Jane and Simon were running a business together that had grown rapidly in a short period of time. All was going well when suddenly they lost a couple of clients that had a significant impact on the turnover. They had taken on new staff to accommodate the growth that had now disappeared.
As the business had grown rapidly, the systems and processes that had been in place now seemed to not be working. As a result of this people seemed to have become reactive rather than proactive. A blame culture had crept into the organisation. Everyone was aware the business needed to grow but accountability for who was responsible for what in terms of increasing sales wasn’t in place.
Jane and Simon lost motivation and felt they were no longer in control. Communication between them had turned tense. They knew this was having an effect on the team but didn’t know how to resolve the situation.
what i did
The initial consultancy session was tense and full of emotion. The dynamic between a business couple, that are also a couple in life can be challenging. Learning to communicate in a way that is objective, and as non-emotional as possible, is the best way for couples to work and live together in harmony. I gave them strategies to do this effectively e.g. having a monthly board meeting offsite and training them on perspectives from third person viewpoint. I also asked them to write job descriptions for themselves to provide clarity as to the lines of responsibility and accountability for their role within the business. The processes and procedures were reviewed which involved the team as a whole to ensure everyone was back on track and aligned with where the company was going.
The end result was a happier, healthier and more sustainable business. Happier because Jane and Simon felt more in control. As they were more in control the team were happier too. The business was healthier as the right systems and processes were put in place that were appropriate for the business stage they were at. It was more sustainable because there was now a review process in place that provided a regular sense check to ensure future viability.