From the business start-up to the multinational-corporation or public sector organisation, success in achieving your true objectives rests on four essential processes: Leadership, Enterprise, Innovation, and Management. This Dynamic Quartet is the key to success in any purposeful endeavour. Our mission is to enable you to understand the true nature and contribution of each process in the Quartet and develop your skills in applying that knowledge to your organisation.  Our purpose is delivering success.

The Dynamic Quartet

Traditionally, leadership for example has been thought of as an attribute possessed by 'the leader'. If you don't happen to be, or aspire to be, 'the leader' then leadership plays no part in your working life. However, when you see leadership as a process of change, the aim of which is to move even just a small part of a large organisation towards a shared goal, you can begin to understand how you can contribute to that process. Leadership is a process that everyone can share in: in fact if everyone doesn't share in it, the goal will never be achieved.

If you are a sole trader or the owner of a small business, you will have to learn to apply all of the Dynamic Quartet yourself if you want the business to grow into your vision of what you hope the business will be in, say, 2 or 3 years ahead. The time and effort you devote to each element will change over time and depend on the nature of your business, but if you neglect any of them, your vision will never be realised. You must appreciate the distinction between working in your business and working on your business.

If you are the head of a large company or public sector organisation, you will already appreciate the difficulty of changing the 'culture' to reflect the changing aspirations and values of your customers, to say nothing of the rapid changes in technology that are affecting all our lives. You will never drive change from the top: all you can hope to do is give as many people as possible the tools they need to bring about change within their teams, share with them the vision that gives direction, and thus propagate throughout your organisation the changes necessary to turn your vision into reality.

Let's look at these processes in more detail.


The UK is a highly regulated (some would say over-regulated) nation. The most highly regulated sectors include banking, health, and education and have been for generations, and yet they are widely regarded as disasters, with fresh horror stories in almost every news bulletin and calls for ever more regulation.  We have developed a society in which box-ticking has been widely substituted for leadership. It gives the illusion of control, but the reality is that nobody is in control. Every fresh scandal brings a whole lot of new boxes to be ticked, whilst the true deficiency lies in the lack of a shared vision of what really defines the purpose and values of the organisation. For example in the NHS, average waiting time for treatment takes priority over caring for patients and treating them with respect. In banking, the self-interest of bankers has all too often taken priority over prudence, honesty, and a duty to customers and the society they serve. In education, league tables become the yardstick by which a school is measured, not whether it enables every child to achieve his or her full potential.

The problems arise not from failures in regulation but failures in leadership at every level.

This is arguably most acute in the public sector, where the secretary of state is seen by the public as being in control and accountable, (thus conveniently exempting the civil servants from any blame attaching to their actions or recommendations). Education and health departments are often thought of as large monolithic organisations but in reality they are at best franchisors, or simply landlords, to the cottage industries that actually deliver the goods (or not). But large public companies are also increasingly remote from their nominal owners (the shareholders) and instead are often fiefdoms of chief executives passively supported by cosy or supine boards.

In an economically difficult period and in the face of immense changes in technology and world trade, leadership has never been more important and is all too often conspicuously lacking.


If Leadership provides the motivation and direction towards a vision of a better future, Enterprise probably delivers it.  Enterprise drove the early explorers across often uncharted seas, and the recognition of the commercial possibilities of the world-wide-web (originally developed for exchanging academic and scientific data). Enterprise involves seeking, but above all recognising and exploiting, opportunities that can benefit your organisation, your nation – or simply yourself.

Generally, the UK is regarded as pretty enterprising. The industrial revolution and our colonial history testify to our ability to exploit inventions – and much of the less developed parts of the world. Arguably, we have been less good more recently, perhaps out of complacency or simply because the rest of the world has been catching up, and some at least have overtaken us. The US in particular, founded by people enterprising enough to strive to succeed in a vast undeveloped land remote from their original homelands, has in general been a beacon of enterprise and prospered mightily as a result.

Enterprise is one of those qualities that is hard to define, but we tend to know it when we see it. It really is a way of looking at the world and wondering why things are as they are and whether they can be improved or exploited in some way. It’s like being on a voyage, spotting an unknown landmark on the horizon, and going to have a look at what’s there instead of passing by. Whilst you don’t lose sight of the long-term aim, you are open to opportunities along the way. Enterprise could be described as a combination of curiosity and creativity directed towards achieving a worthwhile result.

In our Dynamic Quartet, we are considering enterprise as a process applied to the organisation rather than within it. What we are looking for are new ways of structuring the organisation to better deliver the excellence that our vision demands.


If Enterprise asks the question: ‘is there a better way of doing this?’, Innovation provides the answer. For example, our ancestors had been exploring and trading across oceans for centuries – and losing countless ships and lives because whilst they knew where they wanted to get to, and the broad direction in which to sail, they didn’t actually know where they were once out of sight of land. Whilst latitude could be estimated by the angle of the sun and stars, longitude was far harder to determine. In 1714 the British Parliament offered a huge prize (£20,000) to anyone who could demonstrate a workable method. The solution was a clock that would keep precise time at sea (the chronometer) and the obsessive forty-year struggle of one man, John Harrison, who invented it.

Innovation is not solely concerned with product development. It is just as, or even more, important to be innovative in your approach to business or in the development of your organisation. You have to be constantly looking for new and better ways of furthering your cause (Enterprise) and researching what you have to do to make them work for you (Innovation). Taking health as an example, we might think innovation relates to, say, developing new drugs or treatments. But health isn’t simply about treating the disease, it’s about caring for the patient and anyone can be an innovator in that respect.

All the elements in our Quartet relate to and balance one another in achieving harmony. Enterprise and Leadership can be thought of as extroverts, Innovation and Management are the introverts.  Leadership and Enterprise are the gung-ho processes, the ‘can-do’ attitude. Innovation and Management are about exactly what to do, how to do it, and making sure it’s done.


If Innovation tells us what to do and how to do it, Management is the process that makes sure everyone knows, understands, and does it right. Management also tells the other three elements whether the organisation is on track or off-course.

Management can be thought of as having two essential tasks: quantifying and orchestrating*.  It is answering the question: ‘where exactly are we?’ (and in business that means mostly in money terms), and it provides the essential instructions that define precisely how the organisation will deliver the results that the other elements have envisioned and made possible.

All too often you will hear ‘(the) management’ used in derogatory terms, implying that it is hindering rather than helping ‘the workers’.  It is seen as a ‘top down’ approach, usually equated (mistakenly) with leadership, and somehow remote from the rest of the organisation.  It is something imposed from on high. This image isn’t helped by the fact that managers have suits and desks and company cars and a separate dining room, and maybe even two heads and a tail.

As with Leadership, Enterprise, and Innovation, we prefer to think of Management as a process that helps the organisation and everyone in it achieve their aims.

*Michael E. Gerber 'The E Myth Revisited'


Kenneth R Wade, BA, PhD, FInstLM, originally trained in electronics at Imperial College London and worked for International Computers and Robinson Willey prior to starting his own business, Pactrol Electronics plc, and taking it from a start-up in a hen shed to a full stock-market listing within 12 years. The trading company, Pactrol Controls Limited, is now part of the global giant Emerson Electric Company.

Ken Wade went on to become a director of Merseyside Enterprise Board, investment adviser to CLM Unit Trust, a Member of the North West Regional Health Authority, and an enterprise counsellor with the DTI. Ken has provided consultancy services to IMI plc, Harrison Industries plc, Production Steel and Metals Group, The Aughton Group, and advice and mentoring to numerous smaller companies and sole traders. He was also involved with the Understanding Industry programme for schools, has tutored at degree and postgraduate level, and has delivered various seminars and short-courses on business and finance.

After obtaining his PhD in financial economics at Manchester Business School (MBS) in 2001, Ken became a visiting fellow of MBS, conducting research into private equity sponsored by and in association with the international accountancy firm KPMG. In 2004, he was the guest speaker at the Annual Symposium of the Italian Venture Capital Association in Milan, and in 2007 was invited to provide evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on Private Equity. He supports an educational website dealing with personal finance: Its Your Money and has published a corresponding book. More recently, Ken gained a Level 7 certificate in Coaching and Mentoring and has been awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Leadership and Management.


An initial consultation, normally by telephone, is free of charge (apart from call costs). If we feel that we can help and you decide that you would like take it further, we will discuss and agree with you what the next step will be. If there are any costs involved at that stage, we will agree them with you and confirm by e-mail before we proceed. You will always know in advance how much our work will cost, and we will not proceed to incur costs without your agreement in writing.

Naturally, like any professional services provider, our charges depend on the amount of consultant time involved, plus any significant additional costs such as travel outside our immediate locality and any services we have to sub-contract. Our basic costs include local travel, and office expenses. If between us we can agree specific financial targets, we are open to negotiating a share of the extra profit our involvement is expected to achieve as an alternative to time-based charging. This means that you pay us out of the extra money we have helped you to make.

For a small company, we would typically provide a bespoke combination of consultancy (looking at any particular issues such as cash management or marketing), coaching or training as needed, followed by mentoring the owner / chief executive for a further 12 months.


Contact us, preferably by e-mail: info@krwade.co.uk