Monthnotes – March 2024

Monthnotes – March 2024

Thirty one days since I last hit the keyboard and wrote some monthnotes…and it feels like a lot longer. I feel like I’ve crammed a lot into those 31 days, both at work and away from work.

I’ve been working with a new client as fractional COO which has been fascinating. The business is experiencing strong year-on-year growth and I’m working closely with the founder to establish some firmer foundations for that scaling. We’re using the B3 framework as the basis for understanding the issues and how we might solve them.

It’s been interesting to learn about a new sector that I’ve not COO’ed in before, although as I’m learning with every fractional engagement I take on, the root causes of problems that growth businesses experience are pretty common across sectors.

I also helped a different client in the tech consultancy sector with developing their business strategy for change, facilitating a leadership team workshop and working with the co-founders to make decisions about the inevitable trade-offs that strategic thinking demands.

In my work with a technology agency client this month, I helped diagnose some challenges in the new business process that are hurting project profitability. That led to a redesign of the “opportunity to project kick-off” process to address the challenges we found.

And last week it was great to run a live in-person event again. Felix Velarde (author of Scale at Speed) and I ran a well attended agency founder masterclass last week in London looking at agency scaling. The feedback from the session was really positive and if you’re in/around Manchester, we’re running the same masterclass on 16th April as part of the Manchester Digital City Festival. Tickets are free and you can get one here.

I’ve also been doing more with the Extra Brain crew which has been really fun. It’s great to be part of such a vibrant community of independent consultants. We’ve run several interesting learning sessions and a face-to-face social at the Union Club in Soho was great to be able to drop into. I’m looking forward to running some OKR workshops with Extra Brain founder Jess next month with a long-term agency client, building on the OKR Coach qualification I completed last autumn.

My B3 framework for company building is really getting some traction now too. I’ve been joined by a new collaborator who’s helping me build out the detailed content which I’d hoped to get done this month but have failed miserably to do. I’m hoping we’ll get her new content up on the site in the next couple of weeks.

The framework was also the subject of a podcast interview I did with Bethany and Brandon from The Operations Room. I really enjoyed our chat about all things COO and how the B3 framework helps COOs take a structured approach to company building. The full podcast is episode 36 here.

So that’s the work! And then away from work I seem to have crammed a lot in too.

I’m off to Belgium in three weeks for the Liège-Bastogne-Liège sportive, riding 155 miles of the route that the professionals will do the next day. I figured I should get some training miles in, so have been out doing longer days in the saddle again.

I’ve also been doing something different this month too. I’ve got a one hour show on internet radio station Love Will Save The Day FM tomorrow evening (1st April, 6-7pm).

The show’s called Backspinning and is a genre-spanning look at the influence of samples from four early 1970s disco classics. I had a great time planning, mixing and recording the show.

I learnt loads about presenting and audio production and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do something similar again in the future. The community at Love Will Save The Day is a positive and supportive bunch of music lovers – and it’s great to be part of that.

Our youngest son turned 17 this month too, so my wife and I have been doing a lot of nervous passenger-ing as he builds up his hours behind the wheel. He’s doing really well so hopefully he’ll take his test successfully soon.

Podcasts this month…

On my older son’s recommendation I’m working through episodes of Modern Wisdom with Chris Williamson. So far some really interesting and different conversations so definitely one that’ll be staying on my podcast list.

Music this month…

Old school rave has featured a lot on my long bike rides. This Slipmatt set from NYE 2013 is a particular fave.

Reading this month…

As someone who’s passionate about the future of work, I’ve been reading Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by anthropologist David Graeber. It’s an interesting theory of where some types of work have gone wrong and the impact this has on the people stuck in those kinds of roles. A good reminder for those of us who design roles and organisations to think about the human impact of what we do.

Cycling this month…

286.9 miles

Running this month…

47.2 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.