First tasks as CEO

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Plan as CEO for a company which wants to move from being the Cost Center (IT ) to Profit Center

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First tasks as CEO

  1. 1. [Being Red5 CEO] [Keeping the story ready before Day1 at Office] 09-January-2014 Suman Kumar Mishra (sumank.mishra@gmail.com) (skype:sumank.mishra) (Linkedin: http://in.linkedin.com/in/sumankumarmishra/
  2. 2. Contents 1. Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................. 3 2. Knowing Ourselves .................................................................................................................................. 3 2.1. Strengths and Weakness ................................................................................................................. 3 2.1.1. Internal customers interactions – one on one ........................................................................ 3 2.1.2. Internal Customer brain storming........................................................................................... 3 2.2. 3. Creating the vision document ......................................................................................................... 4 On Road to “Vision” ................................................................................................................................ 6 3.1. Create the winning team .................................................................................................................... 6 3.2. Introduce tools / processes................................................................................................................. 7 3.3. Rebranding/Refurnishing ourselves .................................................................................................... 7 3.4. Sales Management Strategy ............................................................................................................... 7 4. How to increase profitability................................................................................................................... 8 5. My Action pointers.................................................................................................................................. 9 5.1. Milestones and Plans ...................................................................................................................... 9 5.2. Knowledge Management ................................................................................................................ 9 5.3. Creation of team/office................................................................................................................. 10 5.4. Customer Information Database................................................................................................... 10 5.5. Growth strategy / Vision Document ............................................................................................. 10 5.6. Exploring Tie –ups in the value chain to strengthen our position ................................................ 10 5.7. Creating the buzz .......................................................................................................................... 10
  3. 3. 1. Executive Summary This document illustrates my thought process, as an outsider, when I take on the role of CEO for Red5. This is the skeleton of important tasks that am envisioning before I get to know ourselves, assimilate and dissolve within the Red5. It however needs to be intensely debated (probably few iterations over coffee) with key established people in the organization, before it becomes my bible at Red5. This mostly focuses on three parts –Firstly, a lot of introspection and knowing ourselves and where we stand. Secondly, where we want to head to, the external environment (read market) - the value that we want to bring – and our positioning. And finally, planning for our road trip from where we are now to where we want to be. Also note that one of our strength is being agile, and that we should be ready to correct our vision, with the changing trends in the industry- therefore a regular dipstick on our goals and where we are. 2. Knowing Ourselves 2.1. Strengths and Weakness As one of the first tasks while donning the role of CEO would be to gather ourselves internally and put across, in most quantifiable terms, our strength and weakness. These should be collected in two phases; both should have maximum stakeholders, we can choose to keep one anonymous and other pulling team together. 2.1.1. Internal customers interactions – one on one We can employ the cloud based tools to collect employee voice (example: survey monkeys) – have both open ended and closed questions, to know about their views on organization. Another set of one on one (or in team of 3-4) should be conducted more to know about their achievements and capabilities. Some of the probing items could be as follows Organization perspective Collected over Anonymous surveys What is our biggest failure till date Personal Perspective Collected over One on One meet ups What has been their achievement in past before Red5 Why we are where we are? What has been our biggest challenge? Their referral inventories – where we can make sales. What is our weakness What are their short term and long term goals What is the positioning of the company in the Industry What are their sectors of interest? 2.1.2. Internal Customer brain storming Should be done bringing maximum stakeholders together, this would not only build the team across the 2 different offices but also get them into team activity mode. To save cost, use IP or cloud based services for team gathering across the two different offices. The discussion should be as a team – what has been the Strength, what are our assets. Ask these set of questions
  4. 4. Product Inventory? More ? Skill Inventory? Strength Geographic Customer Location? Relationships? “Primary” Objective is: A) Understand our Strength B) Compile/Agree on our Weakness C) Quantify our starting point – where are we today 2.2. Creating the vision document The next important objective from this activity would be to co-create the vision. Vision (internal) should be quantifiable and tools should be introduced so that reality check is done at regular intervals and if need be, vision could be updated/ corrected. Who should be involved in these? KEY internal and external stakeholders should co-create this. Employing a tax lawyer or a foreign policy consultant for finding market attractiveness and tax rebates is also a good idea. Questions which definitely should be answered before vision is put in place
  5. 5. a) What value we want to provide a. What is the impact we wish to bring b. What is our positioning in the value chain c. Who are our probable customers d. Who are our probable competitors e. Who are our probable channel partners f. Buy versus build decision b) What is our intended market a. In which sector /market do we want to bring this impact b. Is this the most lucrative market for us c. Is the most “fit” market for us d. What is the ease of market entry e. What is the ease of market exit c) What are the expectations internally and externally d) What is the time frame that we are looking into Once we have our current products, current market we serve, intended products (value we want to bring) and intended customers we want to serve, we can also formulate growth strategy. What should be the growth strategy? There is no one answer and its always better to have indigenous mechanisms to get to this but one of the tools popularly used to determine this has been Ansoff matrix
  6. 6. In my current stint, I have followed Market Development to Market Penetration to Product Development to Diversification. There could be other routes too. The growth strategy is very crucial to the vision. The growth strategy should be discussed, debated, challenged and then decided. Vision should be quantifiable. Should have the approach to have dip stick measurement of the vision and have some milestones. The “Primary” Objective of this brainstorming should be A) Compile vision document B) Get short term / long term milestones C) Opportunity D) Threat E) Growth Strategy 3. On Road to “Vision” As a fall out of the above discussions and activities the following should happen immediately. Roll out the short term and long term vision document, make the skill inventory public, and roll out processes and tools to bring team closer and cut barriers. As a CEO, would pursue the following 3.1. Create the winning team Having already decided on build versus buy decision, the skill inventory which we have and the growth strategy- conduct the “GAP “ analysis of skills We should look towards outsourcing our non core competencies initially – example could be marketing (not sales). Create champions inside each functional unit. Targets for each of functional unit, and the contribution should get recorded, knowledge should get captured.
  7. 7. 3.2. Introduce tools / processes The most important task in next 100 days would be to set up the process of knowledge accumulation and sharing. Not just our re-usable code, customer contacts / interactions but also Creation of Process A) For Product Development, Sales, operations , marketing, internal/external customer acquisition B) Mapping systems to these processes Knowledge Capturing and Sharing Create inventory of knowledge – keep it updated- replicate it 3.3. Rebranding/Refurnishing ourselves Once internally we know where we are and where we want to go – the same should be reflected outside / externally. We need to check our image in digital and real world. a) Are we “discoverable”? b) Are we “welcoming” our global customers? c) Does it speak about our achievement? d) Is our digital inventory enticing? e) Do we record and leave something of interest for visitors (read probable customer)? 3.4. Sales Management Strategy By now we would have decided on product/service, the positioning in the market, the pricing model that we would like to use (move away from License – be welcoming to accept Revenue Share or other prevalent model suited to the region)- now focus should be on promoting the service. There should be enough buzz in market to generate interest and thus the leads. Channels used could be a. Referrals of Customers to sell related products inside the customer premise ( cross/up sell) b. Referrals / Relationships of customer and their influence in related value chain c. Using inventory of leads from internal customers ( their earlier workplace, earlier stakeholders) d. Using Pull based mechanisms like SEO e. Using Push based mechanisms like Twitter, Linkedin f. Take part in trade conferences of related interests g. Follow relevant players in industry – invite key buyers for coffee/dinners
  8. 8. The next step from eye balls is very crucial – are we allowing easier onboard for our probable customers. I would rather put up something which my probable customer can take back from my first interaction, use it, find it good and come back for our service. Example would be whitepaper, free trial of product so on. Convert from Acquisition to Activation to Retention to Referral and Revenue 4. How to increase profitability Attack the bottom line – killing the overheads. Determine the revenue leakages. Find out how to minimize the revenue sinks- is it the office location /space? Decide on opportunity versus cost within India or Delhi NCR. Get the “$’s”- improvise on revenue model. Is there a lot of gap between best price and the second best one? Get quick wins. Do R&D at cost of customer, and more.
  9. 9. 5. My Action pointers Would like to set and get an agreement with board on key action items immediately after I take on the office. The primary ones which I would like to emphasize would be 5.1. Milestones and Plans First 100 days are very important – and regular dipsticks to check how we are aligned to goals are important to retain the focus. I would like to create a) 100 Day Plan b) Half yearly Plan c) Annual Plan d) Along with what we want to achieve in 2 years (Vision document) 5.2.Knowledge Management I would like to ensure that we have KM models and that process and discipline are established in our activities to align with this philosophy. I have followed one KM model in particular (borrowed from IBM) COLLECTING (STUFF) & CODIFICATION DIRECTED INFORMATION & KNOWLEDGE SEARCH  EXPLOIT    Databases, external & internal Content Architecture Information Service Support (training required) data mining best practices / lessons learned/after action analysis CONNECTING (PEOPLE) & PERSONALIZATION     community & learning directories, "yellow pages" (expertise locators) findings & facilitating tools, groupware response teams (HARNESS) (HARVEST) SERENDIPITY & BROWSING  EXPLORE    Cultural support current awareness profiles and databases selection of items for alerting purposes / push data mining best practices    Cultural support spaces - libraries & lounges (literal & virtual), cultural support, groupware travel & meeting attendance (HYPOTHESIZE) (HUNTING) From: Tom Short, Senior consultant, Knowledge Management, IBM Global Services
  10. 10. 5.3. Creation of team/office In conjunction with buy versus build create a) Skill matrix b) GAP analysis – Talent acquisition c) Team structures – their milestones and goals. also champions within these teams. d) Which setup? Which location for the office to cut down cost versus opportunities 5.4.Customer Information Database Build the Sales Funnel – keep it updated. Conduct weekly checks across various maturity levels of customer relationship – find out how many customers are there on lead generation mode, how many are our existing customers, how many churned out, how many we are targeting next week, what are the key contacts, who are the buyers in customer premise, what are their pressing problems, what is the latest gossip/news in those premises, what is the latest with their competitors, which team member is supposed to meet which customer, collecting the minutes in that d/b, and so on. 5.5.Growth strategy / Vision Document 5.6.Exploring Tie –ups in the value chain to strengthen our position Would be looking forward to tie ups with likes with those where we can complement to sales being made – example for SME, in India: Knowlarity or Trade India or Vista Print 5.7.Creating the buzz Intention is to announce that we have arrived. Create good “buzz”. Explore channels like PR, blogs, social media, Events, Newsletters and more.

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