Services | What We Do
Strategy has become an often-dreaded compliance exercise that can result in little more than “last year plus 10%”. We have flipped strategy on its head by developing an approach that leads not with the restrictive traditional strategic planning tools, but rather with creativity. From Facilitated Workshops to comprehensive Strategic Plans, our processes are highly interpersonal, centred on value-based design. This involves unearthing what your current and potential customers and beneficiaries need and how you can be best placed to deliver this value. From Objective Setting, to Ideation, to Stress Testing to Action Planning, we work with you to develop a strategy that is cutting edge, inspiring and achievable.
Sustainable Business Models
Since inception, a key focus of Spark has been bringing commercial acumen to support the social sector. We have spent a number of years refining our answer to, “How we can best help Not for Profits achieve both financial sustainability and increased impact?” Exploring this question has led us to develop a deep expertise in Profit for Purpose Business Models. Whether for an entire organisation, a division or a project, we help Not for Profit organisations unpack underutilised assets, explore strategic partnerships and test commercialisation opportunities. We have also developed a deep expertise in innovative funding and collaboration models, such as leveraged funding and collective impact. We also build business models for the private sector, from a purely competitive perspective, in order to bring cross learnings back to the social sector.
To ensure the practicality of our strategic design, we often stay with our clients to help execute key projects in the roadmap, if they require extra capability or capacity to do so. The main forms that this takes include detailed Business Plans, Operating Models (people, process and technology) and Business Development. In particular, when Not for Profits transition to a sustainable business model, they often need to upskill in the areas of technology and marketing, or simply need project management assistance to ensure that the body of work stays on track. Assisting in this manner supports our commitment to partnership and pragmatism.
Focusing on where an organisation can deliver business value, while making the most difference. This service begins with uncovering shared value opportunities, which is business improvement or innovation that solves a social or environmental issue, across an organisation. The process may involve working with employees, suppliers, customers and community partners. Delivery of a framework then guides the investment decision, design and delivery of shared value initiatives.
Social Innovation & Systems Change
In addition to point solutions at the organisational level, Spark also strives for social innovation and system change. From policy influence to new models of incubation, we have developed sound engagement approaches that elicit the contributions from industry, community, academia and Government, which facilitate a deep exploration of social problems. Through our ‘profit for purpose’ lens, we then propose alternate solutions (often leveraging technology, capital and networks) that consider both economic and social implications. We have done this both in Australia and internationally.
Not for Profit / Corporate Partnership Brokerage
Connecting organisations to deliver results that are greater than the sum of their parts. This service focuses on deeply understanding an organisation’s partnering needs and may involve introducing new partners and/or refining or exiting existing partnerships. The process ensures that stakeholder expectations, financial return and social value are considered as key determinants in brokering a partnership.
Thought Leadership & Capacity Building
As we have seen our Profit for Purpose strategy and business model design processes render tangible outcomes, we wish to share our knowledge so that more social problems can be approached in this manner. To this end we have published a range of free resources, from white papers to webinars to regular blogs. We also hold editorial positions in some of the leading publications in the Not for Profit sector. Our team often get engaged to speak at public events, and we have partnered with a number of our clients to develop capacity building educational material for their client base, in order to up skill in strategic thinking through the lens of sustainability.
Demonstrating the financial and social return of an organisation’s activities. This service ensures that an organisation’s activities are accounted for in terms of financial and social value and can be communicated to key stakeholders including customers, employees, funders and suppliers. The process includes building an evaluation or measurement framework, designing metrics and packaging results for different audiences.
Corporate Sustainability Reporting
Delivering reporting that meets stakeholder requirements against voluntary and mandatory reporting frameworks. This service can deliver reporting against frameworks including the GRI, IIRC, SASB and the UNGC SDGs. The process ensures additional value is derived from the reporting process to avoid reporting for reporting’s sake. Insights generated throughout the process can be fed into an organisation’s strategy or planning.