Keynote: Adrian Brown on “The Power of Management”

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Here is Adrian Brown’s keynote at the 14th Nudge Ideas Festival at The Exeter Phoenix on March 30th, 2023.

Along with his business Partner Michael McMaster, Adrian provides genuine organisational consulting, working at the level of design of the organisation, not the entity, the design for the coordination of action that delivers extraordinary results.

The majority of consulting focuses on executive training and transformation, which is valuable. They focus on the organisation design which unleashes the power of organisation, ensuring the development of individuals is supported throughout the organisation.

In the above Keynote on ‘The Power of Management’”, Adrian addresses the multifaceted nature of scaling a business and the critical role management plays in this process. The video delves into how growth not only reflects increased profits, revenue, and customer base but also brings about changes in a company’s culture. To maintain the integrity of the original culture while adapting to change, management must focus on knowledge and information rather than micromanaging people. The speaker introduces the concept of an organizational platform, which combines core repeatable processes with an edge dedicated to innovation and non-linear methods.

The keynote emphasizes the importance of predictable processes in business amidst the non-linear aspects of life and marks the beginning of a new management era that marries innovation with reproducibility to drive profit. It highlights the significance of a social contract within an organizational platform where members adhere to agreed-upon behaviours, fostering teams that align with company principles, ethics, strategy, and people development. Managers are encouraged to govern the environment instead of individuals, with the possibility of various platform levels existing within an organization, including autonomous micro teams.

Culture’s profound influence on performance is underscored, noting that negative cultures can adversely affect business outcomes. As a business scales and conditions shift, so does its culture, often resisting change. The speaker argues against top-down change implementation, likening cultural change to altering a cake’s flavour by revisiting ingredients or conditions. Instead, a new management culture is proposed, focusing on changing management conditions to enable scaling.

To successfully implement change, starting small with projects or teams away from the core profit-driving processes is advised, emphasizing people development, coping with new projects, and excellent communication. Experimentation and adjustment within these teams can validate new concepts, potentially integrating successful innovations into the company’s core, thus fostering gradual organizational change.

The speaker also stresses the creation of multiple autonomous teams to manage change and growth, advocating for starting at the grassroots level to see immediate results and skill development. Building effective relationships and adjusting courses as necessary are key strategies, along with managing conditions and deciding whether to assimilate innovations into the existing business or form separate entities.

Finally, the speaker touches on the human aspect of work, advocating for fulfilling experiences and the value of employees feeling their time is well-spent. Running a boutique consultancy, the speaker assists small teams in finding their solutions and emphasizes leaving behind the skills necessary for organizations to transform independently. Contact information is provided for further engagement and access to the speaker’s developed resources.

You can listen to a transcript of the talk here.

Read a review of his book “The Power of Management: Mastering Conditions for Culturework” in our Business Books section.

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Like Minds is a global thought leadership platform delivering world class events on business development, knowledge and insight aimed at entrepreneurs and business leaders to engage, stimulate and empower them to become global businesses of the future. We also offer a bespoke service for corporate clients and training programmes under the Like Minds U brand. For more information please email