Because in every good kitchen there’s a great sous chef!
We’re very excited at Solitaire Consulting this month, as February marked the launch of our new “virtual COO” service offering.
Initially aimed at small-to-medium sized business in the regulated financial services sector, this service provides a flexible, experienced resource on a part-time basis to manage and oversee the often diverse, complex and time-consuming day-to-day operational matters confronting business leaders; whether it be operational oversight, risk management and governance or day-to-day operational delivery.
More often than not, it is a combination of the CEO/MD and/or the client facing directors who take on responsibility for these operational matters, but they usually don’t have the expertise, time or sometimes the inclination – and it’s usually at the expense of focussing sufficiently on people, clients and/or business growth.
Operational matters can also sometimes be passed to more junior members of the team. But, again, more often than not, they lack the expertise and experience to manage things autonomously. They will need strong direction and guidance, therefore they aren’t sufficiently empowered or enabled to deliver on their important responsibilities.
When thinking about providing this service, I often think about how great restaurants are run and in particular what enables good kitchens to be run seamlessly and successfully. I think it’s because in every good kitchen there is a great sous chef.
A COO is like a great sous chef
Similar to a good COO (in an operational context), sous chefs are the “right hand” of the head chef and play a crucial role, often behind the scenes, in good customer service. They ensure high safety and cooking standards are met, kitchen procedures are followed and ensure food reaches customers piping hot and tasting great – and they help raise and influence behaviour, morale and team spirit in the kitchen; often in amongst a diverse team and when they’re all under pressure.
Without a good sous chef, the head chef is often drawn too deeply into kitchen matters and not able to concentrate on creating innovative, delicious new dishes, developing menus, engaging with diners and making sure there’s a continuous stream of new (and excited) customers coming through the door.
Through providing this service, we’re aiming to free-up senior leaders in business who might be weighed down with operational matters, to enable them to concentrate on looking after their people, engaging with their clients and developing and growing their businesses.
We’re ready to go and have our hats and aprons ready….
We’ll step into and manage the “kitchen” – to make sure work preparation, quality standards and service excellence are maintained – so that nothing “spills”, “boils over” or “burns” (!) – and we’ll help ensure business leaders have the time and capacity to focus on their people and driving the business forward – by making sure their clients are happy, feel satisfied and their client service hasn’t left a “bad taste in their mouths”.
Virtual COO Service
If you’re a business leader and aren’t 100% happy at the way your “kitchen” is currently being run – feel free to download our quick diagnostic document and start a conversation with us today.
Download: Virtual COO – Two Minute Diagnostic
Article written by Andy Mallet, Senior Consultant