Business Growth – typical barriers & the Global Impact solution

iSpoc, an innovative provider and developer of the IT Service Management System IHLP, has just concluded part 1 of a project in which Global Impact was invited to play a pivotal role. It’s an interesting story of collaboration, marrying together iSpoc, a great company, supporting a fabulously unique product, & Global Impact, a commercial consultancy with over 60 years experience in business expansion & change-management, who the iSpoc board turned to for innovative solutions to the twin desire for accelerated growth & corporate transformation.

Blessed with; a committed & talented global developer team, a good corporate structure, a bank of committed clients, dynamic investors and an expanding market, it was proving difficult to drive the iSpoc operation forward as fast as the people, partners and the solution deserved and so the board turned to Global Impact to help clear the log-jam.

For the iSpoc Finance and Project Manager, Marianne Bach, evolution had been too slow. “We have the right people and the right product but we needed to be bigger and better and felt we could and should be able to do that faster. John’s track-record in similar circumstances speaks for itself so he and his team were drafted in.”

In response, the Global Impact team, headed by Project Director John Lees, undertook a broad review of operations as well as a detailed review of;

  1. The processes of and constraints on high-speed product development
  2. Marketing of the ‘core’ product & it’s orbit of “add-on” solutions
  3. The mechanisms of the sales process; “first meeting to trial installation”

 

The 3 month project, involving 7 active ‘on-site’ working days, led directly to;

  • A better appreciation of the step-structure needed for sustainable transformation & a plan to implement stepped solutions
  • A planned introduction of new, relevant talent at ownership level
  • A realignment of functions at board level
  • A “soft” but effective realignment of management activities
  • An internal re-launch of the business

 

While it is ‘early days’ Lennart Pedersen, iSpoc Co-Founder & CTO is confident of the modified path the company is on. “When you are deeply embedded in the process of both development & day-to-day management of a business of our size, it is difficult to allocate time consistently to the exercise of maximising your product’s potential. That is where Global Impact focused their attention &, in bite-sized-steps, they guided us through the process of re-focusing.”

He went on to add. “We would have got there ourselves I have no doubt, but it would naturally have been slower.  John’s input (and through him, the experienced people he can tap into) got us to the “take-off” point much more quickly. Although it wasn’t always easy, we’re now progressing well, focusing on slightly different priorities & finally getting what all our hard-work and talent deserves; more customers using a better product.”

 

Four Uncomfortable Truths

Lennart is speaking for most SME’s at some point in their development cycle when observing that, “When …… deeply embedded in the process of both development and day-to-day management of a business of our size, it is difficult to allocate time consistently to the exercise of maximising your product’s potential.”

Adding background to Lennart’s comment, the following is a “common” reality, and a barrier to sustained & sustainable growth;

  1. The day-to-day micro-management of sales, project evolution, staffing & issues of a “general nature” generally dominate
  2. When steady growth is either imminent or already a reality, the dominance of micro-management activity becomes exaggerated
  3. The exercise of planning for evolution &/or sustainable growth takes a back-seat
  4. Dealing with ‘realised’ growth after it has already begun to impact on the business & its people is, without the right analyses & input, a difficult puzzle to unravel and is therefore not sustainable

 

In truth, it’s a vicious circle “feeding on itself”. Unless the talent is available in-house the input of an outside resource like Global Impact is the answer, synchronizing; i) the simplification of issues, ii) facilitating the development of solutions and iii) helping manage implementation but, first-and-foremost, everything begins with the following detailed analyses;

  • Analysis 1. How the different parts of the business are performing in their own right
  • Analysis 2. How the different parts of the business; i) are performing & ii) should be performing in the context of the whole business
  • Analysis 3.  Of the strains burdening the different parts of the operation
  • Analysis 4. Of the relationship between; a) performances and b) strains on the ability of the business to maximise results
  • Analysis 5. Asertaining; a) realistic & deliverable growth and b) the resources needed to deliver that growth

 

In iSpoc‘s case the analyses, followed by the careful planning and implementation of measured solutions, made the difference between earlier disappointment, bearing in mind the product’s potential, and the reality post-Global Impact’s input. Effectively, the management team, sympathetically and methodically guided by the GI team has “wrestled back” control of the business’s true potential and is on the road to delivering an improving, reliable, stress-free growth.