Introducing Richard Fisher from Cranfield University and VSE's Defence Sector Advisor

Richard Fisher, Cranfield University fellow

To introduce our new Key Industry Advisor in the Defence Sector – Richard Fisher – in a bit more detail, Value Stream Experts outlines his current research and how his work will help VSE in 2017:

Richard is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Defence Acquisition at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

His employer, Cranfield University, is the Ministry of Defence’s provider for Masters-level education. The MSc in Defence Acquisition is the key course Richard works on and it covers the whole ‘value stream’ of defence capability.

Richard started working for Cranfield in 2016 but has been associated with their work in defence since 2008, both teaching and studying.

Like many of his colleagues, he doesn’t come from a traditional academic background. Richard spent a few years working in the defence industry itself, ‘converting’ his previous career in public sector management with some defence-specific experience. He’d been a senior manager at a local authority, managing a wide range of services and projects bringing together a mix of knowledge, skills and experience that were established over years of distance learning academic education combined with the experience of a full-time career.

His ‘profession’ is waste management so has always been focussed on products and their lifecycles, but from a perspective that looks back along the lifecycle and considers how things are managed at the end of their lives. This informs the whole lifecycle and its impact on the wider environment. Richard's sustainability view is that ''economic and environmental sustainability are intrinsically linked and one cannot be truly sustainable without the other''.

The research themes Richard works on include sustainability and waste in the defence sector and the wider impact on the Circular Economy, but also he recognises that a lot of these factors are down to company’s people, their culture and their own experiences.

Coming from a politicised environment, he’s interested in relationships between people and organisations and how those relationships effect how organisations work together. The defence industry is made up of Governments, Companies, Regulators and all of those must have effective relationships for an effective industry.

The culture of the sector has a lot of history, which happens to be another area of Richard’s expertise – he’s involved in a number of defence history projects and is authoring a number of books on various military history topics.

In the year ahead, Richard will be publishing a body of work on what makes up the defence industry, how it operates, who’s involved, where it fits in with other sectors and why it exists as a specific sector different from manufacturing, aerospace or the wider public sector.

All of this is directly relevant to how VSE can advise defence companies and our relationship with Richard will ensure that we are both informed by and informing the latest academic thinking.

We’re also looking to collaborate on work with Richard about how some of the key lean thinking and manufacturing principles work across the range of sub-sectors within defence.

It's exciting times working closely with Richard, together with the additional benefits to our Defence clients that combining our unprecedented Lean Management expertise with the latest Defence sector Lean insights, brings.

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In addition to sharing opinions, data, insight, knowledge and experience about a variety of topical areas within their specialism, our Key Industry Advisors will also from time to time, provide a client facing resource supporting our frontline Lean delivery team, whenever additional value can be added.

Yet another industry first from Value Stream Experts.

For more details on Richard's background and experience, follow this link

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