We believe in the difference that a conscious and candid approach can make to client engagements, and we've built out five key points of difference as a way to steer strategy, inform ethics, drive behaviour and ultimately determine mutual success. We strive to go beyond slogans like "add client value”, to articulate concrete strategies for building genuinely better client outcomes.
We Partner, We Don't Just Consult
Classical consulting – complex problem solving – is experienced as “we’ll solve this for you” on the part of external talent brought in for fixed interventions, often in the absence of client capability and capacity. Partnering takes a broader view of the context and challenges organisations face and aspires to “solve this together” by enabling clients to improve their own capability (with training and mentoring); supporting self-led transformation through assurance, review and remediation work; providing strategic oversight through advisory-only navigation; as well as traditional consulting engagements that deliver significant value now.
Our partnering approach builds better, more sustained client outcomes for the long term; offers broader solutions that are more fit-for-purpose and leverage joint delivery and joint success, and opens up opportunities for creative ventures and gain share with significantly more compelling strategic benefit.
Results. At Pace.
Technical engagements mandate technical approaches, often based on rigorous methodologies with their particular paradigms of how challenges should be solved and what tools and approaches works, often to the exclusion of other thought. Good examples are Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, Business Process Management, Balanced Scorecard, Business Intelligence, etc. Each approach has a defined toolset, conventions and nomenclature and definition of success and the way to achieve it.
While we ourselves build depth and expertise in various methodologies, we find that when solving complex business problems, the challenge isn’t to drive a methodology, but to drive results. We place those results first and central to any approach, and in defining the path to such results we are agnostic to which method or toolset get us there, so that the best of all tools and systems can be pragmatically blended, delivering outcomes before method compliance. Clients familiar with method-obsessive Six Sigma belts or BPM purists may appreciate the distinction.
Bring The Best Capability.
As a specialist boutique, we bring senior depth and talent to all engagements. We eschew (and take a dim view of) the practice of some larger consulting mills that stack the bench with low-talent, high-margin juniors that are figuring things out on the client’s dime.
In addition, we think talent should never mean one-track niche specialisation. Our model of business improvement brings together seven competencies that, in our experience, deliver far superior outcomes than, for example, an MBA type without frontline change skills, or a process analyst without deep business acumen.
Finally, we think there’s something to be said for consultants that know and relate to the client experience, having worked in frontline and leadership business roles themselves, rather than career consultants who don’t always appreciate the impact of their intervention and the realities of organisational life. It’s an ethic we’ve made pervasive throughout all aspects of our recruitment, development and deployment activities within the firm.
Economic Best Practice.
We see “Best Practice” as a continuous process rather than a finite state. Defining, adapting and implementing an evolving state-of-the-art – whether its Business Process Management, or Lean Six Sigma, or Process Automation – is robust but costly.
Far more often than not, clients find absolute theoretical best practice isn’t economic within real and appropriate time / cost / effort constraints. We advise against a purist mindset, and as a rule aim to tailor and deploy more pragmatic models of practice that are economic, net positive for business case and operational constraints, and enable ongoing growth in practice maturity by building better outcomes early.
Leverage & Lift.
We’re in the business of selling value, not time. As a result, we avoid the typical approach to filling seats and clocking hours, and prefer to deploy fewer but more effective resources. As a result, our approach to resourcing is generally that “less is more” and that clients gain by bringing their own teams to consulting engagements in a leveraged, side by side model, where investment in consulting is leveraged into greater resourcing capacity, but also re-invested back into people capability.
Consequently, our leverage and lift approach means that, as a rule, we bring in fewer resources for engagements, but aim to transfer knowledge, create shared accountabilities and outcomes, and build long-term client capability across those engagements.