Paul O'Dea

Recent Posts

Why decision making in good times is harder than in bad?

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

It's ironic. We all welcome better times. Yet the CEO's job becomes trickier than in tough times.

Tough times require strong management skills. You have to do more with less. The focus is on the cost line. New revenue is harder to win and the challenge is often holding on to what you have. Decisions are tough at a human level and they have a short term horizon i.e. they impact next quarter.

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Posted in: Leadership, Decision Making

Is your calendar making you a busy fool?

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

Time is the great enemy in growth companies; too much to do, lots of meetings, hard to make the right impact. What you were doing last year may not be what you should do this year. 

You know the time-crunch symptoms. Everything is a rush. Last minute impatience creates stress. Procrastination and indecisiveness make 'to do' lists longer. You feel handcuffed to email technology. 

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Posted in: Business Growth Transformation, Business Growth, Leadership

How 'Power of 10' helped SalesForce transform growth

Posted on April 20, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

Many CEO's have to operate in a split personality mode, like Dr Jekyll and My Hyde when it comes to business growth. Most of the time they are in an operational or ‘in the business’ mindset and only occasionally do they actually take time out to focus ‘on the business’.

The operational ‘in the business’ questions demand capability, decisions and action. They are operational mindset questions and require urgent attention.
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Posted in: Business Growth Transformation, Business Growth, Leadership, Sales Teams

Is your company fit to transform Business Growth?

Posted on February 06, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

Many CEOs did a stellar job in leading their companies through the last recession. They made tough decisions. They dieted and trimmed the fat out of the cost line. As a result, they are fitter, healthier and have cash reserves.

However their companies now face a different set of challenges. New markets are emerging and product choices need to be made. Their value proposition needs to be reviewed and the sales and marketing machine needs an overhaul.

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Posted in: Business Growth Transformation, Business Growth, Leadership

Founder Denial Versus Product/Market Fit

Posted on November 02, 2014 by Paul O'Dea

In a previous post (Getting to Product/Market Fit - how can startups get there faster) and in the book The Business Battlecard ( I wrote, about the science of product/market fit and  different approaches to get their faster. The scientific and tools based approach to product/market fit is promoted so widely now by people like Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Sean Ellis, Tristan Kromer, Morgan Brown and others that sometimes we forget the human element. I got a sharp reminder recently.

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Posted in: Entrepreneur, Founder, Product/Market Fit

Fix your "leaky bucket" pricing and double profits

Posted on September 23, 2014 by Paul O'Dea

You love to win deals. Right! They pay the wages. You beat that competitor you dislike. But how profitable are these deals? Does your CFO know?

Is your pricing sometimes 'finger in the air'? How do you handle discounts? Do you reduce scope when discounts are given? Is your pricing like a leaky bucket?

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Posted in: Pricing, Profits

Getting to product/market fit - how can startups get there faster?

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Paul O'Dea

Startups can be dark places. Founders can be both confused and manic in equal measure. The heroes journey is tempered with lack of cash and lots of uncertainty. Yet the joy and freedom of choosing to follow your dream is so rewarding. Incubators, universities and investors ask whether there is a better way to get to product/market fit? They ask how startups can learn to build their companies more efficiently?

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Posted in: Startups, Product/Market Fit

Increase Growth with Critical Lead Measures

Posted on July 16, 2014 by Paul O'Dea

Joe is CEO of a mid-sized software company that sells enterprise software to financial institutions. The sales cycles are typically 18 months and there are a lot of decision makers to convince. He is one of those CEOs that staff love most of the time. He runs a good business. There is a pace to it. The financials are always produced on the seventh day of the month. Products are always shipped four weeks after the product software goes to the quality assurance department. Joe is a doer and he expects others to do what they say they will do.

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Posted in: Business Growth, Critical Lead Measures, Sales, Sales Teams

Better Performance…for Free!

Posted on July 23, 2013 by Paul O'Dea

You know the management meeting. Some helpful 'process-o-crat' suggests - 'we should introduce a performance appraisal system'. Even as I write the words, I start to get a pain in my gut. They don't work. They create frustration. No good comes from the paperwork they create. The processes they create block honest day-to-day feedback conversations. They focus on weaknesses too much.

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Posted in: Performance, management

Three great leadership lessons - inspired by Declan Kidney

Posted on April 05, 2013 by Paul O'Dea

Declan Kidney knows that professional sports team management is brutish. Wins are quickly forgotten and sentiment turns quickly toxic when results don't meet expectations. Most leaders performance evaluation is conducted in private. Not so for a professional coach, even a Monday morning pundit (like myself) feels we have a right to review the coaches performance.

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Posted in: Leadership