Is your organisation running like a well-oiled machine, or an oily machine? Does it need an overhaul, or is it just time to do some fine-tuning?
All robust organisations – government and non-government – occasionally examine their structure and operations to determine whether any change is needed, and if so, what kind. The most common sources of this need include budget constraints and changes in government, minister, legislation or functions. There may simply be an acknowledgement that people cannot do their job well under the organisation’s existing arrangements.
To avoid the impact of assigning internal staff to conduct a governance review, organisations commonly procure the services of an external advisor. Many advisors take an “off the rack” approach to advising organisations on structural and operational change, the principal drivers being money, function and efficiency. Under this approach, the organisation’s functions and processes are generally identified, grouped and costed according to well established practices.
Structural and procedural templates are produced reflecting what, in the advisor’s view, delivers the most ‘efficient’ result. Quite often, however, the organisation is left with a ‘set to fail’ system – a system that only functions well if nothing goes wrong. This is rarely the case.
Proximity takes an entirely different approach to organisational review.
We understand that organisations do not share identical functions, stakeholders and outputs. We prefer to work at ‘ground level’ with our clients, prioritising the needs of the organisation and – just as importantly – the people who work within it.
The effective review of any organisation’s structure and operations requires an understanding of:
· the organisation’s legal, political and policy environment
· the functions of the organisation
· the nature and needs of the organisation’s stakeholders
· expectations of stakeholders about the performance of the organisation
· the capacity of the organisation to perform its functions at a high level, and to meet the needs of its stakeholders.
Proximity is a multi-disciplinary firm and boasts a strong team of experts in legal, governance and commercial disciplines. Many of us have a substantial background in government service at senior levels; so, we can offer the right combination of people with appropriate skills and an understanding of the laws, policies, politics and culture relating to your organisation.
We focus on working on-site with you and your team as much as possible. This promotes more cost-effective services and allows our advisors to:
· conduct structured discussions on-site with staff
· maintain strong communication channels
· attend and participate in meetings
· identify and assist with issues before they become problems
· play a more strategic role
· provide advice that reflects on-the-ground realities.
Proximity can assist leaders within your organisation by identifying pragmatic improvements to improve your structure and processes. This includes mapping existing capabilities, identifying areas for improvement, analysing strategic directions and objectives, and recommending strategies to address capability gaps.
Proximity is highly regarded for its advisory services to the Australian Government in a wide range of matters; among them, a growing list of significant governance reviews.