Lightwire Business kicked off four years ago as a lean experiment. In the video below I talk though how the success of the Lightwire Business project has led to a revised structure for Lightwire.
How Lightwire Business came to be
Four years ago we had business start as an experiment. Essentially I (Brendan) came to Andrew and said “Let’s really focus on business, both in New Zealand and Australia” and because we didn’t know where this experiment was going we set up a business specific role with me having the somewhat grandiose title of CEO – Lightwire Business.
It’s become apparent over time that the Lightwire Business experiment succeeded. The business has done well – growing at 30% year on year throughout the whole business. But, we haven’t kept pace with that success in terms of adapting our structure.
The structural separation between Lightwire and Lightwire Business lead to confusion around roles and responsibilities, doesn’t help us gain the economies of scale, and doesn’t provide the coherent approach we need. We’re seeing client and customer confusion creeping in, in terms of who they should contact and under what circumstances.
Generally, there’s an acceptance that we know what got us to where we are today with that great growth and really exciting progress in terms of product and feature innovation isn’t going to get us to where we need to be. So, we need to be smart, change before any real problems become apparent and make sure that we’re on the front foot.
Lightwire is a business with a very strong rural arm and after my introduction to the company four years ago, we’ve now got a very solid business focus across Australia and New Zealand as well. What we’ve found is that through what was essentially an experiment four years ago, bringing myself in a number of others into the organisation to focus on business, we really tacked it onto the side of the business. And now we’ve got a rural arm, a rural brand, a business brand, and the business is quite segmented underneath that in terms of what people are focusing on in the day in their day to day.
So in terms of those changes, what we’ve really determined is that we need to be focused on a single brand, that being Lightwire, instead of a business brand and a rural brand.
We need to have those product segments, and we need everyone aligned towards the goals of the overall business, rather than incentivising people to care about one or the other. So, to that extent we have come up with really a building maintain versus a revenue generation split at the exec level.
Senior leadership team simplified
Whereas I will be taking on the role of Chief Revenue Officer. In this role, I’m looking after things like provisioning, support, sales, marketing, product development.
So a pretty clear split, a lot clearer lines of responsibility, which sets the framework on which we’re going to continue to grow. We’re currently in the process of hiring and looking for people to step into the new roles that this structural changes created.
The simplification of the senior leadership team comes with clear responsibilities for all functions throughout the business. This is only going to have a positive impact on our clients. I think the only change I can see coming from a client perspective is that some new names are going to pop up, so responses to sales enquiries, contracts, and responses might come through from names that maybe haven’t seen before.
We’re busy hiring and I’m really looking forward to see how these new people can help us hit the ambitious growth targets that we’ve got over the next five years.