Cognition Education is a leading educational consultancy based in New Zealand with current projects in the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa, and various other locations around the world. Cognition works with governments, NGOs and schools, reforming education systems to achieve improved learning outcomes for students worldwide.
Temple was brought in to provide analysis and advice for senior management to make focussed decisions on the many growth opportunities available to Cognition.
As Dr. John Langley, CEO of Cognition Education, puts it, “There was literally a world of opportunities, which is great. The problem, of course, is knowing where to go next, where to focus.” John continues, “Paul [Winton, Temple’s Director] helped us to narrow down our focus. What I liked about the way he did it though was the systematic and analytical approach that he took to break down markets around the world. He talked to us at length about what our organisation was about, what we wanted it to be and how that matched what was happening around the world.”
“We needed to make decisions that were based on valid and reliable evidence, and robust analysis. We have to be clear about why we are collecting certain evidence, clear about how we are going to use it, and if all that points us in the right direction to answer the most important question: What next? Temple managed to bring all that to the table. Paul asked the hard questions and presented the data to challenge and push us.”
In order to ascertain and articulate the aspiration of the organisation, Paul had to build rapport and engage meaningfully with Cognition’s experts.
“What impressed me most about Paul was his ability to deal with individuals who work in this organisation,” John says. “They are a fairly intellectually belligerent bunch, like Boston Legal, without the sex.”
“Paul was very effective in dealing with us. He demanded things from us and managed to challenge, push and advance our thinking. Not an easy task especially when dealing with intelligent people that have also thought long and hard about it. Paul tested our people thoroughly.”
Temple was also instrumental in helping Cognition identify opportunities that they would otherwise not consider.
“As an example, Paul highlighted the possible opportunity in focusing on products to help balance our heavily skewed focus on delivering projects.”
Temple helped bring focus to decision making by analysing potential markets and classifying their viability according to familiarity and product/service suitability.
Cost was also an important factor for Cognition and when asked to make comment about it, John was immediate in his response.
“It was money well spent really. I am usually quite sceptical about consultants that come in and charge large fees and have seen some who demand exorbitant amounts for very little work. While Temple doesn’t come cheap, they bring an immense amount of value for the work that they do, the time that they spend and the intellectual grunt that they bring easily justifies the amount we pay. It is real value for money when you consider all that they bring. In terms of our senior leadership and our board, we never really even questioned that at all.”
John sums up: “Temple gave us focus. They also left us with a decision making framework to use when considering future opportunities. This framework was based on several core questions; what does success look like for our organisation, how will we get there, how will we know when we get there and where next.”