Executive | Global Management Systems Auditing and Certification Leader
A long standing, SVP, was known as the go-to revenue generator and business problem solver for his international division and its heritage clients. The more his unit’s sales and auditor utility ratings increased, the more critically needed resources were re-directed from his unit to other underperforming ones.
What was once a winning unit, now was anything but. Revenues, utilization client satisfaction scores and moral were declining. Work errors, scheduling problems, added client travel expenses to make good on frequent work errors, employee turnover and sick leave were all increasing - while corporate was pressing for increasing client fee levels.
Our simple but effective assessment included the SVP, his international team plus a two leadership 360-surveys. Findings revealed a consistent pattern of three core leadership issues needing corrective action. Ineffective management delegation. Low level capacity for emotional intelligence. Poor problem-solving skills training down to his direct reports.
Once the SVP saw the feedback, owned his issues and saw the opportunity to re-establish his leadership image, improvements came within 3 months. At 5 months, his second 360 revealed restored performance approval ratings, upstream, cross and downstream and across vendors and clients. The SVP won praise from the corporate CEO for his leadership acumen and emotional intelligence. He became a role model showing the value of the company’s commitment to leadership development and succession
Case studies | Leadership Solutions
Rising Star | A Global Leader in Digital Security
A long term, crucially important, software superstar was creating more problems than she was solving. Her reliable product innovation and problem-solving skills drove international product demand. She was a bulldozer. Forcing accelerated release cycles, demanding quality control integrity, while plowing through people.
Her data hoarding and bullying were demolishing work flow across project management, sales, marketing and quality control teams. Her Sr. VP became a fulltime firefighter. Key people threatened to leave. Meanwhile the superstar was pushing for a prestigious promotion she was twice rejected for, threatening to quit if she didn’t get what she wanted. The company could not afford to lose or keep her.
We were brought in to fast-turn the superstar. In 2 months reported problems decreased 60%, at 4 months, problems disappeared completely. Quality control errors stopped. Cross team productivity and engagement rose significantly and, a brilliant engineer became an emotionally intelligent leader. At 6 months, she accepted an invitation to become a prestigious Software Fellow. No one knew how close the superstar was to leaving.
Team | Turning Cross Team Dysfunction into Profitable Production
Organizations have been described as a dog, having a body and a tail. In the case of leading manufacturer that we recently worked with, we found that the tail (or the fulfillment and production departments) had been wagging the body (or the sales force) for years. Instead of the supporting the sales team's efforts it was holding those back.
Our initial cross departmental interviews developed a working hypothesis; the company’s production and fulfillment units were negatively impacting not only sales but also efforts by the collections department to secure on-time contract payments.
To validate our findings, we assessed 60 key employees and their managers, across sales, accounting, collections, and production departments. We looked at the role clarity, competencies, behaviors, motivators and acumens of all those participating in our customized survey. Our assessments produced an aggregated 3,240 pages of fact based, supporting evidence, for a total 31.4 pounds of paper. Our surveys gave us the data we needed to support our initial hypothesis and then some.
First, production teams with long standing players in place, were operating across under-performing legacy software systems. Second, they were not incentivized, for fast turned delivery, efficient output or for bringing innovative solutions to an antiquated process. Third, all involved complained about being underutilized and underappreciated for their work efforts were. Fourth, all were in agreement that poor management communication was the reason no one on the floor understood why sudden operating changes were put into place. Fifth and most telling was that growing resentment for existing work conditions on the production floor, were responsible for employees sabotaging contract delivery dates.
Once the executive team understood the hidden issues at play, positive changes took place. Production teams were re-organized and made lean, to drive revenue rather than holding it back. Production team utilization was optimized, enabling a reduced workforce to produce better quality faster.
Within four months, an improved production teams were increasing pressure and driving sales teams to create more business rather than slowing them down to underperforming standards.
As a direct result within four months, production teams were increasing pressure and driving sales teams to create more business rather than slowing them down to underperforming standards. New business revenue increased by 35%. Collection rates increased 40%. Late deliveries decreased 25% - all in the following two quarters. During the same period, budgets now longer directed to a now 20% dismissed production staff were reallocated, into marketing funds targeted to producing higher quality, more qualified leads back to the sales team.