What We Do

We’ve been asked to explain what we do—what is the common thread that connects our business consulting and our IT work?

It’s problem solving.

Working with NASA is mostly about problems. Coming up with a solid, forward-moving objective for a mission or programme is essential, but most of what goes into making it happen is a matter of problem solving—anticipating trouble, coming up with ways to prevent it, taking advantage of easily overlooked opportunities or leverage, and preparing so thoroughly that when the inevitable unexpected trouble occurs we are ready to grapple with it. That’s where we cut our teeth, professionally.

And NASA is allergic to the word impossible. So when a client brings a problem to us, our natural drive is to look for ways to solve it, not excuses for giving up. We have repeatedly solved problems after someone else told a client it was impossible. To us, that’s fun.

So that’s what we do. We help our clients tackle problems, especially when the situation looks a bit daunting. It’s often complex. It’s rarely just a matter of technology. The human factor is usually the most important part.

We would love to tell you what we’ve been up to for the past couple of years that looks like it’s about to achieve liftoff, but for the moment it’s still confidential. We’ll tell you what we can, when we can. Just know that it’s a novel solution to a whopping problem, and in this case technology is the smallest part of it. The human factor and the complexities of organisations are at the core.

Got a problem to solve that’s a bit daunting? Please get in touch. We’re always interested in more problem-solving. Remember, to us, it’s fun!

Further Research into UK Business Performance

After publication of the report 2015 Trends in Competency Management, we undertook a second phase of the research.

Findings are not being published from our extensive discussions and meetings over the following year with executives of organisations that are major actors in UK economic growth. Some of the material is counter-intuitive and commercially sensitive. Our findings go to the heart of why productivity in the UK is near the bottom of the G7 and the cost of doing business in the UK tends to be 20% to 30% higher than in most of the rest of Europe, and what businesses can do to escape those norms.

We are the research lead for this project. If you are an executive in a large UK organisation or a multinational with a significant UK presence and would like to arrange a confidential discussion about the subject, particularly in the light of upcoming Brexit, please contact us.

Trends in Competency Management 2015

Competency and Capability Management 2015 Report on Trends in Competency Management

Want to know what could make your company outperform its sector average by a factor of 2 or 3 or even more than 4? Then read on ……

The central theme of our business has always been to help companies improve their performance. When we joined a consortium to research the impact of competency management, we thought we would find that doing it well correlates with better corporate performance. We had no idea it would be far more than an incremental factor. The magnitude of what we found bowled us over.

On 21 September 2015 we released our 2015 Report on Trends in Competency Management. The title and writing style may be dry, but for executives of big organizations the content is exciting.

A lot of people are unfamiliar with the term competency management (CM). The concept is simple. CM assesses the skills and qualifications of workers, determines what is needed to successfully fulfil roles in the organisation, and matches up workers with the roles they are best suited to perform.

The term competency and capability management (CCM) discussed at length in the report goes a step farther. It includes capabilities (the ability to succeed). To do that, it folds in soft skills and behavioural characteristics such as trustworthiness, leadership, influence and commercial awareness.

As you can imagine, much of this has historically been hard to quantify, so it has typically been evaluated by gut feel.

In our research, the consortium came up with a proprietary CCM Index. This allowed us to objectively rate and rank companies against each other even when their CCM methods differ considerably. To our surprise, the performance differential in any sector is not modest at all. Top performers outrun the average of their sectors by more than a factor of two, and in one sector by a factor of more than four.

We also found that the sweet spots for making performance gains by improving CCM are not where investment is most prevalent – many companies do not focus at the levels where better CCM can give the best return on investment.

We are the research lead for this project. If you would like a copy of the report or would like to arrange a confidential discussion about the subject, please contact us.

Other consortium partners are:

Online Profiling Limited, experts in competency and capability management, most notably for large organisations

The Project Academy, experts in project management, among the creators of the Association for Project Management’s certification standards for project management

Commercial Catalyst, specialists in helping innovative companies bring their expertise to bear where they can make the best impact

Services Expanded

We’ve launched a fresh website to better reflect the noticeable expansion of scope in our specialist business services over the past few years. Our work in that field has grown dramatically. We find it as exciting and satisfying as our IT related projects.

Please take a look at what we offer. Not everyone needs us. But those who do make more money because of the work we do for them.