Our business services might be for you if:
- You are an organization leader. Ideally a business owner or a CEO, but we work also with executives, directors, managers whose teams have a reasonable amount of autonomy and freedom.
- You deeply want to fulfill needs and exceed expectations of:
- Your employees. To do meaningful work and create meaningful relationships, we don’t work with leaders who see their employees as machines for money or as a way to fulfill one’s ego.
- Your customers. To do meaningful work and create meaningful relationships, we don’t work with leaders and organizations who see their customers as milking cows or who work in businesses like tobacco, alcohol, gambling or weapons.
- Your shareholders and your organization. To do meaningful work and create meaningful relationships, we want to work with sustainable businesses and earning enough money for shareholders is necessary for that. Leaders in non-profits don’t have shareholders, so non-profit organizations are an exception here.
- Environment and all other stakeholders affected by the organization. For example, we don’t work with heavy polluters who are fine with that and don’t want to improve or with leaders who treat their partners or suppliers badly.
- You want to fulfill needs and exceed expectations of those stakeholders even at possible slight costs for your ego and comfort and you want us and our systematization to help you with that.
Our business services:
1. ‘Organizational excellence audit’
It’s our default service we offer to our business leads who are not our customers yet. The reason is that we believe one should understand a situation before trying to improve it. Especially, when the situation involves improving a complex system like an organization in even much more complex systems like markets, societies, … Without an audit, we wouldn’t understand your organization sufficiently complexly – the probabilities of the following scenarios would be too high: a) we focus on low leverage points of your organization while missing high leverage points; b) we are inefficient and need to go back to get better understanding of your organization; c) we suggest wrong solutions causing more troubles than good… It’s also the only service which can start a long-term, high-intensity cooperation with a customer. It’s for a simple reason that we value meaningful work and meaningful relationships. If we spend a lot of time in some organization doing some change management, we must deeply believe those changes are useful and high leverage points for the organization and equally importantly, we must have a good relationship with organization’s leaders supported by similar goals and values – things that will show up nicely in the audit, but hard to see otherwise.
In this organizational excellence audit, we focus primarily on objectives like employee satisfaction, relationships, cooperation, direction and productivity, quality, efficiency, replaceability, continuous improvement and we focus primarily on areas of organizational culture, climate, vision, and leadership, but also on organizational structure and organization’s external environment, possibly also on processes, metrics, tools and maybe even on finances or the product/service itself. How deeply we go in the audit depends on agreement with the organization’s leader before the audit starts. However, don’t expect us to have deep knowledge in areas like laws, marketing, safety/security, industry specifics (unless it’s software) and maybe other areas which are not mentioned few lines above as those we focus on.
Process of the audit is agreed before the audit starts (but reacting to change is also important, not just following a plan, so it might change a little after an ad-hoc agreement with the organizational leader during the audit). Typical things for information collection might include: one-on-ones with leaders, one-on-ones with employees, surveys, checking internal documents, metrics or other data, external research (mostly Internet), attending meetings, … The collected information is analyzed before the final report using many of our checklists, templates, models and also experience, intuition, and creative thinking. The process can take from circa two weeks (40 man-hours) for smaller organizations and basic analysis to several months for bigger organizations and wider analysis. The expected scope is agreed before the audit.
Result of the excellence audit is a written document (typically 10+ pages long) and discussion (if needed, discussions) about the findings – what’s good, what’s not so strong and what can be done about that, where we see the highest leverage points, … Don’t expect the result to be an eye-pleasing document with lots of charts and visualizations which can be nicely presented on meetings with upper management or published on walls. If your main objective is to have a nice report to present somewhere, go to someone else – all of our competitors we have seen provide visually nicer documents than we do as results. We do organizational excellence audits because we believe it leads to fulfilling a part of our mission – to help with creating excellent organizations. We believe strong content helps organizational leaders towards the excellence of their organization much more than an eye-pleasing form. Expect our document and follow-up discussion to give you a deep and complex understanding of your organization in ways you very probably haven’t thought about your organization so far and expect the document to show you high leverage points where you can make your organization much better, closer towards organizational excellence with relatively low inputs.
We don’t provide an example of any document/report from past audits because they include information that shouldn’t be public, but some illustration of our thinking with the specific customer can be seen here: case study of an excellence organization.
2. Post-audit consultations
We might do a follow-up work (typically some change management and/or mentoring) for an organization after the audit. It requires that we create a connection and a deep trust with the leader(s) during the audit. It requires that there’s something from the audit which wants improvement and that we have skills and knowledge to help with such improvement. The agreement, whether we help with post-audit work, can be done once the audit is completed or at least it is coming to an end, not sooner.
3. Smaller consultations
If you are an organizational leader and have some specific situation (e.g., troubles communicating with one specific employee; high employee turnover; feeling overwhelmed, …) you would like to see more completely or if you solve some specific problem (e.g., avoidance of conflict in your organization; team resisting to attend retrospectives; …) and would like our help, we might try help you with 1-3 hours long consultation(s). Even if you are not our customer yet, feel free to contact us with a brief description of what help do you want and we will contact you back with a suggestion of the next steps or that it’s a problem we are not competent to help you.
We can provide workshops on various topics (basically the topics from the articles on our blog). Length can vary from half a day to two days, the audience can be up to 10 people. Some example topics:
- Organizational excellence and how to reach it
- Time and energy management and how to improve your lives applying them
- Organizational culture
- Individual excellence and how to reach it
- Test strategies or How to make test plans easier to review and more complete while creating them quicker (Note: only for software companies)
- How to solve problems better using principle-based, categorization-based and systematic problem solving
- Waterfall, Agile and various Agile frameworks
If you would like us to lead a workshop for your organization on some of the above topics or some of the topics often mentioned on the blog, it might be possible, see the Next Steps below.
- If you are possibly interested in some of our services, feel free to contact us. Then we will check if we want to cooperate with each other and if so, we agree on the details of the cooperation.