Gerry Beamish founded Beamish Associates International in 1985.
Beamish Associates International acts as management consultants on a wide range of human resource problems. The main concentration of work has been in management performance and organisational development. The team includes associate consultants based in N Ireland, England and the United States.
Most of our consultancy work has been in organisational development with a concentration in the public, business services and financial sectors. Our primary strength is in the communications and management development areas. This area also includes training needs analysis, training evaluation, design of recruitment, selection and assessment procedures, training design and the certification of trainers. We were involved in some of the first public service assessment centres used in and in the design of centres for selection and promotion. All our management development programmes involve extensive self-assessment in the physical, psychological and skill areas.
The bulk of our work is in the training field and in this area our principals have a long history of developing new training initiatives. Starting in the seventies our Associates have been involved in the early development of outdoor management training and team building, a holistic approach to stress management, dealing with change, an experientially based management development programme, and a unique method of developing confidence and competence in presentation skills. Our training philosophy is outlined below.
How we work
Our network of experienced professional consultants is dedicated to helping organisations develop unique answers to their special performance problems. We are not wedded to a particular brand of training. We bring our knowledge and philosophy to bear on your problems to jointly produce solutions that solve those special problems. Our work therefore, tends to be collaborative rather than prescriptive.
Why people are important.
Most organisations claim that people are their greatest resource, yet in many organisations the utilisation of that resource falls well below the level of other resources. Research indicates that many people consistently perform well below their capacity. Beamish Associates believes that the core of the problem is how they are managed.
Many managers agree that whilst people are the greatest resource they are also the source of many of the problems they have to manage. People can be complex, difficult, fickle and frustrating. They can also be inspired, loyal, creative and highly productive, given half a chance.
Our approach is about giving them that chance. It is about allowing people to unlock their potential to produce outstanding performance. Everybody is capable of outstanding performance at some time, or in some aspect of life. The question is why we do not help them produce that performance most of the time, and at work.
We believe that people are the greatest resource, but only if they are carefully selected, properly trained and given the environment and opportunities for real development. We also believe that many organisations have lost sight of this simple but delicate formula. Over complication, neglect, lack of investment and the search for magic techniques that will provide a panacea, are some of the reasons why the basics have been lost.
It is time to stop paying lip service to the idea that people are the greatest resource and to start to put it into practise through investment and example.
What do we mean by development?
The dictionary tends to define development in terms of getting bigger or reaching full growth, but we believe that this is not sufficient for defining management or organisational development.
Development may have to do with growth in the sense of knowledge or skill, but it is more than just growth. You can say that a graveyard or a waste dump grows but is that development? Development, in our definition, is the ability to perform at an optimum level and in particular to solve complex problems for ourselves and the people within our system.
For some people and organisations, development occurs as they learn new things. For others, development takes place when they discard some of the things they have already learned. For many people, development is concerned with rearranging what they already know to learn lessons for a new situation.
Influences on our approach
Beamish Associates International’s approach has been influenced by three main sources.
Systems thinking, situational solutions and learning through actions are three thought processes at the core of our approach to problems of development.
The ideas of open systems where parts are interdependent and outcomes cannot be predicted by simple cause and effect is central to our thinking. This leads to the need to supplement traditional analytical thinking with alternative, creative methods.
The idea that there is not one single answer to all situations, and that an understanding of process is more important than any one technique, is our main tool. This is linked to the idea that an eclectic approach is better than promoting one single idea.
We believe that continuous learning is the key to problem solving and that learning is best through actions or experience.
In the academic influences in each of these fields certain individuals are prominent. Russell Ackoff for the application of systems thinking to problem solving, Hersey and Blanchard for their initial work on Situational Management and Reg Revans for his seminal work on Action Learning.
The Uncertainty Model
Based on the influences above we have developed our model for development. An outline of that model is available on request. This model is our main tool in all areas of work and it incorporates all the elements of our philosophy.