Case Studies

Executing Strategy - Refocusing a Failing Strategy

A professional services firm requested that we help them implement a new strategy. They were making little progress on implementing a new business strategy that required significantly altering some core business practices. The firm had launched a costly process for training select employees and was getting little support from offices to send employees to training or to alter their practices (both were required by the new business strategy). We worked with the firm to create a strategy implementation plan to:

  • Achieve broader leadership commitment.
  • Help local offices develop clear goals and action plans.
  • Make information on the new strategy and business practices more readily available.
  • Ensure the implementation steering committee had the right staff, budget allocation, and continuity.
  • Make certain the new business processes and products were easy to use. 

We helped the firm execute its new business strategy through actions outlined in a comprehensive implementation plan. The new business practices were adopted in the specified timeframe, producing the desired business results for growth and client satisfaction.

Executing Strategy - Strategic Planning to Meet the President's Management Agenda

A major federal government agency asked us to help develop and implement a regional strategic planning process to address elements of the President's Management Agenda, including Strategic Management of Human Capital and Budget and Performance Integration. We facilitated the design of the overall process with civilian senior management personnel and senior officers, assisted in implementation of the process through training and coaching agency personnel in team processes, team dynamics, change management, and process tools. Once fully implemented, the regional strategic planning process will allow the agency to take a more integrated decision-making approach to sustaining operational excellence through effective planning and budgeting.

Developing Leaders - A Program to Improve Business Planning

A publicly traded company asked us to help determine the need and requirements for a leadership development program for the company's high potential senior managers. In addition to individual interviews with the CEO, three group presidents, CFO, and CIO, we helped facilitate two meetings with this executive team to gain consensus on the content for, and approach to, leadership development. Based on the decisions made by the executive team, we designed a four-week program for high potential senior managers one to two levels below General Manager or functional vice president. The program included the following topics: Individual Feedback and Development, Business Planning, Team Development, Structured Networking across Business Groups, Motivation, Leadership, Business Ethics, Personal Style Preferences (MBTI), Business Metrics, Individual Metrics, Management and Planning Tools for Problem Solving, Breakthrough Techniques, Coaching and Developing People, Business Simulation, Between Session Assignments, and a Final Project. Additionally, we provided instructional design coaching to internal facilitators as they worked to develop instructional materials. An action learning project resulted in the company adopting a modified approach to business planning that is more continuous in nature.

Accelerating Change - Rebuilding Credibility with Customers/Clients

We were asked by an internal management consulting department of a global company to assist in changing their customer/client relationship. The management consulting department, recognized as an industry “leader,” had lost credibility with its clients and was therefore unable to meet its financial obligations. Leadership’s response had been to direct consultants to “sell more work.” This resulted in no substantial gains in perceptions of credibility (or in the number of billable hours). We worked with the department to:

  • Interview key stakeholders, review systems and processes, and assess its consulting model.
  • Identify key drivers and enablers.
  • Create a new consulting model and implement systems and processes to support (and reinforce) the model.

We helped the department implement a new relationship management process and altered its consulting model to increase accountability. The model, systems, and process changes yielded double-digit increases in customer satisfaction and utilization rates.

Business Simulation - Bringing a Strategy to Life

We were contracted to facilitate a two-day business simulation designed to communicate a new strategic direction. The client wanted participants to: understand the need for the new strategic direction, have an opportunity to execute the new strategy in a "safe" environment where mistakes could be learned from at no expense to the organization, and build a connection between the new strategy and one's daily activities. Participants formed teams and ran a business in competition with other teams. To be successful a team had to develop a strategy and execute that strategy through making decisions about: research & development, quality, manufacturing efficiency and flexibility. sales, and marketing–all while managing cash flow and responding to competitive actions. The debrief at the end of the session indicated the participants understood the strategy, could anticipate potential mistakes in implementing the strategy, could describe how cash flows through the organization, had a greater appreciation for the need to balance and coordinate investments in different areas of the organization, and were more sensitive to the benefits of communicating effectively across functions and departments. Participants also brainstormed actions for applying these learnings to their specific situations.