Since leaving Shell to start a consulting and executive coaching business, now into its eleventh year, I have been fascinated by what keeps Nigerian (and other West African) CEOs awake at night. What keeps their businesses perpetually small and unable to expand and compete globally?

Then, I began guest-lecturing at the prestigious Lagos Business School (LBS), China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). And fortuitously, I also became a Facilitator for the Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB) Seed Transformation Program (STP) in Accra, West Africa. Consequently, I’ve worked with top business leaders from across the region and in Southern Africa.

What keeps CEOs awake at night

So, my observations even became more alarming: Many CEOs spend their nights worrying about either repaying their dreadful bank loans or figuring out how to borrow more to keep their businesses afloat! Over 90% of Nigerian businesses slave for the banks! The interest rates and cost of doing business in these economies are very toxic for businesses and require subtle strategies.

Another common sleep spoiler for business leaders is people - how to find, recruit, train and retain trustworthy, initiative-taking employees.

In addition to those, for many companies, there appears to be a surprising lack of clarity regarding marketing as opposed to sales.

Giantthoughts fills the gaps

Moreover, because many businesses are not accurately structured for growth, business leaders can hardly take time off their business. Doing so means automatic failure. Founders and business owners can hardly trust their affairs into the hands of less than honest and opportunistic employees. Systems and structures are not in place. Processes for succession don’t exist. One frightened CEO confessed to me in these words: “I’m scattered!”

Giantthoughts Consulting fills these painful gaps - helping businesses find cash in their value chain (without slaving for banks), frame shared vision and culture among employees, develop innovation and marketing strategy and articulate scalable business model and organizational structure.

Lead Facilitator, Ogbo A. Ogbo, of Giantthoughts