Our alliance with executive consultants and independent directors Merv Robertson and Murray Strong, puts us in a unique position to offer an ‘all-of-organisation’ solution. Together, Merv, Murray and Richard offer a solution that covers three core aspects of an organisation.
Although their approaches, style and personalities may differ, their fundamental business values are the same. They believe that engaged people need direction and resources in order to achieve their organisations goals.
They each bring a high level of experience and success in their area of expertise, and the results achieved when they work together are always more than the sum of the parts.
Early on in his career, Richard realised the importance of valuing and empowering the people he leads, and this principle has been the cornerstone of a successful business career that spans 40 years. Richard was born and raised in Dunedin, spent several years in Australia as a young man, then returned to New Zealand where he started two companies and took them public, before founding Richard Joseph and Associates in 1991.
Richard began his business career with the Bank of New Zealand in Dunedin, then made the move to Melbourne, Australia. Head-hunted by the Victorian Credit Bureau to be their new General Manager, Richard was given his first leadership role, and a difficult one it was. When Richard arrived, the company was in danger of going under and the culture was rotten. Within six months, the company was breaking even and within a year it was making a profit. Richard emphasises that this success had less to do with the actual management of the business and more to do with the way he, as leader, valued and empowered his staff. Because they knew they mattered to him and he respected them, they were prepared to give more of themselves to the business.
Returning to Dunedin in 1980 with his young family, Richard started Protocol Credit, a successful business which eventually merged into Credit Corp, a public company with 14 branches around New Zealand. However, Richard explains, differing management styles caused him to resign from the Board in 1991. "It was a hard decision but I knew I had to either stay quiet or be true to myself, so I resigned and decided to set up on my own again.”
His new venture, Richard Joseph & Associates, started by giving advice to businesses around the issues of credit management. Richard recalls, "As I visited the different companies, I became fascinated by the gap between what they wanted to do and what they actually achieved.”
Richard undertook extensive research into this phenomenon which, combined with his first-hand business management experience and the life -lessons from his formative years, led to the creation of the Turning Point programme. This programme has now run continuously for 24 years and has proved so successful that it has now been expanded to a suite of supportive, integrated development programmes harnessing employee potential and thereby creating productive, successful organisations.
Merv has spent approximately half of his career in line management and the other half as a professional advisor to management. As a line manager he held several senior positions including Strategic Planning Manager, General Manager and Operations Manager. Technically qualified in the field of telecommunications he worked as a Senior Technician Transmission Systems before moving into management. The role of General Manager of Consumer Services for Telecom South Limited involved approximately 900 staff at its peak and 350,000 customers.
Prior to establishing his own consulting practice, he held the position of Associate Director for KPMG’s Organisation Development Group in Christchurch and was responsible for establishing the unit in 1993. In 1996 he co-founded and as Managing Director led LTS Group Limited, a management consulting organisation based in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has provided Board and management advisory services throughout New Zealand, Australian, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
In terms of his personality profile, he is able to develop and maintain strong business relationships and is most comfortable in a leadership role. He is empathetic and places a very high value on honesty, openness and integrity. His communication style is accommodating of my audience but he has a preference for straight talking. His colleagues and clients will attest to his natural ability to be able to quickly develop methodologies and frameworks for dealing with complex business challenges and problems.
Murray works as an independent chairman director on a variety of Boards, as Crown appointee to Crown entity boards and Commissioner/statutory roles and a contract consultant providing advice and solutions for clients, often in challenging business circumstances.
His governance (Crown Commissioner, Chairman and Director) and senior management experience (CEO, GM and Marketing Director) across a variety of sectors has helped him to develop a common sense and empathetic approach to organisational change, challenges and success and has allowed me to work with some remarkable and inspiring people. He knows how to maintain momentum and follow-through on projects and objectives.