In this episode of the Cerius Business Today podcast we are joined by James Stewart. He has spent a majority of his career in a Fortune 100 company, where he worked his way up from being an engineer to a Business Unit Manager. After separating from the company, James connected with Cerius Interim Executives and set up his own consulting business.
We asked him how to spot symptoms of an issue in an organization. He told us:
The technical name for a motto I use a lot is called socio-technical systems. Regardless of that title, it means that you really have to look at things in a business from three perspectives. One is a business perspective, what is going in the business, and why is there a problem. Another one is a technical perspective and that is what are the workings inside the organization that are out coming together? And then, there’s also social aspects as well. So you have people involved in the middle of all that.
He also told us what kind of situations he is typically brought into:
One is where there is operational underperformance and they have some specific issues they are trying to address and so they are trying to bring in some talent that they might not want to employ on a regular or just a permanent basis, but they need some expertise to come in and help out.
Another way would be where they feel there is a hole in theorganization and they need somebody to fill it in. In a particular assignment I recently completed it was actually a combination of the two. The organization was underperforming from a revenue and profit perspective over the year prior to my coming on-board and at the same time there were clear operational issues that they were needing to address. They knew there was a lot of improvement to be had, and so they wanted somebody to come on-board, be a local leader for the organization, and make significant improvements on their operational performance vectors.