We have begun a new podcast series over at Soundcloud! When the opportunity arises, we'll be talking to a range of people within our Trusted Circle about their business challenges and how they have overcome them.
First up is Alan Perkins, Managing Director of SilverDisc Limited, a digital marketing agency based in Kettering. Listen to the podcast below to find out how Alan's sudden and unexpected absence affected his business, what this showed about the resilience of his team and what this suggested for the company's future growth prospects.
The focus of our work with Alan and his team up to this point had been improving the business and its ability to grow, of which one important element was the creation of repeatable, scaleable processes that would not rely on Alan's personal involvement to be efficient and effective.
This in a company whose culture Tim Cornell (Founder of Planned Ascent) had characterised as 'paternalistic'; meaning very highly caring and conscientious yet revolving around and dependent on the experience and authority of Alan for a high proportion of all decisions. The wider team had become accustomed to simply deferring to Alan: a pattern we often find in founder-managed business and which results in the founder working long hours, often on operational rather than more strategic matters and with unhelpful, albeit unintentional consequences for the professional development of employees.
Had we set out to create a 'war-game' to test the business, we could not have come up with a more challenging scenario than the one which unfolded here. The challenges that Alan and his team faced were significant, unexpected and uncertain in that there was no clarity about how long they would last and whether or not a return to pre-crisis state would even be possible.
Alan's management team had no option but to pick up the reins, and fast.