Client Success Story:
“Rob is very smart; he’s highly intellectual and quickly gets to the bottom of an issue. His combination of financial clarity and a very good communication style are invaluable. He is non-confrontational, charismatic and very good at bringing all participants into a conversation.”
“One of the reasons Rob is a great coach is that he doesn’t give you all the answers. He forces you to question things, helps surface them, gives you a new perspective. That approach and maturity is really important.”
Embracing Scaling Up and mastering ‘rocks’ drives business results
Securecom is a NZ owned Managed Security Services Provider, offering end-to-end IT services to NZ businesses across all industry sectors.
In a highly competitive and constantly changing marketplace, Securecom helps improve business outcomes for customers by partnering with them to lower their total IT costs and improve customer experiences.
Chris New, Chairman and Greg Mikkelsen, CEO, had both worked with Rob previously at Spark NZ, and when the time came to find a way to better engage their people and find a strategy for growth, they naturally turned to Rob for advice and expertise.
A framework for growth
With a diverse, challenging and complex business to run in a constantly changing landscape, the team at Securecom were seeking a simple framework that would engage their people, get them on the same page and provide a level of objectivity.
“This is a 24/7 business, and as an end-to-end service provider, the landscape is always evolving. We get updates daily and weekly that we must pass on to customers and help them understand; we are supporting people at all levels, all the time.
“So, it actually wasn’t about trying to work out what we do – it’s working out what we don’t do. When Rob explained the Scaling Up methodology and why he chose to work as a Scaling Up coach, it really made sense for where we were in our journey,” said Greg Mikkelsen.
“We were confident Rob was the person to help us successfully build a Scaling Up framework into our business. We have worked closely with Rob before, so we knew him well, he knows us and the way we work,” said Chris New.
“I brought the whole management team together for a two-day session with Rob. The team really benefitted from the sessions and felt like they were participating in the overall strategy of the business. The process gave us rigour, and an opportunity to plan and develop a framework for growth,” said Chris.
“With this model, you get to really agree and collaborate – it’s a framework that galvanises people into a collaborative approach. It’s great for team building. Most
importantly, it quickly just becomes part of the DNA of the business, easily transferrable to different people within the team.
“When you’re deep in the business worrying about margins, recruitment, product development, customer satisfaction, people, happiness, you tend to miss the view from the bridge. Rob has given this back to us,” Chris said.
Common language, cadence and clarity
Greg mentioned that one of the things they liked most was having a common framework across the team, the cadence that goes with it, and being able to adopt a simple language everyone can relate to, like ‘keeping the main thing, the main thing’.
“With that common language, when we start talking about things like ‘rocks’, ‘keeping the main thing, the main thing’ or ‘the power of one’, we don’t have to re-explain it, everyone knows what we’re talking about. Just that language in itself helps save time, provide immediate clarity and get people thinking as a team.
“We’ve also been able to leverage Rob’s experience and third party objectivity. That’s given us perspective when we’re making key decisions and clarity in our longer-term aspirations.
“Forward planning has changed completely. We’re normally running from financial year to year five. Rob arrived and started us out at 10 years, coming back to three, then breaking it down into years and quarters. Having that model, and Rob to guide us through it, has been a key benefit.
“It’s also been incredibly valuable to have someone drive the cadence and discipline around our goal setting, through regular strategy sessions. Rob’s disciplined and keeps us on track with the key elements we’re dealing with at any one time. whether it’s how a meeting runs on a given day, the cadence of setting up our quarterly rocks, it always happens.
“When things get busy, it’s easy to cut these things out. But I’ve never had a strategy or a rock setting session where I’ve come away wishing we hadn’t done it. Having Rob hold us to account on that has been excellent for the business,” said Greg.
“Rob’s got a nice open style; a mixture of humility and leadership that as a coach, you need to be able to switch between, and we just find that works really well for us.” – Greg Mikkelsen
A business turnaround
Chris explained that off the back of COVID-19, their managed services business was underperforming and needed attention, so he and Greg sought Rob’s assistance to turn things around.
“Due to significant margin changes, the business was not getting good enough returns. Labour cost was up and quality was down, as difficulty with recruitment had led to inferior engineering staff. We were paying more than we wanted to and unable to find replacements.
“The Scaling Up framework helped us identify the problems and put improvement plans together, and with Rob’s help, we tackled quality improvement through retraining and coaching, and put our prices up by 10%.
“Rob coached us through the whole process, communicating with clients, working with the team, and I can honestly say that after six months on that project it was one of the most successful things we have ever done,” said Chris.
“We just weren’t delivering on the bottom line, so we were forced to make some hard decisions and able to sit down with Rob, use his experience, use the Scaling Up framework and work our way through the process, to reset the business for the next six months,” Greg said.
“As a result of that, and having a real obsession around hitting the milestones, we actually hit all goals for the year. We came from a long way behind and it’s also set us up really well for the new year.
“We got a framework of skills, Rob’s experience and introducing us to new concepts, like ‘the power of one’. To learn if you improved this by 1% and reduced that by 1% was invaluable and helped deliver the outcome.
“This was a perfect example to me of how we managed to achieve something we set out to do by using Rob, using the Scaling Up model, and I doubt we would’ve been able to achieve it otherwise,” said Greg.
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