July 11, 2019
AdvisoryCloud Featured Advisor Interview with Maurice Marwood
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Maurice was interviewed by AdvisoryCloud on 07/09/2019 as part of our Featured Advisor Interview series.
AC - Tell us more about your main areas of expertise for being an advisor?
MM - For the past many years, I have been involved with a variety of business organizations that were either stagnant or had plateaued and needed to be revitalized and launched on a renewed path for increased sales, profitability and growth. Although most of these businesses were stable, they were not meeting competitive pressures and needed to go through restructuring and revitalization in order to maintain their longer-term health and prosperity.
In each case, my investigation and early diagnostic journey revealed that they did not have a Plan in place to identify where they wanted to go or how they were going to get there. The owners/management often said they had a plan, but it was not written down or communicated to the employees.
I knew that for any organization to be competitive and to grow they must have a written comprehensive Plan in place that was current and communicated to all staff. If the employees did not have clear goals and objectives to define where management expected the organization to go, then they would usually do the routine work that was assigned (often haphazardly) but they did not know how it contributed to the success of the organization, so they would not be efficient or effective and performing at their best.
Consequently, the advice and coaching that I would provide had to do with developing and implementing a comprehensive Strategic Plan for the longer-term, and an Operational Business Plan for the shorter-term. I would follow a process that was proven over many years at world-class organizations.
The process was quite simple, but not easy. Good planning takes work by the leaders and all members of the operational team. Unfortunately, many businesses do not know and understand either the importance of good planning or the processes required to make it happen. My main role was to help them understand the importance of a good plan and to walk them through the steps of the planning process.
In every case, the organization became excited about its future and its potential for growth. At the end of the process, specific goals and objectives were written and communicated and the employees not only knew what was expected but they also knew how their work contributed to the success of the business – a critical success factor.
AC - Describe your main motivation for being an advisor?
MM - During my 30-plus years in international business, I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of business leaders who provided their employees with opportunities to do productive work. That is the greatest humanitarian gesture one can make, an act of greater virtue than a handout given by the government or the most benevolent “public servant.” Business people do that every day.
As a businessman, I am proud of the contributions made by the organizations that I have led, and I am indebted to the business leaders who gave me the opportunities to both benefit and contribute. As an advisor to other less experienced business people, I can pass along what I have learned to help them succeed and make a similar contribution to the people in their organization, to the business community and to a thriving and the growing economy.
AC - Elaborate on the types of situations, challenges or decisions, you feel you could add the most value to as an advisor?
MM - I have been involved in a wide variety of business situations in which I could offer valuable advice and counsel. I have itemized a few of the most significant ones below:
AC - Do you see any disruptive trends on the horizon in your industry or position?
MM - The primary disruptive trends I see now are a) Artificial Intelligence and its many ramifications and applications, b) Machine Learning, which is related to AI but requires a different understanding and approach, and c) People Management, which is in a significant state of flux with constantly changing challenges and opportunities. All of these trends can be a boon to business or an Achilles heel depending on how they are managed and adapted to each unique business situation. At the very least, management must remain knowledgeable to be able to determine how these trends could affect their own organization, either positively or negatively.
AC - Tell me about the most impactful project or decision you’ve been involved in as an executive.
MM - Once I was given the responsibility as VP of Operations at a fairly large manufacturing plant. Early on, it was discovered that unscrupulous practices had been going on with the plant management and it became my responsibility to clean up the mess. It was a baptism of fire; however, the necessary changes were made, we put a Plan in place and the new team came together and performed remarkably well. Over a three-year period, production doubled along with sales and profitability.
Unscrupulous behavior always poisons an organization and is detrimental to productivity, quality, morale and general performance. It must be dealt with or others begin to assume it is acceptable, and the rot grows.
It was a significant impactful and emotional event at the time, and a great learning experience from which I benefited for the rest of my career.
If you are interested in speaking with Maurice about these topics or others, you can book a meeting with him through his AdvisoryCloud profile here: https://www.advisorycloud.com/profile/Maurice-Marwood
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