Client Case Study
Chief of staff and strategic advisory services for an early-stage social enterprise supporting under represented entrepreneurs.
Client: Camelback Ventures
Industry: Social enterprise
CEO: Aaron Walker
Headquarters: New Orleans, LA
Core challenges: Improve operational management given organizational growth
Client Spotlight: vChief blog
What was the spark that made you think you needed a COS? What were the pain points you were facing?
We brought our vChief COS on in the summer of 2016. For me, we had reached the point in our organization where we didn’t need a full-time person but we needed somebody on our team who could quarterback some day to day stuff. As a founder, you tend to take on everything and it’s hard to sustain that. You have 2 poles where you need to be external and you need to be the face of your organization and raise money but you need to also internally be a great manager and make sure bills are getting paid. Last summer, I got to this point where I realized both sides were suffering so I thought vChief would be a great first step.
How did it help you as a leader? What skills did the COS bring that complemented your skill set?
Somebody once told me that CEOs are the promise makers and COSs are the promise keepers, so I think my vChief COS has been able to help me be more of a promise keeper. More than I was able to be before. I’m good at being the visionary and working with the big rocks but you definitely need to worry about the smaller rocks. There’s levels to it, and I think I’m at a certain level and our vChief is at a different level. As a founder, it’s important to have a sounding board and talk things through, and that’s been really helpful.
Chief of Staff Services Profile
Part-time role to support organizational growth
Implementation of financial protocols and procedures enabling long-term growth and scale
Improvement and documentation of process management
Improved accountability and follow-through on daily responsibilities to sustain growth
Serve as strategic counsel and sounding board to CEO
"We’re going to be able to increase our funding by about 30% and a large part of that is having a COS to free up some of my time to be able to go out and do some of those things. Operationally, we’ve gotten better."
What benefits did it bring to you and the org? How is the org in a better place because of your COS?
We’re going to be able to increase our funding by about 30% and a large part of that is having a COS to free up some of my time to be able to go out and do some of those things. Operationally, we’ve gotten better. There were certain things that we didn’t have, things that were in my head but not on a piece of paper so now we have things like tight protocols around financial procedures and that makes things down the road way easier where we’re not having to clean up messes from before. We’re about to have performance management for 2018 and our COS was really a co-pilot there which was a huge step. Those are the kinds of things you need to begin to have as an organization -- how to hold people accountable and how you set up expectations.