LINKING PRACTICE TO STRATEGY
AT ARUP AUSTRALIA

Client: Arup
Location: Australia
Project timeline: April 2010 to December 2012
Services provided: Thought leadership, team buidling, workshop facilitation
Andrew Wisdom drove Arup’s bold agenda in harnessing its resources in support of an integrated and holistic urban transformation strategy.

From 2010 to 2012, Andrew was consulting firm Arup’s Cities leader in Australasia. The focus of this role was to build a holistic view of urban development and operations both amongst Arup’s staff and outside the firm, to drive an urban transformation agenda for Arup. This meant harnessing the firm’s regional strategy with its focus on health and wellbeing, connectivity, and constrained resources to provide an underlying narrative about what to focus on and why to develop our cities.

A key element of the role was to stitch together the aspirations and foci of the firm’s diverse practices. Andrew tackled this in various ways:

• By developing understanding by the firm’s leaders of how Arup could contribute to urban development and city operations in a way that supported its strategy
• By conducting a series of staff workshops around Arup’s Australasian region (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore) addressing the implications of Arup’s strategy for the firm’s role in urban development and operations
• By championing incorporation of the firm’s urban transformation agenda in the choice of projects to pursue and the approach taken to those projects
• By championing a proactive approach to the task of urban transformation by driving the firm’s involvement in creation of projects that supported and demonstrated the firm’s urban transformation agenda
• By reaching out to the champions of the other three pillars of Arup’s regional strategy (health and wellbeing, connectivity, constrained resources) to find areas of overlap and common interest for Arup and finding ways to exploit them
• By articulating Arup’s urban transformation agenda outside Arup through presentations, papers and involvement in committees and industry groups.

Andrew’s efforts resonated particularly strongly with younger members of the firm, by providing a constructive outlet for their passion, energy and their cognitive surplus. See Clay Shiry’s TED Talk on How Cognitive Surplus will change the World.