Operational Imbalance

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Andy Raymond.



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In recent months, a prevailing theme has surfaced in the projects undertaken by Redline Executive search. It has been the topic of numerous conversations with technology and engineering business leaders and may well resonate with others, I am terming it ‘Operational Imbalance’. Recognising this issue is the first step towards acknowledging that you are not suffering alone, and more significantly, solutions are available. And even more importantly – that help is at hand.

Repeatedly CEOs, Owners, and Managing Directors have expressed apprehension regarding the underperformance of crucial functions within their businesses. The function may be operational, technology / R&D, manufacturing, supply chain, sales, or marketing. Through careful questioning, a common thread emerges - we often unearth that the lack of synergy often stems from critical interactions between two (or more) departments. But there is nearly always an Achilles heel. ‘Search your feelings’ as Darth Vader says to Luke. You already know where yours is. The reality is that efficient and harmonious operations exist in other organisations, and solutions can be found.

Leaders, who are intimately connected with their business, face daily conflicting pressures. Over time, this dilemma becomes more pronounced, manifesting as a nagging sense that processes could be more efficient, successful, or harmonious. The reality is that efficient and harmonious operations exist in other organisations, and solutions can be found – I have witnessed it on many occasions and have found the people and leaders to make it happen in many others.

"Only three things happen naturally in organisations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership”

Peter Drucker

Addressing the operational Imbalance in your business

Diagnosing the specific factors contributing to your company's imbalance can be challenging when you are too close to the situation. These factors often include:

  • Insufficient personnel aligned to meet the business goals.
  • Board and leader misalignment.
  • Neglecting customer feedback and misunderstanding their loyalty.
  • Outdated or ineffective processes.
  • Lack of strategic planning.
  • Inadequate performance monitoring.
  • Unstable cash flow.
  • High fixed overheads.
  • Excessive waste.

But steps can be taken to restore stability and mitigate future risks.

No doubt like you, I can make a cogent argument for where the above issue fits into 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?

Aligning with the five key responsibilities of a CEO, it becomes evident that addressing operational imbalance is a multifaceted task. 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 organisation’s strategic direction to facilitate decision-making. Until that is settled, making decisions about anything else at the business is difficult.
  2. Provide the proper resources: Balance essential resources - the two most important ones being capital and people.
  3. Build the culture: Shape a shared culture of attitudes, goals, behaviours, and values that characterise the organisation.
  4. Make good decisions: Navigate diverse issues efficiently, from product discussions to legal matters.
  5. Oversee and deliver the company's performance: The CEO is accountable for the company's overall performance. They are accountable to the board of directors and are responsible for the company's success or failure.

Developing a tailored solution:

Recognising the problem is the first step; now, it is about developing a fit-for-purpose solution tailored to overcome your operational imbalance. This is where Redline Executive excels. It is what we do, by supplying exceptional diverse talent to generate value for shareholders and become your strategic business partner.

Contact us at +44 (0)1582 450054 or via email at ARaymond@RedlineExecutive.com to continue this conversation and explore how we can assist in optimising your business operations.

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