The CEO of a consulting company in New Zealand was under the gun. He believed in the company’s aim—to maximise opportunity, create value and build relationships in Maori organisations so they could work productively with corporates and government.
This issue was that the CEO was drowning and didn’t know how to swim to the top for air.
One smart decision the CEO made was to call for external, expert support. He wanted someone who would ‘walk with him’ and help him achieve balance—someone who was objective and would provide frank and fearless advice.
That call was made to Omania Terry. One week later, I was in Hamilton, New Zealand, and on the job. It was immediately apparent that even though this CEO was super clever and talented, he had far too much on his plate.
Getting the right things right
As an efficiency expert, I began by conducting an all-important audit of what the CEO had on that plate, using good old butcher’s paper. A brain dump revealed everything he was involved in. It also accurately assessed team member roles and responsibilities.
I also ‘walked with’ the CEO, observing him and those around him as he worked through his day. I spent time in his office and in the car driving to meetings.
Importantly, I completed 360 reviews with team members and assessed the office manager’s responsibilities, way of operating and skill base.
The results were astonishing—everyone almost fell over when I presented them. Findings included that the CEO:
- had a near full-time contract with a Board and a team of eight working to him on that project alone
- was facilitating with councils, government agencies and groups on land matters
- was on many committees and other boards
- had assignments to complete for his university degree
- was writing research papers for publication
- had an office manager who lacked the skills required.
I then developed a realistic plan to address these main findings:
- The CEO needed his team to work more cohesively and independently. They needed the CEO to be more present.
- The CEO needed an office manager with the right skills who would exercise initiative and keep him organised. She wanted more clarity and direction and felt out of her depth.
So how did it go?
At the end of just two weeks, and after applying best-practice expert efficiency measures—things had shifted dramatically.
Everyone understood each other much better and respect increased. Everyone was committed to change. Everyone was determined to implement solutions.
The CEO and team began enjoying work life balance. External support and efficiency expertise stopped the drowning.