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Client cases

 

Owen Morris handles a wide variety of project assignments.   Below is an overview of several interesting projects we have handled previously, so you can see the type of professional support we provide. Call us today, so we can talk about helping your project.
 
1. Facilitation of annual business planning workshop for Board and senior managers of an international not-for-profit professional membership body
 
Issue: 
 
The Chair and CEO had found previous years’ annual planning lacking in broad, strategic thinking and systematic assessment of key issues, and also not well integrated between Board members and managers. A skilled, external planning facilitator was needed to help.
 
What we did: Met with Chair and CEO to review latest strategic plan and understand key issues facing the organisation; designed and planned a 1-day strategic planning workshop for all Directors and senior managers: divided people into small groups ahead of the meeting to discuss allocated key issue themes in advance;   led the workshop on the day using a structured but very interactive approach with many ‘buzz-groups’ using mixes of Directors and managers; produced full write-up: followed-up with CEO and Chair to assist with developing annual plan and budget.
 
Outcomes : The organisation gained a fresh, systematically-prepared ‘big-picture’ strategic framework for the following few years and an immediate frame of reference for steering its annual operational planning for the year ahead.  The workshop also helped strengthen relationships and a feeling of overall team-work between Board members and the senior management team.
 
2. Facilitation of a strategic away-day for mid-sized IT consultancy firm
 
Issue:   After a few years of challenging trading conditions, the firm’s leadership team wanted  to  have an open exchange of views about issues facing the firm and agree a range of objectives and strategic actions for the future.. They also wanted to discuss together how they might work together more effectively as a team.
 
What we did:  Owen Morris’ senior partner, Mike Owen, after holding a 1:1 confidential conversation with each team member to identify the range of views, carefully planned and then facilitated a 1-day semi-structured workshop, with the emphasis on open discussion by the whole team throughout. The meeting progressed from a broad review of issues and opportunities to agreement on a range of specific key strategic goals and actions. The day also included dedicated time for individuals to raise and discuss feelings about how people worked together. 
 
Outcomes:   The meeting helped the client’s senior team bring a host of key issues to the surface     and arrive at a fresh framework of priority actions to take the company forward. At the same time, the team worked together to identify and agree a range of ways people could work together better.
 
3.  Working with and coaching CEO of mid-sized educational charity to develop better strategic planning process and staff performance management system
 
Issue:   The charity’s Chair and CEO felt the organisation lacked strong strategic planning and a strong framework for managing the work of senior managers.
 
What we did: Reviewed the charity’s existing planning process and documents; worked 1:1 with CEO to shape and develop new strategic planning process; devised new ‘balanced scorecard’ performance planning and budgeting documents; coached CEO in short series of 1:1 sessions on how to approach planning and adopt the new methods; and helped CEO shape fresh 3-year plan for the charity using the new methods.
 
Outcomes: The charity gained a new, strong planning framework which the CEO was able to apply immediately and use to develop a fresh 3-year strategic plan.  
The organisation also gained a new effective approach for setting performance goals for staff and monitoring future ongoing performance.
 
4. Review of strategic approach to and organisation of marketing and income generation functions for a large national, multi-site care charity
 
Issue: The charity was facing an increasingly competitive, price-led operating environment and needed to gear itself up with more professional marketing and development functions.
 
What we did: Reviewed the charity’s existing organisational structure; conducted a range of consultation interviews with all the charity’s national managers; visited a national sample of the charity’s local offices;   planned and facilitated a programme of focus groups with mix of stakeholders; held workshop with director team to review organisational options; prepared report for Trustee Board giving recommendations for adjusting senior management structure, together with broad strategies for future use of marketing.
 
Outcomes:  Helped the charity define a more effective structure for its external-facing operations, which also guided a wider re-organisation of the charity’s senior management; and the charity was able to develop a fresh, more progressive set of strategies and tactics for its marketing and income generation functions.
 
5. Development of a fresh branding strategy for a national volunteering charity
 
Issue:   The charity wanted to freshen-up its ‘dated’ visual brand identity and, at the same time, needed a clearer strategy for the brand names it used for itself overall and the different market segments it served.
 
What we did: Reviewed the existing branding style and look of the charity; reviewed the same of the charity’s competitors; arranged internal and external survey of opinions; held discussion groups with senior executive team to confirm offer and proposition strategies for the main market segments served by the charity; developed alternative brand name and visual identity approaches; held review workshop with Trustee Board;   steered/managed creative development for final branding executions.
 
Outcomes: The charity adopted a new brand name and visual brand identity for itself and for each of its key services which more clearly and attractively communicate the type of organisation it is and what it offers.
 
6.  Re-structure of a small professional membership body’s senior management and guiding Chair and Board on follow-on organisational change
 
Issue: The income flows into this not-for-profit body had seriously bombed because of the 2008/9 credit crunch and, after a first-round of cut-backs, the Board wanted a neutral, external view of how it could further reduce and re-organise its senior management team in order to save more money.
 
What we did:  Reviewed the organisational structure and every staff member’s role; held 1:1 consultation with the CEO and every senior manager; held 1:1 interviews with half of the Board; held longer 1:1 with Board Chair; prepared proposals for cutting back two roles and adjusting remaining organisational structure; held workshop with Board to agree details and plan implementation; followed-up with 1:1 guidance to Chair on handling of redundancies and follow-on changes.
 
Outcomes: Owen Morris’ recommendations led the organisation to cut back its senior team by a third and reduce its salary bill by nearly 20%, which not only greatly helped the body’s immediate financial situation but also at the same time allowed several improvements in staff efficiency and work organisation to be brought in.
 
7.  Provision of an interim customer service manager for a small IT software company 
 
Issue: The company’s management team was going to have a six-month gap due its permanent customer service manager going on maternity leave.
 
What we did: Owen Morris provided a part-time interim replacement executive to cover the maternity leave period, including time for hand-over and briefing. The role included looking after sales and business administration, handling day-to-day email/website/telephone liaison with customers, processing invoices, and maintaining various databases and general records.
 
Outcomes: The company enjoyed an uninterrupted client administration function and service for its customers. As an incidental part of the project, Owen Morris were also able to sort out/tidy-up/enhance various areas of business administration and record-keeping for the company.