LawrieCo, a leading player in agribusiness, employs 10-15 people. When I started working with them in 2016, they had a few challenges:
I started with a business diagnostic. This involved analysing the company’s financial data and comparing it to industry benchmarks. This gave me good insight into what was working and not working in the business, from a financial perspective. One key outcome from this process was to change the layout of the financial reports so the data provided clearer information to support better decision-making.
Then, I surveyed the senior leadership team to gain deeper insights into the marketing, operational and human resource aspects of the business. I consolidated this information into a report, which I shared with the senior leadership team.
Next, we met for a business planning day. As a team, we discussed what was working, not working and how to address each issue. Every member of the team was assigned with the responsibility to implement the agreed actions in their area of the business.
Following the business planning day, we formed an Advisory Board, consisting of the owners, CEO, Marketing Manager. I acted as Chairman, with an independent laser view on the business.
The Advisory Board has ownership of the business plan. As Chairman, I meet monthly with the Advisory Board and methodically work through each area of the business, comparing the results to the goals we set in the business plan. I follow this up with regular conversations between meetings. When there are difficult decisions, I act as an independent sounding board, providing guidance and reassurance, but also accountability not to avoid the challenges.