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Build an Enterprise that Delivers

Stop guessing. Start understanding.
TBM from Elaura

Fit for purpose.

Why build your organisation according to the latest consultant mantra, when you could build it to deliver your mission? “How you build the organisation” matters far, far more than any clever strategy ever will. Issuing instructions on what will and won’t happen, and where priorities are and so forth will take you so far; but only that far. Organisations perform based on who is doing which jobs (and, we would argue, based on how well aligned the people are to the organisational mission). Leadership and management can amp that up - or, let’s face it, damp that down; but it can’t turn the people who don’t fit their roles, who don’t fit the organisation, and who don’t understand the people around them, into world beaters. TBM Reports and Data allow you to see what you have, understand where the pieces are misplaced, where there are gaps, where there are underutilised resources and where there is real strength. It gives you solid, actionable insight into performance and culture issues. It gives you the tools to build an enterprise able to deliver sustainable, resilient success.

Performance Diagnosis

Whether you are focussing on a single team with performance issues, or trying to understand variability of performance between teams, TBM Data is going to give you objective, accurate insight. Obvious examples are sales teams, customer service teams, field service teams, and so on; but the exercise can be just as valuable applied to comparing say, senior leadership teams, between markets or regions. It is too easy to attribute all underperformance to ‘market conditions’; better to ask “how much of that variability looks like it might be market conditions and how much might be team composition, maturity and self-awareness.” And when the data is in, the options to change the situation are fine-grained and nuanced; ‘scrap and start again’ is a very distant, last resort.

Culture and Change

‘Change resistance’ can be overstated, and makes an easy excuse for the intellectually lazy. Change always carries a mix of opportunity and threat, and what is called ‘change resistance’ can mask some more serious problems on the part of leaders and managers, whether that is poor communication, lack of trust, erratic decision making or whatever. But change is a natural and normal part of any life. So what about understanding the current culture of the organisation and how ‘change ready’ it is, and identifying the structural issues which, if addressed, would increase receptivity and readiness? TBM Data helps highlight the issues which will matter the most, whether you are looking across the whole organisation, or zooming in on a single team or function.

Resilience and Longevity

Firing people by text message or by locking them out of their work accounts is pretty inhumane by any reckoning. But actually, what we should be looking at is why businesses - household names, for the most part - find themselves handling this particular class of PR disaster. It is simple - people get carried away when cash is flush, and then when the wind changes, find themselves having to cut costs without regard to who and what they are losing. So be different. Build according to your determination to deliver the mission, regardless of circumstance and economic flux. Equip people as well as the enterprise to be resilient, and that will give you longevity and success whatever comes your way next.

Who does this support?

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No one has more reputation on the line when it comes to building a resilient, adaptable organisation which can keep delivering its mission, regardless of what is going on in the economy and the market, than the CEO. Using Birkman across the organisation means that decisions are being made at every level using the best possible insight into who employees are and where their talent lies. This gives Chief Executives the confidence to stay focused on the long term, knowing that the Enterprise under them is in good shape.

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Organisational Development Specialists love the comprehensive picture TBM data is able to paint of the Enterprise. TBM enables Organisation Mapping at all levels, showing areas of potential strength and weakness, untapped potential and areas where over indexing on a strength could well become a danger. The actual culture of the organisation - which is a function of the strongest perspectives of the people who work there - can be compared to the desired behaviours and levers identified for achieving sustainable change.

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C-suite and C-1 leaders all have a vested interest in ensuring that their functions or areas of responsibility are not only in good shape internally - employees and leaders working productively and with diversity of perspective in play all the time - but also able to work productively across functions. Getting everybody onto a level playing field where different styles of working and different perspectives all hold weight, but without losing accountability for performance, means leaders spend more time delivering outcomes and less time fighting fires

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The job of Learning & Development Specialists becomes very much simpler when their internal customers - both leaders and individual employees - have an accurate and objective picture of their own developmental needs. While there is always room for “filling in the gaps”, ROI is many times greater when employees are building in their areas of greatest potential, and doing so using the learning modes that work most powerfully for them. More predictable outcomes also helps insulate L&D from ‘the boom and bust’ budget cycle, where L&D can so often be sidelined.

Case Studies

The Global Tech Company with no Sales People

We were asked to provide Birkman assessment, and support a team building exercise, for the Leadership Team of an Enterprise Sales function for a leading global Tech Company in a particular market. The Head of Sales had just been removed and replaced with an external hire, and the whole 300+ person function shaken up, due to long-term poor performance, as we later discovered. The Leadership offsite was so successful that we were requested to collect TBM data for the rest of the function, and continue to support a local HRBP in delivering the workshops. 


The surprising (to us) thing was that by the time we were 50-60 people into the exercise, we had to go back to the client to ask what other functions were involved in the exercise. The reason was simple: we couldn’t see any sales people coming through in the data. Light began to dawn when we were assured that only the Enterprise Sales Team was involved. 


Cutting a long story short, what we were able to uncover, using the TBM data, was that a small team of strategists, supported by a handful of tech specialists, had launched this Sales team some years earlier - and then hired another 260+ people in their own image. The externally hired Sales Leader - and the HRBP we were working through - were by far the most Sales-oriented people in the entire team. Once alerted to the real elephant in the room, the HR team was able to focus on ensuring new hires were genuine sales people, and within a couple of years the situation had turned around.

Rebalancing a Not for Profit Organisation

We worked for several years alongside a national charity, initially on team development but eventually supporting their Recruitment Selection as well. Almost all of the 100 staff were - unsurprisingly - very people oriented and conceptual in their approach. This unfortunately resulted in an enormous number of pocket-handkerchief sized projects (around 80 or more), none of which had significant traction.

By ensuring that they were retaining the handful of more operational and systems oriented staff, and making sure that those kinds of roles were filled by more hands-on and operational staff, the balance in the organisation was naturally shifted - without ever losing its entirely justified bias towards engagement with people and ideas. The result was that, after several years, the head count was approximately the same, but the organisation was focused on around four key projects, all of which gained national traction.

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