Change and Transformation
New Powerhouse Created in Canadian Human Capital Market
Two of Canada’s most respected professional services firms have come together to create a new strategic alliance to serve Canadian business leaders in meeting the challenges of transformational change and talent management.
“The Beacon Group’s program proved to be a transformational experience for our staff, and has created a new, more open culture of creativity and collaboration that has given The Globe and Mail a marked and measurable competitive advantage.”
— Phillip Crawley
“The Beacon Group was able to handle our 360 reviews across 9 offices in a manner that brought significant value to our partners, the firm and ultimately our clients.”
— Judson Whiteside
“The human capital programs provided by The Beacon Group are best in class.”
— Tye Burt
“The Beacon Group approaches very serious and difficult topics in an accessible and insightful way.”
— Eric Siegel
“The Beacon Group’s thought provoking curriculum utilizes best practice tools and interactive media for evaluation, assessment and overall learning. It has helped us raise the bar on our calibre of talent.”
— Ernst Lieb
“The Beacon Group delivered cutting edge perspectives on many human capital topics that were tailored and customized to our company in a way that we could not have obtained at more generic, cookie-cutter advising shops.”
— Doug Lord
“The Beacon Group acted as a strategic partner and was instrumental in helping us raise the bar on candid dialogue and team performance.”
— Robert Courteau
“We engaged The Beacon Group when we needed to bring two cultures together after our first major international acquisition: the evidence of their success lies in both the subsequent growth in our business and our presence in more than twelve countries on five continents.”
— Rupert Duchesne
“The Beacon Group excels in facilitating open & candid dialogue that has fostered superior team performance.”
— Mary Ellen Carlyle
“Top-level thought leadership, combined with practical, cost-effective solutions—that’s the real value the Beacon Group team brings to bear on Foresters talent challenges.”
— Suanne Nielsen
“Doug Williamson and his team were of invaluable assistance in helping our organization navigate through a completely new strategic planning process and emerge with a three year plan resoundingly endorsed by our Board. Doug’s global perspectives and ability to drive consensus was an integral part of our success.”
— Don Forgeron
“The Global HR & Communications senior team engaged the Beacon Group in shepherding us through a unique strategic planning process that involved an outside-in view of our current and future workforce and how this aligns to our business strategy. Thanks to Doug and his team it was a thought provoking process that sharpened our strategic thinking and, in the end, made our strategy stronger.”
— Sylvia Chrominska
“The Beacon Group’s customized and personalized approach fit our needs perfectly. From the initial self-discovery phase all the way to recommending solutions, the work they have done has been consistently world-class. They combine strong analytics with a wealth of real world experience. They are focused, targeted and are experts at taking theoretic concepts and making them real. We look forward to working with Doug and his team as we continue to elevate our business and improve our internal performance.”
— Don Romano
In the hyperactive and challenging world in which we all live, it is becoming harder and harder for business leaders to find time to read, reflect and gain insight from the many valuable sources at our disposal.
In "Provocative Propositions", The Beacon Group attempts to fill that void by offering our opinion, often rather pointed, on a wide array of issues we believe are relevant to leading a modern organization.
The articles are catalogued into 12 categories so you can quickly and easily find a topic of particular interest. We then offer three easy steps under the heading "In Our Opinion" to help business leaders take action on the key themes.
Simply click on the category and read away.
Changing the Way We Think
The fact is – Organizations need to change the way they think, if they want to survive.
The Problem is – Too many organizations are under the impression that the answer to their future success is their ability to analyze their past results, and count on the answer they can project from that data.
The Outcome is – Organizations are losing ground to more innovative and creative competitors who are willing to adopt the principles of design thinking in their organizational processes.
The Solution is – To understand that the future of business focuses equally on “what” your organization does and “how” it does it. That’s the power of design thinking.
The Importance of Design Thinking
A fundamental shift is underway. Many businesses have found out that doing the same old things, in the same old way, just isn’t working. In recent years, they have been forced to reinvent themselves. Enter design thinking, a fundamentally new approach to management that has been used by designers, engineers, and creative agencies for years. The underlying premise is that using a creative approach, versus an academic or business approach, is the best way to secure the future. While business thinking involves the use of current methods, paradigms, and information, design thinking takes a different approach. It focuses on the problem in a way that unshackles creativity from the burden of current thinking and leads to truly new outcomes.
Tim Brown, author of "Change by Design", and CEO of the worlds’ foremost design shop IDEO states:
“The reason for the iterative, nonlinear nature of the journey is not that design thinkers are disorganized or undisciplined, but that design thinking is fundamentally an exploratory process; done right, it will invariably make unexpected discoveries along the way, and it would be foolish not to discover where they lead.”
If your organization is going to be successful, you must focus on redesigning your thinking process.
Three Components to Design Thinking
Design thinking is a systems approach. In other words, the process has a beginning, a middle and an end, which for most business executives, is a reassuring proposition. It also looks at the problem holistically. The three main areas that design thinking forces one to consider are:
People – Will they like it? This focus area ensures that the thinker can concentrate on the desirability of what is being redesigned
Technology – Does it work? This focus area covers the feasibility of the redesign in question.
Business – Will it help the bottom line? This focus area helps thinkers redesign something to ensure that it produces a truly viable end result.
By combining these components, organizations can reap the benefits of many different types of innovation, from functional innovation, to emotional innovation to process innovation.
Design thinkers are different. According to IDEO, the best design thinkers are “t- shaped”. This means they are both technically savvy across a broad spectrum of topics (the horizontal axis), and they bring a tremendous amount of experience to the table (the vertical axis). By seeking people who have great aptitude on both of these scales, your ability to excel at design thinking, and then implement the innovation will be far more successful.
In Our Opinion
The Beacon Group’s Keys to Effective Design Thinking in Organizations
Balance – Design thinking is a proven approach, however, it takes a certain skill set and mindset to pull it off. If your organization isn’t ready to adopt this concept yet, then create a balance. Use design thinking for key programs that need a big thrust and continue to use business thinking for the more day-to-day activities.
Get outside - One of the most important parts of design thinking is the initial research phase. In the early stages of tackling a problem, it states that the best approach is to get people out of the office to meet with “experts”. This will speed up the learning process.
Seek diversity - Challenge your HR group to rethink (redesign) its hiring process. Break the current mould if you feel it doesn’t bring you the right mix of people to generate diverse ideas for the future.