About

At Black House, we understand that no one knows your organisation better than you. What we know is strategy. So we work in partnership with you to develop an effective strategy that will help realise your organisation’s real potential.

We are a consultancy business specialising in tailored support for successful businesses in assessing, developing, measuring and executing strategy.

Thanks to our team’s extensive knowledge and experience in strategy, finance, people and marketing, Black House has successfully helped many companies grow.

Often these businesses are already leaders in their fields whether it’s private, public or not for profit. They look to us to fine-tune their existing strategy or to move to the next level of growth.

And because our business model is lean, we can provide you with high quality expertise that is also great value for money. The end result is a strategy that’s a very good return on investment.

We believe that there is no single approach to strategy. The best approach is the one we develop in partnership with you to reflect the unique nature of your organisation and the challenges it faces.

Effective strategy is the key to creating sustainable growth for any organisation. It can be hard work getting the business game plan and its implementation right, but they are essential to realising the ultimate potential of an organisation.

With our experience and knowledge, we aim to support and guide successful organisations through the strategy process – not to do it for you.

How we work is at the heart of Black House. It is what makes us different.

As a small, expert and tightly focussed team we can be a very powerful resource for our clients.

We don’t want to do your job for you but rather guide and support you through the process as an extension of your existing team.

We work with you to support your strategy needs. It is a collaborative and honest approach that facilitates the strategic debate and contest of ideas.

Our deep respect for our clients is underpinned by our genuine enthusiasm for what we do. We aim is to really understand your business and maintain an ongoing and productive relationship.

Our deep respect for our clients is underpinned by our genuine enthusiasm for what we do. We aim is to really understand your business and maintain an ongoing and productive relationship.

We’re more than happy to share our knowledge and experience to improve your own in-house capabilities. It’s also important to maintain the momentum associated with developing and implementing strategy, and to give you the space and time to focus on running your business.

Black House is a small firm with a clear understanding of our strengths. We aim to be the best at what we do – not to try to do everything. So if it’s needed, we can bring in external expertise to assist.

Here’s what we help you do

Identify The Potential Of  The Organisation

Identifying the true potential of an organisation can often be a complex process. It shouldn’t be.

At Black House, we pride ourselves on our ability to demystify it for you. A ‘fresh set of eyes’ can be a real benefit.

The external perspective we bring helps identify the opportunities within your organisation for greater value creation.

Develop Your Strategy

Put simply, an organisation’s strategy should outline its plan to create sustainable value for its major stakeholders. That could mean shareholders, customers or members.

No single approach suits everyone. So a big part of our role is to work with you to identify and customise the approach and tools that will work best for the needs of your business.

Our experience helps us identify the levers within your organisation that will deliver the greatest improvements. We then translate that understanding into a realistic and practical strategy.

In short, it’s a customised approach that reflects the unique nature of your business.

Execute Your Strategy

In our experience strategy fails for many organisations because there is not enough focus on execution. Often it’s a case of the more immediate day-to-day operations of the organisation get in the way of the long-term vision.

That is why it makes sense to have an external team that is dedicated to ensuring the implementation of the strategy stays on track. Together, we will ensure that any strategy has a realistic, clearly articulated implementation plan.

We are big fans of measurement and regular monitoring of progress. It keeps the momentum and focus. So while you run the business, we track how it’s going and provide regular reports.

Our role in strategy implementation ranges from low touch to high touch depending on the needs of the client.

Measure And Monitor Progress 

An effective strategy always needs to be supported by the development of targets and measures aligned to the key strategic objectives. Strategy development and implementation cannot succeed without good targets and measures. And good measurement can’t succeed without good data.

It’s absolutely critical to have access to reliable and accurate data, and measuring the right things. These measurements need to be presented in simple and easy to manage tools. In our experience, many organisations struggle to find the right measures and targets to drive and reward organisational behaviour that will achieve the strategy outcomes.

We aim to simplify this for you. We’ll work with you to develop the best tools for your organisation so you can continuously monitor progress against the strategy and targets.

Build Capability

There is great power in getting your people right. The culture and capability within an organisation are critical to a successful strategy.

As we support you through the strategy process, we will help you to identify and implement strategies to align the organisational culture, leadership and capability with your strategy.

When it comes to strategy capability, sharing our expertise and developing your in-house capability is fundamental to the way we work. We want to see you succeed and our role should be only a small part of your ultimate success.

How we do it

Identify The Potential Of  The Organisation

Every organisation has the ability to improve.

The true measure of potential is the benefit created. Our approach involves a process that starts with an understanding of the aspirations of the organisation, its capability and environment. We follow this by pinpointing what can be achieved through extending the limits of an organisation’s existing capability and capacity.

The true measure of potential is the benefit created.

Develop Your Strategy

Our team works with you to build and map a strategy that takes a holistic and integrated view of the organisation. This brings together the key elements of inputs and systems and processes that transform these to create outcomes..

We are experienced in employing a range of contemporary and leading edge tools that we have fine-tuned through our years of experience of working with leading companies and constant research.

 

Execute Your Strategy

The translation of strategy into measures, targets and tangible action plans is fundamental to the strategy development process. We work with you to develop an integrated series of strategic initiatives to achieve the targets.

Each of these strategic initiatives requires an investment of organisational resources. So we work together to develop a detailed business plan for each initiative. It helps ensure the resource commitment is fully costed, transparent and is clearly linked to the strategic objectives. A clear understanding of what is involved in implementation makes it easier for the Board and executive to formally approve the strategy.

Measure And Monitor Progress

We’re a team highly skilled in the science of data interpretation and analysis.

Our approach to strategy utilises data available in the identification of business potential, develop the strategic targets and measures, and to monitor progress as the strategy is implemented. We also identify any critical data gaps if we find them.

We’ve found that good business strategy has a wide range of measures, including both leading and lagging measures.

We can develop the framework and tools that allow access to real time, critical data. This enables the governance and executive teams to monitor both their performance and the organisation’s. These tools can also be given to all employees so they can monitor the performance of their own work team and its impact on the strategy.

Build Capability

At Black House we work with our clients to ensure alignment between the people and business strategies and can assist in areas such as:

  • organisational design, culture and processes
  • developing high performance executive teams
  • enhancing the Board/executive relationship
  • leadership development
  • organisational capability
  • building internal strategic capability
  • organising and running strategy conferences
Ready to get in touch?

People

Michael Smith
Hon DLitt (UWA), FAICD
Principal

Michael Smith is one of Australia’s acknowledged authorities on strategic marketing. In 1979 Michael formed The Marketing Centre, which provided strategic marketing advice to an unrivalled client list including many of Australia’s most iconic brands for over thirty years. Michael is currently the Principal of boutique strategic development consulting firm, Black House.

Michael’s contributions at the board level are considerable. He is the current Chair of 7-Eleven Stores PL and Starbucks Australia, the Lionel Samson Sadleirs Group and Pioneer Credit. Michael is on the board of Creative Partnerships Australia and is the Western Australian Patron of Variety – the Children’s Charity and the Co3 Dance Company.

Michael’s previously held roles include Chair of iiNet, Synergy, Verve, the Perth International Arts Festival, the West Coast Eagles, National Chair of the Australia Institute of Company Directors, deputy chair of Automotive Holdings Group and a director of HOME Building Society. Other past positions include Chairman of the Pearling Industry Advisory Committee, President of the Australian Marketing Institute and a member of the national board.

In March 2014 Michael was awarded a Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia for his contribution to the business sector and the arts. In addition to this award, Michael is the recipient of the Patron’s Medal – His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, in recognition of his services to marketing by the Australian Marketing Institute.

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Eric Hooper
B.Bus, MBA (Katz Business School, University of Pittsburgh), FAICD
Partner

Eric has a deep knowledge of finance and business analysis thanks to his experience as a Director, Consultant and Executive. His expertise extends to corporate consulting services, business process improvement, company performance assessment and debt advisory services.

Eric brings a wealth of experience to Black House thanks to his senior role in many companies. Currently he’s a Deputy Chairman of Lionel Samson Sadleirs Group where he’s providing improved governance and helping to drive improved financial performance and oversee a growth strategy. Eric is also on the board of Ocean Gardens Retirement Village where his skills are being utilised to improve both board processes and decision-making in a period of strategic change.

Prior to this, his wide range of roles has included Deputy Chair of Synergy where he oversaw the merger of Synergy and Verve. His eight years as CFO at St John of God Healthcare saw its expansion with seven new hospitals and a revenue growth from $270 million to $720 million. He has also served as a Director of Corporate Advisory at Oakvale Capital.

At his heart Eric is an Analyst – an expert at driving organisational financial performance without forgetting about risk.

When not helping clients, Eric can be found either treading grapes, or destroying the value of his own home doing his own renovations.

Contact Eric on Email – eh@blackhouse.com.auMobile – 0438 438 811

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Natasha Williams
Personal Assistant to Michael Smith

It’s Natasha’s role to harness Michael’s boundless energy and enthusiasm and make sure it all runs smoothly. Some would say it’s the hardest role of all, but not for Natasha. Before starting at Black House in 2011 she was responsible for organising Federal Members of Parliament, so she’s had a lot of practice.

Natasha spent over 8 years working within the highest levels of the Federal Government culminating in her role as senior adviser on Government Business in the Senate. Here she was responsible for the negotiation and prioritisation of the Government’s legislative program, developing policy and research material for use in Ministerial speeches and government legislative debates, and guided ministerial staff on the protocols of the Senate.

As you can imagine, Natasha brings considerable organisational skills to Black House, working with clients to manage all their expectations in a timely and efficient manner.

However, probably the best demonstration of Natasha’s abilities is when she’s not a work. She’s very involved in her local community and is on the board of Mosman Park Primary School, a member of the house committee at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and vice president of the Mosman Park Junior Football Club. Somehow she manages to do all this while spending weekends running after her kids at netball, basketball, rowing and junior footy, or training for the Rotto Swim in summer.

As we said, her organisational skills are considerable.

Contact Natasha onEmail – pa@blackhouse.com.auMobile – 0415 617 627

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Clients

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Ready to get in touch and have a coffee?

Where we are

A | U610, 20 Gugeri Street, Claremont, WA 6010

Contact Us

P | (08) 6181 3111

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