Realising that his own lack of motivation and drive was not setting a good example for his management team, the founder of a building management systems company came to Telos requesting a “kick up the bum”. He wanted to inspire his team to help him grow the business four-fold – but found everyone’s energy and enthusiasm at odds with the greater vision. We helped him create renewed focus to set the business on the road to success...
Putting the pieces in place
We first met the founder of a mechanical and engineering contracting business we recently helped when he worked with us through a programme at the Cardiff Business School called Sustaining Profitable Growth, where he devised with a five-year plan for his business. He wanted to take his UK-based business from £5m to £20m. And to achieve that he knew he needed to get his management team to take more responsibility and be as passionate about the success of the business as he was – at the same time as showing them consistent drive himself.
The need to re-ignite real passion
Over the following years, he sought out a range of business clubs, university programmes, master classes, workshops and coaching to help inspire him. All of these resources were very good, but none gave him what he really wanted and needed. So he turned once again to Telos.
When we started exploring the underlying issues with the founder, he recognised that his own motivation had waxed and waned over the years. What he really needed was someone to hold him to account, give him a “kick up the bum” and help him to generate a great level of energy and enthusiasm within himself. At the same time, he wanted to “light a fire within his management team, rather than beneath them”.
Developing a clear definition of success
The first step was to help get the ideas out of the founder’s head and into the open, so the entire team could understand and buy into the plan. Implementation of that plan could then be more consistent and disciplined, from the top down and right across the business.
A combination of coaching sessions with the founder and the introduction of a strategic development process for his management team clarified the vision for the business and what it would take from everyone to achieve that goal. This approach helped the founder to develop a clear definition of success for his role, holding him to account for his planned actions and helping him to create a business that is ready for a transition to the next level.
Engaging and giving the team ‘ownership’
Creating a ‘restaurant’ analogy helped to engage the management team, ensure their ownership of the strategic plan and foster belief in their ability to achieve the stated goals. First, they would have to create the menu (understand the products and services that customers really valued and what partnerships they needed to build to deliver them). Then they needed to get ‘bums on seats’ (by clarifying whose role it was to do this and with which customers). ‘Front of house’ operations needed some streamlining (lean operating principles were applied across the business), and the business could then start building a bigger chain of restaurants (creating new office locations with a focus on business generation).
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