We’re Hedgehog. You know that. But it’s who’s behind the name and what we stand for that’s more important.
You’ll benefit from the experience of people who’ve been there and done it. We don’t believe there’s much point in talking to someone who’s learnt everything from a book rather than actually being at the sharp end.
Rod has had a successful 25-year corporate career.
He started at Abbey National and successfully helped launch Santander Retail in the UK. Rod joined Co-op as Retail Managing Director and added commercial focus to the bank’s ethical ethos. He was appointed acting CEO during the Co-op Bank crisis and helped lead the rescue of the bank. After that, Rod moved to Co-op Group as CEO of Consumer Services overseeing funeral, legal, insurance, and travel.
Rod has also built a strong portfolio of investor, advisory and NED positions:
Alongside his portfolio, Rod co-founded Hedgehog in late 2020 where he focuses on client relationship activity, supporting Executive teams in both shaping strategy and delivery. Rod leads the Coaching services for Hedgehog and has a portfolio of Execs and Founders he personally coaches.
Rod’s skills and strengths
As well as his wealth of experience, Rod brings his proven track record of success and delivery at senior executive and board level to Hedgehog. He’s familiar with regulation across multiple sectors and is coach and advisor to CEOs in both large and smaller organisations of varying types.
Rod is straight-talking but believes in building strong partnerships and relationships. He helps executives get to grips with the challenges they face and gives them the confidence to shape the right strategy, plan, operating models and team to deliver successfully.
Outside of work, Rod is a committed family man to his wife Mel and two daughters. He enjoys nothing more than spending time socialising with friends and his wider family. He’s also a keen sportsman and, despite his advancing years, enjoys getting out on his bike with his mates, and walking in the Lakes and Wales when time permits. And as a scouser, yes, he’s a big red.
Alyson has had a successful 20 years plus corporate career.
She started at LEK Consulting, developing business strategies for clients in the UK and USA, before joining Co-op Bank, where she led the integration with Insurance, and helped build a growing ethical financial services provider.
Alyson then became Group Strategy Director for Co-op Group and developed and implemented strategy across food retailing, funerals, legal services, insurance, online electrical retailing, and pharmacy. She also helped rescue and relaunch Co-op during its crisis period, and led the redevelopment of its membership model.
In recent years, Alyson has moved back into consultancy as well as taking NED positions:
Alongside her portfolio, Alyson co-founded Hedgehog in 2020 where she leads the Strategy to Delivery services, supporting Executive teams in shaping, delivering, and testing their strategies and plans. Alyson also supports Hedgehog’s Coaching service, with a particular interest in working with senior and aspiring women.
Alyson’s skills and strengths
As well as her track record of successful strategy development and delivery, Alyson brings experience of acting as an external advisor to complex organisations and stakeholder groups to Hedgehog. She has a strong understanding of consumer dynamics, and is familiar with driving growth and cost agendas, including transformation delivery, business propositions, customer journeys and operating models.
This means Alyson can help executives - working at both board level and within operational units - with keeping their strategies and plans relevant, practical, and joined up, and putting customers and colleagues at their centre.
Outside of work, Alyson lives in Manchester with husband Nick and three kids. She’s a busy mum, supporting her children’s tennis and squash training and tournaments, but manages to play both sports herself socially and for local club teams. She also loves socialising with friends and going for long walks along the Mersey with her two dogs and further afield when she can.
Hedgehog has worked very closely with us to get clear on the challenges we face, the need to prioritise, and - most importantly - organise us so we deliver well for the future. Alyson and Rod quickly got to grips with our business and the future agenda and engaged positively with the Executive team and board members individually and collectively.
They identified the big questions and choices we needed to discuss as a leadership team and board and facilitated our board meeting discussions to make sure we had a clear framing of our agenda, and a focused set of actions. Afterwards, a number of our board members said it was a very high-quality board strategy session.
My thinking is now much clearer on our way forward. I’m excited to be leading the business on the next phase of our journey. I have asked Hedgehog to support us further on that journey and I’m delighted to be working with Alyson and Rod again as we move from shaping into delivery.
Adrian Smith, OBE
CEO, Reclaim Fund Limited
Alyson provided strategic support for the Executive Team at MHFA England. From day one Alyson worked hard to get to know the organisation and the Executive. Alyson’s deft and insightful facilitation of our thinking combined with her strategic clarity was a gift that has fundamentally shaped the way we think and understand the business, the choices we make and the way we communicate. I would definitely work with Alyson again when I need this type of strategic consultancy support.
CEO, Mental Health First Aid England
Rod has been an invaluable advisor to Guardian Angel. He brings executive knowledge to the table, but also thinks divergently and challenges the status quo – exactly what we needed as a startup. Rod provided support and advice through our sales process and was central to us securing a successful sale to Octopus Group https://octopusgroup.com/newsroom/latest-news/octopus-acquires-guardian-angel/. As a founder I found Rod a partner I could rely on and I suspect we will work together again in the future.
Founder & CEO, Guardian Angel
As a chemical manufacturing business who had performed well through Covid, we came out of the pandemic with a need to get a clearer commercial strategy and operating structure for future growth. As MD, I felt I needed some support in helping shape my thinking and I was delighted when our Private Equity investors PHD Holdings recommended Hedgehog and Rod. I have found Rod to be very straightforward to work with and over the last 7 months we have not only been able to shape a clearer strategy, but also recruit a new team to the operating model. Rod is challenging but he does it in a way that reflects the partnership he has built with Technikraft and myself. I am delighted to say that I have agreed to work with Rod for a further 6 months in a mentor capacity as we begin our growth journey.
Managing Director, Technikraft