the Ergo story

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In the early 2000’s Paul Steele and Matthew Laverie invited me to work with them in the early days of Managed Business Outcomes. We were committed to building a new kind of business. We believed that business should be transformational; for the people who worked within it – allowing them to do the things they loved doing and were good at; and through its products and services making a positive contribution to the world.

We figured that if we were going to advocate for these things we should model them in our business. It was an amazing season as we experimented and sought to learn from the most innovative business leaders in the world. While our products and services ranged across IT and management consulting, one of the team described our reason for being as cultivating a ‘better day at work for people and a better future for the world”. That tag line has stood the test of time.

When Derek Winter joined me, we relaunched the business as Ergo Consulting, and built on the lessons of the first five years to  develop what became a profitable and trusted organisation, with a brand of which we have been proud.

Some of the things we did include:

  • set up a Make the World Better Fund from 5% of operating profit, which allowed us to support amazing projects and people
  • threw out the HR handbook and developed polices that permitted freedom and creativity among the team
  • ran open books: all financial data and reports were available to the staff
  • and many more initiatives including family weekends away.

The following participation behaviours helped define how we operated.










3 thoughts on “the Ergo story

  1. Once I saw the bit about you throwing out the HR handbook I figured what came after would be worth looking at. I was right!

    • Steve, thanks for the comment. If you are referring to the ‘participation behaviours’, yes, it had been a while since I had sat down and re-reflected on these myself and was freshly inspired … common sense stuff really but often lost in the ridiculous belief that business environments somehow disqualify treating people as people rather than ‘resources’. Cheers, Col

  2. Pingback: organisations as vocational communities | Col Duthie


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