Meet the MD: John Woodward of C&D Consultancy

Meet the MD: John Woodward of C&D Consultancy

John Woodward is the lead consultant at C & D Consultancy, juggling a host of contracts across the UK and Europe. After starting out as a civil engineer when he left school, Woodward has worked his way up the ranks and has years of experience under his belt. He caught up with BQ to tell us a little bit more...

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I’m lead consultant in award winning demolition consultancy C&D, employing seven qualified demolition engineers who work on projects across the UK and Europe.

I look after the strategic development of the business, securing new contracts and, in some cases, providing ‘troubleshooting’ experience on troublesome jobs.

We are growing our own training division, which last year supported more than 4000 people in boosting their skills and ensuring they have the necessary qualification to meet industry regulation. This is something we really want to expand in the next 12 months.

Outside of C&D, I regularly talk to schools about careers in demolition and produce children books on our industry.

What is it the company does?

C&D Consultancy advises clients on how to undertake complex demolitions, including explosive demolition and tower block demolition.

Our experience and ability to project manage has seen us appointed on more than 100 tower blocks, as well as the first oil rig to ever to be brought down in the North Sea.

We have also been involved in the demolition of a ship that ran aground 5 miles off shore from Alexandria in Egypt and, a bit closer to home, parts of the the iconic Mander Centre in Wolverhampton.

On the training side, we provide access to interactive workshops on health and safety, environmental best practice, asbestos removal and technical skills required to operate on a safe and efficient constructiondemolition site.

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I left school at 17 in 1970 to become a civil engineer and stayed in that occupation until around 1995 when I was asked to work with a demolition contractor on a project in Birmingham.

After that contract, I was hooked on the sector and worked as contracts manager for a few companies before becoming MD of Loxley Dismantling Limited in Rotherham.

I left Loxley when the company was sold and decided the time was right to go on my own and set up C&D Consultancy in 2003.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Communication is vital – at all levels and with all parties, including employees, suppliers and customers.

I also believe in empowering your team to make decisions, setting them realistic goals and giving them the encouragement and freedom to help them achieve their targets.

Some of the best business decisions I’ve made have come from ideas generated by my staff.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Running a £1million turnover business with a zero overdraft. Banks and institutions do not really want to help small businesses grow so I choose not to rely on them to fund our expansion.



How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Watching Wolverhampton Wanderers, but that arguably gives me even more stress than work! Other things I enjoy are fishing, relaxing with my wife Jill and walking our greyhound Ellie.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect, as I wanted to design buildings that would leave a legacy for the future. Now I clear the past to make way for the same future.

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
Lack of planning is a real bugbear of mine, with many companies never having a plan B in the event of something going wrong.

Personally we always have at least a plan B and we remember when planning that the alphabet has 26 letters.


Where do you see the company in five years time?

In the hands of my right hand man Mike Kehoe, as I am working on an exit strategy now that I am 63.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

If anyone asks you can you do it. Just say ‘yes’ and worry about actually doing it later, as the best way to learn and grow is to operate just outside your comfort zone.



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