Services

CULTURE CHANGE

“The only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture.”
Edgar Schein (Organizational Culture and Leadership, 2010)

Shaping organisational culture and leadership capability for the future is one of the most important things that organisations do. As Business Psychologists, we understand the science behind successful culture change. We have the skills and experience to help you transform your business.

All organisations are somewhere on a journey of culture change at any point in time. Our culture change programs are often chosen by clients embarking on significant change, needing ‘troubleshooting’ to resolve performance or conflict issues, or targeting employee engagement issues such as high turnover or ‘presenteeism’.

During our thirty years’ experience, we have developed simple, powerful methods that help your leaders define quickly the organisational culture they need to achieve their business goals. We then help them design sophisticated and user-friendly frameworks to support culture change programs. These include leadership capability frameworks, selection and development assessment frameworks, and the design and delivery of their ‘Leadership Academy’ programs.

Organisational Culture Change Programs

Our organisational culture change programs are underpinned by the philosophy that your people are best-positioned to diagnose and solve problems – but that they might need some objective help. Thirty years’ experience and evidence from research have shown us that change developed and implemented by our clients is more likely to be accepted and embedded than change transplanted from other organisations’ best practices or imposed by external consultancies.

Of course, we provide you with expert advice about the theory and practice of human and organisational behaviour. An important aspect of our work focuses on helping you identify decisions that can be considered to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. However, most of our culture change work involves more of a ‘coaching’ style with your leaders and executive teams to help them define what and how your organisations need to change.

We use a planned program of models, mini-workshops, and interactive sessions that help leaders focus on business strategy and problem-solving as the basis for culture change. We help them identify the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of their culture they need to strengthen, remove, or add. In this way, we give your organisation new skills and tools to see and solve culture problems. We also help you to achieve greater autonomy in designing and implementing future culture change.

Our notable recent organisational culture change work includes:

  • Culture change sessions with the transformation and leadership teams for the Australasian arm of a global manufacturing and distribution firm.
  • Culture and values framework design with the partners of a national creative industry firm.

Leadership Capability Frameworks

Leadership behaviour is the single biggest influence on organisational culture. If your organisation wants to change its culture, the change needs to start at the top. Leaders and their HR partners need to have clear, simple, and usable frameworks against which they can define and evaluate ideal leadership behaviour and performance.

While well-intentioned, many leadership capability frameworks are too convoluted and unwieldy for most leaders to use. We help you adapt our own simple proprietary capability framework for your business, or we work with you to develop your own tailor-made framework. Our deep expertise in the fields of leadership, assessment, and executive development means we can integrate and simplify these core frameworks to make them highly user-friendly – and used – by leaders.

Our notable recent leadership capability framework assignments include:

  • Designing and building a selection assessment and reporting framework to work with the leadership capability framework that we also updated for an ASX20 firm’s international business.
  • Using our own research and leadership frameworks as the basis for the design, selection, and development of leadership competencies in a large, fast-growing financial services company in the Middle East.

LEADERSHIP TEAM DEVELOPMENT

“Transformational leadership occurs when leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality.”
James Macgregor Burns (Leadership, 1978)

If your business wants to change its culture, then your leadership teams need to do things differently. High-performing executive teams are crucial to the success and wellbeing of your organisation. Their behaviour is the key to maintaining – or changing – the way that people think, feel, and act.

We typically work with clients on leadership team development before, after, and during periods of significant change, such as restructures, doing ‘more with less’, or reshaping an organisation after notable growth or decline.

Our expertise as psychologists means that we can work more deeply than most team development programs allow. With our knowledge of social and group psychology, our programs address the underlying issues affecting performance rather than just the symptoms. As a result, we help your business build sophisticated, insightful, and sustainably high-performing leadership teams.

Team Development and Troubleshooting

For a leadership team experiencing dysfunction or crisis, our business psychologists have the skills and experience in counselling and group dynamics to minimise damage quickly and start the process of repair. People can only ‘unfreeze’ and change their behaviour when they feel safe and motivated to do so. Our priority is therefore to create an atmosphere where they can feel resourceful again and start moving towards solutions.

Wherever possible, we work with the team structure and roles intact to help the group to diagnose and resolve the issues at play. Our approach results in stronger and more sustainable outcomes, positioning the team to deal better with any future issues. We usually provide special support, coaching, and guidance to the team’s leader as the linchpin of the team’s ongoing success.

Our notable recent team development and troubleshooting work includes:

  • Crisis facilitation for a team in conflict at a major federal government department
  • Diagnosis and intervention of leadership culture issues with a function GM and her leadership team at a major financial services business.

High-Performing Team Programs

Our approach to developing high-performing leadership teams focuses on building collective insight and skills to manage the deeper psychological issues at play in group dynamics. Examples are the way in which authority and power are used in the team, the formal and informal roles that team members play, and how the group manages its own change and conflict processes.

Our experienced psychologists create a challenging, but safe and collaborative atmosphere to support team development and change. Our programs are largely experiential, interactive, and designed to be directly relevant to the leadership team’s real-life interactions and work.

We carefully tailor our content to your team’s development needs. Programs typically comprise three days of group work over a six- to twelve-month period. In line with evidence-based best-practice, we also coach each member of the leadership team between the group sessions to embed new skills and desired behavioural changes more effectively.

Our notable recent high-performing team development work includes:

  • Offsite sessions and a follow-up coaching program for Australian marketing executives at a global pharmaceutical company
  • Team development program for the executive team of a global not-for-profit after a significant restructure and team changes.

LEADER DEVELOPMENT

“Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group to achieve a common goal.”
Peter Northouse (Leadership: Theory & Practice, 2013)

Every leader benefits from investment in a leadership development program and executive coaching at some point in their career. However, studies show that a vast proportion of leadership development spend is wasted. Participants often feel the lack of relevance of programs to their real world of business and have difficulty applying on-the-job what they have learnt. A simple online search already reveals everything a leader needs to know about leadership theory. Our tailored leadership development programs focus instead on the psychology of leadership and how individuals can most successfully adapt their own business, people, and culture for success.

We work with established executives wanting to fine-tune their skills and style at the top as well as with leaders taking on new or increased leadership responsibilities. Significant career transitions require not only leadership skill and experience, but also changes in mindset and behaviour. As psychologists, we have the rigorous training, expertise, and evidence-based leadership development programs to create and support successful change.

Leadership Development Programs

Our leadership development programs are conducted one-on-one or in small teams or groups by an experienced business psychologist. The programs typically stretch over six months or more and include a series of structured sessions to introduce our unique combination of models, tools, and techniques in an applied, experiential way. Leaders learn from us about how they can better use role mindset, authority, and assertiveness to influence their own and others’ behaviour. They also learn how to create more consciously a workplace culture that serves their business needs.

Research shows that coaching between and after development sessions results in increased behaviour change. For this reason, all of our leadership programs incorporate one-on-one coaching with a psychologist. In this way, our work with leaders quickly enables them to develop practical new insights and behaviours, and feel comfortable using them. They often notice changes in thinking and performance immediately. For your organisation, our programs help to fast-track leaders’ performance in their role and inform future career development opportunities and succession planning decisions.

Our notable recent leadership development work includes:

  • Leadership development and executive coaching programs with general manager aspirants in an ASX10 organisation.
  • Individual leadership development programs for each member of the ‘C-suite’ team in a major state government department

Executive Coaching

Every leader who comes for executive coaching has a unique set of needs and aims. So, we listen first and carefully tailor our approach accordingly. Unlike most coaches, our psychological training and experience enable us to work with the ‘whole’ person and the combination of personal and professional content they bring to their coaching sessions.

Executives usually want most of all to build resilience, executive presence, their personal ‘brand’, and to become more transformational and inspirational leaders. Fine-tuning these skills becomes increasingly important as leaders rise through an organisation. Sustained personal change requires thoughtful and meaningful work. Our methodology is a blend of coaching, counselling, and educational techniques that draws on theory from psychology, sociology, and business, as well as on many years of practical experience. We do not impose contracts with a minimum number of coaching sessions. Some executive coaching engagements are short-lived, very targeted, and intensively regular. Others are longer-standing, less regular, and focused on maintenance or gradual and subtle development.

Our notable recent executive coaching work includes:

  • Executive coaching of the CEO of a ASX50 organisation
  • Leadership development and executive coaching programs with the Asia leadership group of an ASX10 organisation

LEADER SELECTION ASSESSMENT

“Differing circumstances and differing personal backgrounds can produce a successful leader in one situation yet be ineffective in another.”
Ralph Stogdill (Personal Factors Associated with Leadership, 1948)

Our leadership assessments provide invaluable insights and advice to boards, CEOs, and senior executives facing critical leadership decisions for their business. Building a team to tackle a new strategy, choosing a key successor, or selecting amongst candidates following a restructure, merger, or acquisition are all pivotal moments. When they need someone with the right leadership competencies to succeed, our clients trust us to provide them with the comfort and confidence to act decisively.

Our senior business psychologists have the deep expertise, experience, and credibility to conduct rigorous psychological assessments with executive leaders. The psychometric assessment tools and interviewing methods we use for predicting performance are built on a strong evidence base and have been continually refined over 30 years of practice.

Based on our proprietary capability framework or tailored to your own, our psychologists write leadership assessment reports that are thorough, incisive, and clearly interpretable.

Psychological Assessment for Leadership Selection

Each leadership selection assessment begins with clearly defining the leadership competencies required for success in the role. We conduct thorough briefings with the hiring manager as well as with senior HR and other relevant stakeholders. The psychological assessment itself usually takes a full day for senior executives. The day comprises psychometric assessments and extensive interviews and may also involve activities assessing communication, influencing, and leadership skills.

For successful candidates, our post-hire program helps to optimise and develop their performance from day one on the job. The six-month program closely involves the hiring manager and includes assessment feedback followed by development planning and executive coaching sessions.

Our notable recent leadership assessment work includes:

  • Helping a general manager build a team of 7 global business heads after significant restructure in an ASX10 organisation.
  • Expanding the Asia leadership team across locations in Singapore, HK, and China for an ASX10 organisation.

Psychological Assessment for Executive Development

High-performing and high-potential executives want to understand what they need to do to achieve their professional and career goals in a competitive environment. Leadership assessment is the ideal first step for an executive on a development path. The leader can benchmark their abilities against high-performing peers, discover expert perspectives on their strengths and development needs, and focus resources on developing the competencies that will make the most difference to them and their careers.

For more information, see our solutions relating to Leadership Development.

Our notable recent leadership assessment work includes:

  • Designing development assessment programs to transition successors into CEO positions in two mid-sized corporations over a period of one to two years
  • Development assessment programs to support transition into general manager or C-suite roles in an ASX10 organisation.