“His insights were so powerful that the ROI was demonstrated by day two”
Conosco had been growing successfully as a Managed Service Provider to SMEs for 15 years when the founders recruited Anders Reeves as CEO to take the business to its next level of evolution.
Through mutual industry contacts, Anders knew of Iyas and his reputation for leading and supporting the growth of companies with a focus on values and humanity. So he approached him and asked if he would make an independent assessment of the business, and work together to identify opportunities and risks as it started its next phase of scaling up.
Iyas undertook a diagnostic, working with Anders and his leadership team, where together they created a tangible plan and a prioritised list of items to strengthen the foundations and finances of the business so it would be ready for scale.
Says Anders “The ROI was demonstrated by day two of the initial diagnostic. Iyas’ insights were so powerful that moving straight to a year-long engagement made complete business sense”.
Over the next 12 months, Conosco engaged Iyas and the various aspects of the Beyond the Quarter methodology to move the business forward in 4 key ways:
- Strategic input and acting as advisor to CEO. Iyas worked closely with Anders on Conosco’s strategy, at times inputting new perspectives, and at others acting as a sounding board. Topics included corporate issues and M&A activity; finance and P&L; values and culture (always a key point for both Iyas and Anders); offerings and business development, and; structure and specifics around the leadership team. At regular (but not too frequent!) off-sites, Anders and Iyas would go through business and leadership priorities, occasionally with a countryside walk to help keep it fresh and human.
- Making strategy happen. Anders was a deep advocate of the OKR approach (Objectives and Key Results) and instituted this within his leadership team. Iyas brought in the Beyond the Quarter methodology to connect strategy, objectives and values to business-as-usual, and layered this into the OKRs to help the team connect its objectives to how they ran the company. Iyas initially facilitated this process, then coached the team so that this was handed over to them to run independently.
- Mentoring and coaching. Iyas provided deep mentoring and coaching to members of the leadership team both in terms of their own development as leaders, as well as in specifics within the industry. Discussions ranged from general career advice, down to how to respond to or shape particular issues that the individual leader faced.
- Execution, shaping and Intelllectual Property. Iyas brought his industry knowledge, as well as the Beyond the Quarter methodology, to accelerate a number of areas of the business while working alongside the business leaders. In some areas, Iyas was involved right from the inception of a strategy with Anders, down to its execution with the leadership team, even assisting on occasion in recruitment.
The Conosco business has experienced significant double-digit growth over the period of Iyas’s engagement. In parallel, it has become a Group through M&A activity that Iyas supported and advised on. Clearly it would be impossible to determine the exact proportion that is attributable to Iyas’s involvement, as a major focus he has is on enabling and supporting the leadership team to work independently at a higher level. But suffice it to say that all the areas he engaged in demonstrated tangible success.
What is also certain is that his strategic advice and support to Anders in enabling the team, has helped Conosco grow, created a mechanism to execute its strategies, and built deeper foundations for what is now a larger Group that is ready and executing on its even more ambitious targets for scale.