About Us | Sparking Ideas for a Brighter Future

 

Unearthing Ideas for Long Term Success

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Impact Report FY17/18 View our FY17/18 performance

Our Story

Spark Strategy comprises a bunch of serial entrepreneurs and strategists, keen to harness the power of ideas in mobilising organisations to revitalise the world of possibility. We are an eclectic team, bringing cross-disciplinary knowledge and experience to drive creative thinking. We have done the consulting rounds, working with clients of all sizes, and within advisory firms from the largest to sole practitioners. We have worked across borders and industries but don’t claim to be the expert in any. Our style is to work with you to uncover the ideas.

Our Approach

Spark Strategy works with leaders who are as excited by ideas as we are, who want to take action and transform. And we stick with you to achieve outcomes, favouring long-term relationships over draft and dash plans. Our approach is highly interactive and all about bringing energy into the process through team-based workshops and activities that spark moments of discovery. We do the heavy lifting behind the scenes, stretching and probing the ideas before rigorously planning out the execution with you and building the organisational stamina required for your transformation. We employ both traditional consulting tools (without the consultant-speak) and creative tools to help unearth ideas that are practical yet innovative.

Clients

Today, we work with a diverse portfolio of clients that we are proud to have helped undergo key transformations. We don’t constrain ourselves by industry, sector, or service. We are a people-centric business. The thing that excites us most is working with great people who do great things to achieve even greater success.

Not-for-Profits

Spark works with social sector leaders and their communities to unearth these ideas and empower them to take the often uncomfortable journey to sustainability, where they are financially resilient and their impact is extended.

Government

Adopting a systemic view, we work across all altitudes of government to innovate social policy, ensuring that the beneficiary’s voice remains at the centre and the enabling environment is developed.

Corporates

From facilitating executive workshops, to developing Community Investment Frameworks and Corporate Giving Strategies, Spark has developed a reputation for delivering impactful and actionable outputs that realise both profit and purpose.

Philanthropists and Foundations

We work with many different types of philanthropists – from multimillion-dollar foundations operating on a national scale to families investing in their local community. In particular we look to leverage capital by aligning interests of multiple parties.

1147
Workshops Run Over 16 Years
66
Talks given
200
Happy Clients
127319
Cups of Coffee (and 1355 Cups of Tea)

Our Style

We’re here to help with creative ideas, rigorous testing, pragmatic planning and execution of each transformation and we do this in a special way. Here is what you can expect of Spark.

Bespoke Solutions

We always tailor our approach to deliver bespoke solutions. At Spark, we don’t come to our clients with a predetermined solution for their particular problem. We get to truly understand your organisation and work with you to created solutions that are tailored to your needs.

Tough Love

We’re straight shooters who offer useful truths rather than telling you what you want to hear. This is our tough love approach. It can mean an uncomfortable journey, but one that is necessary to build long-term vitality and viability. It’s about being authentic. We will challenge you to realize your potential.

Spark and Dynamism

We deliver innovative yet practical solutions  and we ensure that the model is executable. As a people-focused organisation ourselves, we care about your satisfaction and success. Furthermore we have the industry experience and business acumen to gain insights, draw connections and drive and deliver improvements.

Our Team

We value quality over quantity so we’re selective about our team. We don’t sacrifice our values. We care about our culture, the work we produce and the solutions we create.  We’re for sparking brighter futures for our clients and the societies in which we live. Is this you?

George – Managing Director

For over two decades George has advised Not-For-Profit, Government and Commercial organisations in strategy, business models and system transformation. Entering the consultancy world on the back of having grown and sold a $100M private sector business, Spark’s clients consistently cite his aptitude for strong practicality, keen commerciality and a commitment to creating uniquely tailored approaches which render maximum practical benefit. Prior roles saw George as the National Lead Partner for Transformation at Grant Thornton, Program Director for the Department of Premier and Cabinet as well as Chairman and Non-Executive Director on a number of technology and service businesses. A proponent of tough love, George will stop at nothing in his quest to unearth fresh ideas for sustainable business models. In his spare time (outside of airport lounges) George can be found making a mess in the kitchen and cooking up a storm with his kids.

Felicity – Associate Director

Felicity brings an international perspective to her engagements, a result of her professional and academic experience. Graduating Peking University with an MBA, Felicity entered the corporate consulting world as a business transformation adviser. A founding member of the Spark team, Felicity has facilitated international strategy projects, developed expertise in NFP go-to-market approaches and was co-author of the briefing paper for the National Mental Health Commission review. A dedicated Sparkie, she enjoys balancing the tightrope between creativity and scientific rigour, working alongside clients through ideation, modelling, stress testing and execution planning. It is imperative to Felicity that outcomes are practical and solution-based, rendering tangible value. After hours, Felicity is likely found in the yoga studio, putting herself through the paces.

Richie – National Delivery Lead

For the past decade, Richard has worked with Government, Not-For-Profits and Commercial organisations in both the UK and Australia. Helping to design and deliver operating models, Richie’s commitment to re-engineering processes and ensuring they deliver the right flow of value means that he won’t rest until he gets to the root-cause of an issue, taking that step back to discover the right solution and make a real difference to organisational performance. A broad range of experience and knowledge allows Richie to define, map and understand people, process and technology, translating how such components operate together in delivering the business model and meeting strategic objectives. Outside of work hours you’ll find him at home, attempting to deliver a sustainable strategy for dealing with excitable young children.

Verity – Senior Strategic Advisor

A decade of government experience allowed Verity to lead the development of state-wide social policies as Chief-of-Staff to the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Multicultural Affairs, Veterans, Volunteering & Youth. Verity led a team to deliver complex social initiatives, including the NSW Government’s policy on Aboriginal Affairs. Success led to a position as CEO of the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, where she advanced concepts of corporate responsibility. While living in Myanmar, Verity launched the inaugural Responsible Investment Group and explored best practice under the UN Global Compact. With a passion for empowering women and girls, Verity led the creation of the first Myanmar Women in Business and Leadership Development Conference. With a belief that cross-sector collaboration allows us to multiply our impact, Verity has a passion for all things Latin American: language, music, food and dance.

Neil – Associate Director

A Tri-Sector executive leader and director with nearly 10 years’ senior-level, strategic, corporate and not-for-profit experience building scalable, sustainable organisations, Neil brings a principled, tenacious approach to the leadership table that is committed to achieving the best possible social, commercial and economic outcomes. Leveraging a solid foundation in sales, marketing and communications, built with one of the largest corporates in the world, EDS/HP, he has traversed sectors and geographies, applying proven competency in strategic business planning, development and management to creating best-practice fundraising, communications and government advocacy frameworks, enabling philanthropic ventures to maximise opportunities and impact. Neil’s ability to build relationships and networks that transgress cultural and sector boundaries is perceived as one of his core strengths. Moreover, his skill at connecting seemingly disparate dots in order to define and operationalise highly effective business strategies is what defines him as the leader he is today. Able to think strategically and operationally, with a high level of analytical objectivity and agility, Neil offers a rare capacity for both innovation and pragmatism, securing future-state success across complex, operating environments. 

Angus – Strategic Advisor

With experience working in ministerial offices within government, Angus has a deep understanding of the political process and how organisations can better engage with government to affect positive and lasting outcomes. Angus has worked on projects, grants programs and policies with spend or investment from $30thousand to more than $1billion, working across social and economic policy portfolios. An integral component of Angus’ success in helping to achieve these outcomes was through his ability to engage with stakeholders from across the government, private and not-for-profit sectors. Each of these areas required bringing together a broad range of stakeholders and government agencies to work together to achieve synergy and deliver great outcomes for the community. Back home in Queensland, Angus was Co-Convenor for Rainbow Labor and engaged with government and the community to strengthen laws which protect LGBTIQ+ people from discrimination and harassment while seeking to progress lasting change to further foster a community which values diversity. He has worked on election campaigns for state and federal members and brings with him knowledge on the ins-and-outs of this process. When not at his desk, you can find Angus at the gym, exploring a hiking trail or enjoying the surf, sun and sand at the beach.

Heather – Strategic Advisor

Drawing on her experience in the not-for-profit and private sectors, Heather’s focus is on creating strategies and solutions that blend purpose, profit and pragmatism. Collaboration is key to both Heather’s approach and the models she develops, taking into account that developing and maintaining authentic partnerships takes time, energy and consideration. Prior to working at Spark, Heather led a profit-generating business unit at an international charity. In this role, her efforts and skills were largely directed to partnership and program management, strategy development and implementation, and communications. More broadly, Heather’s career has involved work across health, education and the environment, which has strengthened her commitment to models that drive impact and financial sustainability. Otherwise, you’ll come across Heather on the tennis court or making misshapen mugs in ceramics class.

John – Strategic Advisor

Driven by a desire to make the world a better place, John weaves social and environmental values with the insight and acumen of an MBA. He draws upon professional experiences of working for government, corporate, not-for-profit and the in-between realm of social enterprise, in the UK and Australia. He trained as a youth worker, helping individual young people cultivate the skills and resources they need to develop themselves and the communities in which they live. He took the key skills of rapport building, workshop design and facilitation, and attention to quality evaluation to later roles such as focusing on community participation in local government policy development. He worked in the creative industry as a booking agent, progressed the global uptake of electric vehicles and coordinated a government funded education programme for not-for-profits in Australia. Outside of Spark, John enjoys the many opportunities to go for a walk in and around Sydney, or if the weather isn’t so good, tackle a cryptic crossword.

Claire – Strategic Advisor

Claire believes that doing business and doing good don’t need to be mutually exclusive. With a background in environmental engineering, Claire made the unexpected jump to the for-purpose sector after discovering social business while living in New Zealand. After spending time across the not for profit, social enterprise and corporate sectors, Claire brings a holistic perspective to the way that our diverse sectors can complement one another to effect  sustainable change. Outside of work, you might find Claire volunteering with her friends at Engineers Without Borders across the ditch, at the yoga studio, or tending to her pot plants (with varying levels of success).

Sarah – Strategic Advisor

Sarah brings a diversity of experience within the social and corporate sectors. From working with Indigenous communities through to assisting business owners with their annual reporting and taxation requirements, Sarah is motivated by the opportunity to help and empower people to achieve what is important to them. Sarah is a provisional Chartered Accountant, and also has a strong policy and relationship management background with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Sarah has advised local organisations across the Northern Territory on complex business problems, performance improvements, system selection, and tax and accounting compliance through her work at KPMG Darwin. Sarah believes that commercial acumen has a critical role to play in creating sustainable impact. In her role as Relationship Manager for the Indigenous Accountants Australia Project (CAANZ & CPA) Sarah upheld Accounting as a profession where Indigenous Australians could develop the skills necessary to make a meaningful difference in their communities and created supportive pathways to enable this.

Erica – Business Manager

Erica Buckley manages Spark Strategy’s business operations, including human resources, recruiting, resource scheduling, and the financial management of the firm. She also manages George Liacos’s busy diary. With strong project and stakeholder management skills, Erica also works on initiatives that support the firm’s strategy. Erica has more than eight years of business management experience for professional services firms in both Sydney and Melbourne. After many years of working in the corporate sector her longing to align her ‘purpose’ of wanting to make a difference in her occupation led her to Spark Strategy. She holds a Bachelor of Business from Monash University where she was awarded first class Honours in Marketing. When not at her desk you’ll find Erica at the gym or outdoors hiking.

In Search of Sustainability Download our White Paper