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How we can help you develop your company culture, strategy and structure.

‘If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we have an enormous capacity to change’ says Campbell Macpherson, executive fellow at Henley Business School. The keynote speaker for the Henley Partnership adds ‘Business leader thinking has changed seismically, and... Read more

15 Jan 2024

By Rosemary Shields

‘If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we have an enormous capacity to change’ says Campbell Macpherson, executive fellow at Henley Business School. The keynote speaker for the Henley Partnership adds ‘Business leader thinking has changed seismically, and we’ve embraced these three important principles:

  • We are fundamentally able to change, quickly, and in various ways;
  • Emotions are at the heart of our propensity to change;
  • Change is not a project. It is constant.

The coronavirus change paradox

  • The pandemic has accelerated evolution of many industries. They’ve innovated, pivoted, and demonstrated agility.
  • Others put everything on ice, waiting to return to the ‘new normal’. But the world has changed forever, and anyone waiting for things to go back to the old ways will flounder.
  • As leaders, we need to revisit our strategic fundamentals and lead change within people to effect change within organisations.

Whilst Campbell Macpherson may published his article three years ago, his findings resonate with the work we have been doing with our clients as they reflect on their company culture and re-establish company strategies.

Whatever change we are seeking in our lives, whether we want to get fitter, slimmer, richer, we need to start with the end in mind. A plan with a measurable goal.  As a business the measurable goal must be a shared goal and needs to be communicated company wide.

Company Culture, Strategy and Structure.

We are passionate about helping leaders consider strategic fundamentals and lead change to effect organisational transformation.

Change is not a project; it is constant, live and evolving.

Here we outline how we successfully worked with an SME in a stepped process to help them identify their goals and to communicate them meaningfully to their team.

Step One

Alliotts facilitated a workshop at which senior leaders (the directors) gathered to commit: – not to fix things that are not working, but to focus on and amplify the things that do work.  To understand and establish collective goals.  The Director’s collective goals were about themselves:

  • Create defined roles – a set of clear roles and responsibilities
  • Be on the same ‘hymn sheet’
  • Cohesive working
  • Clarity
  • Improve how we communicate – with each other and generally
  • Provide clear and united messaging to staff, not only by words but by positive actions and behaviours

Step Two

  • Identify the Company’s purpose; ‘WHY’ does it do what it does, what is its differentiator?
  • Analyse how the organisation fits in the wider context of the ‘post-pandemic/post-brexit’ world, the country, the community it serves? This is broken down into broader contexts.
    • Political
    • Economical
    • Social
    • Technological
    • Legal, and
    • Environmental factors.
  • Consider what practical aspects shape culture. Examine the Company’s current culture in terms of
    • Customs
    • Beliefs, and
    • Values

Culture and context analysis were brought together to form a full and frank discussion, here are just some outcomes: –

  • To be more agile, effective, and compliant, are we automating process as much as we could?
  • Recruitment – in the post-pandemic word, is our culture still fit for purpose to attract and retain the best people?
  • How much does our carbon footprint inform potential client’s choice of service provider and potential employees’ employer of choice? and if it does or may do, does our culture adequately promote environmentally friendly behaviours and actions to attract and retain clients/staff? If we could better manage our environmental footprint, will our clients/staff and importantly new clients/staff be more inclined to work with us

Step Three

It is recognised and acknowledged that organisational culture emanates directly from the leadership team.  In another form of brainstorming, the key areas of responsibility of a Director was identified:

  • Codified Directors Duties, compliance, and governance
  • Legal (health& safety, GDPR, Insurance, anti-money laundering, etc..)
  • Client/customer services
  • Economy & Financials (budgeting, debt management, pensions/payroll..etc.)
  • People
  • Training & Development/CPD
  • Technology
  • Business Development/Marketing

Having established key areas of responsibility, each Director agreed to ‘sign-up’ to and be accountable to a role description, which includes key competencies:

Step Four

The role of a director represents high levels of responsibility.  While one can be responsible and ultimately accountable, it is acknowledged that it takes a team to make things happen.  The next step involves HR Planning and skills analysis.  Academic structure theories and planned growth were considered.  To inform and visualise an ideal structure, a further discussion was facilitated.


  • If we were starting this business today, with the knowledge we have of what needs to be done, but without any people – how would we form the ‘ideal structure’?
  • How does our ‘ideal structure’ compare with the current structure.
  • Is the ‘ideal structure’ so different that a re-structure (either in part or in full) may be necessary?


  • Who are the ‘key people’ and how are they critical to the business?
  • Do we have adequate key-person insurance in place?
  • How does our culture enable/encourage key-people to share their skills/knowledge?
  • How do those key people support the Directors?


  • Is there a succession plan?
  • What does a skills-analysis tell us?
    • Is there an opportunity to utilise skills not being used, to upskill or promote anyone – to retain them
    • Is there opportunity for new posts
    • Is it going to be necessary to manage capability or levels of poor-performance


Agile, innovative business is built on clear strategic fundamentals, who the business exists to serve and why, what makes us special and what gives us the right to succeed.

Agile, innovative businesses focus on developing people, treating them as individuals, sharing strategic goals, allowing them to be creative and innovative, enabling them to meaningfully contribute and showing them that being happy and healthy are not the outcomes from success, but the ingredients of success.

Grow leaders for tomorrow’s world, instil in them confidence to use their ingenuity, wisdom, and compassion to shape a glorious future. Give them skills to accept uncertainty and embrace the inevitable changes that lie ahead.

Contact Rosemary for advice and assistance

Rosemary Shields

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