Creating Agility By Redefining Roles

Creating Agility By Redefining Roles

Warning this is a tough love post.

The Backstory

The United States should be a landscape of small agile, innovative, smartly organized enterprises, fit for worldwide competition.Well the numbers certainly back up that landscape – 99.6% of the 27.3m US enterprises employ less than 100 people. Only 100,000 enterprises employ more than 100 people.

However that’s just the numbers. Instead of agility and focus I’m hearing that companies don’t understand social media, they can’t attract quality staff or they can’t attract investors. I’m seeing miserable looking web sites causing confusion over what the company does. (there are also really cool web sites that deliver the same outcome) I am seeing a lack of focus.

Today is a marvelous opportunity to change that. The solution is quite simple. The CEO needs to take a root and branch review, using the spirit of a start up, to the roles required to execute his or her vision.

What are the roles needed and the performance required, imagining there no job specs just talented people in a room eager to be relevant?  This is not about working longer hours but about working smarter hours on the right stuff.

New Role Definitions

To get you started, I’ve selected a few key roles and their performance:

CEO
1. Define and dominate a unique market
2. Attract and nurture the best relevant to achieve 1.
3. Ensure the business is viable at all times to deliver 1.
4. Ensure all employee roles are helping with 1,2 and 3.

CEO of Projects (A,B,C,D etc)
1.  Appoint 5 Project Heads (CEOs) of 5 key initiatives that are vital for the company to complete in this financial year.
2.  Ensure that each Head  is totally accountable for delivering that project.
3.  The Head once appointed is allowed to requisition more senior staff but remain the boss.

Chief Analytics Officer
1.  Produce summaries and details of all relevant metrics representing the performance of the company covering financial, marketing, sales, customer satisfaction, product launches etc
2.  Articulate the story and relevance of key metrics.

Customer Satisfaction Officer
1.  Measure relentlessly our ability to achieve value for customers.
2.  Suggest actions that would improve our performance.

Usage Engineer
1.  Document the ways in which existing customers have successfully implemented our solutions.
2.  Maintain implementation guidelines to ensure repeatable behavior.

Knowledge Manager
1.  Trap all key reference documents generated by all departments.
2.  Ensure the Content Management System is simple to use and data is accessible.
3.  Establish an effective corporate taxonomy.

Business Issues Analyst
1.  Document all key business issues arising at customer sites that fall into our realm of expertise.
2.  Document as case studies or use cases how we solved these issues and the results we achieved.
3.  Maintain relevant marketing collateral that articulates these issues and the solutions we deployed.
4.  Ensure all business winning teams and product development teams are aware of 1,2, and 3.

Inbound Marketing Architect
1.  Ensure management understand what content and marketing campaigns are generating the highest quality leads.

University Manager
1.  Build and maintain a curriculum of training for all new staff and existing staff.
2.  Make recommendations on new courses that are required.
3.  Ensure all teachers keep material up to date and relevant.

Software Chief
1.  Ensure that we are efficiently accessing all free stuff that we need and efficiently buying new software.
2.  Ensure all software is deployed and being used by staff.
3.  Facilitate all necessary training to ensure software is used.

Well you get the idea. You can add another 20 roles. You can merge roles. You can use contract staff, interns, very experienced full time staff. It’s your choice. But it is a choice.

Three recent examples to inspire your thinking:

Google
Intuit
Groupon

Give me your thoughts in the big white space, below my mug shot.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Great stuff Ian. As I have often said, 90% of success is kind of boring: making sure the the right folks are doing the right stuff at the right time. (Although I am known for using vernacular for stuff).

    Can’t wait to read your new book too. – best, Paul

    PS I tweeted this and posted to facebook.

    Reply
  2. Thanks Paul, I’m observing a lack of innovation in the market. Old structures and roles to solve new market dynamic isn’t working.

    New book on track for September.

    Reply

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