your client the moon by inducing anxiety is no way to work. So we avoid jargon, use simple English, and aim to ask those awkward questions that provoke answers.


Was founded by Adam Singer who has been involved in UK Television since the 70s.

Adam has been significant in creating the UK multi-media sector. He launched or managed over a dozen television channels, and as Chairman and CEO helped take Flextech PLC from a value of £60 million pounds to its eventual sale price of £2.4 billion.

He has dealt extensively with international broadcasters in France, Scandinavia and Argentina. In Japan he created the partnership between TCI and Sumitomo that created Japan’s largest cable operator and programmer. In the US he worked for John Malone at TCI, and as Chief Operating Officer for TCI International helped take that company public on NASDEQ.

He created and launched 24-hour coverage of Parliament in the UK (subsequently taken over by the BBC) and launched and ran the Discovery Channel in the UK and Europe. He was the architect of UKTV (the Flextech joint venture with the BBC) and chaired it.

He has run telecommunications companies with staff of over 10,000, and with revenues of over £1 billion p.a., and been a non-executive director of the Scottish Media Group. Among other activities he currently sits on the Ofcom content board.

Adam is one of few people to have been involved in all aspects of communications at CEO level. He has made TV programmes, created TV channels for cable and satellite and run a telecommunications and broadband business. He has dealt extensively with government at ministerial level and with regulated businesses. He regularly writes for UK press, radio, and television, on digital issues.

In addition to Adam Singer, Cordelia has access to a wide range of experience, in management, deal making, regulatory affairs, corporate communications, and business planning. Cordelia has access to a cumulative 250 years of management and strategic thinking, and over $32 billion dollars worth of deal making experience, as well as expertise in corporate communications both inside and outside the company.

Cordelia's clients have included:

KPMG, Historic Royal Palaces Development Council, DfES, DCMS, XSN plc - formerly Sports Network Group plc, Bird & Co, Les5ons (Holdings) Ltd, Ofcom

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