Challenge: The new CEO of a highly successful mid-market services company was facing a dilemma. He needed to dramatically increase momentum of scaling for aggressive growth. To accomplish this, he envisioned transforming the company’s culture from one with many hierarchical silos to one where executives, managers and employees were more collaborative, innovative and productive. However, all was not going as planned. Resistance was rampant across the US organization, and was compounded by a mysterious case of low morale. He decided to work with us because he was frustrated that previous attempts by other consultants to help him accelerate cultural transformation had not been successful. The clock was ticking.
How We Helped: To quickly discover the reasons behind the persistent resistance to change and low morale, we built upon information previous consultants had already gathered and then filled in the missing pieces with our own approach. We discovered a strong communications gap between the CEO, executive team and the rest of the organization. Despite the company experiencing its best year ever financially, many employees interpreted signs of change to mean that the company was in deep trouble. The rumor mill went wild. Once we shared our findings, we worked with the CEO and his executive team to create a consistent understanding of the organization’s new strategic direction. Collectively, we brought out the “elephants in the room” between executives, managers and employees throughout the organization that were contributing to misunderstandings about the cultural transformation.
Results: In the nick of time, the CEO reported that the case of the persistent resistance to change and mysterious low morale was solved! As a result, the C-suite agreed to increase company wide communication. They also agreed to review, revise, and eliminate outdated policies and practices that inadvertently created disincentives to the new collaborative culture. This enabled the culture to evolve so that cross-functional collaboration and strengthened commitment from the executive suite to the front line became the norm. Momentum increased, and the company moved forward with its acquisition and organic growth objectives at an unprecedented rate. This enabled them to maintain their position of leadership in the hyper-competitive environment of their industry.