2016 National Conference

Victor Dominello MP
Victor talked to us about doing things differently. He specifically mentioned the importance of moving from paper documents to digital. He put his money where his mouth is in demanding that real-time petrol prices were put on-line for residents of NSW.
He mentioned that there are two things important to government – money and information. Money must be channelled into optimising outcomes. Information is necessary in order to transform an operation, maps are most important to visualisation and to determining solutions. Victor went on to tell us how he uses big data analysis to map building certifier data to home warranty expenditure in order to identify potential warranty claims before they occur and put in controls.

Trudy MacDonald
Trudy talked about the triad of needs: Autonomy, Purpose and Mastery and that they all need to be addressed. She said that it was important to define, measure and reward greatness – good is not enough anymore.
A way to do this is to have meaningful conversations about things that matter – every 90 days. These need to be informal and should feed into a development plan. It’s also important to realise that– non-financial rewards are more motivational and it’s important to genuinely thank people for doing a good job.

Alice Crawley
Alice suggested our task was to help our clients to realise the vision, their values and the associated benefits. An important to understand that human beings are hardwired for creativity and connection. She finished with a quote from a Maya Angelou: “Remember how you make people feel (they’ll forget what you say and what you do)”

Ari Galper
Ari talked to us about the importance of trust, that it’s more important than competence.
He talked about “Sales myths”: 1) sales is a numbers game –  rejection is not a normal part of the process 2) a sale is lost at the end of the process – it’s lost at the opening line, 3) we need to overcome objections – we need to diffuse objections.
Ari went on to point out that customers are not price sensitive they are risk-averse. We need to focus on truth so that a true dialogue emerges. If there’s a fit - we can proceed, if not we can walk away with integrity.
His 3 principles are:
-          Diffuse pressure with the question “Where do you think we should go from here?”
-          Get to the truth - remove word “follow-up”, ask for feedback – not “are there any questions?”
-          Be a problem solver ask the question: “I’m hoping you can help me out for a moment?”

Michelle Gibbings
Michelle reminded us to “defrost the chickens”. Expectations are increasing and we need to adapt by changing ourselves. We need to decide what are going to do about change: should we meditate and rest more? We need to understand what’s holding us back and decide what we’re going to do about it. What are what we are learning and what are we unlearning.

John Groarke
John told us how to rapidly improve and transform our business. We need to start with our capability. Then we can bolster our skills, knowledge and experience to take advantage of opportunities. He presented the 7 steps of his ADAPT plan.

Joel Dobrogosz
Joel talked to us about developing the Propel tool that helps to develop a structured approach to business growth. He gave statistics that showed failure to grow can be traced to lack of achievable milestones and lack of commitment on the part of upper management. Joel suggested that as management consultants we should improve client conversions and maximise client relationships.

Deen Sanders
Balance between liability and regulation was Deen’s topic. This raises the question of IMCs responsibility to regulate the management consultants in order to improve professionalism. He indicated that the value of experts is eroding, the concept of a ‘trusted professional’ is therefore an important differentiator. We need to identify the gaps in the professional association.

Ashley Brinson
Ashely spoke about the Warren Centre and about the opportunity for experts to help reduce wastage. He cited failed projects that wasted large amounts of money and concluded that culture, process, governance and technology were areas that require attention. Ashely clearly showed how well placed we are to exploit opportunity to help reduce failure and the associated wastage. IP30 in particular holds a multi-billion opportunity for Australians.

Michael Perkins
Michael spoke about the shifting sands of professional accountability and our path to specialisation as problem solvers. He indicated that consulting is not just a discipline of client engagement it’s a dimension of practice i.e. a model of business. He proposed action for IMC in applying experience to the provision of goods services and in providing simple solutions to chaotic situations. A consultant’s role is to provide efficient on-boarding of expertise and applying it to a client’s problem.

Richard Hopkins
Richard talked to us about ‘something missing in Formula 1 racing’. He was instrumental in driving efficiencies that could actually change the performance of cars on the track. After many years of long days, and a heart attack, he took a team of 650 people, who were missing the belief they could win (they were consistently 8th & 9th with only two trophies – for 3rd) into a ’team of winners’. He re-wrote job descriptions, managed the risk of reduced spares inventory and changed the design paradigm to make response faster and getting parts to the track quicker; and they started to win races. The 2009 Chinese GP was the first and they went on to win championship in 2011-12-13. We need to understand the opportunity that hadn’t been tapped.

Greg Kackender
Greg talked to us about outcomes-based solutions and the ‘fallacy’ of chasing a low price with the risk of poor performance. He talked about true competition and the need for the assessment of offers from competitors to be valid, reliable, flexible and fair. Assessments must be defensible. He also talked about innovation which he conceded is hard to define. He suggested that context is important – some innovation is the result of a mistake. Innovation must have a perceived value or benefit and its outcomes must be defined in terms of demonstrable results.

Lyn Crawford
Lyn’s address was about the Global Alliance for the Project ProfessionS (GAPPS). It’s a collaboration of dedicated volunteers who focus on rethinking the way we manage projects. GAAPS has put artefacts into the public domain and conduct thought leadership forums on project management. They have published a Products Project Manager Framework and have done work in developing a formula for assessing project complexity. If IMC becomes a member – all members will be admitted at member prices.

Bradley Rolfe
Bradley talked to us about the ancient Greek’s approach to knowledge, They divided thinking into Phronosis – why we do things, Episteme - conceptual framework about what we know and Techne – how to do things. Bradley presented statistics on the increasing propensity to engage consultants across the economy. He posited that the strategy consulting firms will work at the Phronosis level, the ‘big four’ will work at the Episteme level and the majority of consulting firms will operate at the Techne level.

Sue Leslie
Sue talked about gender-based communication and the typical marketing depiction for the two genders. Sue suggested that men and women need to understand the way each other communicate and Active Listening was introduced as a model. In terms of leadership styles men will command while women will persuade, in teamwork men will compete and women will collaborate, in regard to decision making, men focus on goals while women follow a process. The conclusion is that cross-gender projects will benefit from both.

Nancy Georges
Nancy presented on digital media. She talked about the fact that men and women get to the same point – just via different routes. She suggested men are more like PCs, women are more like Macs. Again the collusion was the benefit of combined activity – the two are more than just the sum of the parts.

Judith Fox
Judith talked about women in leadership and made the point that women often make decisions regarding the engagement of consultants. Judith identified that attaining an appropriate gender balance requires change management. All organisations with >100 persons must address gender balance and she made the point that when gender parity becomes a KPI it gets attention. She concluded that the changing marketplace – flatter organisations, increased diversity and the need for agility clearly feed into the strengths of engaging women.