Clients and assignments

Consultants at specialise in resolving the type of management problem that can affect many different kinds of organisations.

  • We welcome clients from a range of sectors, operating a variety of business models including commercial, not for profit, government and third sector funding.
  • We consult on a range management issues including strategic direction, leadership, people and soft operational issues.
  • Our tools and techniques are based in systems theory and involve in-depth research and group activities that build unique insight into organisational issues.
  • Our clients find our recommendations impactful yet feasible coming as they do out of the insight we create plus our deep knowledge and experience of similar management issues. Challenge of implementation we aim to scale appropriately to the capabilities of their organisations.

If your organisation has an issue that needs to be resolved we'd love to hear. Please contact us for an initial evaluation.

Clients engage in a wide range of activities

Industry & construction
Health and welfare
Service industries

Clients bring a variety of management issues

  • Lack of organisational direction

    • This organisation finds itself in a fast changing environment but without the plans or capabilities to find new opportunities as existing ones die.
    • The goals of this organisation are at best uncertain at worst the source of a disabling level of uncertainty and conflict.
    • Here there is a clear strategy in place, it is well understood but the is still not changing direction. Time is running out.
    • Changes in the environment keep catching this organisation unprepared. The result is impacting success as everyone has to play catch-up.
    • Leaders have developed a new strategy but it is not well understood by the rest of the organisation, this is creating confusion, wasted effort and is generally sub-optimal.
  • Troubled teams and relationships

    • This department has suffered deteriorating morale ever since a business reorganisation.
    • There is very little support in this organisation for more modern ways of working, yet efficiency gains are now vital for this organisation for it to stay competitive.
    • This organisation needs to develop multi-faceted solutions for its clients' problems but its existing culture is one of independence and veneration of hero-workers.
  • Broken organisational structures and responsibilities

    • The director of this charity is concerned that the present governance structure means that decisions are taken at the wrong level in the structure leading to bottlenecks and a management system that is painfully slow to react.
    • This government service is under public scrutiny for the way it operates and uses resources. The leadership are searching for a way to surface the norms that have hitherto been accepted and to communicate their desire to implement change
  • Failing efficiency and productivity

    • This department has identified that it fairly consistently fails to implement new initiatives despite committing resources to its projects. Staff are running hard but 'the system' appears to hold them at a stand still.
    • This service organisation has invested in lean training and activities but the approach has failed to produce the improvements that are needed and were hoped for.
  • Ineffective change

    • This client has found that there is little appetite for change amongst the workforce. New technology, new ways of working and new ways of managing are dismissed as unimportant. Historically this organisation has made little investment and shown little interest in education and training.
    • This organisation has to change to reflect the changed priorities of its funding bodies. Should the changes be rolled out as one big bang of a change or should the changes be introduced incrementally?
    • Change has come in waves to this organisation over the years, but each one has been a painful and dislocating process. Management are looking for a better way that is less tough on its people and less expensive of resources

We have tools and techniques to resolve many different clients issues

  • Research + diagnosis

    • One to one research interviews
    • Data collection
    • Desktop data analysis
    • Survey design, development and delivery
    • Collation and analysis of survey data
    • Organisation structure analysis
    • Observation of meetings
  • Creating insight

    • Organisation structure analysis through viable system modelling
    • Application of systems dynamics techniques to understand driving and restraining forces in both the organisation and the environment
    • Analysis of information flow and decision making bandwidth at different levels in the organisation.
  • Building change capability

    • Creating clarity of change objectives
    • Creating compelling change stories
    • Communicating to engage stakeholders with change issues
    • Group exploration and discovery of change imperatives and pathways
  • Group discovery

    • Facilitation of Soft Systems techniques to explore and improve messy, multi-faceted issues where actors have entrenched and often opposing views.
    • Application of critical systems analysis to explore and question issues of power and politics within organisations and their environments
    • Use of critical systems methodology to explore boundary judgements in organisations to review issues of politics, environment and social justice
    • Analysis of organisational purpose through 'black box' analysis of system inputs, outputs and transformation.
  • Organisational learning

    • Critical Systems exploration of boundary judgements to strengthen and streamline organisational governance
    • Application of systems thinking to understand and resolve messy issues resistant to other forms of analysis and resolution
    • Instigation of 'learning organisation' techniques to build capability for reflection and development to enhance organisational change capability.
  • Visual strategy

    • Team strategy creation through visual chains of argumentation
    • Strategy rooted in current issues and reality of the organisation to ensure strategic planning stays feasible and relevant
    • Team based activities that ensure the team members leave 'singing from the same hymn sheet'.
    • High levels of engagement that carry through to positive implementation

Our assignments with clients produce

  • Effective recommendations

    • Recommendations focused on feasible action for this organisation - right now.
    • Unique insight from an experienced external observer
    • Co-ownership of recommendations - delivers in partnership with clients
    • Recommendations are 'RAG' rated as appropriate to the situation
    • Our 'no surprises' approach derives from the close working relationship we have with clients as we build our insights and develop our conclusions.
  • Strategic advantage

    • The focus of strategy development work is to create the future that the organisation wants
    • Team built strategy ensures buy-in
    • Strategy modelling techniques ensure that strategy is built upon current issues and so has immediate relevance and applicability.
    • Strategy at different levels is integrated to ensure the organisation operates in concert to avoid sub-optimal outcomes.
    • Clear strategic goals are developed to guide implementation and provide progress measures.
  • Teams that hum

    • With a clear strategy in place for the organisation, teams are clear about the future they are creating.
    • Soft systems activities take into account different views in an organisation and amongst team members
    • Facilitation of team goal setting helps achieve buy-in and ownership of goals that are set.
    • System based analysis of decision making helps teams accept responsibility for decisons they must make but not to waste resources on decisions that are not best for them to make
  • Effective governance

    • Improved decision making.
    • Improved staff efficiency through meetings management
    • Better delegation and improved uses of resources
    • Consideration of system boundary issues provide a greater understanding of issues that affect and engage stakeholders
  • Change capability

    • Clarity of purpose leads to more cohesive action and chage capability
    • Instigation of 'learning organisation' techniques build capabiliy for reflection and development that enhance organisational change capabilities.
    • Study and understanding of forces for change operating in the environment provide potential early warning of change requirements
    • Soft systems techniques enable long term resolution of messy and recurring issues that are often left unresolved by other techniques
  • Efficient operations

    • Highlights of where processes of decision making inhibit efficiency improvements.
    • Recommendations for the delegation of power to change processes to improve quality and capacity
    • Steps to build an enduring culture of improvement based on lean processing
    • Recognising that 'lean' is a way of life - so its precepts, ideas and activities need to be recognised at every level of the organisation

Let's talk

We'd love to hear from you about management challenges you're facing.
You can chat with us or use our contact form to request more information, in confidence and without obligation.