Monthnotes – January 2024

Monthnotes – January 2024

“A bit of a grind”.

That’s how I described January in a conversation with my son about two weeks in – and that still seems like an appropriate description.

It’s a full 31 day-er of a month. It seems like ages since Jo and I joined our friends for a New Year’s Day dip in the sea at Deal.

And after December it feels like a back to work, get focussed and get stuff done kind of month.

And so that’s what I did.

While I made progress on plenty of things workwise, the sense I have looking back is that not quite enough got over the line.

I seem to have just a few too many things that aren’t quite finished enough yet, so I need to focus on finishing stuff over the next couple of weeks.

One project that I did make good progress on this month was helping an agency with organisational design.

They’ve got ambitious plans for growth and are well-placed to deliver them given their client base and the niche they work in. I’m helping them with business transformation and have been working with the team to make sure there are clear role scorecards and structure in place.

As businesses grow, being able to define roles properly in a way that fits with the strategy and operating model, but also doesn’t stifle innovation, agility and autonomy, is really important. It’s one of those core building blocks that often gets missed during the early stages of growth.

My coaching practice with operational leaders and MDs across agencies and VC-backed scale-ups is growing nicely too. I started work with two new individual coaching clients this month. I love this work as it’s very satisfying to see leaders grow and achieve their personal and business ambitions.

I also had a bit of spare time this month, so I caught up with a few founders who I haven’t seen for a while. It’s fascinating to hear their stories, progress and kick around some of the challenges they’re grappling with over a coffee or a beer. I always learn something from each conversation and get to assimilate that into my work at some point.

Away from work I’ve been pretty focussed on fitness this month. I’ve stuck to my commitment to at least 30 mins of exercise everyday. I’ve run a 10 mile road race and ridden an epic 142 miles to see my son at university.

And I found a bit of enthusiasm for DIY too, finally getting around to decorating my office and the kitchen at home early in the month. Since then my energy for this kind of thing has disappeared a bit though.

I also spent some time on music this month. Thanks to Jess, I found a brilliant internet radio community called Love Will Save The Day. I’ve really enjoyed some variety in my music this month as I’ve explored new shows.

Inspired by this I also knocked up a quick website for my DJing and recorded a fresh mix for this month.

Podcasts this month…

Acquired is back for a new season. I’ve queued up the first one to play when I next have a chunk of time to listen. It’s a super deep dive into the backstory of individual tech and growth businesses.

Music this month…

Been enjoying some long modern / nu-disco sets from Steve Farrell like this one. Have also been exploring new music on Love Will Save The Day.

Reading this month…

I re-read Humanocracy by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini again this month. It remains a firm favourite of mine as a primer for progressive thinking in how to build organisations.

Cycling this month…

457.8 miles.

Running this month…

54.3 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.