The Ngamuru Service Design Practice – Behzad Emami

Knowing me, Knowing you – Welcome Behzad Emami

It should be obvious to everyone now, but it still needs to be said – people are what matters most in any business. No ifs or buts – great people produce great outcomes.

Ngamuru Advisory wouldn’t be the successful trusted strategic advisory it is today without the efforts of our amazing people.

Each of these passionate, highly talented people have their own unique stories and as part of an ongoing series, we’d like to share some of them with you.

In this instalment we are sharing the story of Behzad Emami from our Service Design Practice.

Behzad Emami of the Ngamuru Service Design Practice
Who is Behzad Emami?

Behzad Emami is a Senior Advisor and Strategist for the Ngamuru Service Design Practice.

Behzad has had a varied career that has seen him perform a range of specialist, leadership and advisory roles within naval ship building, aviation regulation, environmental contamination management, leadership coaching, technology strategy & architecture; digital marketing, and consulting. Despite this diversity, Behzad is continually drawn to roles involving the development and execution of strategies. It is in these roles where Behzad utilises his strong analytical and leadership skills to drive organisational outcomes.

Between work and juggling a young family with his wife, Behzad enjoys bushwalking and photography. Also, when he gets a moment to himself, he is a big basketball and soccer/football fan.

What passions drive you?

Growing up, Behzad was one of those kids who would pull his toys apart and “try” to put them back together. He assures us that every family has one!

He may not have realised it at the time, but his initial poor efforts were a formative lesson in ‘cause and effect’; specifically, in terms of having a lack of functional toys and drawing the ire of his parents.

Fast forward and Behzad’s interest in sports, video games and nature led him to study and work as a systems engineer. This built Behzad’s understanding and skills in systems thinking.

Early in his career, Behzad was able to practically apply his systems thinking skills on a task to rapidly close out long-standing items from a technical issues log. To achieve this, Behzad identified and managed to play to the competitive rivalries between different engineering teams. This example showed that in order to solve problems in often complex contexts, one must first understand the structures, relationships, actors and other interrelated components that make up the underlying systems.

Behzad’s interests led him to pursue further management and business studies. Ultimately this newfound business strategy and operations knowledge complemented well with his foundational technical skills.

Deep down, Behzad is a passionate problem solver who loves to learn. No matter the context or industry, Behzad is drawn to novel challenges. He enjoys analysing to understand contextual and operating environments in order to shape, develop and implement fit-for-purpose strategies.

This passion is reflected in Behzad’s career. He has succeeded in diverse roles across technical management, stakeholder engagement, capability development, leadership coaching, digital marketing and management consulting. Each role has provided Behzad with new and different opportunities to refine his strategic toolkit. More importantly, each role has allowed Behzad to make meaningful improvement for organisations, teams and individuals alike.

Describe your journey to Ngamuru Advisory?

Behzad’s first real professional job was as a patent examiner. Apparently, this was nowhere near as exciting as it might sound!

From there, the majority of Behzad’s early career was spent within the Department of Defence. It was there where he worked in engineering, industry and project delivery roles to support Australia’s naval ship building capability.

During this time, there were numerous instances where the answer to particular business problems weren’t always the straightforward technical approach. This is where Behzad came to realise that organisations are ‘sociotechnical systems’ whereby both social and technical aspects need to be tackled together to realise change.

After commencing his MBA studies, Behzad accepted a role as a business designer for a Canberra-based design consultancy firm. During this time, Behzad used his skills to help organisations improve through business process reengineering and the application of design thinking.

Following the completion of his MBA in 2012, Behzad joined Airservices Australia. Over the next 9 years, Behzad held a number of senior specialist, management and senior leadership roles. These roles spanned across regulatory compliance and analysis, contamination management, technology strategy & architecture and service strategy. Common to these roles was Behzad’s ability to deliver change through a pragmatic service and customer-centric led approach.

With the advent of the pandemic, Behzad decided to look for new challenges. As a freelance strategic advisor, he supported an e-learning international joint venture and a social media-based publishing product launch. These were exciting times as Behzad had to provide rapid analysis and advice for business growth and operations in the dynamic start-up environment.

Behzad’s interest in solving diverse and complex challenges led him to PwC Consulting Australia. As a Senior Manager within the Transformation Design and Delivery practice, Behzad led delivery works for a range of Federal Government agencies. This included a data scoping study to realise transformational policies in the early childhood learning sector within a complex cross-jurisdictional environment; and establishing an organisational ICT transformation roadmap in support of second pass business case development works within the Environment portfolio. In addition, Behzad was able to work closely with individuals and teams to develop sustainable improvement at all levels.

In 2022, Behzad reconnected with his long-time collaborator Justin Barrie and joined Ngamuru Advisory. This was an exciting opportunity to design, build and grow the Ngamuru Service Design Practice. In addition, Behzad was drawn to Ngamuru’s strong organisational culture and commitment to supporting the public service.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

On reflection, Behzad’s biggest achievements relate to situations where he developed high performing teams and individuals.

As program lead for Airservices’ legacy contamination management response, Behzad was accountable for developing an organisational response strategy. In addition, he was responsible for mobilising all enabling capabilities to deliver the agreed outcomes. This work covered the breadth of technical, media & communications, legal, financial, and policy works within a complex and ambiguous intra-governmental context. Requiring constant use of both strategic and tactical lenses, Behzad was ultimately successful in turning around a reactive adhoc organisational approach into a proactive strategic aligned program of work. In addition, Behzad takes extreme pride in managing and coaching the program team. He was successful in taking a somewhat despondent group of specialists and transforming them into an engaged and high performing team.

Behzad is also quite proud of his accomplishment to drive a service-led, customer-centric approach to designing, planning and implementing the development of critical organisational capability through the establishment of Airservices Technology Strategy & Architecture capability. With more of a focus on internal organisational change, Behzad’s leadership and management efforts resulted in delivering on a roadmap to sustainably develop architectural capability critical to improving Airservices’ business & technical operations.

Behzad continues to get a lot of personal satisfaction through his professional coaching efforts. Specifically, when it involves building confidence and empowerment in aspiring leaders.

Something not many people know about you?

Behzad enjoys distracting his children with his double-jointed elbows particularly when trying to snap a candid photo of them.

People should contact you if they …?

Behzad is passionate about business strategy in all forms. He is especially interested in how a strategy can drive and deliver service outcomes whilst also re-invigorating and empowering organisations.

If you want to find out more or discuss a specific challenge you may have then please reach out to Behzad via email, LinkedIn or contact the Ngamuru Service Design Practice (link).