James Harrison, Operations Director, Cost Consultancy
Mace People

James Harrison


Consultancy, North America

Since joining Mace in 2013, James has taken the business from New York to LA, growing Mace’s offering, creating opportunities for his teams to develop and supporting a roll call of national brands and global clients along the way.

How did you get in to what you do?
I graduated from university and worked for a construction consultancy company up until it was purchased by AECOM. The combination of the firm losing its independence and the global recession led me to NYC and Mace, where I am now part of the senior leadership team.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I enjoy being part of a rapidly growing business which has been anchored on our people and clients, and the fact that we offer something different. It's satisfying that many of our North America clients have started to work with Mace in other parts of the world and at 80%+ repeat business it’s a testament to the team.
How has the business changed in your time at Mace?
When I first joined Mace we were a small business. We’ve grown exponentially over the last six years, winning work with clients we could only dream of at the beginning and moving with other clients as they expanded across the US. We’ve grown our offices to give us national reach, dramatically expanded our workforce and developed our offering across new sectors. It’s been tough to get our foot in the door at times but once we have, and we’ve demonstrated the value of what we do, we’ve seen fantastic organic growth and have broken our own records year-on-year.
What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
There have been a few great moments over the years and it’s hard to select one. For me, the journey started when we won a small engagement with Tiffany & Co in New York. Now we're supporting their transformation across the world, delivering PMO, PM, CM and strategic planning services. Although we've expanded fairly quickly, given the size of our market, it’s the tip of the iceberg.
What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do?
Don't be afraid to have a go or to put your hand up. Something that really differentiates Mace from other companies is that people listen to good ideas. The culture to take a calculated risk is there, as are the rewards.
What big trends do you see emerging in your specialism over the next five years?
The workforce is changing and the world is getting smaller. What motivates people today is different from 10 years ago and companies who can tap into that will undoubtedly be the most successful. I also believe the requirement to be mobile is becoming increasingly important and that people will proactively seek out more diverse and varied careers.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love all sports, especially rugby, and when possible jump at the chance to see other parts of the world.
James Harrison, Operations Director, Cost Consultancy

“Something that really differentiates Mace from other companies is that people listen to good ideas.”