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Operational Imbalance

19/12/15 Andy Raymond Head of Executive Search


There’s been a common theme emerging from Redline Executive Search’s projects over the last six months. It has been the topic of numerous conversations with technology business leaders and may well strike a chord with others – hence offering it up as a topic this month. It may well serve to demonstrate that if you recognise this issue, then you are not suffering alone. And even more importantly – that help is at hand. I’m calling it ‘Operational Imbalance’

Time and again CEO’s, Owners and Managing Directors have expressed concern over the underperformance of a key function within their business. The function may be operational, technology / R&D / Manufacturing, Sales or Marketing. With careful questioning we often unearth that the lack of function stems from a key interaction between two (or more) departments. But there’s nearly always an Achilles heel. ‘Search your feelings’ as Darth Vader says to Luke. You already know where yours is.

Business leaders are of course close to their business and faced with conflicting pressures on a daily basis. Often where they have been with the organisation for a length of time the problem is felt more articulated. That nagging sense that ‘I’m sure this is done more efficiently / successfully / harmoniously in other organisations?’. It is – I’ve witnessed it many occasions and have found the people to make it happen on many others.

The solution may be a single key hire away, but it’s for nothing if we can’t articulate the problem and relate that to the reality of what key skill-sets commonly reside in individuals. Maybe it’s an interim solution? Maybe you only need one person where you thought you needed two? The critical thing is that we develop a fit for purpose solution designed specifically to overcome your Operational Imbalance. It’s what we do. Call me on +44 (0)1582 878907 or drop me a mail to ARaymond@redlinegroup.com to continue the conversation.

No doubt like you, I can make a cogent argument for where the above issue fits in to all five of the following areas from this well-known (but truncated) article on the responsibilities of a CEO

What are the responsibilities of a CEO?

CEO’s have five key responsibilities, no matter the company's size, industry or geography. Only the chief executive -- who has a holistic view of the firm -- can take on these duties:

  1. Own the vision. A CEO should determine and communicate the organization’s strategic direction. Until that's settled, making decisions about anything else at the business is difficult.
  2. Provide the proper resources.Only the CEO can perform the task of balancing resources -- the two most important ones being capital and people.
  3. Build the culture.Culture is the set of shared attitudes, goals, behaviours and values that characterize a group.
  4. Make good decisions.A new CEO is often surprised by the breadth of issues confronting him (or her). One minute the CEO is discussing a new product, the next a human resources issue -- and then along comes a legal issue.

Oversee and deliver the company's performance.

Everyone agrees that the CEO is ultimately responsible for a company’s performance