Here are some examples of the range of results we and our clients have achieved together:
We worked with the deadlocked management team and board of an international financial services business to seek agreement on, and committed action on new strategic direction from staff and management at all levels. Once the block was removed (which took some detective work), it was plain sailing, and we were quickly able to help them fashion a direction that attracted all the needed buy-in. The new strategy involved repurposing their enviable capabilities to address their clients' changing needs, thereby maintaining and enhancing top-line growth. We also negotiated greater flexibility of staffing assignments to increase utilisation. The resulting strengthened business was snapped up on very agreeable terms by a plc buyer within 12 months.
We worked with a leading global investment bank to strengthen leadership at all levels within its transaction-processing operations. The effects included freeing up more senior management time and attention for strategic issues, increasing ownership of results among middle managers, and boosting engagement with, and retention of, analyst-level recruits.
A rising-star professional took over as a regional head of practice area in an international professional services firm. The assignment was a promotion, but some insiders considered it a poisoned chalice. The previous incumbent had been a divisive influence and had taken his cabal with him to a rival, leaving low morale and a high level of distrust of ‘management’. We worked with our client to develop and successfully implement a turnaround plan which protected the client base, retained and attracted talent, and improved working capital management. We have since worked together intermittently for more than a decade, during which time we've helped with a very successful market entry and seen both dramatic revenue growth for the group, and a top leadership role for our client.
Working with a multinational consumer products company, we introduced new ways for internal change agents to understand organizational constraints, and to successfully communicate and support vital country level change initiatives, taking into account local and national cultural differences.
We coached a team of ambitious associates at a leading professional service firm to increase the firm’s share of a major financial institution's advisory spend. Their problem: knocking on the front door is one way to get in, but it is usually guarded by zealous gatekeepers expecting 'Partners and Credentials'. Those Partners are already rushed off their feet, and they need their associates to develop. We helped the associates uncover their many overlooked, sometimes unique opportunities to influence the target’s decisions to plan and execute their campaign. New business soon followed. Team work was strengthened, as was individual business development skill. The target client gained a sense of improved ‘strength and depth’. It all added up to accelerated business acquisition at lower cost, and an improved competitive position.
An ambitious executive was overlooking an extremely lucrative, and, to him, easily available career avenue because of his insistence that he must work for one of two specific management consultancies, neither of which were showing the required interest. After an intense but short one-to-one project, he was released from this self-imposed constraint, and realised that the world was his oyster if he just pushed the first, conveniently positioned, domino. He has since thrived in a sequence of increasingly senior roles in the financial services sector.
We worked with a leading boutique innovation consultancy to double its average project size. In a similar project, we worked with an award-winning regional arts company to strengthen their value proposition, enhanced staff buy-in and created a platform for the MD to become IoD Young Director of the Year. Once the new value proposition was communicated to the market, the company quickly won its largest contract to date.
We have helped organizations in a variety of sectors including financial services, professional services, automotive and consumer goods manufacturing to strengthen their leadership pipelines by enabling people to boost business development, be better agents of change, and improve their delegation results, leading to a greater contribution to the business, increased personal success for individuals, and enhanced perception of their organization as an employer-of-choice.
For a growing communications firm with a hard-won reputation for excellence, we worked with the Managing Director and her direct reports to strengthen delegation and accountability throughout the business, enabling the MD to concentrate on strategy and key client relationships, knowing that quality standards are being upheld as growth continues.
If you are employing large numbers of people who are new to your complex industry, how do you quickly give them that all-important ‘feel’ for the business so they understand and respond intelligently to risks, errors and opportunities, rather than just follow instructions and hope they cover all eventualities? For this global financial services company, we worked with an initially small team of mid-level managers, supervisors and front-line personnel to snowball bottom-up solutions to the problem. Just one example: a team designed a simulation – using the live setting of a large shared services centre as the ‘game board’, piloted it locally, then publicised it in the wider organization. This helped them gain support for a two-site scaled up pilot, then they ‘sold’ it to the Global CEO. He mandated and supported a roll-out throughout the business. Fantastic development for the team, effortless buy-in, maximal use of internal resources, better retention of recruits, and a wonderful solution to the original pressing problem.
We have trained and mentored internal consultants in major public and private sector organizations undergoing dramatic changes in strategy, in order to smooth the path, engage stakeholders, and ensure best use of internal and external resources.
Call-centres are not easy to manage, especially when inbound callers are under stress. We introduced a communication and influence framework to the Director of Operations of a personal finance company which reduced average call time while dramatically increasing close rates and improving staff morale.
For a key support group of a global professional services firm, we facilitated a review process to enable them to meet the challenges of the firm's ambitious growth strategy. The exercise produced innovative ways to redesign processes and redeploy assets for a greater return to the firm on the function's budget.
Working on a pro bono basis, we helped reinvigorate the regional board of a national charity, leading to renewed energy and commitment, and collaborated on the launch and delivery of substantial fundraising initiatives.
A great next step for you would be to check out my podcast and get inspired by the varied stories and insights from my guests – each of them a successful leader with fresh perspectives. And if you ever find yourself looking for renewed mental traction, drop me an email.