Management Development Workshops

As one of Australia's busiest and most respected business speakers and consultants, Barry Urquhart has facilitated interactive workshops with the management and supervisory teams of some of Australia's and the world's largest, most innovative and creative corporations, as well as many dynamic, growing small to medium sized enterprises.

As a media regular, Barry's expert insights into the unique challenge facing retailers have been sought by Australia's Today Tonight current affairs program (courtesy of the Seven Network):

Undercover Shoppers

The 5-Second Customer Service Challenge


Marketing Focus has developed a number of unique and exclusive frameworks within which participants can review, refine, formulate and document appropriate strategies, tactics and action plans. These have an emphasis on providing challenging and entertaining learning experiences, with key focuses of our workshops including:

  • Corporate culture change
  • Marketing skills for non marketers
  • Implementing change strategies
  • Non price-based competitive actions
  • Customer service culture growth

Workshop formats

Barry's workshops are typically offered as either half day Interactive Seminars or Syndicate Workshops of one or two days duration.

The framework, content and format of each is customised to the specific circumstances, needs, objectives and nature of your organisation. To ensure the best possible outcome, Marketing Focus conducts extensive background research in advance of each workshop.

Popular themes

While our management development workshops cover a diverse range of needs and interests, the themes generating the most frequent interest include:

  • "Changes, Challenges and Opportunities"
  • "Service is a Way of Thinking - Before Doing"
  • "Business Warfare"
  • "Price is What you Charge; Value is what you Deliver"


Brainstorming Sessions

The dynamics and nature of modern business demand creative, innovative and new ideas to cut through the competitive marketplace.

Increasingly, business owners, managers and executives are respecting the realities and implications of the statement:

"Repetition is Death"

To achieve and sustain optimal sales, revenue, margins and profits, it is imperative for businesses, products and services to break free from the strictures of tenders, written quotes and long term price catalogues.

Professionals from the disciplines of accountancy, engineering, law, real estate and industrial sales in particular have utilised Marketing Focus to facilitate focussed, intense and interactive Brainstorming sessions.   They typically seek original and differing marketing inputs to establish impact, to differentiate their value packages and to enjoy competitive advantage.

These customised half day and full day sessions are fun learning experiences, which foster enhanced self confidence and are the initial phase in an integrated business development initiative.

In addition, two new workshops (detailed below) have been developed to address the rapidly changing realities of today's marketplace.

"Transforming and Refining the Company Culture"
- Driving Change and Development

Regardless of size or business sector, organisations seeking success in today's dynamic marketplaces must address and embrace the need for:

  • Change;
  • Innovation;
  • Enhanced service;
  • Recruiting the right people;
  • Retaining key contributors; and
  • Cohesion

While there are myriad ways to achieve these, there is an emerging consensus among business leaders on the outcomes, principles, advantages and benefits of each. Moreover, there is an agreement that success in achieving and sustaining these initiatives has been at best variable.

Marketing Focus has conducted extensive research into the reasons for this lack of success, identifying critical factors that are decisive in achieving organisational transformation.

The Company Culture

This high impact workshop creates a framework for team members to determine the essence of the appropriate and evolving corporate culture.

Relevant case studies, analyses and concepts are detailed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the seven distinct building blocks and six key elements of a company culture.

The workshop also emphasises the importance of the need to achieve a balance between the formal and informal company cultures.


This workshop is particularly suitable for:

  • Internal company workshops and conferences;
  • Management retreats; and
  • Conferences of franchise networks and buying groups.


Individual and group analysis of the prevailing and appropriate cultures (formal and informal) promotes and reinforces:

  • Confidence;
  • Group cohesion;
  • Corporate stability;
  • Tolerance of risk-taking;
  • Pride in the entity and its people; and
  • Recognition of the need to deliver enhanced service to external and internal customers.

Comprehension of and commitment to the company culture contribute to improved staff retention and heightened success in recruiting the "right" people vital outcomes in today's labour market environment.


"Fantasise, Strategise, Optimise"

The current pressures and focus of business demand a heightened focus on the short term and cashflow.

For time-poor organisations, opportunities to visualise the future (fantasise) and strategise for the intermediate to longer term (5 - 10 years) are significantly diminished an issue exacerbated by the general volatility of the competitive environment.

A corporate culture that is inclined to react inevitably overwhelms a business, leading to suboptimal performance.

This workshop contributes to the establishment of a disciplined approach to strategic planning, business development and client retention. It considers the emergence of unforeseen external factors that typically impact on the well being of an entity, its people, products and services and offers participants the opportunity to determine the specific elements of a strategic and competitive plan that is both integrated and dynamic.

Key elements

The hierarchy of purpose;

  • Five strata of planning;
  • The effective ratios between strategies, tactics and targets;
  • The "corporate fit" to the marketplace;
  • The five external driving forces of change; and
  • Anticipating, identifying and analysing the "left field forces".

Comments by clients

To view the recent comments from Allan Stiles, Managing Director of Grand Cinemas and feedback from the staff attendees, click here

"Barry Urquhart is regarded by our members as THE authority on the ever-changing global business environment. When I asked Barry to create a one day, high impact seminar on how registered clubs could increase their profit and their potential, he undertook extensive research, conducted many one-on-one interviews with industry representatives and delivered his presentation with enthusiasm, confidence and a high level of knowledge about our industry. I commend Barry to any prospective conference organiser without reservation."

Ralph Kober
Education Manager
Club Managers' Association Australia

"In today's competitive world, our members are looking for the competitive edge what is going to sustain their businesses into the future. Barry's insightful perspectives on the issues of recruitment, retention and 'making yourself different' to attract the best staff generated much discussion and forced members to reflect on their own practices and policies. The workshop session was an outstanding success and gave members a new and fresh perspective on the issues at hand."

Nigel Haywood
Chief Executive Officer (WA Branch)
Civil Contractors Federation