Pump Up The Volume

Apr 19, 2021

By Peter Thirlby

A CIO I worked for over 10 years ago was a huge music fan, an interest we held in common.

He was brought into the company at a crucial stage in it’s development as the C-Suite tried to pull together the many disparate parts of an empire that spanned the globe. But with many different ownership structures, working practices and organisation cultures it was a huge undertaking, with multiple challenges.

After much debate and an expensive engagement with a well known firm of consultants The Answer was to invest in a global ERP solution; this would provide the glue for the different parts of the organisation, allow common processes, consolidate reporting and provide a competitive edge.

Needless to say, there was a fair amount of scepticism around the globe that the ERP was the right strategy. People, rightly, recognised that this was a huge technical and cultural task with massive change management implications - not to mention the costs and disruption. A huge thigh stroking exercise and PR campaign was required. The CIO, myself and other members of the IT team spent a lot of time, money and air miles, presenting to our colleagues and extolling the virtues of the brand new shiny ERP that we were going to deploy.

One of the CIO's most memorable slides in the deck was that of the Abbey Road Studios mixing console. Now, to the uninitiated, Abbey Road is where the Beatles made many of their classic recordings. The mixing console is a device where the producer can change the levels and the settings of all the instruments and vocals in a recording; push up Ringo’s snare drum, add more reverb to George’s guitar etc.

The conceptual leap that the CIO was asking the, somewhat bemused, audience to take was the the ERP could be controlled with our IT mixing desk for each country; add in some purchase order processing for the UK, tweak the HR rules for France etc etc This concept really worked, people ‘got it’, smaller countries realised the slider could be set to 1 for them whilst larger countries could have the volume cranked up to 11 to cope with the complexities of their operation. So, we were able to reduce the fear factor greatly. I love analogies … they are such a great coaching tool too.

Now, without flogging this analogy to death, 2Saints takes a similar approach to our coaching/mentoring and advisory offerings. We recognize that a 'one-size-fits-all' approach cannot begin to address the different cultures, working methods and people who work for our clients. So, we engage, listen, analyse and then tweak our mixing desk to deliver the right combination of coaching, mentoring and advisory to match our client’s taste …. whether that is punk, pop or thrash metal. We feel this approach is more likely to result in that Platinum album that we all seek ...