Jan 18

“Do you have an exciting One Page Strategic Plan and engaged Senior Management Team (SMT) driving innovation for 2017?”

“I need to clone myself to get stuff done!!!” is a lament we often here.

Do you feel the same way?

Back in 2007 I took my CEO and CFO of Greencross Limited to a Verne Harnish seminar in Brisbane. I was the company chairman at the time. I had been using tools promoted by Verne for decades so wanted to expose my colleagues to his teachings. Here’s a brief summary of what we were exposed to.

“Do you have a Big Exciting Audacious Goal for your company?”

We wanted to grow to 10% of the veterinary market in Australia and New Zealand. It meant growing our turnover and profits by more than ten times!!! We did better than that.

“Do you have a passion and purpose that unites your team and focuses them on innovation?”

We wanted to provide the most professional veterinary care and advice for passionate pet owners.

“Do you have a great team meeting often enough to create a sense of urgency to implementing actions to improve the business?”

We created a Senior Management Team or executive group, met daily for 15 minutes to identify what’s happening for you, how are we going against our daily targets, and what roadblocks exist?

We referred folk to where they could get help, allocated resources to assist, and got actions happening to unblock solutions.

These meetings were no more than 15 minutes…debate solutions elsewhere. This is a SMT download on stuff to be done and where to go to get help.

Refer debate on process changes or new opportunities to the Weekly SMT Operational Meeting for detailed discussion and action planning where there is time to do so.

This meeting rhythm allowed us to improve communication between the SMT members and actually saved time for all team members. We set priorities for unsticking customer and team member concerns and created a more dynamic decision making process in the company.

SMT members then added daily stand up huddles with their direct reports and took the same lessons into their teams.

Front line team members in sales, admin or “job doing” in its many forms in different parts of the company then were listened to daily and got immediate encouragement to fix stuff instead of waiting weeks for it to go up to SMT meetings and struggling to get the go ahead.

We found the quality of debate around improving the company and developing smart strategies to deliver what customers really valued also improved.

It sure beats trying to run a company on your own and feeling you have to make all the decisions and do all the stuff that needs doing.

It engages and energises all your team members.

But it is not about simply delegating responsibilities…it is more about creating a faster pulsing communication process between front line team members and your SMT.

This approach allowed us to grow from a micro listed company to the top ASX 200 over 10 years.

We’ve taken the lessons from Greencross and all the other businesses we’ve been working with into our new “Leadership for Profitable Business” workshop.

The next one is scheduled for February 21st in Auckland.

It’s a one day learning experience…click here for a detailed programme and registration process.

Bring your senior team members and create a SMT to work on improving your business and finding you time.

Then set an appropriate “Pattern of Meetings” and meeting rhythm to get decisions happening much faster than before.

You’ll profit from this experience.


Andrew Geddes 17th January, 2017.

Feb 26

Understanding your business 'Why'

Posted by Robert Drum at Thursday, February 26, 2015

We have been working with our clients on refreshing their strategic plans for 2015 and that's always a great reason to re-examine the 'WHY' of their business. 

And again we are finding that exploring the WHY of your business reignites your passion and energy around why you created your business in the beginning and when you articulate that WHY it inspires your team, your customers and everyone's greater success. 

Simon Sinek, the Master of Why, reminds us all that we don't buy What businesses do we buy the Why they are in business. View Simon's TED talk on Why HERE and be inspired. Then WATCH his next TED talk on "First the Why, then Trust" to get more insight into why your business needs more real leadership to be more successful.

The WHY of your business is the bedrock that your business success is built on. Take the time now to re examine and reignite the WHY of your business and adopt the behaviours of real leadership in your business to engage your team and get them to live the WHY and generate more success for everybody.

We can help you on this journey and invite you to join us at our next Workshops. The First is in Niseko followed by Brisbane

Jun 13

What makes a great firm tick?

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Friday, June 13, 2014

“In your experience, what makes a really great firm?”

I was asked this question after an address at a business forum put on by the Association of Consulting Surveyors NSW.  It really stopped me in my tracks!!! It was a really good question.

 Various answers flashed through my brain.

Was it great clients who valued your professional advice and didn’t try to screw you down on price every time?

Was it great projects to work on that inspired the whole firm and gave us prestige within our particular professional discipline?

Was it positive team members with “can do” attitudes who were willing to have a go and accept responsibility for their particular areas?

Was it modern technology and equipment that allowed efficient and effective work to be done consistently throughout the whole firm?

Was it great premises with natural light and energy efficient design that acted as a brand endorsement for our firm?

Was it great fellow directors with positive outlooks and supportive attitudes who worked as a complementary team?

Was it well structured business processes that allowed us to manage liquidity, job profitability and compliance easily week by week?

Was it a cleverly positioned brand  backed up by a schedule of regular articles, networking activities, client visits and post job reviews?

 Then I realised it was all these things!!!

But another light bulb went off immediately this thought entered my was all these things but one single factor seemed to be required before all these things could be achieved.

And that was a contagious positive energy coming from the directors.

Their excitement about the firm and its work.

Their confidence in each other.

Their tolerance for each other’s behavioural style and quirks!!!

Their enthusiasm for working with clients and team members.

In a nutshell, the energy they brought to work each day.

Yes, this was the single thing that stood out as the main factor in all my truly great advisory firms.

Without it, the firm was always less than it might be.

And I have worked with thousands of firms over my 35 years career!!!!

Then my questioner asker another great question...

“So Andrew, given your thirty-five years involvement with us, where does the energy come from and can it be grown?”

I liked this bloke and his questions...I was stopped in my tracks again.

Yes definitely I thought.

But not by attending some motivational session with the latest lifestyle guru speaker charging $2750 for a day’s haraunging!!!

All my great firms have leaders who serve their firms.

They have a set of corner stone values that people find comfortable to work with.

They are fit (not necessarily thin) and make time to keep makes them resilient.

They have learned to ask and listen hard first then act.

They have other interests they pursue with singular commitment.

They support their loved ones and give time to them so they can pursue their interests with singular commitment.

This comes back to them of course in supportive energy from their loved ones which builds further resilience!!!

Funny that, eh?

They understand the differing behavioural styles and that different from ain’t’s just different from!!!

They cherise the variety of behaviours and different communication styles in others.

You can feel the vibes when you walk into these’s fantastic.

So what actions would I recommend you consider to build your energy and vitality?

                        *create time to exercise daily (say no to tyre kicking clients to get it perhaps?)

                        *learn about your behavioural differences and communication preferences and grow your tolerances

                        *let go past bitterness...forgiving can be broken down into “for giving”!!!

                        *eat well, sleep well and look after your physical temple

                        *celebrate the great things your team achieves

A trusted professional advisor needs energy to give to clients to be successful. This is a neglected factor in creating a successful firm.

Saying no to too much work, unrealistic deadlines, cheap work, unethical requests and focussing on building personal energy, fitness and resilience really defines my truly great firms. Enjoy the journey.


Andrew Geddes.