A business that wanted to grow faster and bigger.
ICT Solutions was built on a genuine love for technology coupled with a drive to help customers understand how to embrace technology in their business to make a remarkable difference to their business, people and processes.
In the initial years the leadership team always managed to tackle issues and challenges through “muscle-and-feel” and relying on years of experience in the industry. As the years rolled by and the business demands grew, so did the complexities, challenges and the headaches.
“At one point the leadership team felt that the business had hit a ceiling”
Growing revenue consistently year on year was becoming more of a challenge. Throughout the years, different customer requirements and market opportunities led to the introduction of more lines of business. These were not always clearly aligned to the strategy and vision. Yet still, the business needed to grow and saying “No” to non-strategic opportunities was not an option. People issues continued to re-surface, and it became extremely difficult to retain talent and grow the team.
Several attempts to enforce processes and instil the discipline to have them implemented fell short, not to mention that most people in the organisation felt overwhelmed and lacking focus time. There was a constant general feeling that meetings were not effective enough, with some meetings overlapping in purpose and making the situation worse.
The biggest problem in all this was that the leadership team felt lost on how to tackle these issues in a consistent way without ending up in the same place some months later.
At this junction the leadership team started looking for answers externally on how to grow the business to next level. After several conferences and technology peer-group meetings, ICT Solutions stumbled onto the opportunity to join an international peer group of technology service provider businesses and through the shared experiences of the peer group, it became evident early on that the solution was to adopt a business management methodology such as EOS®.
Creating the structure for change at ICT Solutions
Joining the peer group was a tremendous eye opener. The more mature companies in the group helped guide the new members like ICT Solutions on how to embark on the journey to implement such an important change in the organisation. It was immediately clear that the best-in-class businesses followed a proven business methodology and EOS® was the predominantly chosen one in this service provider world.
The process started by getting the leadership team to learn the EOS® methodology and how this would lead to strengthening the six components of the system.
The first step was to achieve traction in the business by implementing the discipline and accountability across the team. The company’s vision was then communicated by presenting a Big-Hairy-Audacious-Goal (BHAG) that would be achieved in 10 years’ time. Closer to home a 3-year picture was painted followed by a detailed 1-year plan.
In the following months more and more people in the organisation could explain ICT’s vision making it a living reality rather than just the entrepreneur’s dream.
This process is now repeated every year where during the annual planning workshop, the leadership team re-evaluates the business’ position to paint a fresh new 3-year picture and build the 1-year business plan that will take ICT Solutions one step closer to achieving its long-term vision.
Enforcing Processes was always a struggle.
Before having EOS, the team at ICT Solutions used to struggle to enforce and improve processes. The focus used to be on documenting every minute detail of each process but this made it difficult for employees to understand, learn and follow. By following the EOS methodology, it became easier to systemise the whole business where it mattered, by having all main processes documented in a simple but effective manner.
Magic happened when processes were being followed by all.
Eventually, as ICT Solutions matured in the implementation of the EOS process, a Quality Manager was hired to oversee the overall process adoption journey, which led to the major achievement of becoming certified in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 in record time. This also helped ICT Solutions win business that would have been out of reach before.
Tackling the manner how issues were being handled was an important piece of the puzzle. Since EOS was introduced, discussing issues changed from being a taboo subject to something people love doing during meetings because they know that these issues will be solved for the greater good of the business. Through the EOS IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) process, issues are often solved once and for all.
What makes EOS so special?
A very important element in the EOS journey was implementing weekly scorecards that aligned everyone in the organisation to “Know what good looks like”. Everyone attending weekly meetings knows what to expect and this provides the fuel to fire up healthy, although sometimes heated, discussions on what needs to be improved, without any “gut-feel” discussions. At the end of the day numbers never lie.
Living and Breathing Our Core Values
Core values play a very important aspect at ICT Solutions today. All hiring is now done based on a core value fit and performance reviews are also giving a fundamental focus to these values. Apart from having a consistent process that helped tremendously in attracting talent, it has also ensured that the right people are retained. This was even recognized externally through the achievement of the FHRD (Foundation for Human Resources Development) Quality Mark.
How EOS has made ICT Solutions stronger
Following the implementation of EOS, the team grew in a healthy manner by 50% over a period of 18-months. The team learnt to focus on strategic services, and it became easier to say “No”, whilst saying “Yes” to the right customers and opportunities.
Since the introduction of EOS, ICT Solutions was recognised on a number of occasions by international companies as experts in the field and achieved top business awards including Microsoft partner of the year 2 years running.
Today EOS has helped ICT Solutions have everyone in the team as a Right-Person and sitting in the Right-Seat, with most of promotions being done from within the team. EOS has helped the leadership team to constantly provide the environment for people to hold themselves accountable rather than trying to hold people accountable.
4 years after embarking on the EOS journey, a new leadership team is running the organisation based on EOS. The business is in a great place to continue growing while expecting to hit and surpass the next ceiling in a structured and healthy manner. EOS has made ICT Solutions be always prepared.