Testimonials

Learn about some of the experiences that our clients have enjoyed through our programs




Our new Strategy is called “Dare to Dream”. Ivan Nurick helped turn that dream into a reality. If you’re looking for Vision, Thought Leadership, Inspiration and if you really want to make a step-change in your business, then Ivan Nurick is the man to guide your business into the future

– David Macgeorge | Director – BIS Industrial Logistics

I have had exposure to training before and can categorically say this was the best programme I have ever had the privilege to be included in. For the past five years I have read everything I could ever put my hands on in terms of management and leadership and to be involved in strategy formulation, setting a vision, purpose and values at this level would be the highlight of my career to date. Although I knew where we were heading it was wonderful to see the process unfold so positively and effectively. I am very interested in the FITS model – elements I have been exposed to- Choleric, Sanguine etc – but have never seen it in the format presented. This is very enlightening!

– Carolyn Landesman |

Thank you yet again Ivan – you have an ability to impart a considerable volume of complex information in a digestible format.
I have had quite an introspective weekend mulling over many of the many issues we looked at. I enjoyed the workshop very much. Implementation and change whilst driving the business is the challenge – a bit like patting your head, rubbing your stomach and riding the bike. Sounds like fun – even for guys!! However I am only riding on soft grass to start with and I may need to call for help – thanks for the offer.

– Steve Montgomery |

I found your workshop to be very insightful and profound for me so a very heartfelt Thank You! I sent a note to all the Leadership participants to suggest they spend 30 minutes each day this week reflecting and committing to action in regard to learning’s and insights from our workshop. Organisational Change and Strategy is something that I have always enjoyed so another thanks

– Cathy Neagle |

I must say that your teachings have also been extremely insightful for me and I am definitely enjoying the journey we are following, even if it is continuous change. Thank you for your hard work and time that you are investing into all of us – look forward to the next session

– Tracey Baldwin |

I regularly and continuously, utilised the materials of TheStrategyWorkshop.com to establish the Strategic Business Plan for the business and to conduct follow up and progress reviews. The materials assisted the Senior Management Team to ‘unpack’ the complexity to develop a robust, consistent and effective business plan that ensured maximum optimization of the business. This process commenced with an in-depth analysis of the existing business activities and developing a clear understanding of the cost and value drivers. Through this mechanism, management was quickly and accurately able to ascertain critical and non critical activities and develop efficient procedures and structures accordingly. I believe that the management team, working through thestrategyworkshop.com’s planning process, was able to fully focus on and address the critical business issues. The successful implementation of the plan was largely attributable to the well structured step by step approach taken and the “easy to follow” formatting of the follow up action plans and activities. This ensures that the plan becomes an essential and active component of the monthly reporting and management process. Ivan Nurick, the author of the materials, brings extensive multi-industry experience, and broad analytical skills which have proven to be extremely thought provoking, original and creative.

I have no hesitation in endorsing the personal and strategic planning skills and materials of TheStrategyWorkshop.com and would certainly always be seeking his assistance in any future planning projects.

– Craig Bickley | Eastern Regional Director for BIS Industries Pty Ltd




I have seen what Ivan is able to bring into a business to allow its senior managers and its line managers to develop new strategy using a suite of tools and processes that give you a result that is usable together with action plans that support it

– Greg Holt | General Manager – Cleanaway C&I

Thank you for all the time, effort, understanding and leadership that you have shown over the last six weeks. Your clear-mindedness, analytical and critical thinking as well as your compassion have been comforting as well as inspiring.

– Gad Krebs

Case Studies

Read some of the successes that our clients have achieved through our programs

A Defence Agency

Context

The agency designs and builds high technology defence weapon systems that are used by the country and sold to other allies. R&D was staffed by 93 scientists, 89 of whom were ‘If’ (INTJ)* and 4 were engineers that had ‘FS’ preferences (ESTJ)*. Leadership within the Agency was thought of as ‘getting in the way of science’ and ‘for scientists who had passed their use by date’. The Agency was producing unbelievable product but was largely unsuccessful in its sales efforts.

The Challenge

There were 2 challenges:

  1. Legitimise leadership within the Agency; and
  2. Overcome barriers to sales

The Intervention

The group was exposed to the overall FITS methodology (See the FREE ebook titled ‘Overview of the Concept of Strategic Fit’). During the training, many of those identified as leaders began to come forward as ‘volunteers’ and change agents to legitimise the role of leadership within the Agency and change staffs’ perceptions.

Fence sitters were rapidly enrolled as volunteers. The change effort began to gain traction and momentum. Those who were considered as ‘prisoners’ i.e. were too resistant to change and had fixed ideas, exited the organisation. We developed a vision that defined our future potential at the cutting edge of weapons design. We demonstrated how through strong leadership and with unity of Purpose and Action, we could build a reputation that would make any scientist proud.

In terms of the sales issue, we identified that customers did not want to be pioneers (I) (See the FREE ebook titled ‘Overview of the Concept of Strategic Fit’). They wanted proven and trusted systems. They wanted facts and details(S). The salespeople were all scientists ‘If’ (INTJ)* who spoke to customers about concepts, hypotheses, possibilities and what could be. By changing the sales people to engineers ‘FS’ (ESTJ), they spoke to customers in the language that they related to, providing information on weapon tests, demonstrations, testimonials, delivery and pricing schedules and guarantees.

The Outcome

By creating strategic fit between the sales team (visible culture) and customers, whilst still legitimising the current culture (enabling culture) ‘If’, sales soared in no time.

The role of leadership within the Agency was reframed so that it was seen as something to strive for. Scientists began to acknowledge that strong leadership compressed project timelines thereby giving scientists more time for research. Leadership ‘facilitated science’ rather than ‘getting in the way of science’

These wins, together with the change program, rapidly created a climate of ‘success breeds success’ that legitimised leadership at all levels in the organisation.

Strategic Focus and Continuous Improvement ensures that Event and Venue Managers retain Centre Stage

Background

The company manages and operates the premier MICE (meetings incentives, conventions and exhibitions) venue in Asia Pacific. It has the location, facilities, infrastructure and service capabilities to meet the most demanding of customers’ and delegates’ needs. Against the background of increasing globalisation, the entry of additional players locally, nationally and abroad, and other key macro-environmental trends, the company embarked on a program that provides strategic focus and direction throughout the organisation. This process creates the momentum for ongoing incremental improvements to all aspects of the business.
The Process
Using the Strategic Fit Model and Framework, the company developed a new Purpose Statement, identified its critical Strategic Issues and reassessed the basis upon which it classifies its various markets. Strategic segments, based upon customers’ patterns of behaviour, were identified. Management believed that it was important to test their perceptions of customers’ buying behaviour, and commissioned market research to validate its thinking.

The research not only tested management’s propositions regarding behaviour, but also highlighted aspects of service that are important to customers. Customers’ perceptions of the company’s performance relative to these product and service attributes were measured, as was its performance relative to its competitors. This hard data from customers’ assisted the company to raise its performance standards.

The next step was to make the organisational purpose real for all staff. We developed a cascade process that created staff ownership. By aligning the individual needs and aspirations of staff with the Purpose Statement, and clearly articulating how each person can effectively contribute to the strategy, the company created an environment in which staff ‘live’ the vision and ‘go the extra mile’.

Express Distribution Segmentation Case Study

Background
A global express distribution company was attempting to service up to 42 separate segments through the same infrastructure. The business had become so complex that:

  1. Market segments began competing with each other, cannibalising its own market and allowing some competitors to position in uncontested market spaces.
  2. The business became so complex because the executives assumed that each segment had specific and different needs from any other segment. Accordingly, the people, systems and processes were attempting to meet each segment’s specific needs. The company was trying ‘to be all things to all people’ and in the process became ‘nothing to anybody’.
  3. The result was that the company was rapidly losing market share as dissatisfied customers defected to competitors, and
  4. Profitability plummeted.

The Intervention

We undertook customer research using needs-based patterns of behaviour to identify customers’ needs, wants and purchase behaviour. An examination of the findings revealed the following major segments: (See the free ebook titled ‘An Overview of Strategic Fit’ for details on how to interpret the meaning of the graphics.)

We were therefore able to collapse the 42 segments into 3 key segments as shown in the graphic below.

The project resulted in the client:

  1. Reducing the number of customer segments from 42 to 3 as 20% of the segments represented 80% of the revenue. This simplified the business dramatically and shifted Executive mindsets.
  2. Each segment was large enough to justify splitting the business into three Divisions – Express Freight, General Freight & Specialised Logistics.
  3. To create Strategic Fit, each Division developed its own:
    1. Vision and mission,
    2. Nurtured and acquired its own core and distinctive competences that created a sustainable competitive advantage,
    3. Developed systems and processes and an infrastructure that supported the customers dominant logics, and
    4. Hired people with skills to leverage the business and preferences that ‘mirrored’ customers preferred behaviours.
  4. The company not only rapidly returned to its previous level of profitability and market share, but it outperformed the industry on every metric.

Global hotel group meets the challenge of managing growth

Background

The company operating in Asia Pacific is the largest hospitality management group in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, operating multiple brands across all star classifications. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of a French organisiation that owns or manages over 2,500 properties worldwide.

Following an unprecedented period of growth through acquisition, the Chief Executive embarked on an ambitious program to:

  1. Consolidate and integrate the operations, and simultaneously
  2. Maintain its strong acquisitive posture, whilst
  3. Develop the strategic architecture

The Process

We were retained to work with the Executive team to develop the strategic architecture for the business. The Strategic Fit framework was adopted as it “created a common language and provided a simple conceptual model to develop our strategic agenda”.

The Strategic development process resulted in us undertaking a benchmark study of customer needs and expectations. On a strategic level, the study provided market segmentation insights, which informed subtle differences between the business and leisure segments. The study also revealed key opportunities for enhancing customer satisfaction, loyalty and organisational performance. This knowledge helped the company to focus on things that really matter to customers and to more effectively allocate effort and resources. The revelation of such subtle mismatches between segments has assisted managers to more precisely meet customers’ expectations in an intensely competitive environment.

As the corporate strategy evolved, the organisation was restructured to reflect the strategic intent. Branding initiatives were established, which continue to generate large scale improvements in thinking and operations.

Finally, the Human Resource Department has put 13 managers through the Strategic Fit Accreditation Program. This program provides practitioners with the knowledge and skill of the Strategic Fit process so that it can create unity of purpose and effort throughout the whole organisation.

The Outcomes

The company has managed the challenge of simultaneous growth and consolidation through:

  • developing a focused strategic agenda
  • understanding customers needs and expectations more clearly than its competitors
  • structuring the business to reflect its strategic approach
  • building the position and equity of its brands without huge media spends
  • undertaking initiatives that will create unity of purpose and effort

A South African Meat Company

Context

A German immigrant to South Africa established a butcher shop on the South Coast of Natal in the early 1940s. When he died in the early 1980s, his youngest son, then 18 was asked to take over the running of the family business as he had the most knowledge and was the most passionate about the business. By 1992, the young entrepreneur (then aged 26) had built a huge vertically integrated meat business. It had feed lots, state of the art manufacturing plants, leading edge delicatessens’ with integrated weighing and computer technology and mom and pop butcheries. The only part of the value chain that it was not involved with was slaughtering (abattoirs) as this process was government owned and controlled.

The company was turning over in excess of a ZAR1b. The only problem was that the company wasn’t making any money.

The Analysis

An analysis of customer needs and expectations revealed an overall dominant logic of ‘FS’ (See the FREE ebook titled ‘An Overview of the Concept of Strategic Fit for details of the framework). The strategy and leadership style were ‘IF’ (ENTP*). The current culture was ‘F’ and preferred culture ‘FS’ (i.e. matched the ideal culture). The ideal culture should “mirror” customer needs (Logics).

The entrepreneur, being full of good ideas and being opportunistic (IF) was creating havoc in the business by changing the goal posts and changing direction every two minutes. The staff needed a structured, stable and systematic environment in which they could deliver operational excellence to customers (FS Logics).

The Solution

The solution was simple and practical. We recruited a General Manager (GM) with the leadership style ‘FS’ (ESTJ*) that could act as a buffer between the entrepreneur and the staff. The entrepreneur was given the title of ‘Chairman’, asked to find an office in town and continue doing what he was good at. The GM ‘translated the Chairman’s ideas that passed muster into projects that were implemented in a deliberate, systematic and purposeful way. Objectives, milestones and KPIs were constantly and regularly monitored.

The Outcome

This simple change created a disproportionate result (i.e. unbelievable leverage). The company broke even within six months and after 18 months was out-performing the industry.

More specifically:

  • Staff turnover reduced dramatically.
  • Effectiveness and efficiency improved resulting in more streamlined cost-effective systems and processes, and
  • The customer franchise grew dramatically. The average spend per customer increased. Existing customers became ‘raving fans’ and this attracted hordes of new customers
  • The company maintained its position as being first in introducing new technology and new products, whilst implementing all projects in a systematic, structured and purposeful way.
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