Client Success Stories

Culture & Leadership Team Effectiveness

The recently hired CEO of this public company brought us in to provide a three-phase Leadership and Organization Effectiveness Review. Phase I involved conducting our Leadership Effectiveness, Alignment and Development (LEAD) Assessment for each member of their executive team. We used that assessment to plot the talent level of their senior players on our Leadership – Management Grid, and recommended individual development actions for each of them. In Phase II we conducted our High-Performance Team Index Assessment which evaluates the Four Enablers of Execution and the Five Functions of Cohesive Teams. We used the results to develop an HPT Scorecard and individual goals for improving team effectiveness. Phase III is underway where we are integrating the individual development actions and the HPT Scorecard priorities with their strategy implementation activities (e.g., strategic initiatives, 90 day priorities, KPI’s, business huddles, etc).

Strategy Implementation Support

This metals manufacturer wanted to ensure their strategic project team was aligned, structured, equipped and assigned in a way that best positioned them for success. We introduced their team to our S.P.O.T. Opportunity Analysis © and through some pre-work and a half-day implementation workshop, showed them how apply it to one of their top strategic initiatives. During the workshop, we helped them identify and address execution enablers in four main areas – Strategy, Processes, Organization and Technology. Their project team, which included their HR Director, their Compliance Director and several plant level members, readily embraced the need for and value of the SPOT approach. As soon as the workshop was over, the team started discussing and deciding on next steps, and used SPOT to make significant and immediate progress on this particular strategic initiative. Their project was so successful that it was subsequently featured in the regional business press.

Customer Experience (CX) Training

This technology-related manufacturer wanted customer-focused training for some 100 employees and managers working in various departments throughout the company including Customer Service, Technical Support, Accounting & Contracting, Product Development, and Operations. They wanted to ensure the training was both relevant to, and would build alignment across, the various functions. They also wanted it to connect with and leverage elements of their Customer Experience (CX) Strategy, core values, customer communications and relationship management, complaint resolution and escalation, customer satisfaction survey results and customer service metrics, among others. Not only did we design and deliver a training workshop that was highly praised by the various departments, but we also used the workshop to launch and incorporate a clear and compelling CX brand and approach into several of their internal and customer-facing processes and practices.

Culture & Employee Engagement

This diversified tele-communications company wanted a customized employee engagement and empowered culture initiative for the various departments within their portfolio companies. A key objective of the project was to effectively balance the need for a clear unifying corporate direction with the unique needs and players in each business. Another key need was to integrate this effort with the strategy and high-performing team initiatives that they already had under way. We developed and implemented a customized culture and employee engagement survey process for each portfolio company taking into account their various objectives and work in process. We used the results to inform and train the respective company leaders on targeted action plans for building a grass roots (bottom-up) approach to aligning and driving their new culture forward.

Performance Management Research and Recommendations

This organization wanted to better understand and apply some of the performance management innovations and best practices that were being publicized and praised by various HR journals and leaders. They came to us for help which included research and interviews with other companies to learn more about their respective PM changes, learnings and the real outcomes of their new practices. We developed a comprehensive report of those findings which provided valuable insights and recommended actions in such areas as: eliminating performance ratings; replacing backward looking reviews with a more forward-looking approach; improving the frequency and quality of performance feedback; increasing manager and employee accountability and support; and, improving the P4P linkage.

Diversity & Inclusion Culture

This multi-state specialty manufacturer wanted a business-driven D&I approach that would link to their recent Harassment-free Workplace initiatives, as well as shape and drive their efforts to become a more diverse and inclusive organization. They didn't want something that was compliance or ethics oriented, but rather something that would identify and align D&I principles and practices with their specific business, operational and leadership challenges and needs. We developed a business-centric D&I approach for them, and conducted a management team workshop to generate buy-in and urgency around it, and to kick-start their implementation. As the HR Director noted, "I loved seeing our managers have their 'ah-ha' moments during the workshop." And the Plant Manager's reaction, "This is exactly what our team needed!" They have since asked us to provide them with additional implementation support and help with driving the plan throughout their employee population.

HR, Finance, and IT Effectiveness Audit

Planning for the retirement of their Chief Administrative Officer, this organization wanted a rigorous and objective look at the structure, staffing and effectiveness of its Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, and Information Technology departments. We conducted our S.P.O.T. Opportunity Analysis © of each department which included: a Functional Effectiveness Review; a Talent and Organization Assessment; and, a Key Processes and Practices Audit. The results of our review was a detailed gap analysis for each department, prioritized recommendations for closing the respective gaps, and, highly-customized change management and communications tools to drive and support their implementation and transition.

Employee Engagement Trouble-Shooting

This organization was in its fourth year of an Employee Engagement improvement effort. Participating in a nationally-benchmarked engagement survey process, they found their initial results were well below peer companies and overall industry averages. As a result, they mobilized employee task forces around ten specific engagement priorities and felt they had made substantive progress. But the most recent survey results showed them still well below peer companies and actually declining in their own year-over-year performance. We were asked to examine the disconnect and determine why their engagement results were falling despite considerable efforts and examples of doing the right things. We identified three key obstacles to them making any meaningful and measurable progress, developed a six point priority and action plan to address them, and trained their senior leadership team on steps they needed to take to generate and sustain real engagement momentum.

Sales Organization Effectiveness Review

The U.S. division of this global manufacturer hired us to plan and conduct a sales strategy and effectiveness workshop for selected members of their senior management team. We used our S.P.O.T. Opportunity Analyses © to help them assess and better leverage their sales and sales management approach in four key areas: Strategy & Stakeholders; Process & Program Management; Organization Structure & Capabilities; and, Tools & Technology. The workshop resulted in six specific actions for strengthening their sales approach and business outcomes in market segmentation, product and territory sales alignment, sales structure and support, staffing mix and compensation, among others.

Leadership Development & Action Learning

This specialty manufacturer had gone through several years of solid performance and needed to ensure its management team was positioned to innovate and lead into the company's next phase of growth. We were engaged to help them define and align around a leadership model that would apply across the organization and guide the scaling and evolving of their business. Using that model, we developed and implemented a five course leadership training curriculum that was further supported by selected coaching and action learning projects. The training and related post-training support have played a critical role in advancing two significant business initiatives for the company.

Performance Management & Accountability

This technology company wanted a thorough evaluation and revamping - if necessary - of their performance management approach, process and tools, as well as a stronger linkage between PM and their growth strategy. Using our six point PM assessment, we identified several ways they could strengthen the linkage, make the total process more effective and more "user-friendly" for their managers and employees. We then helped them develop, communicate and train all personnel on the new approach. Now in year two, the new system has been credited with more effective and aligned goal setting and accountability, more continuous performance feedback and coaching, and a year-end process that is significantly less burdensome and confrontational, more developmentally focused and provides a much better linkage to reward decisions.

Breaking Down Silos & Team Dysfunction

The CEO of this health-care related organization was frustrated with the friction and competition that had developed between several key departments in the organization. The conflict was causing finger pointing and turf battles among employees, was slowing down decision making and was even creating noise in the external market place. We used our High-Performance Team (HPT) Review which blends the Five Functions of Cohesive Teams with our Six Enablers of Execution to pinpoint specific levers that were impacting the organization's effectiveness. Based on that review, we developed an eight-point Silo-Busting Action Plan that the CEO fully embraced. We are now providing overall guidance and support as needed to the executive leadership team as they move forward with implementing the action plan.

Business Integration & Culture Alignment

This regional company had a relatively new senior management team, and was busy integrating two recently-acquired businesses - including a former competitor. Their progress, however, was slow and sporadic due to a number of rigid silos, dissimilar company values and resistance to a more performance-based and accountable operation. We conducted an alignment and effectiveness review to pinpoint the problem areas. We also developed and helped them successfully implement specific performance-driving, silo-busting and change management tools that put their transition back on track and even accelerated it.

Leadership Development & Performance Support

This large and quickly growing pharma and life sciences company wanted a leadership development curriculum for all of their front-line and middle managers across the country. They also wanted performance support that would both measure skill growth and ensure the managers were using the training in their daily management practices. In addition to designing and conducting an eight-course curriculum for them, we used several tools from our Learning Application Barometer to capture and track the performance measures most important to them. The project effectively accelerated participants' uptake of the learning and actual demonstration of the new skills once they were back on the job.

Customer - Supplier Workout Process

One division of this large company was struggling with growing multi-product sales with one of its global customers. Part of their challenge included a lack of an aligned branding, sales and service approach across their different product lines and geographies. Using our Value Chain Labs® process and tools, we first conducted internal VCL's with their key managers to address the internal competition and brand confusion that existed among them. After that, we conducted customer-supplier VCL's between our client's managers and their customer's managers. The results included not only a more internally aligned view and approach across the product and region managers, but the labs also surfaced and addressed a number of problems between the two companies; as well as several opportunities to further leverage their relationships and joint capabilities.

Pay-for-Performance Design & Implementation

This organization had a long history of limited or suspended merit pay budgets, peanut butter bonus awards and a very generic approach to differentiating the performance of its managers and employees. As a result, their top performers were losing incentive to continually excel and managers were lacking useful tools for holding non-performers accountable. In addition, the new CEO wanted a way to stem the sense of entitlement that had set in over the years. We designed and implemented a new rewards and performance management strategy, process and tools as well as the management and employee training, communications and on-going support needed to begin moving them to a more performance-accountability-based culture.

Recruitment & Selection Process Redesign

This higher education organization was evolving to a more performance-based culture that focused sharply on their vision, mission and key competencies, and they wanted to incorporate those same higher standards into their recruiting and selection process. We conducted an in-depth review of their headcount planning, recruitment, branding and selection process and helped them identify and prioritize key improvement opportunities. We subsequently redesigned many of their existing materials, tools and procedures, and trained all of their hiring managers on effective screening and selection techniques, to provide them with a more competitive, rigorous and efficient end-to-end process.

Matrix Management & Customer-Focused Performance

This company was struggling with its matrix management structure and their struggle was having a clear, negative impact on their customers' perception of the company, its brand, products and processes. The negative impact was also spilling over to their field sales and field ops (distribution and service) personnel. We conducted a Value Chain Labs ® with their product managers, operations managers and sales managers, along with input from selected customers and employees, to pinpoint the causes of the problem and address them. The CEO of the company credited this project with significantly reducing the friction within the leadership team, greatly improving their collaboration and decision making, reviving the confidence and cooperation of their field personnel, and creating a more seamless customer experience.

Performance Boost & Coaching Support

One division of this global oil field services company was not executing it's growth plan as well as other divisions were and hired us to identify possible causes and help raise their performance. We used a combined customer - employee engagement survey, as well as in-depth interviews with their business unit managers and functional department heads to develop and help them implement a twelve-point performance boost initiative. Part of the effort included us providing management coaching to key members of their nation-wide management team. The division President was highly complementary of the project and the noticeably improved KPI results it generated.

Customer Experience Strategy & Implementation

This energy-related company had been lagging their competitors in customer satisfaction ratings for several years, and was looking for ways to go beyond the typical measures to a more collaborative partnership with their customers. We were hired to develop and implement a Customer Experience strategy for measuring, improving and leveraging the satisfaction and loyalty of their customers and further differentiating them in the marketplace. Using our Customer Focus Maturity Model ® and related tools, we helped them develop and implement a five-year CE strategy. The results of our work included deeper and more profitable customer relationships, continually improving VOC measures and initiatives, and several system-wide process improvements.

Employee Engagement Strategy & Implementation

After several years of experience using a more traditional employee satisfaction survey process, this company felt that they were no longer getting useful actions from the survey and that it was limited to their US operations which now accounted for less than 50% of the company. They wanted something more meaningful that managers saw value in and that could be applied globally. We developed and implemented an employee engagement survey and action process (in four different languages) to generate strategy-specific actions in each of their four main global regions. We also helped them incorporate engagement drivers into their performance management process, and created an HR Dashboard to supplement their Balanced Scorecards in each region.

High-Performance Culture Initiative

This large energy and environmental related company was under new executive leadership and was looking to take its business performance to the next level. The VP of Human Resources wanted to help shape and lead this charge and identify the key ways HR might play a clear and compelling role in this change effort. Working with the HR team, we identified a six point HR strategy that tied directly to the company's six point growth plan and goals. We also helped them identify and implement a more rigorous set of management performance standards and competencies needed to reach that new level, as well as making key changes to a number of their HR team skills and key processes such as internal promotions, HIPO identification and development, management training and their management incentive plan.

M&A Integration of Brand, Values & Competencies

This large professional services organization needed help identifying and operationalizing their unified commercial brand, core values and core competencies in the wake of several mergers and acquisitions. We conducted a series of senior leader strategy sessions followed by in-depth management training to introduce the integrating brand, values and competencies and subsequently incorporate them into a new performance management process and management incentive plan. The effort ultimately resulted in more effective cross-selling by its line of service specialists, as well as faster launch of and more profitable bundled solutions in key regions.

Talent Review, HIPO Process & Succession Planning

This highly specialized manufacturing and services company wanted a more rigorous and consistent approach for evaluating the potential, succession and talent development and mobility needs of its business units and managers in the Western Hemisphere. We developed and facilitated a talent review and mapping process, and related tools, that they used to identify, plan and implement future assignments and development actions for their management personnel and selected HIPO's throughout North and South America. We also helped them build a non-management career track option for their highly technical personnel.

Sales & Marketing Functional Review & Reorganization

This company grew over 250% in a six-year period and was concerned that their sales and marketing approach might not be able to generate their next level of desired growth. They wanted an independent assessment of where they were and needed to be. We conducted an in-depth review of their Sales & Marketing strategy, philosophy, budgets, deliverables, metrics, organization structure and skills as they related to their business strategy, customer portfolio and competitive marketplace. They effectively used our findings to revise various roles and responsibilities, add missing skill sets, reorganize the way they were structured, and move from a product-driven to a market-driving company.

Customer Value Capture Process & Tools

This global manufacturing company was under margin pressure due to the aggressive price cutting of more heavily-capitalized competitors. The regional and district sales managers wanted a way to define, measure and demonstrate the added value they believed justified their relatively higher price structure. We created, implemented and trained the sales leaders on an EVA tool that helped them successfully show their value-to-price results compared to the competition. We also developed a Sales Play Book for them, as well as making and implementing key changes to their Sales Performance Scorecard.

Leadership Succession & Transition

This multi-state manufacturer wanted an effective plan for replacing several retirement-ready senior leaders. They engaged us to evaluate, plan and help them implement that leadership succession and transition plan. Our approach included working with their external board, senior execs and next level managers to understand the business, culture and leadership needs and challenges of the company. As a result of our review, we provided them with suggested role and org structure changes, an evaluation of each potential successor’s readiness and future potential, succession plan options, and development plans for each of the top successor candidates. We also provided coaching to the senior leaders in support of their on-going implementation and communications of the transition plan.