Using ‘Compass’ to jump your business

Hugo De Pree, Global Partner and Head of Digital

Part 1

Hugo De Pree is Head of Digital and a Group Partner of the Shirlaws Group.

Our previous article discussed why the right infrastructure is vital in making your next business jump. This article describes four key areas to enable change and support your Jump journey.

At Shirlaws, we found that traditional personality profiling tools weren’t offering our coaches and their clients sufficient insight to help them make changes to their businesses. Although many profiling tools are useful they sometimes ‘box’ individuals into specific types, which leaves them feeling they have little room to manoeuvre in a given business situation.

Listen to Darren Shirlaw, CEO and co-founder of Shirlaws talk about Shirlaws Compass and behavioural indicators

‘Compass’ indicators

Over the last six years, we’ve developed an online ‘Compass’ suite of four indicators in response to this lack of suitable profiling tools for businesses undergoing change. ‘Compass’ indicators deepen individual and team awareness, which also brings respect for everyone’s different styles and what individuals can bring to the table.

Instead of focusing on underlying personality traits, we needed to focus on behaviours, relationships and outcomes. Our indicators help people understand their own – and other people’s – behaviours. Understanding why people have behaved as they have done previously and how they are likely to behave going forward provides a bridge between the past and the future.

Everyone’s behaviours change as we navigate our personal and business journeys. That’s why we’ve developed indicators to use over time that both develop understanding and guide us in making better choices.

Although ‘Compass’ indicators are useful for your business journey at any stage, we believe they’re particularly important in supporting a business’s Jump strategy. This is because Jump is essentially about navigating change along the business’s growth journey.

An overview of the four indicators: RISK, TFK, ELM & PACE

What’s your natural appetite for risk?

The ‘Risk’ indicator empowers you, your team and your business to make faster, better and more aligned strategic choices that enable your management team to outperform the competition.

What’s your natural communication style?

The ‘Think, Feel, Know’ (TFK) indicator describes how your personal communication style relates to other people, which enables you to communicate with everyone more effectively.

What’s your natural leadership style?

The ‘Entrepreneur, Leader, Manager’ (ELM) indicator describes how your leadership aptitudes support your current role, where you fit in the team/organisation and how you could develop your future role.

What’s your natural pace in life?

The ‘Pace’ indicator identifies your most productive pace of living and working. Working primarily at your natural pace will allow you to improve and sustain your overall performance.

If teams and individuals can deepen their understanding of communication, leadership, pace and risk then delivering business growth becomes much more viable. With new insights into these areas, management teams will become far more effective at designing and implementing their Jump strategies.

We believe communication, leadership, pace and risk are key parts of the business infrastructure. Misalignment or deficiencies in any one area will hamper the business’s growth efforts.

Levels of benefit: Individual, Team, Organisation, Customer

Individual: Compass helps individuals identify their behavioural preferences at work. With better understanding, people can modify their behaviour to improve personal performance.

Team: By identifying blockages and blind spots, teams can improve their decision-making and build higher performance. Better communication across the team leads to greater levels of work satisfaction and staff retention.

Organisation: Where ‘Compass’ indicators are used more widely, they help align the culture to deliver business strategy and add new value. Improved cultural outcomes reduce stress while attracting and retaining the right people through periods of business change and consolidation.

Customer: Providing a common language across the business enhances the way people work. This has the knock-on effect of improving product and service delivery. Examples in action include streamlining customer-facing processes through easier team handoffs and broader client knowledge.

Compass as a Jump enabler

Ultimately business leaders want to jump their businesses – to enhance commercial outcomes, delivery efficiency and profit. ‘Compass’ indicators provide key enablers that reduce resistance to change by aligning people more naturally with the business growth strategy.

Visit more information on ‘Compass’ and our four indicators.

Contact me directly to understand how you can embed Compass and these 4 indicators into your organisations to help you support your "jump"

Shirlaws is a portfolio of companies that advise private enterprise how to grow, fund or exit their business in order to enjoy their life's work. Contact us today at to discuss the next step on your journey.

Follow us @shirlawsgroup 

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Hugo De Pree, Global Partner and Head of Digital

As Head of Digital at Shirlaws Group, Hugo creates and markets digital solutions that monetise business' intellectual property.




London, UK