28 September 2020

Why the time is so right to launch Impact Teams…

Timing is the most important ingredient when launching a new venture. More than capital, people involved, unique idea, or passion.

Timing is not a strong characteristic of mine. Today is always the day to launch an idea, particularly if it’s one I have thought up. Which can be problematic!

So for me to sit on an idea for four years is unusual to say the least, and it would not have seen the light of day, if not for a super question by Collective Intelligence board member, Andrea de Almeida. She asked me straight up – what idea had I been sitting on? The power of a good question at work there.

I need to lead with a wee bit of a disclaimer – this stunning idea is not fully mine. Another fella, Anake Goodall (who has a habit of doing smart stuff), whispered it into my head where it grew legs.

I wrote in a blog back in June that I’d been thinking a lot about ‘the 2040 I’d like to see’, and that we’d created a platform that would allow us to positively impact Aotearoa-New Zealand and its development over the next 20 years.

Well here it is – our Impact Teams initiative, which distills into action:

  • The best of our Collective Intelligence team methodology – a process that we know really works and have refined over the last 13 years.
  • The cognitive diversity that resides in the hundreds of professionals, entrepreneurs and business people (across 70+ industries and professions) with whom we have worked with. They are experienced, trusted, and understand our methodology well.


Impact Teams Logo

So, we combine our methodology with the wider pool of awesome people that we draw upon, and apply it to helping organisations across the country achieve their goals in ways they might not otherwise have thought possible – all with genuine (felt) impact.

This might seem like a simple concept, but it’s taken us 13 years to refine to the point where its power is repeatedly observable in the responses we get from the people we work with.

Why are Impact Teams the bizzo now?

  • In case you haven’t noticed, the world is a bit unsettled. Sure, COVID is problematic, but it’s a walk in the park compared to some of the big issues brewing.
  • The need for some fresh ‘impact’ creating ideas and methodologies is off the charts; ‘impact’ not with the meaning so often assumed by consultants but ‘impact’ as assessed and felt by the people we work with.
  • The traditional consulting method has remained unchanged for far too long and is tired and exhausted – struggling to reinvent itself and out of sync with the needs of many sectors of the economy and society that are calling out for genuine regenerative change.
  • Not only that, the really game-changing opportunity lies in the fact that research is proving the power of teams in solving complex, pressing problems and challenges transcends that of ‘the experts’ who ‘have all the answers’. Teams demonstrate a collective expertise that is now being redefined in an unbiased and objectively observable way.
  • And finally, we know that well-selected, facilitated, diverse, competent, unbiased teams eat complexity!


How could Impact Teams work for you?

A bit like Ghostbusters (can you hear the music….?). So, say your organisation has an opportunity or issue you need outside input into. You might be stuck…want to shake things up a bit…gain clarity. Who you gonna call? Yep Gh…… Impact Teams (we don’t have music yet but we’re open to any ideas – hit us with a theme song!)

Then what?

  • An experienced facilitator of ours will work with you to nut out what and where the focus should initially be.
  • We’ll then call up a team from across the country that’s tailored to your situation. They’ll be dispassionate yet motivated to come together for a couple of days’ immersion in your problem/challenge/opportunity.
  • I won’t go into what actually happens next – because that’s a little bit special. It’s called IP! But it works. We know it works because we’ve been doing it for years within Collective Intelligence during our team host days. Now it will be available to anyone.
  • Here’s a couple of key ingredients that must be in this mix for success:
    • Your organisation must be ready to step up to the plate and embrace the future. If not, then there are lots of traditional consultants who can help you continue with what you are already doing.
    • There will be follow up. It’s called accountability – as much for us as for you. It’s hard to evade accountability over 13 years and we know that mutual trust takes a little time to build.


Who do we want to work with?

Anyone who is ambitious about the future and what’s possible and the courage to take action! This could be Iwi, DHBs Regional and District councils, Central Government, corporates, SMEs, NGOs and charities (if we can work out a financial arrangement that is workable for us both).

What’s the level of investment?

This will be valued on a case-by-case basis with the value and nature of the impact achieved, a key driver.

Why would you, our Collective Intelligence whānau, want to be part of an Impact Team?

  • It’s fun.
  • It’s challenging.
  • It’s rewarding.
  • You get a chance to make a real (redefined) impact for the people we work with and in turn Aotearoa-New Zealand.
  • You can use your skills in a team.
  • You get to hang out with other cool people, doing stuff that really matters, for a few days.


We’re excited about the potential of this – we hope you are too and invite you to question:

  • What impact do you believe an impact team could have on your organisation?
  • What opportunities may be ‘hidden in plain sight’ because of the current mindset / frame of reference which obscures them?
  • Whose function, role or mission do you think we could offer benefit to most at this time?

We’re now embarking on the beta-testing phase of launching Impact Teams to market, so if you’d like to talk about these questions and see how an Impact Team could help you – get in touch using the ‘Let’s Talk‘ button below. We’re looking for beta-projects from organisations from within our wider ‘Collective Intelligence family’ who have a real need and want to create some lasting change. Our Impact Team will work for free with you and in return will ask you for detailed feedback on how we can refine our process and on-the-ground methodology (and permission to share your project’s story).

Keen to expand your thinking around this? Join us for one of our free, interactive, online ‘ideas distillery’ webinars where some big thinkers help us take a look at how we’re going to collectively ‘be the change we want to see’. First one kicks off at midday, 15 October with Collective Intelligence member alumni, Professor Alex Hannant of the Yunus Centre in Australia. Register here:

Or join us for our 2020 nationwide face-to-face ‘chat-over-lunch’ ideas distillery – the first one kicks off at Soda Inc in Hamilton on 13 October. Check our website events page for ticketing details:

Ian Harvey (Harv)


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