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schneider + partners
creative management consultants, catalysts + coaches - london
we specialise in working with
We are a creative management consultancy - a hybrid.
Building on Eric Schneider's roots as both a 'creative' and a management consultant, we have worked with over 200 creative, architectural and project based organisations, helping them - and the teams and individuals within them - to improve their performance and effectiveness.
Issues we help with
Acting as a consultant, coach and catalyst for change we bring our extensive experience to bear on a broad range of issues. Some that we have recently helped address include:
We listen, research, analyse and think strategically, like management consultants
We work holistically and creatively, like designers
We are culturally attuned to working with creatives
We are visually literate and design aware
We are innovation orientated
We advise on the management of both organisations and their creative assets
We are client and stakeholder experience driven
Our focus is on delivering solutions and results
We come with an energising, creative and positively challenging approach
We bring some unique perspectives in terms of how creative organisations can be more effectively organised and structured
Ultimately we know that we succeed by helping our clients achieve improved performance and results.
We will therefore only encourage you to undertake a project with us if we feel confident that we can add real value, ideally - where improved financial performance is the key issue - when we both believe that a minimum six to ten fold return on our consultancy fees may be possible.
Often we deliver much, much more.
“I used to have sympathy with the view that management consultants simply borrow your watch to tell you the time, only to walk off with it. My experience with Schneider + Partners has been very different. Eric borrowed my watch, told me why it was running slightly out, then gave it back - pointing out that with a bit of cleaning it would be worth more than I had thought possible. Schneider + partners gave my consultancy the kind of invaluable independent perspective that I hope we give to our clients"
Robert Smith, Jog Limited
How we help …
IMAGINE IF YOU COULD RUN YOUR PRACTICE IN A WAY THAT WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE ITS PERFORMANCE, IN EVERY RESPECT …
honing creatives + creative teams
managing for growth
marketing / new business development
morale / team re-invigoration
“With hindsight we should have appointed Schneider + Partners ten years earlier in our development cycle … Eric delivered insight, knowledge, financial acumen and, most important, intellectual challenge to the business planning process. The initial benefits are a practice reinvigorated, recharged and most importantly ambitious to face a new decade of challenge”
Mark Hobson, Maber Architects.
organisational / structure design
roles + responsibilities
senior team + individual development
strategy + sub-strategy development
total experience management
vision / goal development
How we work
We can act in differing roles offering a spectrum of services to best suit your organisation and the issues in question. These range from focused consultancy assignments to broad based organisational evaluations / strategic reviews, and from coaching individuals and teams to working in a non-executive type role: e.g.,
When to consider us
Often we are called in when a significant challenge is being faced, but even more frequently we make a major contribution when things are going well. So, for example, consider us when you are …
As creative management consultants with extensive experience of working with a broad range of creative organisations and individuals, we bring a number of benefits:
“Eric Schneider acted like a 'Non-Executive Director' to us during his involvement with our Business Review and his insights and advice have advanced our business thinking significantly. The external review with Clients has been extremely well received by them and highlighted some key areas to improve on. Eric has provided a well needed independent review of our business from top to bottom and it has been very enjoyable working with him. I would have no hesitation in recommending him ...".
Ian Craig, Evolve Consulting Engineers
“Eric is the only businessman I have met who is also both a genuinely skilled and observant “creative” and an effective and gritty strategic consultant, able intelligently and articulately to evaluate the needs and objectives of others on their own terms, rather than simply by reference to himself … What I like about Eric is that he is prepared to get to the nuts & bolts; he can bring real rigour to the table. He can also be relied on to take a step back from time to time and try to lift one’s head up to the horizon that lies ahead”
Chris Agace, Chalk Hill.
“I just thought you might like to know that Strides has got a new word doing the rounds: "Being Schneidered." It made me laugh. I want to become a word someday … Your presence has "unstuck" us and pushed us forward, for which I am extremely grateful. Thank you and well done. I hope you enjoyed the process, others certainly did.”
Elizabeth Kavanagh, Head of HR, Stride Treglown
BA(Econ) AAdipl MBA RIBA
WORKSHOPS + AWAY DAYS
Both as part of our consultancy assignments and as standalone exercises we run workshops tailored to your needs, covering areas from sub-strategy development and innovation to managing the consumer.
RESEARCH + SURVEYS
We also undertake research, usually of a qualitative nature, and have extensive experience of carrying out staff and consumer insight surveys as well as research into competitors and market opportunities.
Much of our work as consultants is strategic. Most involves an evaluation of the current situation, identifying and agreeing future objectives, developing strategies and tactics for achieving these, and working with a client to help manage the desired change.
COACHING + MENTORING
We work with individuals and teams to help them achieve their own - and the organisation's - full potential.
Often our role is akin to that of a non-executive director - providing a creative contribution to the board by providing independent oversight and constructive challenge to the executive directors.
STRATEGIC SUCCESS MATRIX
One of the things that really makes the difference is our unique Strategic Success Matrix.
This is a radically different approach that we bring to thinking about how a practice can be organised. Developed and tested over the years with dozens of firms, it is designed to ensure that you develop a consistent, coherent set of sub-strategies, covering all key areas of your practice, in a manner that integrates your organisational structure and your strategy implementation.
a structure that will more clearly reflect how you actually work
developing a new set of strategies and sub-strategies
wanting to constructively stir things up
need to more effectively organise your people and/or activities
wanting the creative but challenging input of a non-executive type advisor
looking to hone and develop a unique consumer experience
reviewing your next steps / future vision
seeking to (re)gain a competitive or creative edge
how your clients, staff, consultants, suppliers, et al really perceive you
feeling stale /
in need of re-energisation / rejuvenation
appointing senior individuals to new roles
with a new management team
thinking about succession
- qualitatively or quantitively
experiencing a contentious issue that would be assisted by an independent overview
moving from one stage of development to the next
to grow your organisation or a particular area within it
from achieving your growth and profitability objectives to better meeting your design and profile aspirations
from improving how you are winning work, designing it and delivering it, to getting the right infrastructure, systems and processes in place.
and that you could do so in a way that
- ENERGISES AND MOTIVATES YOUR TEAM,
- DEVELOPS THEIR LEADERSHIP AND STRATEGIC SKILLS,
- and FREES UP YOUR OWN TIME
Sounds too good to be true?
Our Strategic Reviews Will Deliver All Of This
HOW DO WE DO THIS?
The process begins with a rigorous, analytical consultancy approach which is complemented with our innovative thinking based on over 30 years of consultancy work with creative organisations.
In a nutshell we
ANALYSE YOUR BUSINESS, rationally and comprehensively
LISTEN, to you and everyone in your team
SPEAK CONFIDENTIALLY TO THOSE WITH WHOM YOU WORK - your clients, co-consultants and contractors - to gain valuable insights into their perceptions of you, what delights them and what frustrates them (and report back our findings to you in an standalone report)
CRITICALLY ASSESS YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, in the context of opportunities and threats that confront you
IDENTIFY THE KEY ISSUES THAT WE SEE FACING YOU, getting to the nub of where you are performing well and where there is genuinely scope for improvement, quantitively and qualitatively
PROVIDE YOU WITH INNOVATIVE FRAMEWORKS and different ways of thinking about critical business issues
DEVELOP YOUR VISION, GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS, working with you, gently but firmly, challenging, pushing testing …
RUN WORKSHOPS AND AWAY DAYS WITH YOU and your team to discuss issues and gain even more involvement and ownership
HELP YOU TO DEVELOP YOUR BROAD STRATEGIES for achieving your vision and goals
DEVELOP YOUR SPECIFIC SUB-STRATEGIES with you and your team to ensure a coherent, cross practice set of activities
COACH AND MENTOR YOUR KEY INDIVIDUALS AND TEAMS to help them develop their roles, competences and strategic thinking
HELP WITH EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION
The result …
- an independent, objective, rigorously researched overview of your current status
- clear strategic intent and direction understood by all
- a team that is genuinely involved in and motivated by the process
- a mutually reinforcing set of sub-strategies working right across your practice
- clear responsibilities allocated for their implementation and delivery …
=> Together leading to significant performance improvements and change, across the board.
So what’s not to like?
IT SOUNDS GOOD, BUT ISN’T IT LIKELY TO BE TOO EXPENSIVE?
We work in a very transparent way and will provide you with a programme based on your needs and budget. There will be no hidden extras. Moreover, we believe that you should be able to expect at least a sixfold return on your investment with us - so much so, that we would prefer you not to appoint us unless you share our view and are committed to make it work. Typically we deliver much, much more.
WHAT ABOUT COVID? WHY SHOULD I DO THIS NOW?
There has never been a more relevant time. A key challenge that we hear from practices using remote working is that of pulling teams together. The process of undertaking a Strategic Review work will really assist this. Most important, the outcomes of the Review will also leave you exceptionally well prepared to really move forward when Covid is under control and the economy begins to flourish again. And although undertaking the project remotely will not be quite the same as working face to face we believe we can do it equally well.
WON’T IT TAKE TOO MUCH OF MY TIME.?
What is required is your commitment. Initially we need someone to provide us with information, and subsequently will need to spend around 1-2 hours with each of the various members of your team, either individually or in groups. But not a huge amount more of your own time will be required until the point when we feed back our interim findings. After this we will need to work more closely with you to define and develop your vision and goals and the broad strategies for how you will achieve them. So in the first instance, we are talking about requiring hours rather than days of your time.
WHAT ABOUT OUR OTHER PRIORITIES?
We understand that you will always have other priorities and urgent matters that need to be attended to. However, the comprehensive and holistic approach that we take invariably helps those other initiatives by setting them in perspective and providing clear and possibly alternative strategic thinking about what might really be required of them.
WE ARE ARCHITECTS: OUR BUSINESS MODEL IS DIFFERENT. AND WE ARE NOT THE SAME AS OTHER PRACTICES
Every organisation has something unique about it, and that is what we build on. I have worked with hundreds of creative organisations including a wide range of architectural practices of all sizes - large, medium and small. As a result we understand how practices tend to vary within the profession, and will quickly get to the nub of how you work and what differentiates you.
THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER CONSULTANTS OUT THERE. WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER YOU?
My background is as an AA trained architect, complemented with a London Business School and business teaching set of credentials. Over the past 30 years our architectural clients have included the likes of Associated Architects, Avanti, Barton Willmore, Barr Gazetas, Bryant Priest Newman, Fitzroy Robinson, GMW, Hawkins\Brown, Godwin Austen Johnson, Lacey Hickie Caley, Maber, PTEa, Roberts Limbrick, Sheppard Robson, Stephen George, Stride Treglown and tp bennett and many others. A selection of testimonials can be seen on our main website.
CAN’T WE DO IT ON OUR OWN?
Your clients may undertake a building without involving an architect, but you know the difference that you will make with your vision, experience, expertise and drive. Likewise, we bring an independent, knowledgeable perspective, innovative thinking that you will not find elsewhere, and the discipline, structure and energy to make things happen. We also come with over years of experience having acted as a catalyst for change for wide range of practices, And, of course, we aim to make it a positive, energising experience for all involved.
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+44 20 7586 0110