Skip to main content

Ben joined Gate One in February 2018 as a Client Director and was promoted to Partner in 2020. As part of the executive team, he’s played an important role in driving further growth for the business and developing a close relationship with Havas to provide greater services to clients.

In our latest chat, Ben shares how he feels taking on the new Managing Partner role, what’s next for Gate One as part of international communications group Havas, and how his psychotherapist experience plays a key role in his leadership style.

Ben Tye

1. How do you feel about taking on the Managing Partner position?  

I am excited, honoured and confident. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for me personally at this point in my career and my life journey. I am grateful to the Founding Partners for the business they have created and thank them for the hard work and contribution they’ve done over the past 10 years. Gate One is an amazing business, with fantastic clients across a whole number of different sectors all working on really important things for their business, for their customers, for their people and for society at large. We’ve got a fantastic team and culture at Gate One. The opportunities that we give people, the careers and the platforms that we create, is a step above anything that I’ve experienced before over my nearly 30-year career. And to be doing this as part of the Havas Group with all their skills, capabilities and global reach – it’s fantastic. Who wouldn’t want to do a job like this? 

2. How did you know this was the right next step for you? 

I just had an instinctive gut feeling. I can list all of the things that I’ve just talked about in terms of why it’s exciting, but it just felt right for me right now – and it’s hard to put words to that.

It’s not the first time that I’ve led a global consultancy business within a group structure, so there are some things that I’ve tried before – some I’ve done well, some I didn’t do so well – so I’m bringing some lessons and experience into this role.

3. How will your interests and experiences outside of consulting help you in your new role? 

I assume we’re not talking about music, cooking or swimming! (our banner photo is Ben after a cold winter swim at Hampstead Ponds this past December) For those that don’t know, I’m a UKCP certified integrative psychotherapist, with a private practice every Monday and on Tuesday evenings in Little Venice, London. This work gives me a deep understanding and experience of working with mental health issues – something that’s very important to me.

A more subtle aspect of a psychotherapist is being a really good listener. We’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason! Over the last decade I’ve learnt to really listen, and I hope the people who I’m listening to feel that – whether that’s clients, colleagues or other people I’m engaging with. Listening is so rewarding in understanding and communicating in all types of relationships.

The third point is around group dynamics. I work with a lot of senior leadership teams where there’s a lot going on visibly above the table, but a systems-psychodynamic view gives you an insight into what might be happening under the table. Not to exploit that, as that’s unethical, but bringing curiosity and attention to what’s not being said is sometimes more valuable than what’s being said.

The final thing is – because I have a different job on a Monday, I get to rejoin Gate One every Tuesday morning. It’s a great barometer of not just how the business is performing, but how people are feeling. I find it valuable to be able to move between these two worlds and hope that the benefits of that are felt by people that I work with and the results that we can deliver.

4. What are you most excited about in the coming months? 

Definitely getting out and meeting clients. To me, that’s a really important part of my new role here. There is a danger of getting pulled into just managing the business, but I think it’s very important for a consulting leader to be out in the market working with, listening to and spending time with clients. It’s something that I’ve done throughout my career and will continue to do.

I’m also excited about our ongoing international expansion and integration as part of the Havas Group. The global market is tough right now, so we must be cautious about that, but our global ambition is something that’s very much on the agenda. We’ve also now transitioned from being a founder-led business into a new era where we’re a fully owned agency within Havas. The opportunities we have as part of the group and the differentiated services, particularly in CX and sustainability are very exciting.

Finally – I’m looking forward to working with our global team of partners and directors. We’ve got an amazing group of leaders in the business, and there’s some work to do to continually refine and develop our strategy, and to make it easier to do what our leaders are great at – which is being with clients and solving their most difficult and challenging business problems.   

5. What’s next for Gate One in the mid and long term? 

We want to be front of mind with our clients when they’re thinking ‘what sort of help do we need in order to take advantage of this opportunity or solve this complex problem?’. We’ve declared our strategy and ambition, with three key goals to:   

  1. Expand geographically – so we can service international clients from multiple locations.   
  2. Challenge the challenger consultancy model – we know that we work and can offer things in a different way than many of our competitors can. 
  3. Fully harness the creativity that’s the lifeblood of the Havas group – ensuring that digital and business transformation is woven into Havas’s offerings in CX, creative, health and media solutions.    

We’ll review and refine that as we go. And then of course… meaningful change. This means working on business and organisational transformation that’s meaningful to our clients, meaningful to our team, and meaningful to society and the world at large.   

6. Lastly, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

I think the best piece of advice that I’ve been given is to decide and then manage the outcomes and the consequences of that decision.

By that I mean – we’re faced with many, many choices in life. The complexity that we can face is often because we’ve got many choices and options that we’ve not yet resolved. A bit of procrastination can sometimes be a good thing. Of course it helps to reflect, it helps to evaluate, it helps to consider, but when you can make a decision, the better. It’s about being decisive and owning the consequences of those decisions you’re making. You’re not always going to make the right calls, but that’s okay. If you own the consequences of the decisions that you’re making, life becomes simpler.  

At Gate One, we tackle your toughest challenges and accelerate your boldest ambitions. Our mission is to deliver meaningful change.