Group Partners — Make A Difference

The Evolution Of Change In Business

Group Partners

This document explains our philosophy in great detail. It is accompanied by a series of Infographics designed to clarify how and where each part fits together.


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

There are three broad aspects (1) that define the world and work of Group Partners — The Enterprise, Society and The Natural World. Within them there are Seven Themes (2) that describe the work we do across them all. In turn these themes are impacted by the four dimensions of work (3).

There’s A Code To These Infographics

In every enterprise there are different styles of behaviour and organisation — Personas (4) — between them they describe all organisations.

In them we see very different Motivations (5), differing Symptoms (6) and in addition crucial warning signs — Red Boxes (7) that alert us to the realities and risks associated within every single situation we encounter.

Our approach is highly conversational — it’s designed to help solve the challenge or supercharge the opportunity in front of us. And through engagement and understanding sustain the value of the outcome with everyone’s involvement.

So we apply Five Tests (8) alongside every assignment. These allow us to identify what is going to be needed (9), what systems are involved (10), to identify What Matters for an enterprise to succeed (11).

We do this in every case in order to bring the value that we know is needed (12). As a foundation to all this we bring the disciplines needed (13) and the Tools (14) upon which genuine difference can be made.

1. The Three Aspects

The Energy Of Difference

There’s a fresh wind blowing. It’s created a whole new climate — one that’s shifted the influence — putting real power back into the hands of us all. Add technology to increasing urbanisation, the growth of new and powerful societies in China, India and other parts of the world it really is a different world.

An Important Difference

We see a vital intersection between the enterprises and brands we work in and rely on, the societies that form around them and in which we all live and the natural world that we know we must safeguard for our very survival.

It’s across these three aspects where we intend to make a difference. We believe our philosophy and approach are ideally suited to our fast moving and creative times.

Thinking And Working Differently

Each of these three aspects function because of manmade and natural systems working together. They are often in conflict. Each is influenced by the dynamics surrounding it and the decisions and actions of those interacting with it.

It’s no secret that things need to change in each of these aspects. In many cases our survival as a business and as a species means we must think and work differently. Naturally enough there’s a wide range of ways to define ‘different’ — and they are highly dependent on each aspect.

The Enterprise:

Difference can mean more effective operations as a direct consequence of working more intelligently and in more connected ways. And different can mean more motivation in the workplace through personal connection with, and belief, in the mission and vision.


Difference can mean improvement in people’s lives through the creation of capabilities and more opportunities that are relevant to them and their context. And difference can mean value in the exchanges between people bringing more respect and care for those that deserve it.

The Natural World:

Difference can mean the reduction of the inequity in the world through meaningful engagement and greater appreciation of the impacts by all the stakeholders. And difference can mean that we ensure a more intelligent balance in the way we ‘exploit’ our planet for the benefit of all its inhabitants — and we mean all of them.

Different Equipment Required

All of this requires us to bring different equipment — things that will work to help us with the challenges of this century — the creativity, the utility, the real learning, the value of collaboration and the power of properly understanding the needs and perspectives of real people.

2. The Seven Themes

We see these as the main categories of our work and where we can make a difference. In many cases several of these themes are present with a single assignment.

1. Organising For The Real World

We investigate the way in which an organisation is set up, its structures, systems and operating models. We are looking at the connections to its wider ecosystems — we cover everything necessary so that the ‘business’ is set-up to succeed.

2. Shaping A New Future & Opportunity

Here the emphasis is on ‘vision’ and the strategic direction to achieve it. It will uncover how we need to work towards an inspiring and meaningful outcome — and a viable sense of how and where we’re going and build that new purpose.

3. Creating Energy & Passion For The New Purpose

This is where we create the ownership by the people in the organisation alongside the direction the business is taking. It means building real connections to the actual intention and ensuring that sits within the hearts and minds of those who will deliver the outcomes.

4. Getting To The Heart Of A Problem Or Challenge

Getting inside a complex problem or challenge and making sure that we address the real causes, barriers and issues. It’s about avoiding thinking in isolation or silos — ensuring that we don’t solve the wrong problems really well.

5. Presenting A Compelling Argument

This is about being able to make a clear ‘business’ case. One that’s supported by a valid and evidenced argument for a course of action. It’s about getting to the story or case that needs to be made and making sure that it’s truly defendable, compelling and authentic.

6. Energising and Mobilising Capability

Here we are making sure that the emotional connection sticks — and that the right skills and approach are applied to seeing the work through and achieving the right outcomes over the long term.

7. Realising Value For The Benefit Of Customers, Stakeholders & Key Audiences

This means being sure that genuine value is being created, that the organisation is achieving its purpose in the widest sense and that the recipients and stakeholders truly value and benefit from the work.

3. The 4 Dimensions Of Work

Work. A Well Trodden Concept — We All Do It.

As a term it covers a lot of territory. Whether at home, building a power station, serving in a store or protecting a rare species of bee i- working is fundamental to life. We work together with clients to create change and opportunity.

We think these 4 Dimensions are a good way to understand work. We’ve ‘deconstructed work this way because we want the result of what we do to be the most meaningful to the people involved.

Digging Up The Clues.

The way work gets done holds many clues for us. Especially why work may be hard or unproductive — and of course where it can be improved. We see many artificial or unintended barriers to opportunity. Existing definitions of work, mostly focused on a variation of People, Process and Tools , leads organisations down well trodden paths. they may well not be the right paths.

Making A Difference To Work

We shake up the prevailing mental models from the very start. Organisation structures, long standing policies and processes that create inappropriately enforced systems. the 4 Dimensions of work present a more progressive, creative way to refocus energy on what it means to ‘do work’ in the 21st century.

1. The Attachment To Work

This is the connection that each person has to the business, its vision, mission purpose and values. We seek a commitment through belief and emotional connection to the goals. And within this we want the right environment for people to succeed. An Organisation that knows what it stands for.

2. The Design Of Work

This is about the way we organise ourselves to do work. It covers the physical structures that are established to allocate work. It helps us build the right experiences that we create for others. It’s about the way that we approach the work itself. It’s how we know what matters and what it will take to deliver that.

3. The Discipline Of Work

Here we are looking at how we manage the work and ensure that we do what we commit to do. It involves being consistent with the values of the business. Ensuring we are achieving the outcomes that we set. Making sure that we work to a common definition of what good looks like.

4. The Effect of Work

In this dimension it’s about knowing What Good Should Look Like. It involves us knowing and then doing what is needed to achieve outcomes. Knowing when and why something isn’t working and being able to correct situations. Keeping a ‘line of sight’ between strategic intention and daily activity.

4. The Business Personas

Work is done differently in every single organisation because they are borne out of many different types of design — often over long periods of time. This has direct effects on how work gets done. It effects how work gets managed, encouraged and measured. Each unique style of working therefore has direct impact on its results. Not always for the better.

A Question Of Style

These are the styles, characteristics and associated models that are applied by organisations — depending on the type of organisation they are. We call them the Business Personas. Decisions made around the 4 work Dimensions must be based on the best fit for an organisation.

A Big Impact On How We Work

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to Organisational Design, although there are plenty of opinions when it comes to the best way to organise, manage, govern and lead. Whatever decisions are made to change a business’s direction should be directly set against each of the 4 work dimensions in order to be based on the best fit for an organisation.

While we have a view of the way that organisations should work in the 21c century we are realistic enough to know it can’t be achieved by everyone. And equally some organisations might set themselves up to fail by striving to be something that they simply are not suited to. Somewhere in this mix is the right balance of style, approach and organisation at any point in time — determining this is important as we set the level of ambition and difference that we want to make

Example Personas:

Management By Committee. Purpose Driven. Command And Control. Matrix Model. Hierarchical. Functionally Organised. A Value Network. Self Organisation. Balanced Scorecards. Highly Regulated. Principles Led

5. The Motivations

We hear many ‘types of motivation’ in the discussions with our clients as we start to help them. We shape and categorise them along the lines of the 10 Motivations we’ve identified here.

Our clients have REAL challenges. They will state them in their own words because that is how they see their world. The language they use is important to us. It is their context and often multiples of them will exist in any situation. They are the important drivers and we need to translate from them into what will work and what we need to understand — whether or not we end up thinking differently later.

It’s Always About Value

However defined creating value or making something different from how it is today will always be a driver for change. Our clients will believe that any opportunity to ‘change’ can/should cause the creation of more value. Our aim will often be to alter our clients meaning of value — defining value as an idea that goes beyond pure financial gain.

Creation of value is a major function of discovery for us, it means identifying the capability of the client to redefine value and then equipping them to get after it.

1. Tackle A Challenge

Pressure exists that something isn’t working as it should, or it’s clear that there is a better way for something to happen.

The external pressures will signal that the business isn’t doing something as effectively or as efficiently as it might. The client is taking on a particularly tricky challenge (obviously where NGOs come in).

There may be an underlying problem that has triggered this (see also Fix a Problem) or it may just be something that they believe opens up new potential or opportunity.

2. The Creation Of Value

This motivation has a wide spectrum — from pure commercial gain related to shareholder value through to much more meaningful, multi stakeholder definitions of value. These are factors that require mutual approaches and a belief that it’s more important to consider the value from all perspectives.

Ultimately the clients looking at engagement through this lens are always in need of a way to unlock that value.

3. Successful Execution of a Strategy/Vision/Solution

Our clients will have declared an intention to do something that requires a team to be mobilised to execute on that intention. They will be delegating the work to people and in many cases the leaders will feel like their job is done.

There may have been work done to build energy and we will always want to test that. If the passion exists we want to build on it, if not we need to factor that in and create it. We will also want to be sure that the vision and intention is clear enough.

4. Convince an External Stakeholder to Buy Into a Proposition

This is in the context of a client who is selling a solution and needs to have a strong value proposition that positions them and their offer in some kind of differentiated way — or a client who is seeking some other kind of sponsorship/investment from an external party.

5. Getting The Workforce Behind A Strategy

In this case our client is more focused on making sure there is a strong business logic that can be taken to employees (and probably partners) in order to get buy in. Needing to get to that inspiring story — one that’s believable and doesn’t smack of self serving or meaningless drivel. We hear a lot about how complex strategies are — and how little the workforce are engaged. Interestingly this driver doesn’t normally show up as stated.

6. Fixing A Problem

There is some ‘pain’ being felt somewhere in the business/organisation. The organisation may have had attempts to address in the past that were not successful. They may or may not have a sense of what the issue is — in most cases they will not have done a detailed diagnostic.

7. Building Team Alignment

Clients will often come directly to us to help with getting teams on board and aligned with some new initiative but it’s quite likely that in many cases this will emerge as something that has to be done as part of another exam question where the lack of alignment in general is caused by countless other issues and factors.

8. Exploiting A Market Or Growth Opportunity

Our client looking to find some new positioning that helps them compete in their industry and market — or the need to find new opportunity in a market to sustain their business.

9. Build A New Alliance

This is where there’s a compelling reason for joining forces with other stakeholders in some kind of venture — it could be a fixed programme or a long term alliance. Basically they will be seeking some kind of common ground — needing a common model in place for their partnership.

10. Improving The Effectiveness Of The Organisation

A new strategic direction has been set that calls for a new way to organise or things are simply not working well currently and there are issues that need to be fixed. In a lot of cases this will be a response to other pressures being imposed on them — like cost cutting.

This may also suggests the introduction of new technology.

6. The Symptoms

As we engage with clients we start to observe certain symptoms — the things that just seem to be ‘going on’ in the business. We’ve identified 24 such ‘Symptoms’ so far but we know they will grow.

These symptoms are all part of our detective hunt. They inform us as to how we will design our assignment and ensure we build the correct tools — the forcing mechanisms for progress. They immediately cause us to challenge existing conventions and they stimulate valuable discussion.

Unrealistic Plans

Superficial Analysis Or Exploration

Multiple Workrounds

Strong Team Spirit

Change Fatigue

Employee Cynicism

Limited Definition of Value

Leadership Misalignment

Lack of Clear Direction

Ill Equipped for the work

Uninspired Workforce

No Evidence of Vision

Excessive IT security. Bad Customer Experience — Service/Product. Work Overload. Communication primarily via Email. Staying within comfort zones. Blame Culture. Dictatorial Leadership. Obsession with Status and Role. Entitlement Mindset. Internal Focus. No Evidence of Values. Multiple Change Programmes. Lack of Integration. Silo’d thinking and working. Unspoken Issues. Power Battles. Bad User Experience — Technology. Lack of Followership

7. The Red Boxes

At the heart of our existence lies the world of industry and trade. Everything revolves around how we sustain ourselves through what we do — it’s how we survive. The world of work is a fundamental aspect of humanity. It’s one enormous and complex system that ultimately binds everyone and everything.

The Grand Scheme

If what we do at work isn’t in harmony with society and the natural world around it then we are doing harm in one way or another. Such disharmony creates conflict, hardship, elitism, division and ultimately war as we start to fight over scarcity or inequity. Because the complexities of the enterprise, society and the natural world are so intertwined we must apply our minds to each and to them all at all times.

Our Work Is Always Done Together With Clients.

An organisation — an enterprise and institution — a group of people.

Whether they are dedicated to working for commercial ends, for society or the natural world they have challenges and opportunities that we want to help with. We explain them in the 7 Themes (IG 2)

As a result of considering the challenges and opportunities in the way we do we can achieve our aims of REALLY making a difference. Overall.

New Ideas Required If We Are To Make A Difference

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” — John Cage

We know our planet is full of opportunity yet we see the challenges realising them turn into impossible barriers and constraints so much of the time.

The systems and behaviours already in place prevail over the change we seek — and at almost every turn. Whether in the enterprise, government agencies or institutions the negative effects of these systems are often unfair and extremely tenacious. In too many cases the effect this has over individuals suffocates hope and undermines progress.

Our idea is that it would be a welcome difference for these inequities to be put right.

8. The 5 Tests

Making A Difference isn’t a glib phrase or headline to us. We mean it and our approach triggers ‘5 Tests’. These tests are used throughout every assignment. For us they are fundamental gates to progress. We use them to determine whether we are able, prepared or appropriate to engage.

They are guides to every conversation we have and a long way from ‘tick box’ exercises. They challenge both us and our client to think critically about the realities that exist . For us they overcome any superficiality attached to taking a brief — the first base in making progress and creating value.


Objectivity is a powerful part of any scientific method of discovery. Real science doesn’t get swayed by bias or judgement. Objectivity ensures that we achieve the best possible result throughout our tests.

Some tests will directly guide the design of the programme, others will help us stay on track and identify when adjustments need to be made. Between them they tell us what matters at any stage of the programme. They give us the clues as to what we should do at every turn.

1. Can We Make A Difference?

In the early stages — even before we reach a commercial agreement — we need to test whether it’s even possible to help our client. We will be wanting to assess whether the client has a clear appreciation of what they are potentially engaging us to support — making sure that this is aligned with what we think that would take.

2. Let’s Make a Difference

Having passed the first test of whether we (Group Partners and the client) feel that a collaborative programme can make the difference hoped for we would move into the design and configuration of the most appropriate programme for that client.

At this stage we are able to determine the investment needed — from a financial and logistical perspective and also from a capacity and capability perspective.

At this stage we would expect to formalise the engagement and have a programme defined that’s tailored to the client

3. Making a Difference

The start of thinking and working differently.

While some of this work will be only relevant to the duration of the programme we would expect to be introducing new ways of thinking about work through the disciplines that we will bring to the programme. This test determines the team’s maturity, capability and commitment to the ‘new ways’ and also tests what works and what doesn’t — so that we can quickly adapt and refine new disciplines

4. Living With Difference

To a very large degree this is a continuation of Making a Difference but the focus here is on sustaining new ways — not dropping back to old habits once the engagement is over.

In here we will want to be making sure that enough people in the organisation are well versed with the frameworks that have been created and are champions of new ways of working. Critically they are self sufficient in that they can take this out to more people (themselves) and ensure it becomes the new way.

5. What’s The Difference?

To consider a programme successful we must be able to define the difference that has been made. It may be that there’s more do to beyond our current engagement and being able to tell a positive story about the benefits and impact created will be vital.

9. The Requirements

What’s Required To Make A Difference

The 5 Tests (#8) made sure we could see what’s really going on. They also allow us to understand what’s going to be needed to respond to a given situation or challenge. This feeds into the definition of requirements — the things that we have to include in our programme for it to be successful.

The tests will provoke responses that add vital data — information that we will need to begin fleshing out our appreciation of the existing ‘systems’ of work and crucially how that may need to change. Data that throws out insight and clues. They suggest how we need to think and how to design the best approach to tackling the challenge.

From the very first test, even before we are formally engaged, we are gathering information that will grow in meaning and value as we progress. Our search for the hidden insights, the underlying issues and clues into what does and doesn’t work — and why — they will be a constant throughout.

Explaining The Requirements

A Strong Story. 
A Meaningful Purpose. 
An Authentic Case. 
A Connected & Coherent Landscape. 
Clarity Over What Matters. 
The Hearts & Minds of the People.

10. The Systems That Make A Difference

The Systems That Make The Difference

Living With Systems

We live, eat and breathe systems. That’s because they are at the heart of everything — how we work and how we live together as human beings on the planet. As a result if we aim to make a difference then we have to change the systems accordingly.

Systems. Thinking.

Here we outline the spectrum of systems that exist. They are the areas we need to explore and possibly change. A system is a significant underpinning of an organisation and we are suggesting that there are multiple systems at play in any organisation. It is also true that they are connected to each other and operate together in many ways. It is for clarity that we separate them here.

Value Systems

Systems that inform, enable and suggest (dictate) the underlying culture and ‘DNA’ that influences the organisation and its people.

Such systems are either enforced by policy or evolving as a result of accepted practice. They each represent what the organisation cares about and stands for. They can be highly intangible but their effects will be significant.

Through value systems individuals and teams adapt their behaviours and practices to fit the identity of their organisations or their communities — they fit into accepted ways of doing things, treating people and determining what matters.

Social Systems

These systems inform, support and enable how people within (and without) an organisation join forces to get work done and engage within their communities.

The social systems are related to the way that individuals and teams connect with others, communicate with them and collaborate with them.

They cover the support mechanisms that are put in place, the way we lead, coach and mentor people and also the way we help people develop. Within this are also the tangible and practical elements related to the tools and platforms that make this all possible

Learning Systems

The way knowledge is treated, organised, shared and maintained within an organisation.

Learning systems are founded on the importance that we place on information, insight and data.They incorporate the many manifestations of knowledge that can play vital roles in our decision making, our ambitions and our alignment with people.

They embrace the issues and inform the way we tackle problems and identify solutions. That starts with our attitude and appetite for discovery, learning and the search for insight. It flows into the way that we then organise, utilise and sustain the currency of information and make it accessible to others

Governing Systems

Governing as a word has many negative connotations but nonetheless it is the right word. These are the systems that ensure we do what we commit to, that we do it in effective ways and that we stay true to our value systems.

They are concerned with how achievement is measured (motivation and reward as well as commitment to progress) and all of the critical things that are included in measurement. These systems ensure the business understands itself and how it should be managed.

Where necessary it ensure compliance — at whatever level is deemed appropriate and it creates the framework that makes it possible for people to be empowered to do their job to the best of their ability

Adaptive Systems

The way the business stays relevant and moves (adapts/evolves) with the changing dynamics around it.

These systems are possibly the most fluid. They are vital to support the organisations ability to embrace change at the right time and in the right way. Change is often where the future advantage lies so it’s important that such systems make change about opportunity, less threatening and more a part of daily life.

They have to be embedded at every level — in the processes that are in place, in people’s roles, in the way information is leveraged and the way the other systems are designed — so that there are minimal barriers to advancement and evolution.

Adaptive systems also allow things to stop when the relevance of it is over.

11. What Matters

If We Really Want To Make A Difference

Over the last 25 years we learned to figure out what it takes to get to the outcomes clients seek. A lot.

There’s a whole series of ways to define ‘What Matters’. What matters if we are to be successful. These are nuanced, subtle and yet vitally important things that a business needs in order to succeed. Every client needs there own blend of these things.

Time after time we’ve seen the absence of them as the reality as to why the business doesn’t achieve its promise. It’s not for the want of enthusiasm but with these things in place its unlikely they will arrive at all of the value they could.

12. The Value We Create

An organisation seeking success in the Enterprise, Society and The Natural World that isn’t aiming to create value probably suggests that we are not the right partner. the value we explain here weaves right through the difference our difference makes. We identified them because they are what our difference sets out to deliver. They are the also things that we are passionate about, what leaders need to win and what’s needed in making a difference to the three aspects.

The Prize

Value is different to different situations but for us these are not only the mainstays of what a business needs they are also the foundations for successful organisations of any type. Not only do they define what we are looking for but what we hope to instil as we work with our clients through each assignment.

1. A profound sense of why things work the way they do — inside and outside the business — both the good and the bad.

2. A visceral realisation (deep appreciation) of the world they operate in. A proper understanding of their own place and state within it. A realisation that continuously evolves in real time and perpetually informed by relevant information.

3. Recognition that they need to fully unshackle the existing business from the recent past. (Key word is fully) They must know how to remove the anchors that are probably holding it back. It’s no good creating a great new strategy if the old one is easily going to kill it.

4. A conscience — one that informs all their actions and maintains genuine integrity for the wider surroundings, the people and the planet.

5. A heightened sense of the dynamics and the turmoil that’s always boiling up around them — that’s where opportunity and advantage exists. And knowing what to do to exploit them.

6. A working instinct (aptitude) for what matters — that entails knowing what matters in every situation that’s going to confront the business daily as it makes decisions.

7. Recognition of ‘creativity’ — in all its forms. How to inspire, harvest and deploy it constantly in thinking, working and being a valuable business. Creativity is there in everyone but usually remains untapped.

8. A purpose that embraces and motivates everyone involved. From the main intention of the business to the more detailed narrative that describes it — the whole enterprise must trust and believe in where the organisation is going and why.

9. An environment based on conversation. A place that’s safe, encouraging and open to dialogue, debate and honest exchange. (Follow Link)

10. An entirely relevant organisational design. Whatever it takes to create the right style and nature for how, when, where and why people and systems, processes and values are arranged to work.

From bitter experience only a well engineered ‘framework’ can deliver all this — one that’s been built and owned by the business itself.

13. The Difference Disciplines

Working Differently To Make A Difference.

As Group Partners has evolved over the last 15 years we’ve deepened our capability to do what we do. We’ve added new ways to think and work so that we stay focused on what it’s going to take to really solve the challenge and surface the value we want.

We’ve hi-lit a range of disciplines that we know will be needed at different times throughout our assignments. In each case there will be different disciplines applied at different times, sometimes solely by us, sometimes by the team deployed to carry them out, and mostly in collaboration.

Explaining The Disciplines

1. Creativity And Curiosity Infusion

An important part in the successful engaging of a team is to make it inspiring to want to reconnect. It’s part motivation, part aligning and very much about unleashing skills and capabilities that are currently gathering dust. Simply being different to the average consultant has an immediate impact on teams

2. Platform Engineering

In the modern world effective teams (can) collaborate continually, work (can) get done virtually among dispersed teams and organisational boundaries are blurred through multiple partnerships and alliances.

Embracing new ways of working means adopting new tools and systems so that work is effective and technology is being fully exploited. We do not promote any specific tool or platform but keep a constant watch on what is being introduced and how its used and we will work with teams to help them consider what would work best for them and make sure that the outcomes of the programme find the right place in the organisations infrastructure.

3. Information Design

All information is valuable and deserves to be used in the most creative and meaningful way. Everything from the design of a report through to a complex interactive system. For us this is a mixture of things — the marriage of visual and text, the structure and layout of the information, the story behind the information, the audiences and their needs of the information and the channels that we use to deliver information.

4. Visual Engineering

Visualisation is at the heart of our science and it comes in many forms. What they all have in common is a very deliberate design. These represent visual concepts that are full of symbolism and explain ideas and intentions that can be articulated from many perspectives and in many dimensions.

5. The Art of Conversation

When we talk about conversation we take a broad definition of the word. In many cases organisations have lost this art, they attend meetings with fixed agendas, they go through the motions but they don’t really talk about the things that matter and not with the right people. We elevate the importance of conversation and bring that into the programme in several forms.

6. Shifting Paradigms

A lot of what we do is to ‘bust’ outdated thinking, mental models and bad systems that are holding teams and organisations back.

To help teams adopt new ways of working and create more sustainable outcomes means they have to change the way the approach work and we will need to create that realisation with them and to help them see new models and systems that will serve them better.

7. Dynamic Configuration

At the heart of our ‘science’ is the combination of structure and creativity.

Frameworks are vital to help organisations make sense of their challenges and to be able to reach well considered conclusions.

Equally vital is the ability to spot new context, see new patterns, respond to new information — and to be able to use this in creative, imaginative ways to keep thinking in fresh and relevant ways and cope with constant change.

Both our programmes and our tools are carefully designed to be able to deal with this and any changes necessary will be reflected in new configurations of the tool and / or programme in real time. This all starts with the first hypothesis of the exam question.

8. Forensic Exploration

Throughout our work we are pushing constantly to get at the most important information — what really matters, whether its to the client and their aspirations, to tackling a problem, or to creating value (and so on) — at all stages we need to find the information that leads us to these answers.

9. Pattern & Insight Mapping

Early on in a programme we will be looking for the primary dynamics within the organisation — as well as external to the organisation. We will be making sure that we understand the influences that they have, the way that they show up and looking to test how ‘balanced’ they are.

As we work through a programme they will be a constant reference as we consider changes and dig into challenges. They will be used to test the impact of changes made so that we are alert to new dynamics or possible ‘ripple effects’ that run riot through the enterprise.

14. The Tools

Tools To Make A Difference

We’ve all become artisans. In the palms of our hands lie supercomputers. Almost every business process can be digitised. Most now are. As the programs evolve many different ways to enable the collaboration, the collection of data, the ability of teams to share and work better can be supported by ‘tools’.

A Spectrum Of Tools

A tool is something that humans use to help us to work. That ensures a very wide definition. In Group Partners we’ve been developing tools for all kinds of tasks. We will never stop evolving them and we will always embrace existing ones. If our clients have great tools we will always leverage them before bringing others in.

1. Framework Thinking Tools

From the moment we start each assignment we are thinking about structure. Each discussion and everything we learn (all types of data) is being ‘captured’ in some way. This may be in digital systems, in visual form in frameworks (and their modules) or through the myriad of devices we use to test the thinking and force conversation.

2. Sharing, Sustaining & Collaboration

Social media platforms have changed our lives. The technology that drives these systems are the foundation to collaboration systems. This makes them powerful ways to harvest the data and share the knowledge at the same time as maintaining vital conversation.

3. Communication Tools

Working visually allows us to rapidly share the results. There’s almost no limit to their application as story telling devices. Our frameworks become ‘user interfaces’ to layers and layers of other detail and act as dashboards and cockpits to the content for users. Whether as printed posters, in presentations or in large scale theatre our tools are widely used to ensure communication at every level.

4. Management And Performance Tools

Because getting at the right data is a central theme in order to make and sustain the difference we need multiple ways to stay in touch with it. Whether to make new decisions or track progress we bring whatever is required to be sure the team stays informed and in synch with all of the moving parts.

5. Creative Tools

With the advent of applications — solutions that bring previously elite skills to everybody — there’s no shortage of new ways of being creative. For us creativity shows up everywhere and at all stages of our approach — provoking, illustrating, mapping, analysing and visualising the world we inhabit.