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Accelerated Evolution In Depth091214


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Accelerated Evolution Consulting: what we do, how we do it, who we are, why we do it and what we have done

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Accelerated Evolution In Depth091214

  1. 1. Expertise in the psychology of strategy and business transformation Strategy for an evolving world
  2. 2. Expertise in the psychology of strategy and business transformation We help organisations to thrive through emerging complexity with innovation and quick adaptation to deliver sustainable performance. We facilitate your business transformation resulting in resilience, executive alignment and systems- thinking capability to deliver organisational effectiveness. We call this sustain-agility.
  3. 3. What we do... We create sustain-agility in businesses. Sustain-agility is: • Expanded strategic thinking that encompasses intuitive knowing and rational analysis • Swift, effective response to emerging conditions • Robust decision-making in the face of uncertainty • Eagerness for learning, innovating and creating new opportunities • Conscious intent for long-term viability • Navigation of the interconnected, complex systems in which we operate •We design and facilitate strategy formulation processes for intact executive teams, boards and extended key stakeholder groups. •We individually mentor, support and challenge executives to observe, decide and act with clarity and intention in the face of complexity and uncertainty. •We run workshops to skill individuals and teams to be more effective and robust in their key business relationships. •We work beside individuals, in their business, on their business, helping them apply new strategic thinking and relationship skills. •We review organisational culture, climate, structure and leadership systems for sustain-agility.
  4. 4. How we do it... We design a unique process for every client we work with. Strategy formulation and implementation is tailored to their specific strategy needs and situation. The operating environment continues to evolve as the work progresses, so outcomes are continually re-confirmed with the organisation’s leadership and processes are re-designed as required. We have a strong partnership with the sponsor of the work and the leadership team. On-going individual and group facilitation means that these people are aligned, robust and cohesive as they lead the processes for the organisation. We facilitate their strong leadership. Individual mentoring supports and challenges people to transform themselves first. This is a requirement for any value coming from a strategic business transformation or change. We facilitate individuals to rapidly and robustly increase the complexity of their thinking and feeling, helping them to thrive in their increasingly complex world. We have developed and tested unique frameworks (such as the one to the right for sustain-agility). We tailor and apply these frameworks to individuals, groups and whole organisations.
  5. 5. Who we are..... Brent Sheridan, Director Over the last 20 years, I’ve designed and facilitated strategy formulation and implementation processes with energy companies and global mining, metals and professional services businesses. I’ve led learning leadership and organisational development functions in banking and financial services and had line management and leadership roles in tourism and hospitality, I’ve worked with private and public organisations. I’ve worked in Australia and overseas. Enough of the routine stuff… Who am I really…? I love ideas. And even more than ideas, I love patterns and connections between ideas, the elegant, simple explanation underneath the apparently confounding complexity. I can get quite consumed in figuring out how systems work. When I was young, I used to get lost looking up words in the dictionary. I would find the one I initially wanted to know about, but then the adjacent ones would capture my attention and I was compelled to keep reading, discovering one after the other. And I have realised that I have a lot of empathy; I can often feel what other people are feeling. Rather than making me want to get closer to others, the experience was a bit disconcerting, so sometimes I can defer to an analytic or task focus, so I do not have to feel quite so much. This talent has been the hardest one for me to come to appreciate. It is the most challenging for me. I have a great desire to see systems operating well, be it a family, a board and executive team, a whole organisation or our whole civilisation. I believe that we have a great opportunity to create a new ways of creating meaning for ourselves and for what we do; through that meaning-making we all can continue to thrive. This motivates me, even when I get frustrated or sad when I see some of the madness of our current world. My contribution to making any system more aware and more capable to fulfil its purpose gives me joy. I love this work and the part that I can play in making organisations better able to navigate complex environments so that they can do that for which they were created.
  6. 6. Who we are..... Michelle Bloom, Director So this is the place where I get to tell you how credible I am and what wonderful outcomes I’ve created/ supported/ been responsible for and basically tell you through a 3rd person editorial a list of my outstanding achievements. Well I am not going to do that exactly. I am going to tell you about who I am and what I see as my strengths and my limitations so that you get a real sense of what I can do for you. I am a powerful consultant who knows how to build value in your organisation/ system through your intangible assets. What the? Well what I mean by this is ... I know how to support people and systems, to apply ‘solvent’ to their stuckness so they get more of what they want. This is really valuable. Most change efforts fail as they don’t attend to the intangible aspects of change...the messy bits which I love to work with and am really good at getting to operate effectively. I am smart and understand complexity well... I think strategically and systemically which means I can see things from meta view and I can see what is getting in the way of people/ systems achieving what they want. And I know what to do about it. I am really good at supporting people through their fears and helping them to imagine what’s possible. I love doing that. I am a trusted executive mentor and love supporting people and organisations to be courageous, authentic and to make robust decisions in the face of uncertainty. I am not always as patient as I would like. I tend to understand things fast and my thinking moves quickly, which can leave people behind. I know my work has created value because past clients have told me so, but you need to speak to them to be the best judge of that. I bring to my work a deep curiosity about people and organisational systems. I have studied with a spiritual teacher for many years and practice a number of approaches to lifting my own level of thinking and being. I have a gifted and wonderfully spirited son who continues to be a way-show-er in my life, leading me to the edge of my next evolution. I am deeply committed at a values level to creating a legacy of supporting people, organisations and systems to become sustain-agile enabling the next generation to thrive in our rapidly evolving world. And finally I have all the necessary pieces of paper from various universities to tell you I know how to think and write essays well.
  7. 7. Who we are..... Sabine Simmonds, Director My business career started in my early 20’s when I moved to Europe to start up a sales and marketing company supplying products to the toy, sports and nursery sectors. Over the next 17 years I set up two more companies and distribution for our products across the northern hemisphere, designed product ranges and sourced their production in Asia. I was young to be doing this, so even with a business degree behind me, my learning curve about leadership and management was steep. My experience of running organizations was that while the commercial outcomes were tremendously exciting, they didn’t give my life the meaning and depth that I yearned for. During those years travelling the world in pursuit of business I also explored my inner world through therapy, personal development and interest in spirituality. I wanted to make sense of myself, the family I grew up in and importantly make a more meaningful contribution to the world than simply selling more products. My mother’s terminal illness in 2005 brought me back to Australia. I spent a year nursing her, confronting the inevitability of death and ultimately losing her to the illness. It was the most profound, challenging and yet precious year of my life. I was catalyzed to sell my business interests, emigrate back to Australia, get married and begin a new career direction. Since then my creativity has been applied in management consultancy designing and delivering long-term, top-level transformational interventions for large organizations. I love exploring the space where the person, their role and their organization meet. It’s a rich, complex and dynamic place that can hinder or project a person and organisation toward their desired outcomes. It’s a space that requires brutal honesty with oneself and taking risks to be and do differently. Becoming a parent recently has been yet another transformative experience for me. It may sound clichéd, but seeing the next generation up close and in development has given me a compelling need to make my life and this world more sustainable. Sustain-agility is the only way we will all survive in this swiftly changing world. Organisations and their leaders play a crucial role in enabling this survival. I am committed and passionate to support visionary leaders in not only achieving their outcomes, but doing it in a way that contributes more meaningful to the world we are in.
  8. 8. Who we are..... Phil Oldfield, Director I have been teaching Gestalt theory and practice since 1986 and am a co-director of the Sydney Gestalt Institute. This work has provided me with much joy, love, challenge and stimulation as I have worked to co-create the largest and most successful Gestalt learning institute in Australia. I also have a Gestalt practice in Sydney, seeing private clients, training and supervising counselors and Psychotherapists, conducting training programs for government departments, hospitals, community organizations and businesses. I have come to recognise my considerable capacity to sense, understand and reflect back to groups and individuals what they are doing as they singly and collectively make meaning of their experience. I also have a great joy of joy-making! There is far too little joy in this world, and I know too well the cost of too little love and joy in the lives of people to believe it is not important in the existence of organisations. I am excited to be applying myself in the field of strategic systems. I know from my long experience in this field that people in strategic and business contexts benefit enormously from the simplicity and powerful nature of how the Gestalt modality works, providing expansion of awareness and encouraging growth, wholeness and integration. This is why I do this work.
  9. 9. Why we do it..... We are united in the belief that our ethical purpose is to leave the world in a better state than when we got here, not merely do no harm. We want to help create low-friction business models that reflect monetary and intangible value such as strategic networks and wisdom. We believe that our current financial, economic, psychological, social and environmental systems are under strain and in various states of dis-ease. What we have been doing and how we have been doing it seems to be unsustainable. And in our rapidly evolving and increasingly interconnected world, we believe we all need sustain- agility to assess where we are, have the courage to act even when we do not have as much information as we would like, and most importantly, reflect and learn from what has happened. Accelerated evolution has over 50 years combined experience creating strategic breakthroughs, executive alignment, business transformation and thinking skills for complex systems.
  10. 10. What we have done..... The Chairpersons, MDs and CEOs of the organisations we work with have a desire to significantly improve the strategic agility, and performance of their businesses. They know that they will not succeed without executive alignment. They also know that their business transformation begins with themselves. Transforming their own actions and interactions are a key to their success. Our client list is confidential. However we can tell you we have extensive experience in the following industries: • Energy (generation, distribution, retail) • Mining and minerals • Banking and finance • Pharmaceutical and health care • Professional services • Hospitality, tourism and leisure The following pages outline the work we have done
  11. 11. What we have done..... As part of a 4 year strategic transformation process, we worked with multiple layers of an operations business to leverage the integrated value of the business and formulate breakthrough strategies to deliver growth. The transformation process created sustain-agility to deliver on the You want more adaptive intended strategy and at the same time capitalise on the opportunities that emerged in the capacity for our rapidly environment. evolving world… Part way through this work, a hostile bid emerged ‘from no where’. Almost simultaneously, new You need sustain-agility! opportunities also emerged, and more continued to do so every week. The executive adapted to these competing possibilities applying strategic thinking from multiple perspectives and exercising their more effective and robust business relationships, allowing them to act with courage in the emerging environment Outcomes for the Grow the organisation over the business 15% 4 years have each year. included: • 75% increase in share price, • Being taken over • doubling of by major global market cap, player ‘A’ • sustainability awards, • JV with major • successful global player ‘B’ acquisition of new assets such • Create new that the market market in green responded products/ positively. services
  12. 12. What we have done..... This process occurred over 12 months and resulted in a strategy that will create between $75M - $100M revenue to the organisation’s bottom line. It required the whole leadership team of 40 people to understand how their parts of the You want to invest and create process were interconnected with each other and their external environments to create their LT value as well as ST returns… Breakthrough. Whole-system-thinking and ethical governance create It also required of them to realise that what they were doing had ethical implications for opportunity themselves and the business, was unsupportable and also unsustainable. It is the first step in a fundamental repositioning of the business, allowing it to continue to operate aligned to the emerging needs for sustainable industry in terms of materials used, technologies employed, environmental footprint and community impact. 1. Leadership team 2. Through a whole- 3. The ‘impossible’ 4. The ‘impossible’ has recombined in non- system approach, challenge is set down become the functional groups to ‘the problem’ is ‘imperative’ explore what they uncovered The business is should be doing restructured to Interactions within and differently Individuals are support this work outside the production challenged and system are being Given new supported to think People are supported discovered, problems awareness of how at more complex to realise how their solved and issues they are interacting levels and to siloed operating resolved with each other interact in a more stops themselves and that is getting in the effective way when each other from People align behind the way of operational dealing with this undertaking ‘the ethical stance of what excellence complex issue impossible’ challenge now ‘must be done’
  13. 13. What we have done..... The ‘Cynefin’ approach by Snowdon illustrates this work best 4. Finally people started talking and 2. We helped them to see the ‘Complicated’ exercising shared leadership through honest nature of the problem by involving the next exchanges about what was happening in layers of the organisation and revealing the Fast and effective decision- Complex each area and what was driving each complexity of the internal and external systems making requires collective person. The situation was recognised to be they needed to consider. But they still held onto wisdom and results from Emergent, requiring Experiment and the hope that this problem might be able to be dialogue cooperation. handled with a conventional approach They worked together to Probe (first) – They tried to Sense – Analyse (with some Sense – Respond and created an effective external content experts) – Respond, but again strategic approach. the results were less than required. Dis- Uncertain order Certain 3. Because of the increased pressure 1. The executive had created a big, bold vision from the Board and their external for themselves but were divided about how to stakeholders (media, government, do it, and even if ‘it’ was possible. Some community), panic ensued. The situation wanted ‘business as usual’ or ‘best practice’ was perceived to be hostile, chaotic, and approaches but conversations were not being in crisis. had and political agendas were rife. This organisation loved a crisis. They They tackled the problem as one they had sprang to Act – (and only later) Sense – Simple seen before and tried to Sense – Categorise – Respond. Unfortunately they misread the Respond their way to a strategic solution. conditions and key blunders were made in their haste. This was not working and the board was not happy.
  14. 14. What we have done..... The CEO and CFO of this global pharmaceutical company had a history of low-level conflict in their strategy and decision-making processes. While their disagreement and hearty debate didn’t threaten the relationship between them, they often got stuck and the You need flexibility and strategy was stuck too. In a series of Strategic Governance sessions they wanted a higher resilience to create a strategy level of performance to deliver to investors and shareholders. that deals with increasing In many ways, these two leaders were at different ends of the spectrum in how they solved complexity problems, made decisions and operated in the world. The CEO was rational in his thinking, required lots of data analysis and was slower and more considered in his approach. The CFO was an intuitive thinker and moved quickly to decisions, sourced data from a number of key people in the business and trusted his gut instinct and wisdom. This difference in approach at times led them to misunderstand each other and assume the other was blocking the way forward. This undercurrent played out in unhelpful politics in the exec team. The company was falling well short of capitalising on the strategic wisdom of the players at the top level. Both were employing previously successful strategies for dealing with complexity. However, the roles they now had and the environment that they were in required new capability in both of them. Through the Strategic Governance process they were able to move from fixed positions to more complex strategic thinking, empathy and dialogue. Through a real conversation, dialogue, they found new sources of resilience in themselves, with each other, and only then could they work together to mobilise the resilience the organisation needed in the rest of the exec team. The exec politics shifted as they dealt differently with each other and the executive. They devised a stakeholder strategy that had the key players align with their position which returned value to the shareholders and external stakeholders.
  15. 15. What we have done..... This large Australian business had recently restructured and a number of senior people had been let go because they were seen to be blockers to the new direction. The leader of the Creativity and a sense of management team had selected her new team based on both their technical and their legacy result in opportunity! leadership capability and many were untested at this level of complexity. Two months post restructure fear was rife, paralysing people’s capability to perform. Micro- managing, justifying, blaming, rationalising and general inaction were impacting the financials with an unexpected shortfall in the half-year results. We supported each person in the team to be honest about their present situation and only then was critical information and strategic wisdom available. The information shared was used to develop real time strategy: what to do with the presenting circumstances. It became easier to have the difficult conversations. They were willing to let each other know where they felt confused, unsupported or lost. Performance challenges were addressed and seen as valuable information to move the business forward. There was an increase in trust. They had greater enthusiasm, sense of purpose and vision. They regained their sense of what they wanted to create for the long-term. The management team were able to devise a strategy that addressed the short term financial challenge while attending to their longer term vision of creating a world class business that created value for them, their customers, shareholders and the community. The sense of commitment that individuals discovered in themselves was no longer primarily based in fear of consequences but in the courage to lead and do what best served the legacy they wanted to leave. Without this capability they would not have been able to deliver their business outcomes.
  16. 16. Accelerated Evolution: strategy for an evolving world