Compusearch (now Unison) was a visionary company with visionary goals. But, as often happens with visionary companies, focus on a long-term strategy to revolutionize a market can mean that near-term execution and operationalization can suffer, creating barriers to growth.
From its founding in 1983, the company used state-of-the-art software design and development to provide solutions that streamlined and automated key steps in government procurement, purchasing, and contract management.
In 2005, the company arrived at a strategic decision point. The company’s team of owner-operators decided to sell the company and retire. The new owner, private equity firm The Carlyle Group (Carlyle), saw immense potential in the company and its pedigree of quality innovation.
But Carlyle also saw that the change in ownership was an ideal time to assess how the organization operated and to upgrade to more effective strategy execution and operations maturity. Maturing operations turned out to be essential to achieving the goal to double revenue and increase margins to realize a 4X return on invested capital within five years.
The purpose of a business is to solve a problem for a customer…which begs this question:
WHAT solution does your organization provide to
WHY do they pay for it?
A way to think about it is that there are three dimensions to any business: WHAT, WHO, and WHY or in terms of Market (WHO), Problem (WHY), and Solution (WHAT).
Leaders tend to describe their organization in terms of one or two, but rarely all three, dimensions. The reason may be because thinking about any three things at the same time challenges the mind. If anyone does think three completely different things all at once, it is hard to do it for any length of time.
The 2:56′ video above uses the graphic below to present a way to visualize an organization in terms of the problem it solves (or WHY anyone needs what the organization provides), for WHO (market), and with Continue reading Get Clear→
If you’ve been in charge for a while and it feels like performance and growth are not where you want them to be, you probably know that you are likely headed in the wrong direction.
Every leader, team, and organization eventually hits an inflection point. There IS a solution.
The first step is to take stock of how things are going, why things need to change, and how they would be if things were going well.
A management offsite is an excellent way to engage the top team along these lines. However, to prepare for and facilitate a high-powered executive offsite takes careful planning, data collection, analysis, and design effort.
Most leaders find it difficult to adequately prepare—assuming they even know how—for their offsite. Further, it is nearly impossible for a leader to facilitate and participate in, let alone also lead, their own offsite. A better strategy is to hire experts who use proven approaches, tools, and methods to prepare and facilitate.
When it is time to start planning but the top team is maxed-out just keeping up with operations, outside help may be just the thing. But what kind of help is best to get? Continue reading Four Kinds of Help→