Business Value Group Intl (BVG) is based in Silicon Valley California. Pat Hehir is founder and CEO. Pat reveals to IIBN that BVG is a business performance and value creation management consulting company. Our Purpose: To help you achieve yours. The layman terms are: We are boutique turnaround and restructuring guys. We usually work with the CEO and Exec teams when a business is underperforming and needs a shakeup. We have a variety of functions that we bring in except for capital expertise. (We are MBA’s but don’t bring in capital). We are sometimes brought in by Private Equity and Venture Capital firms to work with the CEO.
You can visit Business Value Group Intl here
What are your main priorities and goals in your role? (assuming you mean in our role as we work)
- Accurate diagnosis of the root cause for the under performance. (Unit economics, Prod Market Fit, Right Team, Right structure, right culture +++)
- Build TRUST rapidly with the CEO and the organization in general. Work HARD to get the organization to speak authentically. (The answer is nearly ALWAYS within the company.) It is VITALLY important that we create the conditions to be able to have dialogue about the REAL issues and talk about them productively.
- Take an agreed snapshot of the company value (hard $ and cents). That becomes the base for improvement measurement.
- Develop a plan with the team, that the TEAM owns.
- Help coach and drive the activities (via OKR’s and strategy execution systems) to get things improving. We also often install lean business excellence programs.
- Hold people accountable to doing the difficult work….no hiding elephants in the closet.
- Instil a sense of possibility and optimism. Help people to BELIEVE a better future is possible.
- Through change management +++, shift the culture as needed (making tough org changes as required). Start with little wins that are celebrated and build steady momentum on a solid freshly re-architected management system. Get a winning feeling as early as we can.
What are your biggest challenges?
- Stubborn CEO’s that say they want things to change and think it doesn’t apply to them. I spend 60% of my energy with the CEO usually. I am an engineer with an Ops background but personally I have had to become more of a psychologist. No Joke. I went back to get a Masters in Org Dev BECAUSE of that. Turns out that the soft stuff is actually the hard stuff.
- Organizational saboteurs… finding them and then dealing with them. Many times, they are quite sophisticated and if they have a long history with the company, they know how to WORK the system to their advantage.
- Finding enough people that understand the economics of their TOTAL business. Lots of people understand pieces but the basics of unit economics are not well understood by people that have big impacts of costs.
- People looking for the quick fix and pushing THEIR agenda and expecting huge progress in 6-9 months on issues that were 5-15 years in the making.
- For BVG – Always hate the business development and administrative aspect of running a company.
How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?
- We are doing a lot more coaching and project work via zoom and google docs and other platforms.
- It’s working out well to be honest. I’ve had several strategic planning sessions remotely with our clients and it went much better than I expected.
- We also have beer or cocktail sessions once a week virtually, just to keep connected and keep people sane and de-stressed. I was surprised how valued this was. I guess no-one likes to drink alone.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
- People are becoming less likely to spend money on consulting groups. Contractors, coaches, marketing and consulting people in general are usually top of the cost line item list on excel to get axed.
- Learning and coaching products will mostly shift to online and that drives revenue down for us.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
- Hard to know yet
- We have strengthened our IT and digital transformation team and I think that we may do more work in that space.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
- Nothing that I can think would be PRACTICAL or likely to happen.
- According to the Turnaround Management Association, there are usually three legs to the stool in fixing distressed businesses. Finance, Legal and Ops. I’ve always felt that Op’s carry the BULK of the pressure to get things improved but is not always respected and the financial engineers (Banks) hold most of the cards. Of course, they usually are carrying the financial risks but they themselves often BRING undue risk to the operations change. Very often they don’t have enough understanding of the complexity involved in “THE WORK” …. I can’t see much chance of any of that changing, but I wish it would as there are a lot of functions lumped into just ONE category.
Are you finding any skills gaps in the market?
- Huge skill gaps in practical and pragmatic IT/IS or Digital Transformation specialists. Any business that is not able to operate in control at the speed of their industry will die faster than ever before.
- OKR’s – (Objectives and Key Results) practitioners…. People simply do not like to be held accountable and people that are good at installing simple OKR’s systems (even manual ones) are very valuable and scarce
- People with PRACTICAL and good online or virtual learning skills. Too much of what is on offer are from people that have NOT been in the middle of the real battlefields. Its easy to tell the difference.
- People that can help others shift their business to more a more virtual world.
How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?
- I’m in California so little affect. We did have UK based client and I think they are moving to Ireland, but that would have been better for us.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
- Our success is defined by our client’s success and the biggest metric is Company Valuation increase.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
- People make the difference in ALL businesses.
- Culture is the only truly sustainable competitive advantage.
- Having a good dose of humility is key to having people want to work with and for you.
What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
- Highlight was revenue last year…. But not so good now, HOWEVER the Covid has given us TIME and SPACE to re-group and pivot a little. (You rarely get the time to do that when you are up to your elbows in dealing with a client crisis).
What’s next for your company?
- Difficult to say to be honest. Sometimes I think this COVID shake up will be great for us next year and sometimes I worry about the negative impact of a prolonged downturn.
- I do expect that we will have to drop our rates
- But like any business, we are going to stay working on improving OUR offerings to be BETTER able to help our clients with what’s important to them.
- We are creating a ton of new materials and trying to improve our online presence more.
What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020/21?
- If we could get back to where we were last year we’d be thrilled. So flat revenue would be success for the next 2 years.
Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?
We want to build more around our purpose and become better known for it.