Making Our Difference Make A Difference. @JohnCaswell + @Tifferly.
How We Got Here
We’ve been helping clients think through their visions and strategies for 20 years. As clients ourselves we were the unimpressed recipients of workshops and brainstorm sessions. We often left these programs underwhelmed.
So we created a way of thinking and working designed to be meaningful, valuable and enjoyable. But most of all we needed it to actually work.
In all important challenges like this there’s no substitute for hard work. But it can still excite and engage — hopefully what follows will give a glimpse into how we do that.
We were clients before we started Group Partners.
We always knew there must be a better way to get things done, to develop strategy, build meaningful plans for change — to make progress and then make things stick.
We just couldn’t find it. So we built it ourselves.
We’ve now worked on thousands of cases all over the world over the last 20 years. We have countless references that make us feel very honoured.
We are a start up with 20 years experience and we are always learning.
We designed Structured Visual Thinking™ as an antidote to the traditional, outdated and unhelpful methods of getting things done in business. These ‘things’ involved expensive and often long term projects — usually with third party consultants.
The projects typically involved strategy, planning, transformation and change — they very often didn’t work.
We became passionate about making it work. We focused on solving problems and exploitating opportunity. That seemed to sum up what was most valuable. Nowadays a business cannot wait for six months — or a year to get its ducks in a row.
We believe in helping our clients become far better equipped for the future, far faster and avoid solving the wrong problems really well. We had to design a way to do that because nothing existed to fit the bill.
We are not like an agency or a consultancy but combine the best bits of both. We bring creativity and strategy without forcing dependency.
How To Really Solve The Problem
If we had financiers and advisors they would hate our business model. That’s because we set out to help our clients in the shortest period we can. And because we set out to transfer the skill to deliver the results to them — and to do it all at the lowest cost possible.
That’s always been our mission alongside our mantra of avoiding solving the wrong problem really well…
It’s a constant pursuit. Each case is different. What’s common is our obsessive impartiality around a specific solution or outcome and as a result not build any dependency on us.
Structured because it forces clarity and conclusions, Visual because it’s engaging and positively/rapidly rewires our brains. It ensures that there’s no hiding place for misunderstanding. Thinking because that’s the cognitive part that shifts our habits and is often missing. Engaging with all ours senses is what causes clarity at the same time as ownership around what needs to get done.
We apply this approach to every problem and opportunity that’s given to us. We define every problem or opportunity as ‘the challenge’. Every challenge is unique to every situation.
In every situation we express the challenge, gather the information and build a team alongside specific frameworks designed each time to address it. Teams, to tackle each challenge, are selected together with our clients.
At the same time frameworks are designed to respond directly to the expressed challenge.
The Power Of Structured Frameworks
Frameworks are logical and have a tension built into them which allow us and the team to understand the situation and calculate a better result more quickly.
The frameworks themselves are a collection of specific modules. Think of the modules as our response to the challenge opened up into its parts.
For example — the desired outcome, the future we seek, the metrics of success, the barriers in our way and the roadmap of actions that are going to be needed to resolve the challenge.
These modules, within the Framework, allow us and the team to think critically and in detail about each part but always in relation to the whole.
Rapid Decision Making
The sequence of events that all this takes is designed as a deliberate and objective understanding of the challenge. It’s designed not to be an onerous burden on the business.
The assignment itself consists of both a remote and face to face collection and then analysis of the necessary and sufficient information. It is designed to embrace all the existing information and identifying what’s missing and what matters.
It involves the facilitation of the team around the challenge, by us, over a relatively short period of time.
Most people, seeking to understand a complex topic, will prefer to see a picture that explains it rather than a whole lot of words. But it’s also the fastest way to rewire your neural pathways and that literally is how you can change your mind and the habits that have formed that are holding you back.
Imagine you are building a house or a model aircraft — you would expect a drawing of what it was you were attempting to build.
We’ve taken that idea and made it a team sport. As we work together then the drawing will grow to honour what we think fits the strategy and it will debate and then leave out what doesn’t. At the same time it is changing how you think so that you are left quite literally transformed.
It’s fast and powerful and in many ways a lot more fun than the usual methods of brainstorming or debating a topic like strategy and getting properly into what is a valid vision and mission.