We aim to understand and be guided by what makes a company different, so we are practical and adaptable, yet we are always guided by the following principles.

We focus on the impact of companies and their leaders.

When we explore and test a company's strategies, our concern is to enable it to be more successful in achieving its ambitions. Although models for defining value and success can be helpful, we are not prescriptive in applying them.

When we profile, develop and coach leaders, our goal is to help them to be more beneficially influential, inside and beyond their companies. This is not always the same as aiming for career progression.

We combine rigorous thinking with a lean approach.

We ask the questions that cut through clichés, jargon and received wisdom. This builds a picture of what is really happening in a company and what needs to be done.

We like ‘Lean’ and its close ally 'Agile' not because they are so often talked about and aspired to, but because ambitious companies and leaders cannot afford to waste their precious resources.

We combine adult honesty with empathy.

While we are diplomatic, we present the truth as we understand it. We add the most value when other people are prepared to hear and explore its implications for their strategy and leadership.

We regard empathy as a strength but it needs to be applied in a far-sighted way. What makes leaders comfortable in the short term may not be in their own greater interests, or in the interests of other people who rely on them. 

We do not over-sell or over-promise.

Intellectual property is often claimed in strategic and leadership consultancy but this masks its rarity. We value other people's tools and ideas. Although fortunate in our experience, we do not make spurious statements about uniqueness.

If we are asked to do something we haven’t done before, we will say so and explore the implications. We will do the same if we think a company’s expectations appear unrealistic. 

We like to a improve a brief where possible.

Even the most logically argued brief will contain some assumptions. We like to explore their origins and validity because this can sharpen the focus of our work and make it more valuable. 

We enjoy working with people who recognise the opportunity costs of choosing the wrong options when developing their strategies and leaders.