Business Advice & Consultancy

advice, consultancy and facilitation

Our combined experience means that Iluminar can offer useful and practical advice on a number of areas within your organisation. To give you some insight into how we may be able to help, here are a number of areas where we have specific expertise:

People DevelopmentPeople & ProcessPeople & RiskMeeting FacilitationFacilitating Team Building Events
People Development Our core mission centres on the helping businesses and individuals develop and grow by focusing on building skills and understanding the dynamics within a team. That being the case, when you engage Iluminar to support you with a training and development project, an element of that will include our advice with respect to plans and the design of your course or programme. However, should you be looking for consultancy solely for your own planning purposes and detached from specific training delivery, Iluminar can also support you as an independent, innovative, yet pragmatic advisor, who is able to help you look at your existing human resources strategy and making realistic plans for the future. Some examples of situations where Iluminar can help:  
Growth ambitions
Many companies, particularly small to medium sized enterprises, who have plans for growth – may have carefully targeted their new markets and plotted where sales will be generated. However, in moving your business from step A to B, have you carefully considered the impact on your people? Do they have the skills to support your growth plans? If not, where are the gaps and how do you fill them? Do you have enough people and do you now the areas in which you will have to recruit if your plan is successful? What impact will that have on your organisational structure and are your managers equipped with skills to lead a larger team?

Iluminar can bring support and insights to helping you prepare a robust people strategy that works in harmony with your business plans and forecast.

New Teams
Building a new team whether to manage a business or operationally run a section, can be challenging. Bringing individuals together to work effectively can take time and savvy leadership in terms of both selection and ongoing management. Iluminar can provide advice to team leaders and help generate ideas to facilitate the team building process, whether through working with individuals in the group or team sessions to assist members understand how to get the best out of each other and communicate effectively.

Whether for good reasons or bad, change can be a powerful stressor on people and can adversely impact businesses if not handled carefully. Whether the change arises from new technology, new business, updated processes or upsizing or downsizing, transformations can be traumatic for individuals and teams and need careful planning to negotiate minimal impact on your business. Where changes are being introduced to bring about benefits, savings and improvements, the way in which your people cope and embrace the ‘new world’ will usual be pivotal to its success. Keeping them informed and involved is vital in order to bring them along with you on the journey and we can support you in designing ways to do just that.

Conflict and disharmony
Nothing can limit the potential of an organisation more than an unhappy team. Not everyone can be happy all the time, but deep-rooted, sustained discontent can consume huge quantities of management time in trying to keep operations running at a basic level. Counter to popular opinion, wages are not always the source of unhappiness in work forces and there may be some simple changes and commitments that organisations can make that will, with time and follow-through, bring about changes in how their employees think and feel about the company and their role within it. Iluminar can help you review your current practices and strategy and through consultation, take an independent view of the reasons behind any conflicts and how they might be addressed.
People & Process

As businesses grow and change there is a periodic need to review and evaluate the efficiency and adequacy of the processes people follow. Organisations can bend themselves terribly out of shape by forcing delivery through a model or process that is outdated or designed for another service altogether. As well as helping with the subsequent impact of changing processes on your people, we can initially, through consultation and workshop facilitation, help you create, document, review or re-map processes for your evolving business.

Some examples of situations where Iluminar can help:

Duplication & Confusion
As businesses grow and employees increase, simple processes that were once conducted by maybe a single person, now require multiple steps and individuals to handle bigger volumes. It is not unusual for this evolution to happen organically without any particular planning and as a consequence, it can result in overlapping activities or unnecessary multiple checks leading to inefficiencies and delays – that only become more pronounced as your workload increases. Stepping back and having a facilitator like us help you review and map your processes can reveal the pinch points and doubling up that may have gone unnoticed. We can then support you in re-mapping your processes to avoid these problems and in defining your people’s roles more clearly within the new process, to avoid confusion and helping your work flow more efficiently.
Considering new technology
There is constant temptation for businesses to try and improve the way they work with better, up to date technology. This may be hardware livee smart phones or tablets, off-the-shelf software packages for small business or bespoke workflow systems designed to meet your exact needs. There is no doubt that technology can be an enormous support to your organisation, but experience shows that there is a danger of putting the cart before the horse. Before investing in technology it can be wise to review your processes first. That way you can use your new IT to underpin your latest working model, rather than shore up a old inefficient process. Iluminar can help you facilitate the process review, then if you wish, we can work with your IT provider during the design and implementation phases to help you incorporate the process improvements as well as support your people in managing the change.
New services
Companies need to evolve and explore new products and services. It is natural to pilot new services in parallel to your existing ones and use your current systems and processes to deliver them, even if those are not entirely appropriate. These will likely work sufficiently until such point as a new idea takes off and you are suddenly delivering the new service to the same extent as (or more than) the old ones and suddenly your processes are at best inefficient or at worst can’t cope. We can help you prepare for the pivotal point where a new service thrives by facilitating your planning of revised or new processes to accommodate your new business whether in combination with older services or as a separate line altogether.
People & Risk

Risk Management is a broad topic that can span many specialist areas. Iluminar focuses on the day to day operational and business risks you may face and how you build awareness of this within your people and within your working processes and business culture. Recognizing the potential risks your business faces is a first step and we can help you in identifying these and actions you might to take to avoid, minimise, mitigate or at the very least respond to their occurrence.

Some examples of situations where Iluminar can help:

Responding to incidents
Business isn’t all plain sailing and from time to time issues will arise to rock the boat. These might come in the form of bad publicity, a customer complaint or claim, an accident, breakdown or an act of nature. When these situations arise out of the blue, it’s usually a matter of ‘all hands to the pumps’, but once the problem is under control, its good practice to reflect on how it happened and how it could have been prevented. This is not by any means to appoint blame or fuel a blame culture, but simply to learn lessons from the past. In this context, bringing a sensitive and impartial partner like Iluminar in to help you review what happened and come up with recommendations for preventing, mitigating or handling future similar situations can be most valuable.

Periodic Risk Review
It is a healthy practice for a business to take stock of the risks it faces periodically and consider whether it is doing enough to mitigate its potential exposure. In the case of smaller companies operating in a fairly unchanging environment, an annual review might be sufficient, but in a rapidly changing business with a tumultuous market, more frequent pauses for thought may be advisable. Iluminar can help you plan and facilitate appropriately scheduled risk review workshops, giving your key people the opportunity consider what adverse scenarios might effect the business and how to minimise the probability of it drastically effecting the company’s performance. We can support you in designing an updatable matrix to track the risks you have raised and where appropriate help you implement some of the mitigation measures you have identified.
Meeting Facilitation

Meetings form part of our daily business lives, but from time to time there are key gatherings for managers or wider teams that involve the delivery of important messages, business plans or incorporate workshops to develop new ideas and approaches. These more complex and lengthy meetings can benefit from careful preparation and facilitation, which is where Iluminar can help. We can work with you to design agendas and meeting plans that will seek to encourage open communication, break ice where necessary and introduce energisers and interactive sessions to get participants active and engaged. We can then facilitate the meeting if you wish, allowing all attendees to immerse themselves in the issues and discussion rather than anyone having to manage the course and timing of the day.

Facilitating Team Building Events

Bringing your team together periodically in a fun environment can have enormous benefits in enhancing relationships between individuals or between departments and in general, improving the bond and trust between your people. This is usually enhanced further, by giving the event some context within the business, even at a very high level (whether to celebrate success or prepare for a new challenge). Iluminar can help you design such events and facilitate the day’s activities whether as an outing or a series of games and activities held on site. We have experience in running days that are fun and appealing across different genders and cultures, whilst allowing the elements of team attributes and learning to be drawn out and identified in an enjoyable way during the course of the event. Our ideas are scalable and therefore can be adapted for different sized companies and budgets.