Tag Archives: Assess

How Do You Shift Culture as the Company Grows? 12 Challenges & Countermeasures

Situation: A company has grown through its expertise consulting for other companies. For its next growth step the CEO and Board want to shift to a project basis. This entails several changes, from compensation to organization and focus. How do you shift culture as the company grows?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Risks & Challenges
    • Biggest risk – dissatisfied employees who see less billable income per hour and may not see the “more hours” part of the picture.
    • The biggest personnel challenge will be those who have been with the company for many years, and who will see the most change – maybe not to their specific practices if they can bring in business, but on the project side.
    • Communication is a critical challenge, and also the best way to avoid landmines. Put a velvet glove on the presentation of the opportunity: “This is good news – we know that the low hanging fruit is now mostly gone, and that the remaining fruit is higher; to counter this we now have more options.” Carefully prepare communications to both management and consultant team members.
    • Another potential landmine – the impact on the company’s reputation if it blows up after a year. Set appropriate expectations – the company is introducing a new program rather than a wholesale rebranding.
  • Countermeasures to Mitigate the Risks
    • Maintain a structural option that preserves the old model for those who can bring in new projects and who prefer this model. For them, the new model is just an option that can help tide them over if there are gaps between the projects that they bring in.
    • Present the project option as new opportunity. Give more senior and experienced consultants priority in choosing whether to participate or not in new project work.
    • Plan and create the ability to assess the old consultancy model vs. the new project model. This will be especially important when individuals are spending part of their time in each area.
    • Create a set of metrics for each business – the consulting and project businesses – to measure whether they are on track. Identify and monitor the drivers for each business.
    • Keep the title Consultant on consultants’ business cards – Consultant, Sr. Consultant, etc. Allow them to continue to take pride in their role.
    • Move to the new model through a planned phase-in but retain the option to adjust the speed of transition between the old and new models. This will allow sensitivity to changes in the environment.
    • Don’t consider an immediate and complete rebranding – think in terms of introducing a new product under the company’s well-known brand. Plan a gradual transition of business to the new model. Introduce the new product as a new offering. As it picks up steam, gradually move brand identification and promise to the new model.
    • For the new project model, create incentives for project performance. Show team members that while the hourly rate may be less, if they perform as a team they will share the upside through project bonuses.

How Do You Know Your Team Can Handle Planned Growth? Six Steps

Interview with Gene Tange, President, PearlHPS

Situation: An acquired company is poised for dramatic growth. The corporation that acquired them has questions about the current team’s capability to realize planned growth, and achieve their financial and operational targets. How can they assess whether the existing team is up to the task?

Advice from Gene Tange:

  • Think of this as an assessment process that accurately predicts the ability of the leadership team to realize planned outcomes while maturing key business processes. The leadership team is tied to both financial and operational outcomes that cover competence, continuity and alignment. This enables proactive management of organizational changes to support planned growth of the business. A real life example will illustrate the steps of the process.
  • The starting point was whether the current CEO had the right compliment of skills and capabilities to lead a high performance team. Could this leader see beyond the current stage of growth in terms of the talent and processes required for growth? Could he build a high performance team, align them and retain them to achieve results?
  • The CEO then laid out the future state organization. The essential question was whether he had teams of leaders in each of the key functions to assure success.
    • Specifically, the Product Development Team generated a competitive analysis comparing the current product with all others to assure a 2 year competitive advantage.  They were also tasked with improving cost of manufacturing.
    • The Sales Team installed an integrated CRM system to support large orders, including internal cross functional communication to increase customer visibility and satisfaction scores.
    • The Operations organization moved from a traditional batch manufacturing process to a state of the art, focused factory organization, eliminating WIP, reducing operational costs and increasing the speed of order to delivery.
    • Finally, the Finance and Administrative functions were assessed.
  • As a result, in 16 months the company grew 5x in revenue and increased margins. Time from order to delivery was reduced by 16x. Headcount was reduced while shipping volume increased by 5x.
  • A disciplined assessment process that predict business outcomes and ties your talent to the bottom line can provide a significant advantage in today’s highly competitive environment.

You can contact Gene Tange at gtange@pearlhps.com

Key Words: Growth, Experience, Assess, Capability, Processes, Predictive, High Performance, Competence, Continuity, Alignment, Organization, Structure, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Customer Relationship, Finance