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Project and Strategy Breakfast Talk, Sydney

We like to keep things exciting at Morgan McKinley, no matter where our offices are.

That's why all of our offices organise and host events on our specialist areas of recruitment, but it's not recruitment that we talk about. It's not just the economy that's changed over the past few years, processes have changed, new technologies have appeared and as a result the way we work and our productivity levels and expectations have changed too.  That's why our Sydney office decided to host a Project and Strategy Breakfast talk for professionals in the city. 

Sara Coakley was one of the Morgan McKinley consultants who attended, have a read of her blog below to find out how the event went.


Yesterday we held our latest Morgan McKinley Project & Strategy Breakfast attended by 130 project management professionals. Our speakers Tim Morse (Partner, McKinsey & Co) and Alistair Stuart (Chief Operations & Information Officer, Banking Operations at Investec Bank Australia) tackled the subject of Productivity.

Analysis suggests the highest-performing companies are on average 2½ times more productive than the lowest-performing ones. Productivity is now firmly embedded in ‘the leadership dictionary’ and for that matter the political and economic debate but what does it mean at a strategic level and how do you turn ‘strategy into execution’?

Tim presented facts around Australia's productivity imperative and discussed practical ways companies can improve productivity, including outlining common reasons these programs fail. Alistair shared some lessons he learned from leading two major productivity programs, focusing on the key ingredients critical to success. Here are some of the learnings they shared:

Get involved

Productivity should be led from the top down and managers need to be actively involved. Supervisors should coach, problem solve, and demonstrate best practise. Make it real for your employees and get senior leaders on the shop floor.

Team work

Ensure that the core productivity team is pitched at the right level depending on the culture of the organisation. Make it a team that people aspire to join and reward people for being part of it. Alistair referred to this TED Talks video.


Don’t spend too long developing metrics and worrying about the detail. Yes this work needs to be done upfront and senior leaders need to agree to it, but near enough is good enough at this stage. Use a rough macro cost map but be clear on drivers. Ask yourself whether you and your staff know where the value is coming from and what the cost drivers are?

Keep it simple

Focusing on simplification encourage innovation and provide natural downstream benefits. Involve your employees to come up with ideas, hold workshops on continuous improvement, and reward innovation.


Productivity programs should not just be about cost but also consider income efficiency and the customer - customers do not want to pay for waste. Think about what you want from the customer and keep the customer in mind when you design your products/services. 

If you are interested in hearing more, over the coming weeks we are holding a webinar where Tim Morse will talk through both his and Alistair’s presentations and we are running a lunch series where smaller groups can benefit from the experience of both David Tarbotton and James Bawtree and take away some practical solutions to driving productivity.



  • Sep 06, 2013
  • Culture
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Anna Maher

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