1. Help Organisations and Leaders Think
We work with organisations, their leaders and teams – and often with their stakeholders and partners – to think with clarity and discipline about
- changing context and conditions,
- the implications for purpose or mission and
- the skills, culture and capabilities necessary to be successful.
We help you ensure those three things – mission, context and capabilities –make sense together and in the context of what’s happening in the world.
In Peter Drucker’s framing, we help organisations think through their “theory of the business”: how do shared assumptions about their work and the difference they are trying to make line up with changing external conditions”
The theory of the business: Peter Drucker
Published in the Harvard Business Review in 1994, Drucker’s framing is as relevant and compelling today as it was then.
“Not in a very long time—not, perhaps, since the late 1940s or early 1950s—have there been as many new major management techniques as there are today: downsizing, out-sourcing, total quality management, economic value analysis, benchmarking, reengineering. Each is a powerful tool. But, with the exceptions of outsourcing and reengineering, these tools are designed primarily to do differently what is already being done. They are “how to do” tools.
Yet “what to do” is increasingly becoming the central challenge facing managements, especially those of big companies that have enjoyed long-term success. The story is a familiar one: a company that was a superstar only yesterday finds itself stagnating and frustrated, in trouble and, often, in a seemingly unmanageable crisis…
And it occurs just as often outside business—in labor unions, government agencies, hospitals, museums, and churches. In fact, it seems even less tractable in those areas.
The root cause of nearly every one of these crises is not that things are being done poorly. It is not even that the wrong things are being done. Indeed, in most cases, the right things are being done—but fruitlessly. What accounts for this apparent paradox?
The assumptions on which the organization has been built and is being run no longer fit reality. These are the assumptions that shape any organization’s behaviour, dictate its decisions about what to do and what not to do, and define what the organization considers meaningful results…
These assumptions are about what a company gets paid for. They are what I call a company’s theory of the business.
Every organization, whether a business or not, has a theory of the business. Indeed, a valid theory that is clear, consistent, and focused is extraordinarily powerful… [but] what underlies the current malaise of so many large and successful organizations worldwide is that their theory of the business no longer works.”
2. Help organisations plan and execute
Clear thinking has to turn into plans that can be executed for results and impact. We work with organisations in a variety of different planning tasks and contexts to turn ideas and intent into workable plans.
Recent projects have:
- Helped the NSW Electoral Commission develop not only its current four year strategy, but also develop business and operational plans and conduct an annual review of the plan in a difficulty funding and policy context.
- Worked with the Office of Responsible Gambling and the Trustees of the Responsible Gambling Fund to develop the second strategic plan, including a process of stakeholder consultation and engagement
- Worked with the senior leadership of Queensland’s Department of Resources, as well as two of the divisions of the Department, to develop, in a tight timeframe, a new corporate plan and operational plans for the new agency,
3. Support leaders
From large leadership conferences to tailored executive and board sessions to counsel, mentorship or as a sounding board for individual leaders, we support organisational leaders and help to give practical shape and momentum to their leadership commitments and priorities.
Recent projects have included the design and facilitation of the Western Sydney University Senior Management Group conference, facilitation of board and leadership planning for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and for Monash University’s Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.
“The new public work feeds off, and invests in, rising stocks of trust and legitimacy primarily by improving engagement, participation and collaboration with “amplified” individuals seeking agency and influence.” Martin Stewart-Weeks Read More