Scale Success Stories – “Pitching on our Values won us ½ million-pound contract”
Peter Dommett, founder of mXm Medical Communications, first came across Advocate’s SCALE Model™ and Philosophy after reading Martin Norbury’s bestseller I don’t work Fridays.
“I had been running my business for about 15 years, and just pottering along at about £1m turnover and reluctant to expand. I had also promised my wife that I would try to work less, and especially not Fridays. By chance, I saw Martin’s book on Amazon, and the title rang a big bell for me. Reading the book, a lot resonated with where our business was, and my own attitude. – Peter Dommett
mXm is dedicated to meeting the needs of pharmaceutical medics and marketers who expect a highly professional, expert service from their agency. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with Peter and his team since May 2016, via our 1:1 Advocate Mentoring, where mXm embarked on our structured program focusing on our unique SCALE Model™. Here’s their Scale journey so far…
S is for Set-Up
Without a clear Set-up of Strategy, you won’t know where you’re going, you’ll feel lost in a fog, and you’ll be creating a culture of confusion.
The first thing we focussed on was identifying where mXm wanted to be in five years’ time (Vision), and what the company would look like if they had achieved that.
“After a session with Martin and our leadership team, we agreed mXm’s vision. It was to build and operate our business with home-grown quality staff, do it our way, in our time, working with clients for whom we have a strong mutual respect and trust.” – Peter Dommett
C is for Congruence
If you’re not Congruent you won’t have the right people, or clear systems or processes in place. Nothing will be aligned. You’ll be worried and anxious as the business continues to own you.
Now that the vision had been clarified, we set to work on how mXm were to achieve this. This meant looking at a realistic organogram for year five, then working back to the present-day structure.
This highlighted that mXm would need to recruit, as well as develop/progress current members (both of which are major challenges in the industry).
Seeing where the current gaps were meant that mXm could be focussed and logical in their recruitment. And knowing how important retaining staff is, meant that we needed to create an unbeatable working environment for them – not just remuneration – but respect, honesty and appreciation for each other.
The mXm team defined and agreed a set of Beliefs and Values which were integrated into their recruitment process and annual reviews:
“We shaped our values in two stages – the senior team drafted what they thought was special about the company, and how we wanted the company to be. This was shared with the whole company, revised and a final version was discussed and agreed. The whole company needs to know that anyone can be pulled up and hold to account, especially the MD/CEO. If Values aren’t upheld at the highest level, they are useless.” – Peter Dommett
This was a turning point for mXm, not only for recruitment and retention, but from a new business perspective:
“We became bolder and less reactive. One of our beliefs was to accept that not every contract is a right ‘match’ and having the courage to say so. It got to the point where I became completely open with clients and prospects about our vision and values. After all, if they don’t align with them, then they aren’t the right fit for us.” – Peter Dommett
A is for Alerts & Alarms
Your business needs to tell you if it’s not working. It’s likely you’ll have Alerts & Alarms going off, but you don’t know why or what’s causing them, often when it’s too late. You’ll be in a panic, running around out of control, like a headless chicken.
Now Peter had set-up his new environment, aligned everything from his people to his processes, we measured not only sales and profits, but staff retention and new clients. This enabled Peter to make decisions quickly, monitor that his plans were on track, and be alert to any potential issues before they became a problem.
L is for Lessons Learned
A growing business is an evolving business – if you’re not learning from your mistakes time and time again, you’ll be frustrated, lack confidence, and eventually feel a failure.
A clear plan enabled Peter to delegate. He was also prepared to learn from mistakes. Focusing on the endpoint now allows Peter to prioritise what’s important, not just urgent. (He’s even got a RAF Tornado Jet ‘Black Box’ flight recorder in his conference room!).
“We’re constantly learning from our experiences and mistakes. Debriefs of projects are shared across the teams, so learnings of one team can help train the others”. – Peter Dommett
E is for Execution to Exit
You must start with the end in mind by focussing on the execution strategies to expand or exit; releasing your involvement and giving you freedom.
In less than a year into his Scale journey, Peter exited from his operational day-to-day role. This allows him to focus on the strategy, observing and modifying the landmark on his horizon.
“A critical learning from Martin was that every administrative, financial and project delivery role in the company needed to be allocated to someone else apart from me.” – Peter Dommett
By releasing himself from the business, Peter can take time out safe in the knowledge he has a company when he returns:
“Just back from my first holiday in 16 years where I didn’t check any work emails. My wife really appreciated it.” – Peter Dommett