Skills development consultancy PSfPS rebrands as The Openside Group

13 December 2017 Consultancy.uk

Psychological Skills for Professional Services (PSfPS), a firm that helps professional services and consulting firms design and deliver development programmes, has rebranded as The Openside Group. The firm has also taken the opportunity to enhance its communications via its website, following the change.

After 25 years of business, Psychological Skills for Professional Services has decided that it is time for a change of image. The firm has announced that it will no longer operate under its quarter-century-old brand, and will henceforth be known as The Openside Group.

The company, which designs and delivers development programmes worldwide, essentially functions as a training group for a whole host of leading professional services firms. Openside will continue to work with clients to improve their organisations’ delivery to customers, as well as honing talent involved in the management, structure and leadership of a firm.

Speaking on the new identity, William Johnson, Managing Director of The Openside Group, said, "We had known for a while that PSfPS wasn’t the right name for our business. Clients told us it didn’t properly represent what we do.”Skills development consultancy PSfPS rebrands as The Openside GroupJohnson further said that PSfPS didn’t say anything about the firm’s values – putting the development of people’s talents at the centre of business success – or the way they work. According to the firm, one more basic point behind the rebrand is that, on a more practical level, PSfPS was hard to remember, say and type.

On the other hand, becoming Openside allowed them to reaffirm their focus on professional services and on developing the critical skills and behaviours required for success in the sector. According to Johnson, "The word 'openside' originates in sport, but for us it’s much more than a sporting metaphor. We think its overtones of breadth, openness and unity reflect the way we think and our people-first approach. We also hope you’ll agree that Openside is easier to say, spell and remember."

Improved communications

Alongside the change of name, the firm have naturally transitioned to a new web domain, opting for www.openside.group, as well as taking the opportunity to enhance the clarity of communication via the site. “The website is clearer about what we do, affirms our focus on professional services, and illustrates how we align professional development and strategy,” Johnson said, adding that a better technical interface and UX also make it easier for clients to access and share points of view articles and thought leadership reports.

Among Openside’s most recently published reports are, ‘Managing Performance within the Partner Group’, which looks at how Partner teams can be better managed, ‘Millennials in Professional Services’, which helps consulting partners and HR professionals understand the challenges with hiring and retaining millennial talent, and ‘Professional Services Marketing is Dead; Long Live Professional Services Marketing’, which looks at how consulting firms can leverage marketing to bolster their business development and project pipelines – adding to research by multiple firms which suggests that marketing is integral to growth.

Openside’s Managing Director concluded, "The new brand reaffirms our relentless focus on consulting and professional services and on developing the critical skills and behaviours required for success in the sector. These changes are about improving and tightening our focus, not about changing the way we work with our clients. We’re determined that we’re going to remain the same open, friendly and good-humoured business we’ve always been.”

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Robert Park on the launch of his consultancy RWG Enterprises

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Following a lengthy spell as a General Manager at an international materials corporation, Robert Park was keen to rediscover his inner entrepreneur. With the launch of his new consulting firm, RWG Enterprises, Park spoke with Consultancy.uk to outline his hopes for the future of the company, and how he believes his boutique will be able to challenge the market.

Robert Park commenced his career in retail, taking up a string of General Store Manager positions with companies – including Poundstretcher and The Gadget Shop – before making the 2005 move that would lead him to a 13-year stay with Morgan Advanced Materials. First taking up a role as Production Supervisor with the organisation, Park quickly worked his way to the upper echelons of the group. By 2013, he held the role of UK Operations Manager for the company’s UK ceramic core business, Certech UK, before seeing out his final four years at the firm as General Manager, leading the senior management team and strategic direction of the business.

Despite his success with the firm, however, Park found himself getting itchy feet. A change of career seemed increasingly appealing, and by February 2019, the time to take a new path had arrived.

Park explained: “I was losing the ability to to use the entrepreneurial flair that I had enjoyed in the past; the organisation was moving more towards a structured and common approach for doing things, and that made me feel restricted. I also really enjoy the troubleshooting, problem solving side of my role. However, having been in my last post for four years, the troubleshooting and firefighting was long behind me. I realised that I am really energised by tackling difficult issues or turning around things that are clearly struggling.”

New consulting firm RWG Enterprises launches

His criteria for a new career seemed to point conclusively in the direction of management consulting, and while his CV has no formal experience in the sector, Park believes his career to date has provided him with a wealth of transferable skills. During his time with Certech at Morgan Advanced Materials, he became a Senior Manager at the age of just 21, and went on to succeed in a harsh factory environment where six former candidates had previously failed to deliver results.

Later, he became the group’s youngest General Manager in its history, and was involved in the turnaround of numerous departments. He also developed vast experience dealing with a wide range of ‘people’ challenges, including re-organisation, talent development, talent acquisition and leadership development. Along the way, Park noted that he learned to deal with large, blue chip organisations such as Rolls Royce, securing major long-term contracts worth upwards of £25 million.

Now, he hopes to take that know-how and apply it to the diverse world of consulting work. Park elaborated: “I really want to be able to help organisations that feel that there is no hope or have lost faith in the business… Having been there myself I know how helpful it would have been to have someone to refer to in times of crisis… The firm will also focus on leadership development, as I spent a lot of time with the global graduate program during my corporate career… and I was really motivated to see these individuals grow and develop… helping them to find their own way through challenging situations.

New enterprise

Park’s new Derby-based consultancy, RWG Enterprises, will focus on five key operational fronts. As stated, leadership development and business rescue will be two of these areas, as well as manufacturing – where the firm will tackle challenges such as new product introduction. RWG will also offer financial advisory services and strategic business planning offerings.

While Park is understandably guarded about the firm’s initial engagements, he revealed that he has been “speaking at length to a well-known university and business school about providing mentoring and coaching support to students.” In the long-term, the aim is for RWG Enterprises to take on engagements from clients across the industrial spectrum. He added that as “the company is very embryonic”, it would be “foolish” to become too focused on target clients at this stage.

When asked how RWG Enterprises intends to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, in an ever-more-crowded UK consulting sector, Park is undaunted by the task ahead. He stated, “I think the main differentiator is that we are small... I have operated at a very senior level for many years but I have enjoyed a very diverse background having worked in most functions within my last organisation. I also won’t take on any work or clients that I feel I cannot deliver value for, I am honest and ethical and am really motivated by seeing others become successful… The main thing I am focused on is 'can I add value' and 'can I help?'”