my exec team aren’t all pulling in the same direction
- The four owner-managers had not discussed what they wanted to achieve out of the business. Two directors wanted to successfully exit (walk away with £2m each) in 5 years, one 7 years, one to stay in the business longer.
- The feeling across the business was that some of the Directors were working a lot harder than the others – perhaps for some it was a lifestyle business rather than a commitment to profit, sales and a good exit
- They didn’t know what the other was delivering, what they were spending their time on, how they were managing their team.
- Turns out they didn’t have any strategic or operational goals. Nothing to get behind and work towards. Nothing to hold each other accountable on.
- Engaged people puzzles for an initial 3 day project. Each Director and every member of their middle management was interviewed to find out what they wanted from the business, what the Company does well, what the frustrations and bottlenecks are, and how the different teams work together. Despite frustrations on how fast the business is moving forwards, they can walk the balance between growth, consolidation and continuing good client servicing with defined goals to achieve.
- The Directors were too involved in project delivery rather than more strategic roles they need to be focused on. Job roles were discussed and the structure of the Company was finalized based on the different business and profit centres. Six months on, the directors are walking a better balance between day-to-day work and time to manage.
- Each Director’s job title and responsibilities were clarified. Until that point there had been no clear Managing Director – it was agreed who that should be, giving them the responsibility for running the Board and Management Meetings. The newly appointed MD was provided with the structure and format to effectively steer these meetings.
- Each member of the management team undertook a working strengths analysis (Personal Profile Analysis) to identify where communication problems could be, and what roles people would be best suited to. The delivery teams were structured for greater productivity and satisfaction across the business. The reporting lines of the middle managers were adapted so they could provide the Exec team with timely and relevant information to make the key decisions.
- People Puzzles chaired a board meeting and strategic and operational objectives based on the interviews were agreed. The Finance Director agreed to produce the company’s first formal budget to see how they could get to their £4.5m turnover target in 2 years’ time.
- Communication was key. Plans for a ‘Company Day’ where the company vision and direction could be communicated to all staff – a lack of communication had been a common complaint and it was important to bring the wider team into the fold.