On this episode of the Strategy & Leadership Podcast, we're joined by Kelley Powell. Kelley is the CEO of the MacLaurin Group, a company that supports founders and companies as their technology operating partner. She's also the author of Courage to Lose Sight of Shore: How to Partner with Private Equity to Grow Your Business with Confidence.
During our conversation, Kelley shares her experience working in private equity, the main problems she solves for people, the importance of updating your technology to align with your growth strategy, and much more.
Is your team having a strategic planning session soon? Make sure you ask these questions first:
Here's a breakdown of our conversation:
The main problems she solves for people
The main problems that Kelley and the MacLaurin Group are able to solve for people revolve around technology. Firstly, they help companies utilize the cloud in the right way. If you've never done it before, Kelley urges you to not pick all your data up and drop it in the cloud without help. She also helps companies reach their customers as they're working remotely - they still need to be able to deliver their products and services. And lastly, she helps companies truly understand their data and analytics.
To upgrade your technology or not?
Kelley starts by saying that not everyone needs to upgrade - it's OK for you to be where you're at right now. She also doesn't believe in upgrading just for the sake of it - your tech upgrades need to be in line with your strategy and where you want to go. However, if you want to scale, you can't be adding people every time you make a technology upgrade. If you're considering upgrading your tech, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is it difficult to make upgrades, or can you easily adapt to new requests from your customers?
- Are you still having someone come in to reboot a server? If so, that's not scalable.
- When it comes to growth and increasing sales, is your technology able to handle the growth/new customers? If not, that's not scalable.
What if your tech isn't that bad?
A great place to start is having someone come in to do an honest assessment of your technology - similar to a home inspection. From there, you can decide what to upgrade. But if you're unsure about the status of your technology or can't guarantee the security of your clients, then it is that bad. If your clients are at risk, it is that bad. But not all companies are looking to grow and scale. If your organization is comfortable servicing the customers you have now, then you might be in a good place.
Learn how a strategic planning consultant can help align your team around one common destination:
Create your own strategic plan from scratch (without needing to hire anyone):
More often than not, a company's growth is limited by the knowledge of the internal team who don't know what they don't know. Partnering with the right company will keep the team challenged and informed without threatening anyone's role.
To get in touch with Kelley, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and connect with her on LinkedIn. Also, be sure to check out her new book: Courage to Lose Sight of Shore: How to Partner with Private Equity to Grow Your Business with Confidence.