Welcome to Two Hills trading as Teal Unicorn

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Two Hills Ltd is our company (principals Rob England and Dr Cherry Vu), based in Wellington, New Zealand; and also operating in Vietnam. When Cherry and Rob work together to deliver new ways of working and managing, and our Unicorn Management Model™, our services (consulting, training, and content) are provided under the Teal Unicorn™ brand.

Teal Unicorn: making work better. Better lives, better society, better results.

We consult and train on advanced management across Asia/Pacific.

Many organisations try to be agile, change culture, restructure teams, or "do" DevOps, but only a minority succeed.
We work with management and the work systems, to unlock advancement and achieve early proof points, while setting you up to carry on.
We have great success if we have executive commitment, and/or we get a lot of good results with grassroots support.
We would very much like to meet you before it is a remedial situation, but it is a natural cycle for people to try and struggle, and then seek help.

Our brochure - who we are (pdf):
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Teal because of Frederic Laloux's model of Teal Culture.

Unicorn because of the Agile iconography around the term "unicorn".

Make work better because we all should. There is a renaissance in social and work thinking transforming IT, enterprises, government, and society; which wuill make better lives at work, better society around our work, better results in work.

What motivates and inspires us is how the new ways improve both people's lives and work outcomes.

Our expertise is in organisational transformationadvancement, culture change, leadership, and operational practices: the combination of policy, plans and people to operate the organisation.
In everything we do, it is all about "sensible business practices":

We are heavy on common sense, as distinct from purist theory. We take a pragmatic, practical approach to deliver the results. We are sceptical of technology or process for its own sake.
Our work is differentiated by our independence, frankness, and Kiwi no-nonsense approach.
We understand business (and public service) imperatives. We are driven by return on investment, cost justification, necessary compliance, and risk control.
We are passionate in our belief that the most essential advancement is the change to management and governance: New Ways Of Managing, agile Management.

To find out how we can help make your business more effective, contact us



Consulting

Two Hills Ltd provides real consulting: we charge for the hours we work and we work only when we are providing useful service to you, which is generally high level advice and planning (though we are also happy to roll our sleeves up and get things done for you too). We tend to steer away from 5-days-a-week contracting except when you need an operational role created or temporarily filled.

Our primary consultants are Rob England and Dr. Vu, though we can bring in a number of experienced experts to help.

We work for a wide range of organisations: local government, national government, businesses, not-for-profits. We have been engaged by some of the largest and smallest organisations in New Zealand and Vietnam.

Some of our consulting is delivered through our Wellington partners DeFine Group, Integri-T, and Resultex.




Consulting on Enterprise Agility and especially advanced management: advance towards new ways of working and managing.

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I am very impressed with the way Cherry teaches us. She told us not to punish people when they’ve failed but reward them for their encouragement to try and fail. I understand that we need to flip the pyramid over. I start questioning myself: Why we are doing what we are doing? What is it for?
[For] the first time in our company history, we have an improvement machine which helps to remove constraint and makes the workflow much faster. People start behaving differently, they work in a co-operative and supportive way toward a common goal.
– CEO

We can help:

    develop leadership, helping managers and executives understand the advanced ways of managing, including servant management and Agile principles


    introduce new ways of working and managing to an enterprise: coaching management and staff to empowerment, collaboration, agility, and flow


    build culture, through attention to leadership, happiness, space, empowerment, community and communications




Consulting on advanced IT management, strategy, and governance:
Our expertise is in IT advancement, culture change, leadership, and operational practices: the combination of policy, plans and people to operate the organisation. We work in IT governance, management, and operations.

Rob's critical, skeptical and pragmatic approach to IT adds value to any strategic or governance planning, bringing an experienced eye to the development and review of culture, strategy, policy, structures, plans and processes. We draw from a wide range of bodies of knowledge. We can help:

    transform IT - systems, people, practices, and tools - with approaches such as Continual Improvement and DevOps

    develop leadership, helping managers and executives understand the New Way Of Working, including servant leadership and Agile principles


    build culture, through attention to leadership, happiness, space, empowerment, community and communications


    review capability and risk in governance and management of IT

    establish governance structures and processes in your organisation to better manage the value, risks and costs of your IT department

    develop strategy, policy and plans for IT including ISSP, investment programme, service portfolio, policy framework, and principles



Consulting on IT Ways of Working:
We know DevOps and Service Management.   We use COBIT as our reference framework of choice, and we also extensively reference ITIL® best practices .
We are moving away from a process-centric approach promoted by the likes of ITIL and ISO20000. These tools have their place and we still use them, but the emphasis should be on the New Way Of Working: empowering knowledge workers to be more effective in their own ways based on their own professionalism, within a framework of guidance support, measurement and accountability. Process design is a lower priority: we think it is too technical and theoretical. We prefer the practical approach taking selected elements from tools like DevOps, Lean IT, Adaptive Case Management, Agile, Kanban, Knowledge Centred Support, ITIL, and the outcome-based framework of COBIT.

Some areas where we specialise include:

    Service design improvement: raising the quality of services delivered through evaluation, comparison against best practice, and development of a planned improvement programme


    Service delivery remediation: troubleshooting dysfunctional service delivery functions and practices. Get your people and culture back on track.


    Service catalogue and portfolio: we guide the development of the heart of service management, the catalogue. This should be an early and central part of any service improvement programme, to focus and drive cultural change and to provide a linch-pin for all processes.


    Cultural change: when it comes to driving a service management mindset, we provide advice for planning and workshops for execution.


    Service lifecycle: approaches to service build and change, especially the integration of traditional waterfall approaches with Agile and DevOps to provide Multi-Speed IT capabilities.


    ITSM coaching: Help your staff through an ITSM improvement (please don't say "implementation").  Most consultants will provide either a one-off packaged engagement (eg. training course, packaged implementation) or continuous services by the day or week.  Many organisations can only afford to do the ongoing work in-house, so an initial training and/or implementation package is purchased then the organisation is left to drift, going it alone.  We provide an ongoing packaged service of regular ITSM coaching to keep your people on track, and to help overcome the day-to-day sticking points that arise.

Contact us.


Coaching

In addition to general consulting, Teal Unicorn provides practical, tactical management coaching to get results with the new advanced ways of managing.

If you have a manager finding their way as the organisation advances, or are yourself still unpacking what it means, Teal Unicorn will provide reflection, advice, insight, and principles.

Rob coaches in English, with an IT bias. Cherry coaches in Vietnamese, at the enterprise level.

We typically work for 2 hours per fortnight, plus email support.

Spend an hour talking to us, no charge. Then decide. Contact us.

(Note: Coaching is not mentoring. We mentor a number of individuals. We don't charge for this, it is by private arrangement, and is not a service of the company).


Content

When you source content from Two Hills, you will get a freshness of viewpoint, an independence of opinion, and an originality of ideas that you won't find in many other providers of IT content. Our material is unique. If required, it is also provocative and quirky.



Piecework writing: See Rob's portfolio of published content.  He will write ghost content for articles, white papers, webpages, blogs etc.  This can be organised remotely anywhere in the world via phone, VoIP and email.


Public speaking:  Rob has been invited as keynote speaker at a number of conferences, and invited multiple times by DevOps Enterprise Summit, itSMFnz, itSMF Australia, CCLearning PRINCE2, and Pink Elephant USA. He was voted best speaker at itSMFnz 2011 national conference and was voted second-best speaker at itSMF Best Practice Netherlands 2008.
He can speak to a wide range of topics.

Bid writing: Rob has considerable experience in the software sales industry as a business technologist: communicating between the need and the solution, between clients and techos, in a presales context.  He is available on hourly contract to review, manage and/or edit your sales bids (RFI, RFP, RFT etc).  This can be done remotely anywhere in the world via phone, VoIP and email.

Books: Our books are here.

Contact us.


Training

Since I learned from you, I am aware of what I do clearly when I act,
I see the urge to learn to grow my consciousness.
Your method is easy to understand and I can apply it immediately after the training. I got the outcomes immediately.
- SMB CEO

New ways of managing and the Unicorn Management Model. We provide our own New Ways training.


Simulation workshops ("games"). We have our own "serious play" workshops to use experiential teaching to really build understanding of new ways, including the popular Diggers. We also deliver workshops from GamingWorks.nl including The Phoenix Project and Mars Lander.


Seminars and workshops. Two Hills provides a range of shorter workshops and seminars on a range of topics, based on the fresh, alternative IT ideas of Rob England. Visit our Workshops and Seminars page for details.


DevOps training. Two Hills provides training on DevOps Foundation, DevOps Test Engineering, and Certified Agile Service Manager, via our partner ALC. Visit ALC for details.


EnGrok professional training and coaching, focus on sales and service. See the EnGrok website for details of courses, which include Service Management, Presentation skills, Sales, Technical staff development, and Demonstrating software.


Contact us.