5 key management tips to drive operational excellence

5 key management tips to drive operational excellence

Richard Orme recently joined me on our podcast to discuss his extensive experiences in management as a CTO of several scaleups and mid-market companies. 

During our chat, I picked Richard's brain on communicating the WHY to your employees, the importance of management for execution, & much more.

Richard is an Operating Executive at Silver Lake - one of the world’s big Private Equity firms with $88bn AUM - where he works with portfolio companies on the execution of their strategy.

Richard made his name, and personal success, as CTO and part of the senior management at ComplyAdvantage, Photobox Group ($500m turnover at the time), Moonpig.com (IPO’d in 2021), Metapack, Virgin Media and others.


1. How data and instrumentation has enabled distributed management

My key takeaways from this clip:

1. The major shift for management is how the explosion of data and better tooling has enabled more distributed decision-making - ie LESS RELIANCE ON EXPERIENCED AND SENIOR MANAGERS FOR GOOD DECISION-MAKING

This enables teams to scale faster than ever before, and hit new heights of productivity!

BUT - it means ALIGNMENT to the core company strategy becomes ever more challenging and problematic

2. This changes the role of Senior Management - from one of instruction and decision-making - TO A ROLE OF ENABLEMENT - using their experience to enable teams rather than manage their day-to-day

Empowerment = SITUATIONAL AWARENESS + CLEAR OWNERSHIP + COMPETENCE


2. Are you sure you know WHY your teams are doing the work they are doing?

My key takeaways from this clip:

If you as a leader cannot explain why one of your team members is doing the work they are doing, and have CONVICTION that it is worth doing it, then YOU ARE NOT DOING YOUR JOB!

Great example of where Richard got it wrong and learnt a valuable lesson! 

“As a leader, my responsibility to you is to understand the value of your work and be able to explain it!”


3. The determining factor of a High Performing Team is its manager

My key takeaways from this clip:

“Your success as a manager is not about how much execution is happening - but how your team feels about you as a manager. Why? Because it is a leading indicator of success. If they know you have their back, then you can challenge them really hard.”

This insight is an absolute beauty…

There’s a reason why Google upended their manager assessments from assessing skills and capability to determining how their team felt about them.

The point is that NOBODY COMES INTO WORK TO DO A BAD JOB

A manager’s role is ENABLEMENT of their team: 

  1. THEIR INTERESTS are being looked after and they are APPRECIATED
  2. They have SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
  3. They have CLEAR OWNERSHIP
  4. They have SUPPORT & DEVELOPMENT

GREAT EXECUTION FOLLOWS…


4. How to give teams focus, trust, and guidance to stand on their own two feet

My key takeaways from this clip:

Leadership today: THIS is what you need to focus on - the one number/metric that will drive value and allow you to have impact - and why

Part of that is deployment of experience - generation of hypotheses 

Individuals and Team needs 3 things to be successful: (1) Focus - what is my job working towards - how is it contributing; (2) Challenge - meaty targets, (3) The Right Support


5. Creating a sense of collective ownership of targets

My key takeaways from this clip:

1. Creating a forum of collective ownership increases confidence in decision making and support networks in teams

2. Creating these teams and focus groups creates a FORCE MULTIPLIER for solving problems - BUT this needs to be led by data-led decisions, and a clear communication of the WHY for change


Bonus - Why read The Trillion Dollar Coach

My key takeaways from this clip:

You need to push people to SOLVE THEIR OWN PROBLEMS.

This then creates growth for that person organically.

This coupled with a caring management style and feedback creates an opportunity to PUSH your employees in a way that you get the most out of them, whilst also ensuring they are happy to come to work!

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