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Strategic Developments International

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Managing Change +

We have assisted numerous organisations with major changes. Recent examples include:- • helping a large retail company to make a new structure work effectively • assisting a financial services company with moving to a matrix organisation In all our work we help organisations to learn to work in new ways. We especially focus on developing internal resources so that the changes can be sustainable. In this respect we have been hired by a major IT company to develop its internal capability to manage change.

Strategy +

We have developed a unique strategy model that ensures that organisations can make strategic change happen. We have worked with a number of Boards using this approach, including organisations in the following sectors:- financial services, engineering, support services, local government. Our approach is totally flexible and can apply to any size of organisation.

Team Development +

We talk of 'team development' not team building because we ensure that people learn to work in a variety of teams and are able to respond, for instance, to changing team membership or changing tasks. Team building is too often a static approach that wrongly assumes that the team and the world stays still. Our approach is learning based. We want to develop capabilities that can be sustained over time and in changing circumstances. We have successfully applied this approach in a wide range of organisations including manufacturing companies, banks and public sector organisations.

Developing Human and Social Capital +

Organisations are looking to mobilise not just the individual talents of their people (human capital) but also the value of relationships and networks (social capital). We are working with international clients in financial services and in marketing in order to pioneer new ways of developing social capital. In one case this includes creating a revolutionary virtual corporate university.

Strategic Learning +

We work with many organisations to develop a strategic approach to learning. More about this is in Ian Cunningham's book 'The Wisdom of Strategic Learning' (Gower, 1999). In brief we help organisations to move out of the trap of quick-fix training into a longer-term, more cost-effective approach to mobilising learning resources to meet business needs. Organisations with whom we have worked include those in the following sectors: - financial services, market research, IT, retail, local government, manufacturing and consultancy.

Developing Learning Organisations +

Many clients espouse the idea of becoming learning organisations. We see much of our work in supporting them to achieve this as a sub-set of our strategic learning work. Too often organisations imagine that investing in more training will create a learning organisation. Our belief is that an overall strategic approach is necessary and that within this various tactics will find their place. Click here for an example of the quandries faced by a chief executive trying to create and sustain a learning culture.

Knowledge Management +

We provide learning based approaches to knowledge management, for the many organisations which have realised that mechanistic, static approaches make poor business sense. Organisations that have used our services include financial services companies and public sector organisations.

Self Managed Learning +

We invented the Self Managed Learning approach and have implemented it in numerous organisations around the world. In essence the approach helps individuals to learn what they need to learn without the constraints of rigid training programmes. It also ensures that learning is linked to real organisational needs and avoids the waste of sending people on irrelevant courses. As well as working with dozens of individual organisations we have provided programmes for consortia of companies in all sectors. Some programmes have been for senior managers while others have been for Board members. A selection of cases is contained in 'Self Managed Learning in Action' edited by Ian Cunningham, Ben Bennett and Graham Dawes (Gower, 2000).

Coaching and Mentoring +

We provide direct coaching and mentoring as well as developing coaches and mentors in organisations. We work at all levels though we have particular expertise in coaching and mentoring Board members (including CEO's) and senior managers. Organisations that have used our services cover most sectors and most recently include financial services, local government, manufacturing, support services and market research.

Research +

Our approach to research is highly practical and is linked to direct application. Much of it could be characterised as 'action research' with strong links to live practical issues in organisations. We have conducted research projects for a variety of clients including recently research on organisation culture for a bank and research for the UK Government on organisational responses to e-learning. We have also carried out a variety of evaluation projects and we have undertaken research funded by ourselves on learning in organisations.

Publications +

We publish books and articles on a variety of topics. We also write material for internal use in organisations, for example a booklet on Self Managed Learning for the UK Government.

Learning Materials +

We develop materials to support learning in organisations. For instance we have created original learning packages for a major international pharmaceutical company. We have also worked with professional organisations to create learning materials. For instance we have produced a pack of 'Exercises for Developing Coaching Capability' for the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. This pack is being marketed by the American Management Association in the USA as 'The Coaching Skill-Builder Activity Pack'.

Holistic Development +

Organisations are realising that knowledge and skill acquisition is not enough. Interest in emotional intelligence has been one recent manifestation of this. We take our work further and have provided workshops on integrated holistic development for clients in broadcasting, airlines, utilities, business schools and local authorities.

Developing Developers +

We frequently get called upon to assist internal training staff to break out of the training mould in order to become real development professionals. Often we see this as part of a wider assignment, for example in creating learning organisations. We willingly share our expertise with others and can provide on-going support during such transitions. Organisations that have benefited from our assistance include public sector bodies, financial services companies and hi-tech companies.

E-Learning +

We have had significant experience of e-learning over the last 15 years. We were involved in the early development of computer conferencing and have developed learner-centred approaches to e-learning which can respond flexibly to real needs. We have introduced collaborative e-learning modes into an international manufacturing company and a financial services company - and we have collaborated with government agencies and universities in developing on-line learning programmes.