Background: Denis Roberts’s background is in organisational psychology and he specialises in future organisation leadership and corporate learning. His core skill combines strategic mentoring; organisational learning; and building virtual organisation. He has experience of working with virtual organisation; cross-functional virtual teams; and strategic partnerships across three technological eras: pre-internet, web 1.0 and web 2.0
Key Assignments: Here is a small selection of key assignments from across the above technological eras. The particular assignments selected have been chosen in order to illustrate the development of his work across the different eras and contexts in which he has applied virtual learning organisation; and also to highlight the depth / breadth / scale of the projects involved; and the calibre of the organisations and individuals involved:
- Post-Graduate Research: Organisational Psychology. Examined the development of creativity, authority, leadership and organisation, when working cross-functionally and in depth across 3 disciplines (psychology; philosophy; and anthropology); and across 3 centres of excellence (Tavistock Institute of Human relations; University of Oxford; and University of Sussex).
Created a temporary Action Learning Organisation … comprised of a virtual team of tutors / supervisors … cherry-picked from across the 3 centres of excellence. A profoundly influential educational experience; that focused on how … in cross-functional work … creativity is generated “between people” … with the quality of dialogue / exchange / learning being reflected in the value of the authority, leadership and organisation that then ensues as a result of that dialogue. Also, combined academic / professional strands.
- 3 Year Corporate Transformation Project – (Public Sector). Worked as a member of a virtual / cross-functional consulting team cherry-picked from across departments to develop a council-wide policy and performance management system for a leading London Borough. A key assignment involved to building a virtual / cross-functional top team of assistant directors to jointly deliver a unitary Right-to-Buy service that operated across their 3 departments; and had previously been left leaderless under a departmental model of organisation.
Used a policy and performance management framework to introduce overarching virtual organisation structures. systems and processes to support the development of a new top team … and one with shared goals and targets for co-leading a unitary service. No longer rudderless … within the first year capital receipts targets were not only reached for the first time, but were exceeded by £2 mil.
- Virtual Consulting Firm (1996). Teamed up with strategic partners Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas and Prof. Barry Curnow to found The Networking Firm to bring our three niche practices under the same virtual roof (Future Organisation Leadership). We then harnessed converging technologies to enable us to combine and collaborate at individual, group and corporate levels – and respond to each individual client with a wide range of bespoke solutions. Including solutions that integrated business / academic / professional strands.
- Executive Development Programme. Teamed up with strategic partners Luton Business School and Web Based Telephony Solutions to develop Future Organisation Leadership Programme for executives to explore and experiment with the virtual organisation capabilities of applying converging technologies … And, to solutions that integrated business / academic / professional strands.
- Individualised Programmes in Professional Business Practice (Current). The Networking Firm plans to have the majority of its training, development and educational events accredited by The Professional Development Foundation; and to count as modules towards the PDF/ Middlesex University Institute of Work-based Learning’s set of internationally recognised postgraduate qualifications in Professional Development. In time, The Networking Firm will also create its own corporate qualifications via The Professional Development Foundation.
The first two modules in the process of being accredited are:
a) One year Individualised Action Research Project Into Professional Business Practice (Action Research Project)
b) Six week Action learning Workshop: “”Tackle what is holding you back from realising your true talent” (Case Study)
A hallmark of The Networking Firms Programmes will be that they integrate business / organisational / academic / professional / leadership strands to add strategic and entrepreneurial dimensions to professional practice education.
As an organisational response to moving into the arena of postgraduate qualifications, The Networking Firm has also created a new unit: The Networking Firm School of Professional Business Practice.