Case Study: 4impact Group
The Challenge: How might we enhance 4impact’s ability to humanise technology?
The Solution: To develop a purpose-driven approach to business - Identifying purpose, values and new impact initiatives
Client: 4impact Group (Brisbane, Australia)
In 1843, Thomas Carlyle was the first to identify what seemed the fatal flaw of the industrial revolution - that it reduced all social relations to what he called the ‘cash nexus’. He highlighted that ‘deep, far deeper than supply-and-demand, are laws; obligations sacred as man’s life itself’. Almost 200 years have passed and we are beginning to witness flaws emerge in a new revolution - a digital revolution. Human-human interaction is increasingly replaced by human-tech interaction, and the power of technology has given rise to profound ethical questions.
Will all social relations now be reduced to a fatal ‘tech nexus’, reducing what’s really human?
Looking at the technology consulting industry itself, you can already see this happening - the industry is notorious for its transactional nature. Consultants and clients are treated as means and ends respectively. Relationships are not built - they are a waste of time in world where technological advancement is faster than you can say gigabyte. There is not a moment to lose. Nor a moment to be human.
Amidst this furious whirl of technological influence, the 4impact Group, founded in 2005, has grown to become one of Australia’s leading technology consulting companies. They are renowned for the value they create by building relationships with both their consultants and clients.
They closely consider a consultant’s career goals, work-life balance and create opportunities for their professional development. They collaborate with their clients to create empathy and understanding, allowing for the best possible outcomes.
As a result, 4Impact gets the best people which creates the best projects, which attracts the best people, which….you get it, it’s a virtuous cycle.
Ultimately, 4Impact realises we can have a massive impact when we put humans in technology and harness it to our collective benefit. We can create new and enhanced human experiences, go above and beyond customer expectations and connect society like never before. Instead of a detrimental ‘tech nexus’ developing, we can effectively enhance human relationships through technology.
Embarking on a journey of strategic change and growth, 4Impact CEO John Ryan approached Hatched at the beginning of 2018. John recognised the importance to undertake Hatched’s Purpose Program. Building purpose into the company, John realised, would allow 4Impact to remain resilient through growth, create positive working culture, validate value propositions and impact, and above all else - create meaning for people working in a notoriously transactional industry.
To this end, Hatched conducted a series of 1-on-1 sessions with founders and stakeholders, as well as workshops with staff at its Brisbane headquarters.
Each 1-on-1 was an open discussion offering the chance for founders and key stakeholders to share their individual purpose and explore anything they believed would help shape the future direction of 4impact.
A survey was sent out to all staff, then workshops were run with teams by department to explore 4impacts purpose, vision and values, as well as discover what drives individuals at work. We then ran an impact model design session with leaders from each team to finalise purpose and the company’s unique Impact Model - a tool that clearly articulates and embeds the organisation’s purpose, vision and impact.
Collaboratively, we were able to define and articulate what drives 4impact. A purpose to put the human in technology to fulfil potential. A vision to create a global family of consultants that deliver progressive solutions, allowing clients and society to adapt & thrive.
By ensuring there is a human at the heart of every tech solution, 4impact ensures each solution is human.
Clarity is a powerful quality. With its impact model carefully stored in their back pocket, clearly and playfully visualised on their office walls and running through their employees’ veins, 4impact now looks to enhance its value propositions and impact on clients, consultants and community through the design and development of purpose-aligned impact initiatives.
4impact aims to advocate for ethics in tech through thought leadership, and by providing consultants with leading working conditions - ownership opportunities; flexible and collaborative working conditions that improve wellbeing and provide belonging; and something unheard of - a consulting careers service. They are designing opportunities for consultants to train in emerging technology and develop their own projects and businesses through 4Mative - the group’s venture lab. Aside from their impact on consultants lives, such initiatives would enhance the company’s virtuous circle of having the best consultants, best projects and best solutions for clients.
The company is now also designing the impact it can have on community. Strategic partnerships with leading educational institutions and work experience offerings would provide unrivalled opportunity to graduates while also creating new skill-specific talent funnels. A commitment to upskill disadvantaged and disconnected communities, and volunteer leave for 4impact employees both aim to establish 4impact as leaders in tech empowerment.
4impact and Hatched are now embarking on the next stage of our Purpose Program - implementation. We are currently co-designing and prototyping these purpose-aligned initiatives that humanise technology.
Impact updates to come!