Alan Miles
Discoverer, Designer & Problem Solver

Good people

The first step to making great solutions isn’t defining a good problem. It’s ensuring you have good people to solve your good problems.

In Good to Great, Jim Collins observed, “Great companies…start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”

When I joined The Iconic, the company had the right people in the wrong seats. The company was organised in a functional structure by business unit.

One of the company values was, “We get things done.” However, the organisational structure restricted the company’s ability to achieve that.

The collaboration was low and speed to market was slow. Getting things done required negotiating with multiple business unit’s resources and priorities.

Outcomes were weak and accountability was unclear. Outputs were business unit-centric not customer-centric, with a lack of direct responsibility for customer touchpoints.

I had to do something.

Inspired by Spotify’s agile teams, the Dubberly experience cycle and startup metrics for pirates, I sat down with The Iconic’s Managing Director, Adam Jacobs and proposed organising the company in a matrix structure by customer experience cycle.

Roles, responsibilities and reporting lines changed.

So did the org chart.

The result? Cross-functional teams with customer-centric objectives and performance targets.

“By doing that it means they don’t depend on other parts of the business, they’re completely independent, they can experiment very quickly, they own their own roadmap and they tend to deliver higher quality technology in a much faster period of time,” Adam Jacobs said in a Financial Review article.

Good people set up to focus on good problems.

Alan brought a lot to the table at The Iconic. He displayed very strong leadership, leading both the Experience Design and Web teams. His creativity and expertise had a flow on effect with the rest of the team members, especially with his strong ability to help us understand our users behaviour better. I have learned a great deal about customer value under Alan’s leadership. I would highly recommend Alan.”

Nathan Dailo
Software Engineer at The Iconic