Aiden Choles & Zak Wood - How good practice in times of plenty prepares us for times of crisis
Updated: May 31
The COVID-19 Crisis has taught us many things, one of which is that nobody seems to agree on what it’s taught us as yet. One point that is difficult to refute though is the incredibly powerful demonstration of the interconnectedness of our entire socio-economic system, and also its fragility.
For the last two years, we have been talking, with clients, with investors, with industry associations – really with anybody who will listen – about the need to measure and present Whole Value as a better means for understanding the worth of an organisation. Whole Value, conceptually, means considering all of the value an organisation adds to (or costs) the world, as a unified narrative, rather than the more pervasive current model of using earnings as a proxy for value, and sustainability or operational responsibility as a marketing tool.
It is our thesis, and this seems to be being proven during the current crisis, that organisations that operate on a wider scope of value are more risk protected – they are better able to manoeuvre in uncertainty. We also believe that individuals are not exclusively self-seeking, and market forces which have been built on this paradigm are shifting.
Our presentation is on methodologies to a) map whole value, and the interrelatedness of all aspects of the organisational system, for strategic analysis, and b) provide tactical visibility and improve tactical decision making through this mapping.
Aiden Choles is a co-founder and Director of DBK Advisory, a specialist firm assisting medium-large organisations to clearly define their whole-value proposition for investors and other stakeholders, and to set strategies that look beyond only financial profit as a measure of success. With post-graduate degrees in psychology and theology, Aiden orients his work around a core purpose of assisting organisations to be better – to be more effective in healthy ways. He is deeply interested in the leadership orientations called for in the new complex world of work, how we shift the core narratives that shape the organisational world and how we co-create an organisational world that is effective & healthy in the face of unrelenting change.
Aiden’s experience is diverse, having managed projects, consulted and conducted research in the private and development sectors, with specific experience in finance, education, mining, petrochemicals and environmental management. Aiden’s skill set encompasses coaching, facilitation, research and organisational development and has applied his knowledge and expertise in narrative-based coaching, facilitation and research aimed at improving organisations and supporting decision-making in complex situations. Aiden is widely published, having written two books in the realm of narrative coaching and people management and co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles.
Zak Wood is a co-founder and Director at DBK Advisory, a specialist firm assisting medium-large organisations to clearly define their whole-value proposition for investors and other stakeholders, and to set strategies that look beyond only financial profit as a measure of success.
Zak’s expertise in systemic risk, corporate projects, and complex systems supports work on several broad initiatives seeking to expand the concept of corporate value, both for individual organisations and as industries collaborating for common societal benefit. He works with faith and mining in South Africa, establishing the next vision of the mining industry, unpacking structural challenges and find pro-active solutions to ensure a stable and sustainable future, both for the mining companies and broader society.
It is Zak’s firm belief that a “whole-value” approach to investing is a part of incentivising better behaviour among all players in the economy, in ways that will lead to a more stable, more humanely prosperous society.
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