Smooth the way to new opportunities through operational excellence
Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Light ‘er Up
And there I was. With BAU demands, inherited deadlines, strained relationships, reputational jeopardy, and having to deliver on promises, promises, promises. Some of them mine.
Welcome to the forge. You’ve got heat. You’ve got pressure. You’ve got movement. You’ve got sweat.
Blaze A Trail
An Indian, an Englishman, and an American walk into a boardroom. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But it wasn’t. It was deadly serious.
The Indian man was the UK’s third richest person. The Englishman was the ex-leader of her majesty’s loyal opposition. And the American was a world-famous director of some of the biggest hollywood blockbusters of the last three decades. And they were worried.
They had plans. Big plans. A strategy in need of execution. A market in need of solutions. I had a team. A big team. A tactical team bursting with potential. But rapid scaling had stressed the unit past breaking point.
Time was the enemy. This was a start-up. We had a burn-rate of NZ$350k per month just for the software development unit alone. Speed to market was crucial, as was quality - as we desperately needed rave reviews and references from our first fortune 500 companies.
There was no time for fancy schemes or complex models. My assignment was to create a successful outcome - meeting our strategic needs with smart, simple, and lean operational excellence.
The Indian didn’t look up from his notebook, but took notes diligently. The Englishman said nothing meaningful but sounded very important whilst saying it. And the American simply asked “you got this?”. I said “yes” and went straight to start working with my team.
Hammer It Home
Like high-performance athletes, I knew that movement had to be coordinated with speed and precision. And that takes practice, dedication, and good coaching.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
In order to embed change and adopt healthy habits, we needed a game plan. We needed to forge a team identity. We needed to agree the rules. And we needed to make sure everyone followed them.
We were on a mission to become a world-class, high-performance team. Here’s how we did it.
- Validate your strategy.
- Run, measure, and monitor that strategic objectives are met.
- Design your business architecture with intelligence and insight.
- Validate business cases and action plans.
- Manage and run policies.
- Establish OKR metrics.
- Integrate governance mechanism throughout.
- Rationalise product lines.
- Implement marketing and partnering strategies.
- Execute and report on action plans.
- Formulate a strategy.
- Conduct innovation discovery.
- Bed down conflict management process.
- Identify root causes.
- Put a resolution plan in place.
- Monitor and measure.
- Tie values to BAU.
- Establish team meetings and rituals.
- Engage with stakeholders.
- Integrate cultural aspects into the hiring process.
- Build development plans to align to strategy.
- Flesh out and improve job descriptions.
- Formalise and build out systems to feed into governance.
- Document and audit processes.
- Align and develop technical roadmaps and action plans.