We’re on a mission to challenge the toxicity of organisational life: to make the world of work a more inspiring place to be and to enable businesses and institutions to make contributions to society that are honourable as well as profitable.
Most of our projects follow a simple process combining rigorous enquiry with emotional intelligence:
- Agree the brief. We pay great attention to this. We challenge our clients to challenge themselves about what it is they want to achieve and why.
- Talk to people. We believe the answer to most organisational problems lies in the wisdom of the workforce. Former journalists that we are, we listen intently to what they are saying, and not saying. We also talk to people externally as appropriate.
- Analyse our findings. We examine the data in a way that harmonises the hard logic of the business strategist with the more intuitive and emotionally intelligent sensibility of the coach.
- Present our findings to our client. This generally begins an iterative process in which we work with the client to develop the right response to the findings.
- Effect the change. In some cases, our client asks us to work with them to implement the necessary changes they have identified.
Where we stand
Our approach has grown out of years of open-minded enquiry as well as analytical skills honed in journalism and strategy. We’re committed to uncovering the richness of the situations we encounter and holding our clients’ complexity so that they can gain a holistic perspective on their work.
We believe this is critical to effective leadership as organisations adjust to the political and social upheavals of recent years. The climate catatrophe, the 2008 financial crisis, the austerity years, the Brexit referendum and the uncertainty and polarisation that have followed it – all these shape the current context for leaders. Consumers, employees and citizens are increasingly disaffected having observed scandals in organisations as diverse as the banks, the media and the NHS and then seen democratic institutions fail to resolve the Brexit crisis. Leaders struggle to discern, let alone provide, any sense of direction. Inside organisations, studies suggest that as many as 80 per cent of employees are not engaged by their work.
What’s lacking is a shared sense of worthwhile purpose which can energise distributed leadership in organisations, foster trust in customers and demonstrate that institutions can contribute to resolving (rather than exacerbating) societies ills. Businesses are powerful but they face a seismic challenge to their legitimacy unless they can build a sounder basis for their activities. They need servant leaders who exercise good judgment while skillfully handling the complex challenges of modern organisations.