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Client stories

How ‘Busy Bob’ became ‘Knowledgeable Bob’

Once upon a time there was a young man called Bob. He was always so busy that his friends and colleagues used to call him ‘Busy Bob’.

At weekends it was quite common to see Busy Bob standing in front of his house spinning loads of plates on poles. He often did this whilst trying to keep his phone wedged between his shoulder and his ear as he ordered more plates from the plate factory.

He was so busy spinning plates that he even paid other people to come to his garden and rush around with him to help keep the plates from falling off.

As his neighbours drove by on their way to having a nice day out by the sea they would see Busy Bob rushing around on his front lawn and they would sigh:

“There goes young Busy Bob, always so much to do.”

In fact Bob was so busy and so rushed that sometimes he couldn’t remember which plates needed his attention next. And every now and again, despite all his efforts, one of the plates would come crashing down and leave a mess in the garden, giving him even more work to do!

But that wasn’t what was bothering Busy Bob. As he rushed around between plates he had a nagging feeling that there was a special reason why he had started all this in the first place. He just couldn’t remember what it was.

Then one day, while he was frantically rushing between poles, a leaflet wafted in to the garden. Bob was so busy he ran into it headfirst. He pulled the piece of paper away from his eyes and looked down. The words he read almost made him stop rushing for at least one quarter of a whole second.

It read:

“Grow your own business and get a life!

Come to the O’Byrne and Kennedy’s seminar.”

“A life!” said Bob “That’s what it was. I started doing this because I wanted to get a life!”

Intrigued, Bob went along to the seminar and soon became friends with O’Byrne and Kennedy. Bob told them all about how he had become so busy spinning plates, hiring people to help him spin the plates and ordering new plates from the plate factory that he had lost sight of why he was doing it.

“What you need is some help with your plate spinning systems,” said O’Byrne and Kennedy with a smile “and then you can get back to having more of a life.”

From that day forth O’Byrne and Kennedy came up with some ideas to help Bob. They regularly advised him on his corporate structure, balancing the needs of his bank manager with Bob’s need to motivate his team of plate-spinners.

They helped him to plan his taxes and keep his exit options open too.

For his numerous projects they helped with strategic planning exercises using several methodologies such as Strategy Mapping™ and the Business Model Canvas™.

Before each session they would conduct some analysis to provide Bob with the insight and focus to confidently take his plate spinning businesses forward. This included things such as:

  • Customer and market segment analysis
  • Business value propositions
  • Facilitating a customer forum
  • Redesigning the business’s organisational structure
  • Designing and implementing a management control plan to build employee accountability
  • Hosting senior manager team meetings
  • Training for his senior managers

O’Byrne and Kennedy also helped Bob with some plate-spinning business acquisitions. They helped him to evaluate the target business and structure an offer, negotiate the “deal” and design the implementation plan.

They even helped by acting as Bob’s Virtual Finance Director, and sat in on his Board meetings. Bob became a “graduate” of O’Byrne and Kennedy’s OBK MBA Programme. In fact Bob has become a real student of business best practice and makes good use of the O’Byrne and Kennedy business book library too.

With all this extra support Bob became a very capable business leader.

He still looks to O’Byrne and Kennedy for ideas and inspiration as well as a regular sounding board, but he is no longer rushing around as much between plates. They just seem to spin much better these days by themselves.

Now when his neighbours drive past his house at weekends they see him sitting amongst the spinning plates reading the newspaper and sipping lemonade with a smile on his face.

“Oh look,” they say, “there’s Knowledgeable Bob reading the business news. He used to be called Busy Bob you know, but not anymore.”