Alan O’neill: getting a mix of growth, investing in new people

  • Alan O’neill: getting a mix of growth, investing in new people
    Independent.t. E.
    It was recently announced that Apple became the first company in the world to be valued immediately for the trillion-dollar mark. Now the largest technology company in the world with 115,000 people, I can only imagine that the structure of the chart look.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/small-business/alan-oneill-getting-the-growth-mix-right-by-investing-in-new-people-37207127.html
    https://www.independent.ie/incoming/article37207304.ece/8d538/AUTOCROP/h342/wozjobs

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It was recently announced that Apple became the first company in the world to be valued immediately for the trillion-dollar mark. Now the largest technology company in the world with 115,000 people, I can only imagine that the structure of the chart look.

But let’s not forget that the company, which was founded by Steve jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne started in the garage.

Undoubtedly, in 1977, they did literally everything ourselves, working from morning and raiding their piggy banks to get it off the ground.

The early years for SMEs

200,000 SMEs in Ireland, you can make similar claims. Killowen yogurt started at the kitchen table and is still run from the same room.

While that is cute and adds to the charm of the business, the day will come when investment in a larger office will be important to accommodate more people and provide growth.

Before investment in offices, Killowen need to invest in key people. Business is size and scale now, where the older and more experienced leaders should be brought on Board.

It can be hard when it brings changes for people who may have been around since the beginning.

Typically, these early joiners are made of Sherpas, who are doing everything for the benefit of the company, the desire and the application, which is exemplary. They often acquire their knowledge and skills in opening, this is normal in the early days.

But as the business grows in size, it needs to be managed with a level of craftsmanship that’s not always obvious to the crew of the startup. This is not a criticism, just a harsh reality.

The people and the problem of economic growth

As now, Nicholas Dunne and his team do everything themselves. He still milks every morning and 200 cows. He loves how it is time to think and plan ahead. While I appreciate that there’s some merit, it is also quite a physical.

What is the cost of that in terms of energy and time? If he released these 12 hours per week, other, more productive tasks he can do at this time? If the additional cost of paying a laborer on the farm to justify free time for more productive work?

In addition, there may be other tasks that Nikolai and others are doing to a good standard, but more experienced people can do them even better.

Tips for investing in people

Before we start, I always direct my clients to clarify their ‘North star’ and have a clearly articulated strategy. That then became the basis and standard for all decisions about people, product, market entry, etc. But let’s assume that today Killowen has such a plan.

1 , thinking about how to hire people, get your head in the right mood. Some roles, such as sales, have outputs that are not amenable to accurate measurement. It’s easy to calculate additional sales required to justify that cost.

Other roles, such as Finance, operations, marketing, etc., are often seen as costs to business. Obviously that’s not true it just means that you need to find ways to measure the value they bring.

For example, say you hire an experienced operational Manager to do the work that you do. If you calculate the number of hours it will untie your hands for other tasks, like selling… then it is a good measure.

An additional benefit is the added value that this person can bring. To consider the possibility of increasing the efficiency of production, saving costs, reducing waste, improving quality, motivating people, etc.

2 If you are working with external financial injections, start slowly. It is possible to hire only one Manager at first until you develop a comfort, a new rhythm and rules. A new senior man in the little command will change the culture, so watch out for that.

3 to be very clear on the new man roles, responsibilities, objectives and success criteria. Did not expect that their success, as settling in will take time. Be sure to give them every support necessary for success.

4 to inform the existing team in a fair and respectful manner. Communication is very important, because without the context and openness very good and loyal people can feel offended and insulted. It will just create issues of morality for you, which will lead to slow performance.

Summary

As a non-Executive Director, I regularly see this dilemma is to hire the right team early. The key is to see it as investments, not costs. I appreciate it’s a big decision, both emotionally and financially. Get ready to go with your gut, and the payback is not always immediately measurable.

The flywheel requires a lot of push in the beginning to get it going. At some point the momentum of the wheel itself propels it forward.

Every now and then it just needs a little extra push to get it going a little faster. Your people in the beginning, and your flywheel will be removed. Which, of course, was too for Apple.

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