Paul O'Dea

Recent Posts

Sweet Spot is the Secret of Strategy

Posted on July 11, 2016 by Paul O'Dea

Doublet is a French family business that provides signage design, production and installation services to customers, like the Tour de France. They are at the top of their game in delivering visual impact. Everyone wants their signage, flags and services - corporates, retailers, public bodies, local public bodies and sports associations.

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Posted in: Sweet Spot

Ten triggers that tell whether your business needs to transform

Posted on June 01, 2016 by Paul O'Dea

Savvy leaders have a knack of detecting when their business is about to hit a speed bump. They have inbuilt early warning systems. Like pilots in a cockpit, they know when it’s time to change course.

Get the transformation timing right and you are a hero!

Get the timing wrong and your business is fatally damaged.

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Posted in: Business Growth Transformation

Send your sales team to the movies

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Paul O'Dea

Buyers have access to more information than ever before. They are well educated on what they need. Most are well down the buying process before they meet a salesperson. Their eyes glaze over as another powerpoint deck is opened.

Sales people have lots of technology based sales tools. They have tools to find new prospects, keep information on those prospects, send targeted emails, forecast sales etc. However, many are rooted to their technology rather than engaging buyers. They lack the most important sales tool – the ability to tell a great story.

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Posted in: Sales

Send your marketing people to coding and maths classes

Posted on March 02, 2016 by Paul O'Dea

The role of marketing is to fill the top of the sales funnel with leads that might be interested in buying your product. Traditionally marketing used a variety of ‘tools’ like conferences, PR, keynote speeches, database building and email campaigns.

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Posted in: Marketing

Culture-Don't let your garden become overgrown with weeds

Posted on February 02, 2016 by Paul O'Dea

There is something special about a company of twenty people. In particular, one that has reached a key milestone like product market fit and has a viable financial model.

There is optimism in the air. Some move to new office space, while others buy a few plants to signal that they have become a real business. They are no longer a scrappy startup. They feel like a new garden in springtime. However, the hard work is only beginning.

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Posted in: Leadership, Culture

Tyranny of the major customer - fire them, it will make you stronger

Posted on December 02, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

We all love the certainty of the solid revenue that comes from a big customer. It gives us credibility with other prospects. It pays a lot of salaries. Occasionally we reflect on the risk to our business if they left us...most of the time we don't.

Yet the tyranny of the major customer can help us hide from the real foundations of creating a repeatable sales process or building products that many customers want. It can keep us too focused on the needs of that major customer.

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Posted in: Performance, Customers

The Shadow of the Leader Drives Culture

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

You’ve heard the phrase ‘a chip off the old block’?  Well, the "shadow of the leader" is a similar concept. It describes the phenomenon where leaders, through their likes and dislikes tend to shape culture and behaviour. Coined by Sean Delany the "shadow of a leader" is a helpful metaphor. Think of organisations you know and how the personality and behaviour of the leader influences their culture. 

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Posted in: Leadership, Culture

Sour Spots to Sweet Spots

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

People spend a lot of time talking about "sweet spot” or ideal customers, who are the best fit for their business.

But what about the sour spot customers? How much time do you spend talking about the customers who are a bad fit for your business? In some ways they may be customers you prefer not to think about. Like bad relationships if you don't think about them, they may not appear to be there.

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Posted in: Customers, Sweet Spot

Improve your team's performance by following Joe Schmidt's example

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Paul O'Dea

Many task oriented CEOs claim success through their focus on task completion. They make employees accountable. They then micro manage to ensure they are on top of everything. This works in smaller companies where each member of the team is accountable to the 'boss'.

However, as companies grow, CEOs become more stretched by the 'always on' work environment. One-to-one conversations happen less frequently. There is less time. The task oriented CEOs can't cope and become overloaded with too many decisions. Business growth slows down. Everybody becomes frustrated.

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Posted in: Business Growth Transformation, Leadership, Performance, Teams, Team Building

Help growing companies, like teenagers, move from confusion to clarity

Posted on July 07, 2015 by Paul O'Dea


Growing companies take on new momentum when there is a growth spurt. The founders hire more expertise. New titles emerge. Loyal senior staff are unsure of the impact on their role. The founders don't fully explain the rationale for the changes. Responsibilities get muddied. The pecking order changes. Too many people are at meetings. Chaos ensues.

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Posted in: Business Growth, Accountability