For Barry Sheehan and Stuart Nixon, the new standard for enlightened businesses is the strategic advisory role, which aims to raise client value through the fusion of strategy, advice stemming from knowledge and wisdom, and consultancy through professional support. Sheehan, a former chief executive of HSBC Asset Management and Tyndall Investment Management, and Nixon, a former chief operating officer at HSBC and chief financial officer at the boutique manager Karara Capital, are principals of TEG Partners (formerly The Enlightenment Group). If TEG Partners sounds a little new age, it is. Sheehan believes that the world is in transition and the old ways of doing business are not working.
The new “3 Cs” in an interconnected world are: consultation, collaboration and consensus. Before starting the business in 2008, to be later joined by Nixon, Sheehan had a lot of reflective time on his hands. He had to resign his Tyndall spot prematurely in 2006 because of a serious back problem caused by a gym accident. During the long recovery process he fleshed out the main principles that were likely to drive enlightened businesses into the future. He became a firm believer in the notion that business leaders need to look at the totality of their lives to propel their business performance to sustainable highs. Sheehan said TEG seeks to infuse its professional support to clients with a number of essential principles, such as: • Authenticity. Modern business calls for realism and authenticity to allow a deeper connection to a greater audience. There is no room for dysfunctional acts of role playing, facades and false representation of self. • Integrity. “Beyond personal honesty, which is a given, integrity extends to integration and connection, which lives at the heart of business and personal maturity and facilitates accelerated progression, sustainable existence and greater fulfilment,” Sheehan said.
• Creativity. Transformational change is driven by creativity and, when combined with intelligence, is a potent and essential force for any progressive business. • Enlightened altruism. Altruistic acts merely designed to tick a box and present a responsible image is self-serving. Enlightened altruism, on the other hand, offered in an unconditional manner, has an accumulative and constructive influence across society, positively influencing all the business stakeholders. • Fearlessness. When the courage is found to break old habits and patterns, anything is possible. Business leaders who fearlessly follow their creative passion and the natural direction of their insightful interests tend to scale great heights. On a day-to-day level, TEG’s services tend to fall into four categories: strategy development and documentation; strategy facilitation and report production; strategy implementation; and strategic project office and management. Risk management is also very important, especially in financial services.