“Delivering Results, Transferring Skills and Leaving Legacies”

 The dangers of generalisations. One of humankind’s greatest characteristics is our ability to learn and recognise patterns. Our ability to compare, categorise and classify is unparalleled, but this ability to see patterns (even if they don’t really exist) can get us into trouble. Hidden within the great debates and discussions concerning the environment and there are a plethora of generalisations. As we all know though, generalisations can be dangerous as they don’t apply to everyone at all the time. IN good times as well as bad, there will always be those who will do well and those that fail. One generalisation that does hold true though is that there will always be those who unnecessarily fail.

The Paradox of Resourcefulness: The headlines concerning lack of liquidity are wrong; there is plenty of money available to business today. The problem is that the money is on offer to businesses that don’t need it.
Meanwhile Banks are exiting real businesses like LDC that do. Inflation is increasing and liquidity reducing; it’s a time for extreme resourcefulness. Consume less to mitigate inflation, leverage working capital and adjust your business model and you won’t need more cash.

News from the front line…

Skills shortage? We are currently working on an assignment to support a large subsidiary of a growing aerospace engineering business, looking to develop the capability to launch new products. For the last 3 years the very capable incumbent engineering director and managing director were at a loss as to the serious motivational issues facing the engineering capability. After 3 days of taking responsibility we surprised the HR director with our early assessment, found still to hold water 3 months in. Since them we have restructured the team, and most of the way through implementing the strategy. The recently complacent team have now been restructured and leading the charge to create the engineering academy and turnaround the facility, and executive team developed to take the reins. At the monthly review today the former engineering manager said – “the team have turned around and are now driving the strategy”

Integration challenge? Just recently we have started 2 programs to close a UK site and integrate the manufacturing, sales and back office functions into an EMEA hub, as well as drive integration where the team had been cut back whilst making great profits there was no sustainable core or business process. The client selected us because since our first award nominated engagement in 2006 it’s accepted we always commit to completion on time, challenge and improve on their target timelines. Such is the hard earned level of trust – such is the return on investment; their view was that is about return, not pricing. Interesting for a recession?

Educating banks! After about 2 years of working to create deal flow from the banks we have finally engaged with a high street bank along with Mazars to oversee the support of their portfolio in the South East. A special lending manager was surprised at our speed and ability to review a SME manufacturing business which quantified both the minimum improvement in profitability and cash that we could achieve. Following our oe day assessment we developed a plan that challenged the client’s subsequent request for further funds. These clients need support, but further funding often only serves to reaffirm a rotten status quo.

“You can’t fire ’em all” We are a team of 20 highly experienced interims, with the courage and ability to calmly and seamlessly engage with successful and failing management teams that need help from time-time.

How do interim managers do this? Icebreaker focus on seamless engagement, outstanding results and leaving an enduring legacy…The team are all living proof of succeeding from the most demanding environments; rigorously selected based on considerable research into who makes the best interim managers. We have the courage and knowledge to know when to commit or conversely when to walk away Our strategic partners to do pretty much anything without the caution, hype and cost of dealing with “a big 4”. We simply trade on our proven track record, and enjoy building capability from the most adverse challenging start.

If you recognise any of these situations in your organisation, please get in touch. We are happy to have an informal chat although we generally find doing is ultimately more productive.

Tom Pickering (Icebreaker Executive CEO),  E: office@icebreakerexecutive.com   T: 0207 193 5518.

“Delivering Results – Transferring Skills and Leaving Legacies”