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A day in the life …. Lucinda Peniston-Baines, Managing Partner and Founder at Roth Observatory International

Lucinda Peniston-Baines co-founded The Observatory in 2007 (now Roth Observatory International) with Stuart Pocock her fellow Managing Partner.  Roth Observatory International is a global management consultancy specialising in operational marketing with the key objective of helping brands and companies get the most from their marketing resources.  Specialisms include agency search and selection, client team structures and capabilities, agency roster models, performance evaluation and agency compensation arrangements.

article Lu


The alarm kick-starts my day as usual, giving me an essential half hour start to get myself ready before my ten year old has to be dragged from his bed to inhale his usual half box of cereal and get dressed.


article Peter

After a drop off at school I jump on a train to Euston.  Settling into my seat I use my journey to scan and respond to emails that have arrived in my inbox overnight, mostly from our Singapore office, and look at the latest feeds from social media.  Arriving at our offices at 110 Bishopsgate, Peter the doorman is his usual cheery self and greets me with a “good morning” and tip of the hat.  I’m lucky today I get an external lift so I have a glorious view over the City of London before arriving at our office on the 18th Floor.


First appointment of the day is a Skype call (wish they could sort that technology out) with five of our international offices. We are designing a global roster model for a client, one core component of which will be how dynamic content creation should be accommodated.  The beauty of having smart people in ten offices around the globe is that we can tap new trends and best practice in so many markets.


As soon as we’re through I need to gather up my papers and head to Cornhill for a Board meeting at the Management Consultancies’ Association (MCA).  We’ve been members of the MCA since 2011 and I’ve recently joined the Board to help in the evolution of its strategy and standards.  It’s a really productive session and I’m glad to invest the time.


Back at the office and I need to review and comment on a Business Plan from a potential partner in South America who is interested in joining our network.  And then I put the finishing touches to a prospective client proposal for a performance management system for their agency roster.  I press the button on the email to send it with all fingers and toes crossed.  I catch up with the rest of the team whilst grabbing a bite to eat at my desk.  Our office can go quickly from monastic-like quiet (save for the drum of fingers on keyboards) when we are all head down working on reports and analysis, to a frenzy of phone calls and conversations when we are in the throes of a client discovery process.  We all have so much to get through today, it’s veering between the two, moment to moment.


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A lot of our assignments have an international dimension to them and I’m looking after an agency pitch for a really interesting European client right now, so I’m in a car heading to City Airport and then to Amsterdam.  We have Briefings at the client’s head office tomorrow and we’re meeting tonight to make sure everything is ready and rehearsed for tomorrow.


The short flight gives me just enough time to review some fee benchmarking analysis that I was handed by the team just as I left the office.  Not quite what I feel in the mood for, but it’s important and has to be done.

20:00 (or is that 21:00 now I am in the Netherlands?)

In my hotel in Amsterdam.  A quick call home to hear about my family’s day and wish them goodnight before I am out to dinner with the client team.  A beautiful walk down a long stretch of Herengracht, lights reflecting off the canal and bikes rattling past me.  Everything is in good shape for tomorrow’s briefing and later I fall into bed, pretty drained, but comforted that my husband will be sorting out the school run tomorrow while I sneak a rare little lie in.  Hope he doesn’t read this!

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