Our services reflect our focus as both a management consultancy and a management development specialist firm, and highlight our ability to support clients with services spanning strategy development through to capability planning and implementation. Our services include:
Board effectiveness – governance, leadership and culture
Our support to a board includes effectiveness reviews, board team and individual board member development and coaching, as well as more general troubleshooting to explore and resolve specific problems and issues.
In summary, our review of board effectiveness includes:
how well the board individually and collectively is delivering on its strategic purpose and mandate in order to build stakeholder confidence;
how well the board is demonstrating effective leadership by discharging key roles of the board, specifically: to formulate strategy; to ensure accountability; and to shape organisational culture; and
the level to which key enablers to board effectiveness are present, including: understanding the context; being an intelligent, information-led board; and engagement with stakeholders.
We can help with annual self-evaluations, rapid reviews and full-board effectiveness reviews in line with principles, standards and/or guidelines either recognised as a code of good practice or mandated, including the FRC UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes for both listed and large private companies, and HM Treasury's corporate governance code of good practice for central government departments. For our health sector clients, this includes the Well-led Framework for governance reviews.
Executive team effectiveness – governance, leadership, management and culture
In addition to boards, we also provide support to executive teams in the form of in-depth reviews, rapid reviews and health checks, capability assessments, team and individual member development and coaching, as well as troubleshooting.
In summary, our review of executive effectiveness includes:
the extent to which the team is operating in accordance with its terms of reference;
team design, including composition and structure, and alignment within a wider group structure;
how the team organises and manages itself to perform work, team member interactions and how the team manages its external context and boundaries;
team culture and behaviours and how this promotes, for example, insightful debate, constructive challenge, conflict resolution, giving/receiving feedback, as well as wider co-operation and mutual support;
the impact of the leader's interactions on the group dynamic and on individual team member engagement;
team performance, including the delivery of results, as well as performance in key areas of responsibility such as: strategic management; financial and operational control; and employee engagement;
how the team maintains both its effectiveness and team member wellbeing over time; and
ultimately, the quality of institutional leadership provided by the executive team.
Annual evaluations, rapid reviews and health checks, and support to address a specific agenda can all be tailored and co-produced to maximise a fit with a client's needs. They can also be designed as part of wider strategic planning exercises and/or to support the design of a future-state group operating model(s).
Leadership and management development
Our support to clients is focused at executive and senior levels of management and most often involves the provision of tailored or bespoke support, often linked to a change agenda, an organisational capability need, or a strategic development.
We can provide expert support to senior leaders and their management teams when confronted with a complex and challenging agenda for change. We can help build high-performance teams who are confident, make an impact and are not afraid to take risks to achieve results. We can help senior teams to work more collaboratively and focus on strategic issues rather than on process and procedures. And we can accelerate the development of individuals likely to become future leaders. All of the above support, bespoke and tailored to a client’s needs.
The process most often starts with a comprehensive diagnosis of organisational need, covering both the strategic and operational context, and including the external environment and internal organisational situation.
Our solutions include leadership development workshops and programmes, coaching-based interventions, as well as psychometric analysis, capability audits and other complementary services based on a client’s specific needs.
Strategic, organisational and management planning
Our support to clients is built on a tried and tested process and methodology for delivering strategic plans that ensure that the organisational and management capabilities required to deliver future strategy have been fully defined, and that strategy execution has been fully appraised, including levels of change readiness. Further, how management are then to be held to account for the delivery of approved plans and how board-level assurance will be provided.
Working with a management team, we can facilitate the development of a comprehensive strategic plan setting out:
a clear vision;
an overall strategy and direction, including strategic goals;
a statement of risk appetite;
critical success factors, performance indicators and targets;
a blueprint for the required organisational and management capabilities;
the transformation and change necessary to deliver the strategy;
the resource implications of the strategy, including investment;
the management implications of the strategy;
an assessment of the level of organisational readiness for this change;
a delivery plan covering key tasks, responsibilities, timescales and execution risks; and
how management are to be held to account and how board-level assurance is to be provided.
We can also assist with cascading corporate strategic plans to individual business streams/units, and facilitate the development of operational business plans to achieve strategic focus and alignment throughout the organisation, as well as clear lines of accountability and responsibility for delivery.
Organisational design & development, transformation and change
Whether as part of a strategic planning process or a more specific and targeted change agenda, we can assist clients with a best practice approach to both organisational design & development (OD&D) and the planning and implementing of organisational transformation and change.
More often than not this involves facilitating an executive or senior management team through a structured series of workshops designed to work through with rigour the key steps of an OD&D process and/or a change management process - each step being supported by an appropriate level of data gathering and analysis.
Working alongside senior leaders and their management teams, we will ensure a comprehensive diagnosis of organisational need, covering both the strategic and operational context, and including the external environment and internal organisational situation. We will assess how to optimise future services outputs and then determine the organisational and resource capabilities needed to achieve this - before seeking to agree both a high-level and detailed organisation design(s).
We can then assist with setting direction and developing plans for change, and support implementation.
With our experience and approach to programme management, we will add value by managing the direction and pace of change during implementation, and substantially reduce the risk of improvement efforts stalling or drifting off course.
We will also ensure that strong programme governance is central to the above and aligned with corporate governance.
Re-thinking service delivery and service delivery models
We can provide expert support to assist clients with the challenge of re-thinking service delivery and with creating alternative and more integrated service delivery models.
Our support - from strategic analysis to service visioning, through to process design and measurement - can be provided either as part of a strategic management process or through a dedicated project or programme of work. We can assist both existing or newly forming executive/senior management teams, including partnerships. Delivery can be through a facilitated process and/or a workshop programme, or other. All of the above, bespoke and tailored to a client’s needs.
Through our experience of supporting senior leaders with establishing and maintaining effective partnerships, as well as trouble shooting on underperforming or problematic partnerships, we have a detailed understanding of the features that need to be present to create effective partnerships. We also have a deep understanding of the factors influencing partnership effectiveness.
We have a tried and tested methodology for supporting clients with either an existing, newly constituted or a future planned partnership(s), and our methodology and approach is regularly updated based upon the latest empirical research on partnership working.
Our support can be delivered as part of a bespoke and tailored service, including undertaking an audit on the effectiveness of an existing partnership, or through a facilitated workshop process to design and plan a future partnership(s). It can also be delivered as part of an existing strategic planning process or exercise, or a change or transformation programme.
We can provide expert support to assist clients with the challenge of creating or maintaining an engaged workforce. We can also assist in situations where there is a lack of employee engagement and a turnaround is required.
We understand in detail the drivers of employee engagement and how there influence and impact differs - individually and collectively - in different organisational settings and situations. We are also very attuned to the gap that often exists - or is shown up through measurement - between the views of executive managers and middle and front-line managers on the level(s) of workforce engagement within the current culture. Top executives, more often than not, are much more optimistic about the level(s) of employee engagement in their organisation.
Our support to senior leaders starts with a comprehensive scoping and diagnosis of the organisational situation and wider strategic context, including reviewing any existing measurement of employee engagement levels and/or through undertaking our own primary research. Following feedback, we would then plan a highly bespoke and tailored forward programme of support to address the issues and to meet your specific needs - be it a maintain, improve or turnaround requirement.
We have been engaged by senior leaders over a twenty-year period to troubleshoot on problems concerned with strategy, management and organisation. This includes on many occasions addressing problems associated with the effectiveness and alignment of boards, executive and senior management teams - both as a collective entity and/or on an individual basis with team members.
The decision to engage our support is often for very different reasons. At times it is because a particular problem, challenge or risk requires a level of specialism or level of expertise that is not available or accessible internally. On other occasions, it is because an independent or impartial input is required. In other situations, it is because a problem would benefit from a “fresh pair of eyes”.
In all situations, we have proven ourselves to be a highly trusted and valued external advisor to our senior-level client when engaged on trouble shooting.
Organisational cultural audit
We can provide expert support to assist clients with the undertaking of an organisational cultural audit. This can be undertaken as either a standalone activity, including, for example, an annual health check on an institution's organisational culture, or to address a specific problem(s) with the culture that has been identified. It can also be undertaken as part of a wider strategic appraisal of the organisation, including a strategic planning exercise, an organisational design study, change management planning, M&A due diligence etc. All of the above, bespoke and tailored to a client’s needs.
Public to private sector transformation
We specialise in providing advice and assistance to clients on all aspects of "public to private" transformation, including the process involving a change in constitutional status, the introduction of greater commercial disciplines, and the organisational and management change required to deliver transformation.
We have been involved in the creation of a number of executive agencies, trading funds and government-owned companies over a twenty year period, and we have worked extensively in other non-departmental public bodies and arm's-length agencies. We are also experienced in market testing government assets with a view to their divestment.
We have managed numerous major projects involving public to private transformation, including planning the project, preparing a business case, engaging with HM Treasury and other central government departments on the case for change, and managing implementation.
HM Treasury approved business case preparation
Through our work within the public sector covering central government departments, arm’s length and non-departmental bodies, we have a wealth of experience in producing HM Treasury compliant business cases.
This experience includes a significant number of business cases to support investment decisions and spending proposals for major defence projects and programmes, as well as for: merging government organisations; setting up new government organisations as part of public to private sector transformation; and implementing new business and service models, including public-private sector partnerships.
Economic renewal and enterprise services for SME's
We have a wealth of experience - built over a twenty year period - of working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), covering a wide range of industry and commerce sectors. This support has most often been provided through government enterprise agencies and delivered for SME's within the UK and the Channel Islands.
We help owner-managers and their management teams to work "on" as opposed to working "in" their businesses, developing strategies and plans to achieve an increased penetration of their domestic markets. We also assist with either internationalising for the first time or securing increased penetration of international markets. Our work also focuses extensively on building the organisational and management capabilities necessary to achieve a chosen business strategy.
We have a suite of tried and tested products and services, including both workshop programmes and 1:1 in-company support that can be bespoke or tailored to suit a particular enterprise growth need or initiative.