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Faced with the opportunities and challenges posed by digitisation, globalisation and high-paced innovation, there’s a tendency for organisations to reach out to external management consultants. The consultants come and go, typically leaving behind a report based on their well-healed approach of:

  • analysis by ‘benchmark’
  • recommendation by ‘analogy’
  • implementation by ‘fiat’

Though successful for many decades, this classic consulting approach is the antithesis of what is required now:

  1. it is undertaken by ‘experts’ who are themselves entrenched in a ‘business-as-usual’ mindset
  2. it attempts to do things to an organisation, and not with the organisation
  3. it is akin to simply ‘re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’…

After all, which consultants made online retailing happen for Amazon? Or iPod/iTunes happen for Apple? Or reusable rockets happen for SpaceX?

Consultants have their place, but it is my strong contention that it is the key people within an organisation who are best placed to take disruptive technologies by the horns… and make things happen.

If your key people are like many of the high-performers I’ve worked with over the years, they’re strong individuals who can sometimes work at cross-purposes. Left unchecked, this can breed competing agendas and turf politics, inhibiting the focus and coordinated effort required. What they need is a facilitated process; one which allows each of them to focus their intuition, creativity and passion fully to the task at hand.

Utilising my background in physics and management consulting, and my deep interest in psychology, I’ve created an innovative programme revolving around a 3-day workshop. Here, key people from across the organisation follow a structured process and work together in a collegial and collaborative way. Throughout the workshop, I sit down with each individual and give him/her honest and detailed feedback for maximising his/her contribution to the group for the remainder of the workshop and beyond.

There is a strong focus on thinking from first principles:

  • what are we trying to accomplish?
  • what are the axioms (the fundamental truths) of the situation we face?
  • unencumbered by a ‘business-as-usual’ mindset, how can we best achieve the desired outcome?

The workshop culminates in:

  1. a prioritised list of initiatives
  2. a detailed plan of action
  3. genuine engagement, ownership and commitment from people

I write the outputs up into a concise report, distributed to everyone post workshop.

The workshop is supported by a series of one-to-one coaching sessions with key decision-makers in the organisation, typically once every quarter. For UK/European based clients, my preference is to hold the sessions at the Reform Club in central London, where we have the option of including a superb working lunch:

These coaching sessions can begin before or after the workshop, depending on the specific situation.

The programme also has provision for separate training sessions on ‘thinking from first principles’ and ‘executive communication skills’ if and where necessary.

I’m a seasoned facilitator, trainer and coach, having worked with many clients across the globe:

To learn more about how I can help you tackle the most fundamental challenges your organisation faces, just scroll below.

– Mani Sandher

workshop

On this high-intensity 3-day workshop, executives work together to address key business challenges, following a structured process:

As well as creating truly innovative solutions, they leave with an extensive problem-solving toolkit, and the skills necessary to apply it going forward.

The workshop is intensive, challenging and certainly no ‘walk in the park’, with assumptions, beliefs and mental models all tested and teased apart continuously. But participants find it immensely stimulating and engaging, and tend to remember it for years after.

The systematic structure of the workshop, along with my particular facilitation style, tend to act as a ‘safety net’ for participants, giving them license to fully release their intuition and creativity.

Some clients have used the workshop as a very productive ‘executive retreat’.

Feel free to contact me to discuss running a from first principles workshop in your organisation.

training

coming soon…

coaching

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are all in harmony.’
– Mahatma Gandhi

Striving for such congruence is arguably the best path to achieving a truly fulfilling professional life. Applying from first principles thinking, we arrive at the following model:

  1. working with passion
    – what’s important to you?
    – what do you believe to be true about you, about others, and about the world?
    – what do you want to be famous for?
  2. contributing your unique talent
    – what do you find easy that others find difficult?
    – which activities make you lose track of time?
    – what preferences do you have in the way you think, and the way you do things?
  3. offering real value
    – how can you combine what you have a passion for, and what you have a talent for?
    – how can this add value to others, and create an economic return for yourself?
    – what do you need to do to make this a reality?

My approach to coaching is based on a series of stimulating face-to-face conversations, predicated on mutual credibility, respect and trust. Although the atmosphere will always be relaxed and friendly, expect me to challenge your assumptions, beliefs and mental models throughout.

We’ll think through constraints to achieving your goals from first principles. We’ll employ tools such as psychometric tests and 360° feedback too, but only where we feel they’ll add real value.

Feel free to contact me to discuss how you can construct a truly fulfilling professional life.

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