A huge part of the engagement with Pete has been the learning all of the management and leadership components of running a successful business. Without any formal training I feel I’d be quite confident in taking a leadership role in an established business and understand the fundamentals of what needs to be done to deliver the outcomes.
A big part of working with Pete is he will dig into areas of discomfort that I know always needed to be discussed however was much easier to ignore. Just having that accountability to someone that was pushing for my goals meant there was no hiding for me which has really developed my ability to run a company.
Knowing the process and transformation that myself and the business has gone through, I speak to friends about their small businesses and can see now how easily it is to get stuck where I was and have a lack of direction of getting to the next step. I was always thinking the new hire or new customer or reading a business book was the way forward. I wish I’d understood many years ago that going through this mentor style transformation was the way forward. It has freed up my time significantly, I have less to do in the day-to-day operations, something I could not have imagined years ago.
Our business valuation has increased significantly and even so, as it operates without me a large amount of the time, I have no plans of selling it unless the right valuation is presented. I’m investigating starting new business with my partner as side projects.
As Managing Director of Stardata, a family business (2 generations, shareholders with siblings in business), we have had an extremely close-knit team of employees since we established the business in its current form in 2004. Our broad challenge was to grow beyond being a small family business with very strong knowledge of the telecommunications industry into a professionally managed and operated business that has family members in it.
Around 2003 we recognised a need to get external input to help us achieve this goal and Peter was referred in to us by another company owner who was also being coached by Peter.
I have now worked alongside Peter Tyndall over the last 10 years and the scope has changed beyond the successful achievement of our initial goals through to through various other step changes as our business has grown and matured.
Our strengths in running the business were quite clearly in our strong technical and operational skills specific to the industry. These strengths meant we had a good reputation necessary to survive those early days.
Where we struggled was in the administration and management of our business. We lacked strategic direction, leadership capabilities and structure which inhibited growth, impacted on our client service capabilities and had ultimately tied us to the roles working within the business.
Without question bringing Peter in to assist us has been a key part of our organisations initial survival and then opened our eyes to a bigger picture. We had been floundering in business for many years as I’ve seen so many friends and colleagues do. We quite likely could have continued the way we were going however there was no wind in the sails after so many years, no real motivation to keep doing the same thing, we could feel our organisation was tired.
This was business open heart surgery for us and we had no experience in how to go about this.
This first stage was a very in-depth, painstaking piece of work that would have been extremely difficult without the experience of Pete to keep us motivated and on track. The clear direction to our team was hugely energising for our team who were bought in during a turbulent period of employee turnover within the industry specifically.
What became clear was that the direction that the business was heading in was a large motivating factor for our team and built loyalty as the team felt part of the success.
Going from a minimal management system our leadership team were tasked with outlining new performance agreements to our teams and starting weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual performance management and leadership of their teams. It was quite difficult at first, with managers and individual team members learning the new roles and managing the expectations that were set but as the dust settled the system was achieving the performance metrics set.
As was becoming more and more evident the ability to rely on accurate data was a massive success factor for this phase as staff and managers couldn’t hide behind misleading numbers or information.
Throughout phase 2 we brought Pete into performance meetings to coach our managers and possibly more integral was the coaching and management amongst the family where he was the ultimate professional. He always ensured the outcomes of what we’d set out to achieve, were met.
Pete has been a part of the ongoing monitoring and management of changes, highlighting areas for attention and help steer quarterly or yearly initiatives to be aligned with the broad strategy.
SO after several years into a 5 year project the value we have on our investment with Pete is amazing. I often think if I could have completed a MBA or other undergrad business course and completed the works ourselves or alternatively hired a qualified general manager instead – each of which has its benefits however ultimately learning the skills ourselves and developing the business that we know and love has been a much more rewarding outcome.
I cannot thank Pete enough for his contribution to where Stardata and I am today, we honestly would be in a different world had we not pursued this engagement – most likely I would be an employee working for someone at this stage.
I’d happily discuss our successes with anyone interested.