Monthnotes – November 2023

Monthnotes – November 2023

Looking back over November, it’s felt like a bit of a “hard graft” kind of month – one where there was plenty to get done, the nights got longer, and the pressure to get stuff done before Christmas kept on growing.

On the client front, it was good to take a trip to Leeds to meet a new client team face to face for the first time. Once again I was reminded of the difference in what a group workshop in the same room can achieve compared to remote delivery.

I also enjoyed getting stuck into another operational maturity audit with a technology client that’s at series A stage. This work uses the B3 framework® to take a structured look at where a scaling business needs to focus to be able to accelerate its growth.

The framework provides a rigorous structure for understanding what it takes to scale a business. I’m getting increasing feedback from new users and I’m now working hard on the v2.0 release for January 2024. I want to build out more implementation resources and tools to help more companies use the framework on their scaling journeys.

I also spent a day this month qualifying to become an OKR Coach using the Outcome Mindset Method™. I’ve used OKRs in various businesses over many years, but it was good to learn more about techniques to deploy and coach others in the use of OKRs at small and medium sized companies.

Networking also featured fairly intensively this month, both in London and Kent. I enjoyed a Friday pub lunch with a friendly biotech VC partner. This was really interesting to learn more about biotech VC and appreciate some of the subtle differences compared top the tech VC world I know better.

One discussion point that stuck with me was how for drug target businesses, the business is essentially a project – a vehicle to bring forward a specific innovation through the drug development process. This is a very different way of seeing company building.

For most other sectors, company building is about creating the environment for people to do great work together, but for drug target businesses it’s not about headcount growth. It’s about project managing a collection of suppliers and investors through a structured development and testing process. Leadership in that context requires very different skills to leading people-centric businesses.

Podcasts this month…

Been enjoying listening to some of the older The Rest is Politics Leading interviews. These are longer format interviews with a bunch of interesting people from different backgrounds.

Music this month…

I enjoyed revisiting the Coachella set from Fred Again, Skrillex and Four Tet. I’d heard this several times before over the summer, but had forgotten about it. That led me on a trip down memory lane of Four Tet mixes, reminding me how good he really is. The musicality and skills in mixes like this are brilliant.

Reading this month…

It’s been all about the AI this month. I’ve been reading The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-First Century’s Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleyman.

It’s very very good – a considered and well-written look at the progression of technology and what this could mean for how AI affects our world. So far I’d say it’s the most interesting take on the issues of AI and ethics that I’ve read.

Cycling this month…

178.9 miles, including a lot of Zwift, Wahoo SYSTM and FulGaz.

Running this month…

37.9 miles


I work as a fractional Chief Operating Officer (COO), consultant and advisor. I created the B3 framework® for company building and I also write a newsletter called Build for leaders who care about creating resilient and sustainable businesses.