Consultants Form Market Alliance

IDM has joined forces with Auckland-based International Management and Technology (IMT) to jointly market the consultancy’s range of specialist change management programmes.
Managing director and idm founder Dean Fathers deliberately chose New Zealand ahead of Australia as the base from which to launch his firm’s foray into the Asian and Pacific region. “We looked at the business culture and decided it would fit better with our organisational priorities and approach. We then went in search of local partner that could take us into the markets in this region,” he said when he visited New Zealand recently to negotiate the partnership with IMT.
According to Fathers idm researched the countries in the region and looked at the cultural base, our track record in some sectors such as, wait for it, our approach to health administration, the success some of our local consultancies have in penetrating the Asian market and opted for New Zealand. “We think IMT could take our products and services into Australia and countries in Asia and represent us in way that is very close to our own corporate and culture strategy.”
ITM’s managing director Tony Stephenson says he’s felt equally comfortable with idm’s approach to the market. “The partnership just seemed to make sense and there was an empathy right from the beginning.”
Idm provides change management and organisational development consultancy services and works with major corporates and mid-size organisations in Europe and North America. Its programmes include corporate governance, business process tools such as QMap, knowledge management, balanced scorecard systems, Masters Degree in business transformation and the EFQM Excellence model.
IMT specialises in technology transfer, project management, business process development for quality, safety and health and the environment plus telecommunications industry skills and knowledge, risk management and product design, research and management.
Both the services offered and the client approach dovetail, according to Fathers. “We are both strong advocates of ‘best practice’ but that doesn’t just mean benchmarking.” Benchmarking has its flaws and implies “studying yesterday’s standards” he adds. “Companies need to work on innovating, not benchmarking. They need to concentrate on better practice and not just best practice and that’s fundamental difference in our approach [as opposed to that adopted by other consultancies].”
Companies cannot afford to spend time “looking back”. Fathers draws parallel with 18th century explorer James Cook suggesting that organisations need to be more adventurous and that idm’s mentoring approach helps them overcome the fear of embracing the new and unknown outcomes of being more innovative and “adaptive” about everything they do. Only the top five to 10 percent of organisations ever explore this new voyager territory. “That’s the group we want to work with,” says Fathers.
ITM’s Stephenson agrees with Fathers saying that managers need the right tools and training to turn their organisations around. His company specialises in technology transfer but points out that too many companies think IT is panacea for all organisational ills. Innovation does not mean the willy nilly acceptance or adoption of technology. And it doesn’t mean change for change’s sake. Many companies need to slow the change process down to allow their people to catch up and deliver the real benefits that IT potentially has to offer.
“We see companies spend millions of dollars on theoretical IT solutions which, because people are not trained or educated in how to use the technology, simply goes to waste. In some cases it causes enormous personal and process disruption,” he adds.
The new partnership offers idm the opportunity to take its products to the “rest of the world” while for ITM there is now an opportunity to significantly increase its “offshore work”. The company is now working with clients in Australia, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Japan and China and to lesser degree in North America.
“We’d like to lift our 70:30 local to international workload to around 50:50,” says Stephenson. Now all the two companies need to do is agree their strategy for tackling the opportunity they have potentially created.

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