Allan Keogh: Principal Consultant, Keogh Consulting (Page 1 of 6) By Brian Wickins, 25 Jul 2013

You are currently consulting to a number of major corporate clients. Going back to the beginning —what is your background and what helped you map out your career?

The fragmented start in my career later revealed itself as a blueprint to longevity. I found inspiration in triumph and disappointment. Personal tragedy imparted the conviction to make the most of life and to seek opportunities. Experience taught me that hard work, focus and determination pay dividends. And my solid support network got me there, kept me strong, and saw me through.

I failed my Accounting course and switched to a Bachelor of Business Management. I joined the NAB and the Army Reserve and eventually went back to university full-time majoring in Personnel Management and Marketing. Along the way I was promoted to Corporal in the Army Reserve, and won a scholarship from Dixon Shoes.

At Dixons I worked on the tools in each production stage before entering sales. Two years later I understood the product end-to-end. A supervisor role followed, and eventually my first management role as Inaugural HR Manager with 1200 employees, across three factories in an iconic Australian business; it was a dream come true. Unfortunately, Dixons went under when tariff protection was reduced.

I picked myself up and moved on. I lost jobs, gained jobs, was compelled to do more training, and finally, after seven years at Strategies Management Consulting I started my own business.

What attracted you into the industry?

In 1981, we undertook a study into the Rundle Oil shale business for Exxon Coal and Minerals. It was a successful project and the beginning of an ongoing relationship still going today with Keogh Consulting providing support towards Exxon Mobil’s PNGLNG project delivery.

What do you think it takes to succeed (as a consultant) in the petroleum sector?

It’s a willingness to get down on cellar deck, up the tower, and on your bike moving around the plant and meeting the people where they work. Most importantly, consultants need to take the time to understand the business and the people on a personal level.