Venturetec advising 180 Degrees Consulting on strategic initiative

04 November 2020 Consultancy.com.au

As a global charity leveraging the capabilities and passion of socially-focused student leaders at universities around the world, 180 Degrees Consulting is constantly looking for new ways to support the growth of its clients. Over 2020, the firm has been working with innovation consultancy Venturetec to improve its service amid the challenging environment of a global pandemic.

180 Degrees Consulting (180DC) is a non-profit consulting firm comprised mostly of student volunteers, they work with not for profits and social enterprise clients, from over 130 university-based branches in more than 30 countries.

In 2020, Venturetec has been supporting 180DC on a global strategic initiative that the organisation is running to improve the customer experiences for both their clients and consultants. Established when 180DC’s Deputy CEO Celine Hua-Ching stepped into the group’s leadership earlier in the year, the project aimed to reset the global vision and strategy of 180DC, in order to enable branches to build socially-conscious leaders who meaningfully contribute to the international third sector.

Venturetec advising 180 Degrees Consulting on strategic initiative

Hua-Ching said, “This project aims to help the 180DC Global Leadership Team co-design with our main beneficiaries – students and social sector organisations – the optimal aspirational experience, and from there facilitating an outside-in approach to building our internal processes, systems and ways of working to enable that experience.”

While the focus was on improving the ‘final product’, Hua-Ching noted that the journey to realise this end-state in itself led to (unforeseen) enhancements. “The journey and process of designing the experience is also enabling engagement, collaboration and insightful and honest conversations across our global network and with our beneficiaries.”

Strategic insight

Jessica Dharmasiri serves as the recently appointed Global CEO of 180DC. She has been spearheading the initiative, and as a previous Associate Intern at Venturetec, she is also aware of the benefits partnering with the firm can yield.

Venturetec – which has itself had to quickly transform how it delivers its work – consists of a team of strategists, designers, innovators and technologists, who work with large organisations on innovation, growth strategies, product and process optimisation and more.

Regarding the on-going project, Dharmasiri anticipates that it “will generate a set of actionable insights and initiatives relating to consultant and client experience for the Global Leadership Team to pursue in 2021.”

Commenting on the goals of the transformation, Dharmasiri explained, “We have kicked off a top-down strategic planning process, but we wanted to supplement this with real insights 'from the ground' and use it as input into our 1-3 year strategic roadmap. We also wanted to give more opportunities to our members to improve the organisation through an exciting, cross-functional international project leveraging new ways of working.”

During the project, the Venturetec team, consisting of Associate Partner Marianna Petrenko and Senior Associate Elle Phillips, provided training and coaching to 180DC’s journey squads, covering design thinking and CX design methods and customer journey mapping to create future-state journeys. This is similar to work the firm has performed with clients including the Singapore Government, the Victorian Government in Australia, and Australia Post.

Petrenko, who is an expert at design thinking and CX design methods, remarked, “It was great to see the 180DC Global Leadership Team putting their customers at the centre of their strategic planning process. Design thinking and CX design methods are fast becoming core to the modern consultant’s toolkit. While these tools and methods were new to the consultants, I was impressed with the speed in which they were able to skill-up and apply these ways of working to achieve their project outcomes.”


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