how does progressive, collaborative Consulting sound to you?

aCE talentNET

aCE talentNET 1997-2011

What a day…

It started out by taking our Sophia Mundi marketing committee through their paces! Which is to say, with the website now well and truly ticking along, what activities do we need to participate in to drive traffic both to it and the school in general? Lots of ideas, with plenty of research to follow.

Following closely on was a revisit of a continuing conversation, which has been in train for nigh on 3 years now. It started out when interest was conveyed in buying my business, aCE talentNET. Nothing eventuated from a sale point of view but we did continue to talk about consultants in general, coupled with the future of consulting and what could be a relevant consultancy business model look like, bearing all this in mind.

Some time later, the new consultancy was born. To its credit, it has been operating rather well, with a respectable low-millions dollar turnover already. How many consultancies can brag about numbers like that in their first few years of operation? Not many…

So what’s exciting right now, what with my “restraint of trade” over at end of this month, is that I am free to join in and ramp up a number of the original concepts we talked about plus a number of new ones we’ve since cooked up.  Exciting stuff!

Already booked a date in July for the half-day workshop, to really bounce these ideas around and see which have traction and in what order. Stuff I love doing.

Given that there are many more consultants in the marketplace, none of which are making a particular good amount of revenue, what we will eventually have to offer will be (in my humble opinion) world class in progressive, collaborative consulting for the betterment of  both the client and the consultant.

Stay tuned for updates…
And if you want to know more already, just email me

Then it was into Hurst Partners to finish off one Information Memorandum, in readiness to take this business to market.
Plus reviewing one rather large website that is looking to go on the market.
Together with receiving an email to potentially work with a client to rollout a website-based online business…

Exciting times ahead.


If you’re in Organisational Development, then read “Company” by Max Barry


Having read this 2007 novel, it has so reminded me of corporate organisational life as I recall it. The description of the relationships within the company are so eloquently described that the stories have taken me back to my time in the corporate world. Rather enjoyable now that I’m nowhere near the buildings that were.

“So funny that it’s serious. No cubicle should be without a copy.” Gideon Haigh

…a typical company. Or at least that’s what everyone thinks, until fresh-faced employee Jones – too new to understand that you just don’t ask certain questions… a biting, incisive and delightful satire of corporate culture.

High recommended, if organisational development is your thing….

to add an equity partner or not to add, that Is the question?

growthI’m always curious to know why Business Owners quite freely jump to the suggestion of bringing in an equity partner when thinking of growth. Especially if they claim they have funds to add to the pot! Whereas the option of Growth by Acquisition rarely gets a look in.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that it’s not an option, not at all. But it is often flippantly thrown about as one of a number, almost without real considered thought behind it.

Knowing someone, whether it be for a long time or short, does not mean you know what they will be like as a business partner. Let’s not mention all the decisions you’ve always made will no longer be all yours to make. Plus there’s the issues about how to spend money, what to do with profits, what staff to bring on, what role each of you are to play, etc…

The way I structured this decision, way back in the heady days of aCE talentNET was to have my prospective business partner work as a sub-contractor for 12 months. If a relationship is going to work, or not, doubts will have raised their head by the conclusion of that time frame, enabling both of you to shake hands and walk away, before any real damage is done.

I wish we had followed the same protocol when bringing on partner #3 but that’s another story. Warning: don’t always let reputation get in the way of adhering to your process.

Having had one way work and the other be a disaster, I know which I will repeat again in future. Something I strongly urge all Business Owners to really think through when broaching the same topic in considering growth options.

Think about it from an Exit Strategy point of view. How much easier is it to at least get to the sale decision when there’s only you. The more people you add to the decision making process, the more delay fatigue will potentially set in.

Growth by Acquisition on the other hand means you may be able to negotiate to have the best of both worlds ie the additional revenues and client list, without necessarily taking on the exiting partners… think about it…

Announcement: Farewell to aCE talentNET, it’s been a fabulous ride…

As announced in the latest aCE talentNET Professional Edge;

Well, the time has come to bid a fond farewell to all friends and colleagues of aCE.

From this day forward, Denise Hall (ie me!) will no longer be part of the aCE inner sanctum! After 15 years approx, it is time to move on and expand my horizons. Be safe in the knowledge though that Deirdre Gruiters is not going anywhere and aCE is operating business as usual. The only real difference is that I will no longer be behind the scenes.

It has been a pleasure and an honour being part of your working life over this time. Whether you’re new to the community, you’ve been there from the start or something in between, your contribution to the quality of aCE at large is in direct proportion to who you are and what you do. For that I thank you for helping us build aCE into what it is today.

A big thank you also to Karen, Rebecca and Chris, and to all the many aCE associates I have had the pleasure of working with.

A very big and special thank you goes to Deirdre Gruiters, through which much of what we’ve been able to achieve is attributable.

I invite you to stay “connected” through the various social media networks, just click on the one that tickles your fancy!

Buying and selling businesses is my new area of interest, so bear that in mind should it be what you want to do with your business, in time.

Good luck with your future endeavours

read on…

Change? It’s Only Just Begun!

You’re probably familiar with eBay and PayPal. They’re businesses that have transformed and challenged traditional retailing because they enable individuals to trade online, bypassing normal supply chains. We’re now on the edge of another wave of transformational change of how business and work are done.

Robert Gottliebsen at Business Spectator recently interviewed Matt Barrie from which connects workers with businesses on a global basis. Businesses post jobs that workers bid for. Payment occurs online when jobs are finished. It’s mainly small business people doing work for small business people. But it brings the power of ‘big’ to the little businessperson’s business. The interview is here:

At that link we last covered zaarly and uber which also empower self-employed people to do big things. I know of many other transformational business service models. It’s the replication of a trend we’re seeing in IT, for example, where contracting is rising. Forget about industrial relations, human resource management and jobs for life! This is about stock exchanges for jobs, fast moving, with people making their own choices.

Government isn’t coping. This is reflected in comments from Peter Strong of the Council of Small Business Australia. He referred to the recent budget as a ‘big business budget’ in a TV interview. This big business view is probably why the administration of paid parental leave, for example, is looking so complex for small business people and why a Commonwealth Bank survey found small business drowning in red tape.

Government will fail when it tries to force its administrative convenience onto this global business realignment. So watch out politicians! An analysis of voting trends amongst self-employed people showed a strong willingness to swing their votes.

Very, very interesting indeed… a sign of things to come… just wonder how the government will view it/legislate for or against it??? Time will tell.

From Ken Phillips (Exec. Dir.) and the team at Independent Contractors of Australia

Employers Worldwide Lack a Strategy for Developing Women Leaders, New Mercer Survey Shows…

No surprise to read (from a headline  like that I’m sure. Here’s the rest of the sorry story…

New York — March 7

Despite efforts by organizations around the world to achieve a diverse workforce, the majority – 71 percent – do not have a clearly defined strategy or philosophy for developing women for leadership roles, according to the new Women’s Leadership Development Survey conducted by Mercer in conjunction with Talent Management and Diversity Executive magazines.

The survey, conducted in December 2010, includes responses from more than 1,800 human resource, talent management and diversity leaders at organizations throughout North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific. The survey included a broad cross-section of industries with for-profits, high-tech/telecommunications, financial/ banking and durable manufacturing organizations representing the largest segments. Responses, which addressed current commitment and support for women’s leadership, plans for the future and obstacles to success, were fairly consistent across regions.

According to Mercer’s survey, almost half (47 percent) of employers surveyed globally indicate that their organizations do not offer any activities or programs targeted to the development needs of women leaders. While 21 percent of organizations said they offer some activities or programs, another 6 percent of organizations said they are planning to add programs and activities in the future. Read on…

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