Old ways of working are running hot and incremental improvement cannot deliver the change required. The opportunity requires systemic change in the heart of organisations. We look at new ways to run teams which are less hierarchical and more fluid. 




Many of the rules  of management theory are no longer fit for purpose.  Growth used to be achieved by delivering volume and repeatability. You strove hard to take your company from what Jeff Bozos calls Day 1 to Day 2 – embedded processes and strict control mechanisms delivered through a command and contol hierarchy. Now Day 2 is death, you need to stay in that Day 1 feel – constantly agile, inventing and following fluid paths.

Digitisation has speeded everything up, the volume of data needed for decision making is overwhelming and consumers now demand complex unpredictable services. 

“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot 

read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” 

Alvin Toffler

Progressing happily up the ladder

The future of work has been turned on its head -you don’t need to change what you are doing, just how you do it. There is a catch – you need to park a lot of the management thinking you have learnt and see the world in a 21st Century way.

You're doing everything right, 

but your company is just not growing.


We'll teach you the

digital growth rules

Knowledge is no longer ‘out there’, 

it is within and between us

David Holzmer

Organisations need to design to be part of an ecosystem – to collaborate with people and companies they do not own or control and integrate that with their core organisational capability.

Clients no longer want transactional relationships – if they can’t predict the future then those sorts of contracts are just too slow and out of date quickly. 

This is a revolution in approach to L&D and talent management. Neon Nelly are experts at showing organisations how to build capacity and new capabilities to grow in disruptive business environments.

Going faster won’t create growth because old rules focus on driving process improvement. The 21st Century is way more complex and there is a need to focus on solving unique problems in an innovative way rather than trying to squeeze a customer into a pre-existing internal system. 

We guide you from command and control systems that cannot be fast enough, to innovative strutures and ways of working.

“The things we fear the most in organisations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances –

 are the primary source of creativity”

M. Wheatley

Capability Agents

The world of work is no longer able to be controlled through tight planning for three years, one year or even a quarter. Business systems need to measure the capability of an organisation to adapt and maximise emergent opportunities. That involves developing skills of agility, collaboration and decision making to create an experimental culture.

If you are what you measure,then most organisations are measuring performance by the old rule book of process efficiency. You need to create capacity and build capability through changing how you are structured and how you organise the work. We give you new measures to create a step change.

In the 21st Century humans need to be integrated into the business, not managed as an underperforming add-on. Don't take our word for it - complete the information request and we will send you a reading list 

with articles from academia and business leaders who have implemented this approach.

The right business model is what will turn compliant employees into committed ones and has a seismic impact on the talent you attract and retain.

So it's all about employee engagement?

Yes, but not as you know it. Employee engagement has become $74 billion industry. 

It is made up of complex rewards (think Perkbox), recognition programmes, wellness benefits (think yoga), performance measurement and talent management. 

The theory is that happy employees will be more compliant and retention levels will increase. 

At a superficial level these initiatives are helpful but they are not tackling the root causes of employee satisfaction which rests with improving the system, not the employee. So money and effort is being put in the wrong place.

On the one hand this is really simple – you don’t need to change what you do to be successful, just how you do it. So why is that hard? 

Don't mistake 

simple for easy

We wish! 

So does Neon Nelly 

have a magic wand?

But we do have expertise in change management and organisation design which we’ve brought together in a unique set of tools to enable growth.

Step one though is to realise this is not a job just for HR. You as the wider business need to share ownership and accountability for what happens to people as well as process. 

Step two is to experiment – there is no cookie cutter, but using these tools and approaches will build sustainable change capability within your organisation.

The collaborative and agile pitch team

Adapted from Paul Romer

and putting it into your customers business or indeed higher ethical ideas drives sales.

In a world of faster - better - cheaper, old ways of working cannot deliver growth and so responsive organisations move from running a process to solving a problem.

If we can make new tools, we can make new rules.

What needs to change?

There is no need to change what your customers love you for, but to rethink how you deliver maximum value to them in a fiercely competitive market.

Top down planning alone can’t deliver growth, ways of working need to accommodate bottom up design – in a range of diverse solutions.

This means experimenting with different ways to devolve decision making which creates the capacity to build fluid networks which deliver tailor-made customer solutions.

You need to shift from running a system to solving a problem – well actually lots of problems all at the same time!

This will look chaotic and requires new leadership skills. Progress is no longer linear and planning gives way to setting up ways of working that allow you to take advantage of emergent opportunities.

How you organise

Value creation shifts from the individual to the collective. Teams will be formed and disbanded; SME’s brought in and out as required. The biggest barrier for many sectors is that they cannot see beyond the current business model.

#3 The hero is dead, long live the team. Innovation is not an individual pursuit and should not be rewarded as such.

#2 Profit comes after purpose – it is an outcome not an objective. Taking your head out of a quarterly spreadsheet 

#1 Advances in technology give organisations innovative advantage but only humans can navigate the disruption and complexity. HR need to step back and recalibrate how they elevate the new people skills.

How you think

Organisations have been focussed on including advances in technology into their products and services to make them more innovative, but the opportunities it provides to work better differently with new concepts in how systems and humans can work together have not been rolled out so quickly into the workplace.

Bags of money

Progress is two types of innovation: 

new technology & new laws and social norms. 

Growth Agents

Jumping the gap to do better differently

Design options

Small or large we are experienced at helping organisations like yours to make the leap and create capacity and build the capabilities needed to grow.

Credit: Niels Pflaeging

A scan not a plan

The HOW not the 

what toolkit

Big Hairy 



The future of work 

belongs to the pioneers. 

Revolution or evolution, 
it still means change.

If you need it we will help you build a comprehensive change programme. But we recommend you build bottom up at the same time. Momentum will change the map – for the better.

Part of your success will be the appropriate degree of devolving power away from the centre. To give your people the confidence to take accountability they need new skills – how do you work best in this environment? We have a capability tool box to give consistency of approach and transparency to skills like decision making and collaboration.

If you decide you need to wrestle your operating system into something more client and network friendly then we can show you options that deliver a responsive and agile service for customers. But be warned, we don’t hang around. A new organisation design doesn’t last forever, or even for very long in a VUCA world, so we work with you to deliver the minimum viable product. Then you start using it and iterate the hell out of it.

If you know where are you on the journey we won't waste effort on minor stuff or embark on a massive change initiative if you can get away with a lot less. 

We scan your organisation, partners and clients and based upon new measures of success we recommend next steps that identifies a business case as well as activities. It is only in starting to change that you discover what the next step should be – so we won’t let you boil the ocean or use resource in non priority ‘initiatives’.

Our services

We can help

Capability Agents

Register Today

Lesley Donnelly leads Neon Nelly and is a highly respected Change Consultant, having led change programmes at organisations such as Tesco, DWP and Jaguar whilst at CapGemini, as well as being Head of Consulting at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Prior to becoming a Management Consultant, she worked on both client and agency side on such businesses as American Express, Air France and Vauxhall Motors. Lesley holds a CIPD Masters level qualification in Organisation Design and Development, and brings an outside perspective of how other sectors have adapted to the forces of change.

Change Agent

Lesley Donnelly

Lesley Donnelly: change agent

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