Leading a portfolio company presents a unique set of challenges for any business leader, and if you’re the CEO, you’re likely under a tremendous amount of pressure to grow the business and generate higher returns.
This is Part 2 of our case study interview with Morgan Margolis, President and CEO of Knitting Factory Entertainment. (If you missed our earlier post, you can find it here: Working With Strategic Planning Facilitator and CEO Coach, Brian Oken – Part 1 ) In this video, Morgan talks about how their strategic planning session had an immediate impact on the unit leaders of his companies, helping them get more focused and work together more effectively.
How long did it take to see results after your planning session?
We started to see results immediately after the planning session. My team got very focused and very specific. I know I’ve said specific a few times, but it really is the key. We weren’t paying attention to every area of the company and what I think The Oken Company did was give tools to the leaders of my company and guidelines that they hadn’t had before.
Can you share some specific benefits and examples?
Just generally meeting together. We realize that we’re all over the country and we’re not getting face time anymore. Having video conferences that we hadn’t had before. Checking the numbers in a different way.
Prior to working with us, had you done any kind of planning before with your team?
Prior to engaging with The Oken Company, we never really did specific planning. We did unit by unit planning, but never as a group did we plan together. My objective was to get everybody in a room at one time and get very clear on what our goals were and what our strategy was. We have very minute, and then the minutia of each group has it’s specific plan and we talk about that. Me as the CEO of the company, I talk to the heads of each one of those companies, but we had never before brought in somebody form the outside to form a planning session as one whole unit.
Tell us more about how your strategic plan helps you and your team work together more effectively. How has the plan helped you as CEO?
As a result of planning with The Oken Company we have gotten very clear on our objectives. We had a specific plan put in place, one, three, five year, which we continually backtrack and check to make sure we’re following the guidelines of the plan. We have dates that are set up that we never had before.
And now I’m having real conversations with the leaders of each one of these units about driving business that we hadn’t had before and I think they’re paying attention to it.
I think that’s one of the things that we weren’t doing before. We weren’t paying attention internally. We kept kind of going external and now we’re really focusing in that area.