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About Us

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Our vision: Future-proof human capability in the Age of AI

Dr Paul Guignard - My story

I am fascinated by human beings and their relation to technology. I founded the Capability Institute with the objective of helping every organisation reach the potential latent in its people.

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I spent three years in Austin Texas in the early 2000s. I was there with a startup I had co-founded in Sydney in the late 1990s. What struck me while in the United States at the time was a definite buzz that seemed to make successful entrepreneurs out of migrants from all sort of countries, even from countries we do not normally associate with strong innovation, education or economic achievement.

This buzz or dynamism, I thought, was an expression of the American way of going about business, innovation and entrepreneurship. What if we could somehow distil these elements that create the buzz and apply them inside organisations. We could have then have, I reasoned, a similar buzz inside these organisations. Wouldn’t this be great! This is not a very original thought of course. Bonuses, a translation of the profit motive into organisations, have existed for a long time. However, what I was interested in was not identifying a few isolated examples but a comprehensive, compact and practical set of factors or parameters that we could use to assess the ‘buzz level’ in organisations. After some research of past and current management theory and practice, and some reading of economics, I identified six major factors, each with some sub-factors. I called this set of factors ‘capability’ as it seemed to reflect the (internal) capability of an organisation to succeed in the market. So I had a capability model. But it still needed to be validated.

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A few years later a colleague and I secured, after a successful pilot, a three-year contract with a large mining organisation in Queensland. Every quarter we would measure capability and performance, the latter using a scorecard. This made it possible to plot organisational performance as a function of capability. When capability was actively managed, we noticed, performance increased. When capability was neglected and dropped, so did performance. The conclusion: the capability model worked, it was a predictor of performance.

This was very encouraging. Unfortunately, we did not have, at the time, a proven methodology to guide the client towards improving capability in a systematic way. We had a powerful diagnostic model that was not a complete solution.

It took several years but finally the ‘ah ha’ moment came, and we are now able to use the same capability model in several ways. We can diagnose, decide on best remedial action, and then guide implementation towards successful outcomes. We now have a complete solution. We say: ‘know where you are – know where you need to go – and know how to get there’. Our solution, in a very real sense, ‘magnifies the impact of human brains’. Further, it applies at the organisational, team and individual levels.

The ‘ah ha’ moment I mentioned above opened new doors. It made the venture significantly more interesting at the intellectual, technical, practical and business levels. We are now engaged in linking our approach to culture, change and transformation. We believe our solution has a strong role to play in the market, especially considering the speed of change and the opportunities and threats associated with the digital revolution and artificial intelligence.

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Our Team

Paul Guignard

Founder and Director

Paul has been working on capability for the past 10 years. After developing, testing and proving the validity of capability, his focus is now sharing it.

Shawn Callahan

Advisor to the Capability Institute

Shawn brings his extensive business experience as the founder of Anecdote Pty Ltd. He is also an accomplished story specialist and consultant.

Dain Simpson

Advisor to the Capability Institute

Dain brings his long experience as a consultant, with projects in the tourism and public sectors in Australia, N Z, Asia and the Pacific.

Boris Patoka

Development manager

Boris has been in software development for over 20 years and brings his extensive knowledge of IBM and cloud technologies to our venture.

Affiliates

Proximity Risk and Assurance

Proximity was founded by Anthony Wilson who also serves as the Chief Advisor. Managing risk in change and transformation is essential and Proximity brings a fresh approach to it. “Risks are the threats and opportunities you face on a day to day basis. Business success comes from keeping close to your risks – and that’s where Proximity comes in!” (A. Wilson). Proximity is based in Sydney.

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Leaders Insight

Leaders Insight brings together passionate people from a range of communication disciplines across both strategy and creative. Our guiding belief is to only do work that significantly helps our clients achieve more than they could otherwise do by themselves. Leaders Insights is based in Canberra.

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Interested in Becoming an Affiliate?

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