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Strategic Developments International

Here are a few examples of some of the problems that we’ve helped other organisations to solve:-

Click on the subject you wish to read about.

We've restructured but it isn't working. The matrix structure seemed a great idea, but it isn't working. +

The Solution - We worked with a major retail company that had decided to implement 'Category Management'. This required creating a complex matrix structure with people belonging to new teams. We also worked with a financial services company that had gone down a similar track. In both cases we were able to assist the organisations to kick off the new structures in ways that enhanced organisational performance.

How do we cope better with mergers/acquisitions/joint ventures? +

The Solution - We worked with a new consortium that had been created to build and run hospitals. This work mainly involved helping the Board to develop a coherent and implementable strategy that met the needs of the various partners. We also conducted a Self Managed Learning programme for a financial services company that was subsequently taken over. Research, by one of their HR managers for a higher degree, showed that the organisation had adjusted well to the takeover and that the programme had been the key to this.

We're trying to make our globalised business work, but it isn't easy. +

The Solution - We have been assisting an international financial services company to create new regional arrangements. This has included assisting with creating a virtual corporate university, with built-in e-learning capability. Collaboration across various national cultures has been facilitated through both workshops and on-line cooperation.

We do strategic plans, but they don't get implemented. We want to be more strategic, but we don't know how to progress. +

The Solution - We have a unique content-free, totally transferable approach to linking strategy to implementation. This approach has been used by organisations in manufacturing, engineering, health, financial services, local government and facilities management.

Our organisation's culture isn't right for our business needs. +

The Solution - We have conducted organisational diagnosis research for banks, local authorities, high tech companies and government agencies. We use an action research approach which links to assisting organisational change.

Training is not cost effective. +

The Solution - We invented and developed the Self Managed Learning approach, which has been proven to be more cost-effective than standardised training courses. Some of the research evidence for this is in ‘Self Managed Learning in Action’ (edited by Ian Cunningham, Ben Bennett and Graham Dawes and published in 2000 by Gower). Organisations that have used our approach come from all sectors including banking, insurance, local authorities, marketing, engineering, oil, retail, high tech, utilities and health.

Team building hasn't worked. +

The Solution - We are in favour of ‘team development’ and the promotion of team working capability. We avoid narrowly based ‘team building’, which often causes introverted modes of working. We like to help everyone to learn to work better in whatever team they happen to belong to. And organisations in the following sectors have appreciated our approach: retail, financial services, high tech and public sector. They have found that developing the overall social capital of the business is more important than just fixing a few dysfunctional teams.

We've tried knowledge management, but it hasn't proved cost-effective. +

The Solution - Knowledge management requires people to be able to cooperate in new ways. Organisations have found that just initiating new IT arrangements doesn’t work. We have found that creating new horizontal connections in the business is a key component of success and organisations in financial services, market research and public sectors have benefited from our assistance.

The idea of a learning organisation is great but it all seems too fluffy and not related to bottom line pay-off. +

The Solution - Most attempts at creating learning organisations do not work out. We have developed our unique ‘Strategic Learning’ approach as an alternative to the learning organisation model (see Ian Cunningham’s ‘The Wisdom of Strategic Learning’ 2nd edition published by Gower in 1999).

We need a new HR strategy - one that will work. +

The Solution - We have developed methods for crafting workable HR strategies and organisations in the following sectors have valued this approach: financial services, IT, public sector, manufacturing and retail.

We need to manage major change better but these standarised 'change management in three easy steps' packages don't work. +

The Solution - Much of our work is involved in assisting organisations with major change. We like to develop the internal resource in organisations so that the capability to manage future change is built in to the business.

E-learning seems a good idea but when I look at the web-based training it really bores me rigid. +

The Solution - We have pioneered approaches which encourage people to collaborate on-line for their own development and for that of the organisation. We help organisations to create ways in which they can use existing material on the web without having to develop their own from scratch. We have carried out this work in a variety of organisations as well as working with universities in using on-line learning modes for masters and doctoral programmes.

Our trainers realise that they need to be more learning/development oriented - but how do we do it?. +

The Solution - We gladly pass on our expertise to organisations and we have assisted in developing developers for banks, insurance companies, consultancy firms and public sector organisations.

Managers have been told to be better at coaching - but just telling them hasn't had much impact. +

The Solution - We carry out coaching assignments, we also assist organisations to develop their own coaching capability. As an example we have gathered together practical exercises that can be used in developing coaching capability and these have been published in the UK as ‘Exercises for Developing Coaching Capability’ (CIPD, 1998) and in the USA as ‘The Coaching Skill-Builder Activity Pack’ (Amacom, 2001).