CEO Spotlight: Why 80/20/20?
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CEO Spotlight: Why 80/20/20?

Today Jimmy and I discuss how his early career and team of expertise sets him apart from other businesses. We will be sharing a series of conversations from numerous interviews with Jimmy and his team, but today, you are being treated to a sneak preview of who Jimmy is, and what tik’s his tok.

I am loading up the Zoom meeting to be greeted by Jimmy, who is sporting a white t shirt, infectious grin, instant sincerity. Jimmy and I introduce ourselves, to discover that we live a pebble stone away from one another, and we both have a huge love of New Islington’s unique coterie of coffee shops and buildings. Relatability is always a good start.

Once we get the important,’ best coffee’ chat out of the way, we discuss Jimmy’s early career and  how TMAC came about. Not many start up’s have flourished in the ambiguous, unpredictable and challenging time that has been 2020. TMAC has sustained incredible growth in the past twelve months, and you are about to find out why.

 Jimmy describes his early career as a mixture of experiences that equipped him with a set of combined skills and disciplines, both, socially and ethically. Jimmy has worked his way through various roles and brands, including marketing, credit risk, business analysis and transformation.

It appears that Jimmy found his love of data science and analytics later in life, as he met numerous mentors and aspiring peers, he discovered some profound evidence of how much money, resource and time, companies waste on projects and poor methodology on the quest of achieving strategic objectives. It is said that the more curious we are, the more knowledgeable we become, and Jimmy has been involved in some incredible projects.

Jimmy distinctly remembers a period within his career where he noticed a poor patten of corporate behaviour and attitudes towards the process of completing a project.

 He explains: “It’s frustrating when you’re part of a small cog in a big machine, where you can’t influence some of the critical decisions. More often, than not, most projects with C suite sponsorship, always exceed their budgets, whilst under delivering on their objectives”.

As Jimmy spent time working his way through great organisations, he developed a reputation for delivering significant outcomes in a timely manner. He refers to this as the incremental benefits of a fail-fast approach.

I need to understand more about fail fast, so I probe some more, to satisfy my curiosity. My pen is working overtime, mainly with excitement. I mean, how often do we get to speak to inspiring humans for a whole two hours. Time is precious, and so is incredible knowledge and insight.

Jimmy shares examples of his fail- fast initiatives that differentiate him from his peers, and the competition. During Jimmy’s early career he would work on a project, and finish something in four weeks, often three months quicker than other colleagues;there was a distinct difference in mindset and expectations.

Feed on failure

Here are the differences; each of the mini projects that Jimmy had initiated were formed as specific modular parts of a bigger piece of work. He treated each of the modular pieces as an opportunity to ‘try out’ a measurable success rate. Jimmy was named the 70/30% guy, as his projects outcomes were deliberately 70% effective and delivered in a super quick time. When we put our energy into making something work, and are prepared for it to fail fast, we can achieve the end outcome quicker by making  conscious improvements in smaller pieces that make up the overall objective or strategy. 

Jimmy reflects upon this conversation and adds “I suppose 70/30 is better than 50/50 % success”. We often set our clients expectations upfront and tell them “This is going to break”. That way, everyone sees the value in the projects journey. This type of validation is incredibly cooperative. I sense that teams will start to become less bothered about perfection, and more bothered about the success of its point of failure.

As a training provider, I know how important it is for clients to see the ROI, but business is unpredictable, and about the only thing that you can count on is that everything continuously changes. So I see the value in TMAC’s unique approach.

 Jimmy and his team take great pride constantly measuring their own business performance. It is the only way that you know what is successful and what is not. No one can plan for all the variables “We often have those spikey conversations, then have a Zoom quiz, it’s about balance”. I’m so excited about the phrase ‘spikey conversations.

 Do not be surprised if you hear me use this phase. I am so stealing it.


Cultural energy


We finally discuss culture. What are those magical ingredients that TMAC possess? Well, they are certainly not some values that they hang on their staff room wall. Oh nope!


Jimmy and his trusted leadership team provide a space for conversations, whereby no one is seen to have a bias towards someone’s status or rank. The internal culture is a place where no one fears what others will think if one opinion differs from another. In- fact, it is quite the opposite. Jimmy and his team encourage a non -judgmental culture, as long, as someone has the robustness to defend their points. “We don’t want individuals to lose who they are, we hone in on someone’s sincerity and passion. This promotes better decision making with both the client and our teams.”


Jimmy is an advocate of ‘frank talk’ and provokes the same behaviours within his team. He hints that regardless of rank or experience, everyone’s opinions matter. He knows too well, how important it is to feel part of something, and I can really see why this business has made a significant period of growth in very, little time. My thoughts, bravo!!

We discuss how determination will get you to the finishing line, and the importance of creating a culture of diverse thinking. Success is the marginal gains that you celebrate together from feeding on failure.

So, this is the introduction to Jimmy and our next discussion will be with Modular Analytics CMO, Michael Migliore. Michael is a marketer, with expertise in driving revenue for B2C and B2B brands. Both Michael and Jimmy have a background in music and drama. Such a creative, yet analytical team on talent. They are full of surprises. 

About Kay: Kay Littlehales relates to her style of facilitating as a non conventional Consultant, who helps organisations and individuals change habits that hold them back. She’s currently supporting the Digital and tech sectors as well as leadership and sales with a number of training and coaching interventions. One of Kay’s favourite pieces of training delivery had been with 500 attendees at The Manchester Digital Career Week. Kay is on a quest to work with companies that invest in the people development to hit KPI’s. Kay is a big fan of TMac’s cultural energy and fail fast approaches!