Meet Brendon Baker, Managing Director of Valuable Change Co.
In a snapshot, can you tell us about Valuable Change Co?
Sure, happy to.
The Valuable Change Co. was founded on one central mission: Help Change Leaders Drive Real Value.
Unfortunately for many larger organisations, it’sbecome a world filled with armies of consulting graduates sitting in dimly lit rooms retroactively justifying why the latest ‘transformational’ initiative went ahead… So, we at VC Co. are converting others to a radical new idea: Keep it simple.
In short – we help organisations Foster Change Leadership and Drive Valuable Change.
What led you to write the book Valuable Change? How long did this process take you?
Through my over $10 Billion in change experience – two things quickly became clear:
- Strong change leadership is often the key difference between changes that succeed, and those that fail, and
- Change Leaders were being largely ignored – it was assumed that just because they were the ‘leader’ that they had it all under control.
To make matters worse, the ‘change’ industry has become highly fragmented, with specialist roles that are narrow in focus and deep in complexity (think project manager, change manager, benefits manager, etc.) Yet a Change Leader must be able to connect all the dots and drive value from the change, despite this complexity.
This is why I wrote the book.
To provide Change Leaders with a highly approachable and effective frame, method, and toolset to look beyond the complexity of the change and focus on what really matters. I also weave into the book brand new shortcuts for Change Leaders that are based on recent developments across several scientific fields.
The book was 3-5 years in the making, with ‘hardcore’ writing taking a little under a year.
Your rule: Keep it simple, how do you apply that to your own business?
Love this question. No one ever asks this one.
Out of the many concepts in my book, there are two key ones that I apply to my own business.
First: For every client engagement both the client and I must be able to clearly answer the 3 Key Valuable Questions:
- Why are we doing this?
- How will we prove success?
- What are we doing?
(in that order)
Ultimately, this builds into what I call the ‘change spine’ (shown below). This forms the insanely simple framework for my proposals.
Second: as much as possible, I strive for minimal to no overlap in my internal systems and toolsets.A concept that I call the “Simplest Practical” solutions.
Elements in my internal processes ideally:
- Have a clear purpose.
- Cover what it must to meet the purpose.
- Cover no more than it must to meet that purpose.
So far, what have you found have been the key drivers to success of Valuable Change Co?
It’s been the alluring mix of refreshing simplicity and cutting edge strategies that are in no way reliant on tech. Any organisation that is looking to drive a change or embed a culture of ongoing improvement can utilise these ideas immediately.
For the change team that’s struggling in the depth of despair – it’s the light at the end of the tunnel. For the team that’s already kicking ass – it’s the strategies to generate even greater change momentum.
What were the circumstances that led you to joining WOTSO and so far, what you love most about having your business located in a co-working environment?
My team is spread across the world – so I don’t need much office space. However, I’ve got 2 small girls at home, the youngest of which just doesn’t quite grasp the idea of “Daddy is working” in my home-office yet. So, I needed a place to hold meetings, run virtual workshops, and get into the zone to develop new insights.
WOTSO fits the bill nicely here.
The co-working environment is great, although I have to admit, the everlasting roster of sweets and tiny teddies are what my girls most love about it. In fact, my 4yr old calls it my ‘Fun Office’. It has lollies, put-put golf and basketball!
What is the advice that you would provide business owners which are still going through the motions of change brought on by the pandemic?
I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to run your business. That’s your expertise, not mine.
But I can share what I did.
I revisited and strengthened the WHY of my business, spent time building out my own capability, expanded market reach and created new ways to grow reputation and credibility.
As for my advice on change? Well, it’s the old adage – change is the only constant. What they don’t mention though, is that change that is good for you tends to happen in ripples. Inside you, then your organisation, then the broader market.