Leadership for Growth in practice
We were appointed by a green energy start-up that designs, builds and markets a product that harnesses energy from air turbulence on dual carriageways and motorways.
They were anticipating rapid growth and needed support in establishing organisational structure, processes, roles and responsibilities and ways of working.
The company has several potential customers in UK and USA and were under pressure to prove prototypes for production and installation in several pilot sites and establish first-mover advantage in the market.
The owner-directors were too involved in day-to-day detail to step back and visualise how they would run the business as it grew. They expected significant increases in their team from 20 people, many of whom are contractors, or working pro bono, to upwards of 80. The company had passion and enthusiasm but not much structure, and the board was beginning to show frustration that some coherence would be needed to attract investment, otherwise they could potentially run out of cash.
We held initial meetings with the directors of this exciting start-up and conducted discussions with all those involved to ascertain who was doing what, and who was responsible to whom. We discovered that despite the great talent they have there was no organisation structure or project schedule, no job specifications or objectives, and no plan for managing technical or business risk. We called in our specialist associates for schedule, risk and HR matters and set about creating a target operating model for the business.
Within a few weeks we assuaged the board’s concerns and focused effort on the critical tasks; all non-critical tasks were parked. Moving from prototype to test to production was the sole focus. We supported the business to:
- Create clarity and alignment on key objectives
- Develop a plan with clear structure, responsibilities and measurable outcomes
- Establish a working operating model
- Create a cohesive leadership team
- Shape their culture to enable expansion of the team
- Build the narrative
We remain engaged as ‘critical friends’ to support the continued success of the enterprise as it expands into new markets.