Business Central July 2022

48 | CONSULTANCY Tregaskis Brown Firm celebrates 20-year milestone T T Virginia Wright “Getting the right people around you is hugely valuable to the growth and protection of the business,” says Tregaskis Brown Founding Partner Karen Tregaskis. “My dream is that consultancies in general gain a reputation for being worth the money; that we add value and can be trusted.” Wellington based Management Consultancy firm Tregaskis Brown is celebrating 20 years in business providing consultancy services at the senior level to the public sector, private businesses and to NGO’s, in New Zealand and internationally. Established in 2002 by Tracy Brown and Karen Tregaskis a comment from their business coach after they’d been going a couple of years was critical to their ensuing growth explains Karen. “He challenged us by saying really what we were doing was creating ourselves a job, not creating a company, and that changed the way we thought about the company and led to us getting serious about growing the business. Integral to our journey from that point is partnering with companies such as good accountants or business strategists who could help us think about the business not just work within the business.” Growing one’s business also means embracing risk, even if it’s as simple as moving into a bigger premises than is currently needed as Tregaskis Brown did in 2005 and again in 2015. That meant they were prepared for growth and had the room to bring in the additional staff they needed to embrace it. Now up to around 40 people, many of whom specialise in managing change, Karen herself has found over the last 20 years that the journey to get where they are today required a willingness to accept change within the company; a willingness to let things go, and relinquish control, something which Karen has learnt to truly embrace. “That’s been a joy for me because increasingly the people who work for us have much better ideas than I do and they’ve got the energy and the passion to bring them to fruition. No matter how complex an organisation, how much money is at stake, or how many people will be affected when change is required; change itself can be successfully broken down into stages which, when managed well, mean the change is likely to last. It seems obvious that’s what change should do but according to Karen such is not the case. “It’s commonly quoted that 70% of major change initiatives fail; within a couple of years they can dissolve without a trace.” A lot of the work Tregaskis Brown does helps to ensure that when even large and unwieldy bureaucracies have need of change, they achieve change that is fit for purpose. It’s something they’ve become increasingly skilled at over the last 20 years. When the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force needed to change the way they managed their investment pipeline, involving $20 billion expenditure on New Zealand’s military capability over 10 – 15 years; they brought in Tregaskis Brown to help manage the process of establishing a system both credible and robust to account for the way that money was and is expended. When you read what Huntley Wright from the Ministry of Defence has to say about her it’s clear Tregaskis Brown’s input was pivotal. “Both Karen and her team were very free with their time, they were free with their advice. They spoke truth to power and as a result they built a level of trust with Defence that’s critical in ultimately being successful.” “It’s not just the public sector,” says Karen, “we work with organisations that have a public good. We provide a lot of governance advice and support as well, making sure organisations are well governed and have got the right systems in place to do what they do well.” Not surprising then that putting the right governance structure in place internally is another key plank on which Tregaskis Brown have built their success. “We’ve been very deliberate about separating out the governance and oversight of the business from the management of the dayto-day running of it. That discipline has been extremely helpful,” says Karen. “We took on a Chief Executive, Karen Clarke, who’s been instrumental in our most recent growth. I’ve had to step back and let her run the business and keep my hands off it,” says Karen. They’re now looking for an independent director to chair the board in Karen Tregaskis’ place. She’s been the chair for the last five years while Karen Clarke’s been Chief Executive. “I think that can be scary for SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises), they might think it’s just another overhead, but getting the right people around you is hugely valuable to the growth and protection of the business.” Early on they were challenged to guarantee their work and they’ve been doing so ever since in a conscious push to change the way consultants are perceived. “We’ve been really serious about doing what’s right for the organisations we’re doing work for. “My dream is that consultancies in general gain a reputation for being worth the money; that we add value and can be trusted,” says Karen. Sydney | Canberra | Wellington AU: 1300 315 975 NZ: 0800 315 975 Get maximum results withminimummistakes. 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