Across Organisations

Interface Optimisation – Across Organisations

Culture within and across organisations needs to be understood when you embark on a cross organisational initiative. One tool that we deploy is the Blameless Review process. To work in this way we need to understand culture and the idea of interdependence.

Organisations aim to constantly improve the quality of products, services and processes. Stephen Hanman as a MIRA member has a unique Interface system which reduces silo management and creates a “whole of system” approach.  From feral to federal is the catchcry!  From independence to interdependence. The radio interview below details one such case study – the move from ME to WE in the construction industry, enjoy;

Collaboration initiated by the builder with 7 different trade organisations, who did not need to tender for the construction work, led to a five year program that delivered buildings above specification, ahead of schedule and reduced total construction costs by 7 %. Some strategic contractors reduced their prices by more than 20 %. Everyone won in this system; everyone wanted to work on these sites. The Interface system created one collaborative culture driven by the values and behaviours that became known as ‘The Force’. 

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Stephen Hanman, MIRA’s supply chain expert says “In my 20 years of consulting I have not seen a better process that delivers ongoing value!”

And this process can be yours after we facilitate these conversations a first time.

From feral to federal is the catchcry!

This interface system includes two steps; a spring clean and then the interface conversation.  The process is facilitated in such a way to nurture healthy constructive feedback that leads to negotiated agreements that deliver improved service by a more productive and motivated engaged workforce. It is a win win win scenario.

Interface conversations can be internal to an organisation and between organisations (customer and supplier relationships) with the aim to improve and maximise outcomes. This process design promotes a solution focus and taking responsibility – the facilitated environment moves past the typical blaming to system responsibility and interdependence.


Ian George, CEO of CGA Bryson Construction – Interface Conversations.

Some of our staff were completely unaware of their impact on other sections of the business.  Construction had always been at loggerheads with the head office accounts department over certain issues.  After one MIRA interface meeting this changed and everyone started to understand the bigger picture.

They started to have ongoing conversations and began to meet the other department staff on a personal level.

We also deployed the interface conversations between our construction teams and consultants and contractors.  The interface conversations lead to more trust and discussions between contractors.  They began to talk amongst themselves which is uncommon in construction.

Such was the level of communication that at one time when we were short staffed to resource a project with a site manager the sub contractor team communicated with each other and built the project up to the metal deck installation stage with only a labourer as our representative on site.

Zane FullJames, Oil Company, National Supply Chain Director.

“We had significant issues in the supply chain which were beginning to have an impact on people’s livelihoods, business reputation and therefore clearly unacceptable.  We invited Stephen from MIRA Companions for Development to facilitate a two day interface conversation with people from each of the four organisations involved with the aim of developing and agreeing a collective set of initiatives in order to resolve the issue.

Some people expressed how this could not be achieved and that we would not be able to reach the targets that had been set.   A month after the interface session the improvements in the supply chain and the benefits from the interface conversations were clear to all.  A 30% improvement week on week had been delivered and we were well ahead of our agreed targets.

The seemingly ”unresolvable” supply chain issues were resolved with the assistance of the MIRA interface system in a healthy, profound, human way where all parties were seen as critical to system success.  An important outcome of the process was that the people involved also changed – they were proud and responsible – an outcome from having the courage to dismantle the hierarchy and let expertise outrank rank.

A profound outcome, good for business, good for people.”

Chris Malin – CEO Link Recruitment

“MIRA assisted us to resolve an interface issue between Corporate Services and Operations. This involved building consciousness around this interface to ensure healthy relationships were developed and maintained. MIRA’s work included a strategic relationship audit, executive coaching and values setting. The services MIRA offered enabled us to maintain healthy relationships and continue our successful values based organisational growth.

Lance Deacon – Joint Managing Director, Dyson Group of Companies

I have worked with Stephen over the past 4 years in the pursuit of good to great.  The focus has been creating a values based organisation that thrives on involving our people.  The health of internal relationships has been reviewed and interface conversations implemented to ensure relationships are healthy and always developing across the business.  We have a strong sense of being a unified team focused on being a leader in our field.  Healthy relationships and strong feedback systems have enabled a more efficient and effective outcome; silo thinking has been transformed into whole of business thinking. Stephen also chairs our board meetings, facilitates strategic planning and provides executive coaching.  He has also assisted in our Family Office with a updated Strategic Plan that included all the stakeholders in its creation.

Peter Uniacke, GM Tours & Charter at Dysons [Bus Company] – Interface Conversations.

“The impact on the group of 30 people of the interface session was that they were;

  • Challenged to look at themselves first.
  • Having to see things from the other side of the fence.
  • Not just complaining about something but being asked to provide paths to resolution.
  • Being inadvertently forced to find common ground amongst peers.

The participants have all benefited from the experience and I see a marked difference in how they now respond and interact with others within the business; be they on the supply or receiving end of the process.”

In any significant transformation project there are key moments that determine the pathway and the outcomes. The video below describes one such moment. It provides financial and human motivation to create collaborative systems that benefit all parties involved.

This video details the move from the traditional hierarchical system of independence to one of interdependence, self management and wholeness focused on collaborative process flow. 

Stephen, after he founded Benchmarking Success, pioneered the concept of peer group learning across a group of non competing organisations. More than 200 organisations were involved in this process and Stephen won best paper from the International Journal of Logistics Management for his article Benchmarking your Firm’s Performance against Best Practice , the video below provides an overview;


Stephen Hanman conducted a webinar series with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and below is the mothodology for the implementation of a successful strategic partnership/alliance;

In the video below I explain the partnering model deployed to create a value adding strategic relationship where both parties win due to a collaborative framework.

Ready for the first step in the transition?