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Aligning executive direction

Yarn Agency

The Yarn executives needed help solidifying many of the principles and practices needed to grow.

Business performance
Distress performance

Aligning executive direction

Yarn Agency

Yarn Agency, an emerging independent creative agency with an impressive roster of clients, was formed in 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the pressures of the pandemic and their fast success, the executives found they didn’t have time to solidify many of the principles and practices needed to support effective business growth, leading to business distress and executive misalignment.

Seeing a need for support to solidify and strengthen many facets of the business, including their executive team, structures, remuneration, shareholder policy, dividends, responsibilities, and working practices, Yarn turned to Tactical.ly to help them develop a solid and unified approach to leadership and structured business growth going forward. The founders of Yarn understood that they wouldn’t have time to do that foundational work themselves, given how busy they were running the business, and that an expert’s help was needed. Tactical.ly, with its modern approach to supporting companies and its comprehension of the fast-paced digital environment in which businesses now operate, was the fresh partner they needed.

A concentrated approach

Yarn came to Tactical.ly with a specific need and expectation as to how quickly a solution was needed. We proposed a concentrated approach to the work, which incorporated a collaborative workshop methodology, and which was aimed at achieving defined deliverables.

Tactical.ly started the journey with Yarn by leading a series of discovery workshops and concurrently conducting a deep investigation phase. Both of these tactics were designed to gain an understanding of everything Yarn and its founders stood for, as individuals, directors, and together as a team. To help align the executive team, we also knew we needed to gain knowledge around what they were working towards achieving and of course their existing modus operandi.

Considering the need to examine and refresh executive remuneration structures and dividends policies, it was also necessary to undertake a detailed review of Yarn’s profit and loss and their business intelligence systems, their existing agreements between the directors, and the organisational structure as a whole.

By the completion of this intensive discovery phase we were confident we had identified the key areas in which Yarn needed accelerated support, and ready to start delivering the tactical initiatives needed to unify their executive team.

Actionable insights and systems

Throughout discovery, Tactical.ly found that there were some clear disparities in understanding of the company’s vision and mission from its executives, and identified the need to bring the executive team together in order to align their aspirations. To help bridge this key gap, we delivered the following systems for Yarn:

  • An organisational chart to bring clarity on current structure and roles and calibration on what a future state of growth will look like.
  • A high-level roles and responsibilities system, directly related to the org chart.
  • A detailed RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) framework and chart to enable the entire business to have transparency over all roles.
  • A definable and surfaceable set of executive principles, all agreed upon by the directors, to ensure that both now and in the future they have a clear (and documented) expectation of etiquette and approach.
  • An executive remuneration structure that is aligned with the RACI and organisational chart and that is equitable, fair and motivating for all Directors.
  • A strong and clear dividends policy, focused on reinvestment into the business for strategic growth, while ensuring shareholders have a comprehensible view of their revenue streams and see the alignment with their business success.
  • A re-solidification of Yarn’s values, vision and mission across the business.
  • A backlog of actionable initiatives informed by our Organisational Performance Framework for Yarn to execute for continued improvement.

A clear direction for future growth

Over a concentrated three month period, Tactical.ly delivered what could easily take 12 months to complete internally, and embedded a number of weighty foundational elements into Yarn designed to help them continue to succeed.

Following our input and deliverables, Yarn’s founders feel they have executive unity and a clear direction for their future. With Tactical.ly having aligned the executive team, given them a deep understanding of responsibilities through the business, and helped them to understand what their financial reward could look like for all their hard work, and with the additional value of the backlog of future initiatives we uncovered, Yarn is now truly equipped to grow and scale profitably.

Lessons for success

One of the things that really made this process work so effectively in such a short amount of time was the open-minded attitude Yarn brought to it. Despite having experienced some internal discord, all Yarn’s founders went into this exercise with an eagerness to find ways to connect better as a team as their first priority, while still being aware of the need to gain parity and maintain having a clear division of responsibilities. This open-mindedness and eagerness to connect meant that when Tactical.ly aligned their personal values to their business approach, they were receptive to others’ ideas and ended up surprised and pleased to see how many similarities arose.

We often start with value alignment, and highly recommend it to any executive team. Ask yourself, in your business, do you know your overlapping values, and how can you better illustrate those together to navigate your way though any tricky situation?

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