Dando’s Top 10 Watch List for Growing Companies

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Kirk Dando, CEO of Dando Advisors, helps guide companies to sustained profitability during market changes, rapid growth, or management. He is a friend of mine, and we enjoy talking about the pitfalls and opportunities companies have through, what he calls, The Business Lifecycle.

I’ve never been a huge fan of consultants, but I objectively appreciate Kirk’s approach to consulting (or ‘coaching’). Many years ago Kirk left a big 5 consulting firm because he knew they had the wrong approach. Even then, he could quickly assess the problems in a company. Difference is now, he’s not pressured to invent ways to bill more hours and produce shelved work. He’s interested in making an impact alongside the CEO of the company. Thinking in their shoes, with an outside the bottle perspective. Driving accountability for changes and results. He chooses clients as carefully as they choose him. Clients must demonstrate humility, perserverence, and execution. In the end, his guarantee is he will eat his time if the CEO doesn’t ‘feel’ like he’s made a difference. That’s refreshing! He’s never had a refund.

There are several articles on his web site. Below is one I like because I’ve experienced many of these, and know them to be true. This is sort of a watch list for any company experiencing ‘growing pains’:

Wrong people in key positions. These include friends, family members or long-term loyal employees who are not qualified to occupy key positions.

Poor communications. Senior management feels it is losing control as a result of having less direct contact with day-to-day operations.

Vague hierarchy. Watch out that the leader’s role is appropriately defined considering the company’s size and leadership needs and the leader’s skills.

Bloated hierarchy. Too many people reporting to the president and/or other senior staffers. Thus, the senior management team really does not operate as an aligned team to guide, plan, lead and manage the company.

Management deficiency. There is not an aligned executive leadership and management team that is staffed with individuals who are proven and skilled at getting desired results with efficiency and quality; developing people to successfully do their jobs; identifying operating inefficiencies, overcoming obstacles and implementing the needed systems and structure to correct the inefficiencies.

Imprecise accountability. There is a lack of clarity for management accountability and design of specific data needed for creating accountability.

Poor rewards. There is lack of an appropriate middle and senior management compensation process that is tied to accountability and results.

Old habits. Accounting, financial performance reporting and control systems have become obsolete for the size of the company, and the complexity and level of information needed to operate a more sophisticated company. Sometimes old processes limit the ability to make hard decisions on a timely basis.

Careful growth. Diversification into products or businesses do not fit the company’s expertise and market experience, or acquisitions are made prior to the company being properly structured to integrate them.

Precise balance. The company is not properly balanced between marketing and sales. There is increased competition and a lack of planning to effectively react to the competition and the market.

2 Responses

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  2. Today’s Worthwhile Links

    Dando’s Top 10 Watch List for Growing Companies via Decker Taking Responsibility – A Proven Business Strategy on owning up to your mistakes via Business Pundit…

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