am an avid student of learning organizations, complexity
and chaos theory, and complex adaptive systems. In particular
their implications for organisations of all kinds, and
I have established an independent consultancy to share
my experience and understanding with other organisations.
Such organisations include Pfizer, The Industrial Society,
DfES, and Glasgow Caledonian University as well as a
wide range of smaller entities.
the Chief Executive of Humberside Training and Enterprise
Council, until TECs were abolished in 2001, I was able
to practice what I preached by taking out the traditional
business processes such as, plans, hierarchy charts,
budgets, managers, rules, job descriptions etc. I introduced
in their place, fuzzy policies, paperless 360 appraisals,
self managed teams, serious thinking sessions and much,
much more - all based on the principles of self responsibility,
trust and giving oceans of support.
have been working with the London School of Economics
(LSE) for several years now, initially as a participant
in a project, which looked at the relationship between
complex adaptive systems and organisational form and
attempted to provide a new language to make the concepts
available to all. More recently I am an advisor to a
new EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Council) funded LSE project,
which is working with Shell, British Telecom and Rolls
Royce to investigate how complexity theory can help
them with their mergers, restructuring, and spin out
the years I have given a wide range of presentations
on the subject of complexity in the workplace based
on my experiences as one of the few people who has actually
led an organisation using complexity theory. Examples
include presentations to businesses on behalf of the
Industrial Society and the Institute of Management,
to public bodies on behalf of the Local Government Management
Board and to academics on behalf of the LSE and Warwick
University to name but a few. Drawing on the skills
I gained in my seven years as a management trainer I
make my presentations entertaining, informative and
thought provoking. A particularly memorable occasion
for me was when I performed a two-hour version of one
of my presentations at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1997.
Always very keen to help others to benefit from complexity
I have worked with a wide variety of organisations delivering
workshops and consultancy in complexity to first help
them view their organisation differently and then enabling
them to implement any required actions arising from
this new view.
leaving Humberside TEC I am now working as an independent
consultant indulging my passion for the subject of complexity
and have established my own company trojanmice. As well
as enabling organisations to introduce the principles
of complexity I also act as an intermediary by translating
the academic theory into business application.
have written a number of articles
on complexity, as well as also giving after-dinner speeches
on the topic. I am currently working on the preparations
for a book exploring my approach to complexity.
can offer a wide range of services to help both you
and your organization benefit from understanding the
principles and application of complexity theory.
will tailor whatever I do to the needs and context of
main services I can offer are:-
offer various forms of consultancy,
Helping Organisations with Complexity
My main role is in helping organisations understand how the learnings from complexity theory can help them with running their organisation. This can take many forms from simple advice through top team coaching to full-blown change management.
offer an in house change programme entitled "The
Thriving Organisation" which operates at all levels
of the organisation by helping people reframe how they
see the organisation so that they may bring about any
necessary changes as they are needed. Click
here for an outline of the programme.
help organisations see themselves from a completely
different perspective, and then help them identify and
implement any changes (ie trojanmice) that they feel
are appropriate from this new perspective.
process usually involves a workshop lasting for a day
or so with the senior management team and possibly with
others if appropriate. This workshop is highly practical
and participative, and it is tailored totally to the
organisation concerned. This is then followed by a range
of discussions to help, where applicable, initiate any
changes that the participants wish to make.
amount of time needed with an organisation is entirely
in their hands and I can involve myself in the process
to any degree as required. The process is not like Business
Process Engineering, Total Quality Management or Management
By Objectives etc. where there is a prescribed process
to be followed. It is a simple, low tech, non-invasive
set of discussions, which open up a range of hitherto
unseen options and opportunities for the organisation
and any resulting activity is that devised and chosen
by the organisation itself. The aim is to identify and
implement small changes that will bring about large
'Fix it' Consultancy
the principles of complexity I will undertake specific
projects aimed at solving problems or dealing with specific
extra pair of hands with a completely different view"
I offer a wide range of workshops on complexity ranging
from two hours to two days or more. I am just as at home
with groups of people from different organisations as
well as in-company events. The workshops are highly participative
and are completely centred on the participants' organisations.
offer mentoring and/or coaching to leaders and senior managers,
particularly in the areas of how to reframe the issues they
are dealing with and in the process of developing strategy
based on complexity theory.
the basis of all my presentations is the practical application
of complex adaptive systems to organisational form,
I give them in many forms, sometimes not actually mentioning
complexity at all.
presentations range from between 5 minutes to 3 hours
using many formats and tailoring the content to any
audience or situation. Some of my themes are:-
Emperors New Clothes"
illustrate that we all unwittingly contribute to the
second biggest 'con trick' in the world. Because we
all know that plans, job descriptions, charts, budget
etc. do not really work but we are all afraid to say
maintain that the apparent mess that is around us in
business because things are just not working out as
expected is not really such an ugly duckling because
when we look at the mess in a different way we are able
to see that it is in fact a beautiful swan.
Must Be a Better Way"
presentation is aimed at the world of education and
explains how the principles of complexity are impacting
on it. The presentation is based around the episode
in Winnie the Pooh when he is coming downstairs on the
back of his head.
Application of Complexity Theory
is a 'straight' presentation on complexity theory, its
major characteristics and their implications for organizational
offer a variety of after dinner speeches ranging from
10 minutes to 40 minutes, and from the serious to the
light-hearted to suit the needs of the occasion. I
make every attempt to tailor the event to the background
of the audience.
can be commissioned to write a wide range of articles
on complexity. Click
for some examples.
have an extensive network of contacts, particularly in
connection with complexity theory and its related subjects. I am keen to help put people in touch with each other
and to build successful connections.
have a flexible scale of charges depending on the
amount of work being sought and the nature of the
organization. I will be happy to discuss these with
do, however, like people to be clear about what they
are buying and I am always pleased to give a free
introductory session to an individual or group within
years ago Warner-Lambert, now Pfizer, took a decision
to establish a major new manufacturing facility in County
Cork, Ireland - a country with a 4% unemployment rate. Our
vision, in this extremely competitive labour market, was
to establish a new way of working where EVERY employee would
feel motivated to act as though they owned the business
and, therefore, become fully engaged in the business. We
wanted people to become so fully engaged, in fact, that
they would have no desire to work anyplace else!
order to make the vision a reality, it was essential for
us to "step outside of the box" and challenge
old dictates regarding organisation design. Peter Fryer
was essential in our effort to reach our goal. Peter not
only opened "the box" for us, he actually pushed
us outside as well! With Peter's help, we very quickly
came to understand that, rather than helping the business,
traditional organisational mores actually place a straightjacket
around the organisation, this ensuring a future of mediocre
performance at best!
proof, as they say, is in the pudding. We brought our
facility on-line, with full regulatory approval, faster
than any company that I'm aware of has ever brought a
major pharmaceutical plant on-line. Peter helped us to
shed all of the traditional organisation baggage that,
clearly, would have prevented us from achieving the kind
of organisational agility required to successfully meet
our aggressive timelines.
General Manager, Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals
has engaged Peter Fryer as a key-note speaker on several
occasions to ground participants on a broad theme of education.
His input has always been proactive and stimulating. Peter
challenges perceptions about the nature of learning in a
way that is totally absorbing and thought provoking. His
presentations are dynamic and inter-active, delivered in
a style that effectively combines humour with authority
in the subject. He skilfully blends anecdotes with theory
in a way that is engaging and accessible. Peter is a natural
orator and experienced communicator, equally at home in
an academic environment as he is as an after dinner speaker.
Programme Director, Common Purpose
have been exposed to Peter's fascinating and often challenging
approaches to business organisation for many years now.
He has stimulated my thinking in many different ways I have
introduced many new approaches as a result. I have reformed
the culture of my company and now regularly involve the
workforce in all aspects of the business.
This has created an environment that is welcoming to new
people and to new ideas and in which change is accepted
as both normal and necessary. Improvement programmes have
been much more effective because they have been supported
by the many rather than the few.
Above all Peter's biggest contribution has been to give
us back our belief in each other.
Managing Director, Swift Group
in People: Presentation to the Somerset Recognised Employers'
the very positive and spontaneous response you received
from the audience on 24th February, I must set on record
our appreciation of your excellent input. It is quite
clear from the evaluation forms that the vast majority
of those present found your presentation to be thoroughly
thought provoking. News about your input obviously got
round to a number of those unable to attend and we have
had to deal with a number of requests for your handouts.
Investors in People Manager, Somerset TEC
Fryer's work is like watching my favourite film. Every time
watch it again I see or realise something new which was
always there but
not brought to my attention, and I always wonder if it will
| Paula Grant
I have lived and worked with complexity theory for several years. Initially at Humberside Training & Enterprise Council (TEC) which was run according to the principles of complexity. At the TEC I was a stalwart member of the Complexity Club and I also worked with a wide range of colleagues as a facilitator of 360-degree appraisals. My keen interest in personal development is also reflected by my participation in and delivery of a wide range of individual and small group development events both for Humberside TEC colleagues and its partner organisations. I have now joined trojanmice as an Independent Consultant. One of my key strengths is in the role of facilitator for large events, small workshops and one-to-one advice and guidance. In particular I specialise in business planning, facilitating and giving feedback on 360-degree appraisals. Working with individuals and small teams to assess the values of this type of appraisal and assisting with preparation and follow-up work to enable individuals and small teams to help themselves with their own future personal development.
Apart from working with complexity I offer a wide range of other consultancy services that are described on our sister site trojantactics.
Firstly, we will work collaboratively with you in everything we do. We will not do anything to you or your people, but we will help you learn how to help yourself so you will not become dependent on us (or anyone else).
Second, we will work transparently with you - no secrets or hidden agendas; no mystique or unnecessary jargon; just open communications designed to achieve high levels of ownership, involvement and self-responsibility.
Third, we will work as partners. In particular, we will work together to achieve results through effective application. We will not leave you to struggle in applying "learnings" to the real situation, and we will be there with you to help people move up their learning and experience curves.
Fourth, we will work with you holistically. That is, we will view your organisation, and its people, as an integrated whole. We will make sure that we help you deal with, and develop, the connections needed to make it all work smoothly.
Fifth, we will help you, and your people, to do the right things, and get the results demanded by your performance indicators, in a self-sustaining, and continuously improving, way.
Sixth, we will work with you to value differences and use them to discover new and effective approaches. We will be trusting and trustworthy. We expect to challenge you and to be challenged. We expect to support you and to be supported.
Finally, we will not tell you what you want to hear - we will share with you what you need to hear. We will say what we mean and mean what we say. If we preach at all, we will only preach what we practice. We will ask you to appraise our performance openly; share your feedback; and help us to learn how best we can help you, because our approach will be tailor-made to your specific needs.
e-mail us or ring
us at trojanmice on 01724 733303.
We live in North Lincolnshire but travel all over the UK and beyond and we
are more than happy to call in for a chat next time we are down
your way, just give us a call.
33 North Street
Trojanmice Limited - Company Number 2671750
Registered in England and Wales
VAT No 764 4611 23