News Consultants

News

Andy Sheppard shares an older but always relevant post that asks whether professional insights can lead to spiritual insights.

In my work, I often help leaders to dismantle silos in their organisations. It’s so rewarding to see people thrive and gain new insights as they come together. Somewhat similarly, I have also found that new insights can be unlocked through making connections across different compartments in life. Lateral thinking across parts of life that are typically separate – like our professional life and our spiritual life – can help us to thrive. I believe doing so can help us to lead richer and more integrated lives.

This article shares three connections I have found helpful between my professional life and aspects of my Christian faith. I hope it might offer interesting and fresh insights, whether or not you would consider yourself religious.

Being Hypothesis Driven

I have sympathy for anyone who questions why a search for spiritual meaning should start with Jesus. Thousands of historical and current figures have claimed insight into what gives life meaning and/or how we can live it to the full. Shouldn’t we either listen to them all, or just figure life out for ourselves? And why should we start with anyone who taught a lot about “God” when we’re not even convinced that any deity exists?

When I became a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, I was encouraged to be “hypothesis driven”. This means starting with a hypoth­esis – an educated guess – of where value is and driving towards it. The idea is to benefit from experi­ence and to make rapid progress. It remains rational because the hypothesis should be rejected or modified if disproved by the relevant data, and it is rapid because analysing this data represents only a fraction of the possible analyses. Nevertheless, as an engineer the idea still sat uncomfortably with me: it felt like jumping to a solution too early. My opinion changed when I witnessed what the expert in charge of my first engagement helped us all to accomplish. I would never have believed that so much positive change in processes and culture was possible so quickly – until I saw it happen.

 

Key points include:

  • The waste of sin
  • Keep it simple
  • Seeking understanding

 

Read the full article, Can Professional Insights Lead to Spiritual Insight?, on LinkedIn.

Andy Sheppard explores the connection between business and spirituality and how one can feed the other. 

In my work, I often help leaders to dismantle silos in their organisations. It’s so rewarding to see people thrive and gain new insights as they come together. Somewhat similarly, I have also found that new insights can be unlocked through making connections across different compartments in life. Lateral thinking across parts of life that are typically separate – like our professional life and our spiritual life – can help us to thrive. I believe doing so can help us to lead richer and more integrated lives.

This article shares three connections I have found helpful between my professional life and aspects of my Christian faith. I hope it might offer interesting and fresh insights, whether or not you would consider yourself religious.

Being Hypothesis Driven

I have sympathy for anyone who questions why a search for spiritual meaning should start with Jesus. Thousands of historical and current figures have claimed insight into what gives life meaning and/or how we can live it to the full. Shouldn’t we either listen to them all, or just figure life out for ourselves? And why should we start with anyone who taught a lot about “God” when we’re not even convinced that any deity exists?

When I became a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, I was encouraged to be “hypothesis driven”. This means starting with a hypoth­esis – an educated guess – of where value is and driving towards it. The idea is to benefit from experi­ence and to make rapid progress. It remains rational because the hypothesis should be rejected or modified if disproved by the relevant data, and it is rapid because analysing this data represents only a fraction of the possible analyses. Nevertheless, as an engineer the idea still sat uncomfortably with me: it felt like jumping to a solution too early. My opinion changed when I witnessed what the expert in charge of my first engagement helped us all to accomplish. I would never have believed that so much positive change in processes and culture was possible so quickly – until I saw it happen.

 

Key points include:

  • Six types of sin
  • Toyota’s operational excellence
  • The complexity of simplicity

 

Read the full article, Can Professional Insights Lead to Spiritual Insight?, on LinkedIn.

 

 

This timeless post from Andy Sheppard identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the six most common approaches leaders adopt when instituting change. 

A leader has many options when determining what can be improved in their organisation (or organisational unit). The options for determining how to mobilise their organisation to successfully deliver the improvements are more limited. This question of how to change is also often an afterthought: leaders can find themselves well down one of these paths without considering the relative strengths and weaknesses of alternative approaches. Yet without considering how to deliver improvements, even the best of ideas may remain as just ideas: ideas that can leave the majority of an organisation bruised, bewildered but otherwise little-changed. The hope of this article is therefore to broaden awareness of practical options, so that different delivery methods can be evaluated as to how well they promise to meet an organisation’s needs. I believe that any change programme should only be chosen after evaluating the potential impact of different combinations of what and how. Although aspects of different approaches can be blended, I would suggest that improvement initiatives commonly follow one of these six patterns:

 

The six approaches are:

  • The squeeze
  • The action list
  • The change events
  • The vision deployment
  • The narrow and deep redesign
  • The skills deployment

 

Read the full article, Six Patterns for Leading Change: Which Ones Do You Recognise?, on LinkedIn.