How We Help
We have applied The Living Organization® Approach to companies of all sizes, from startups to large corporations, from nonprofit to publicly traded companies. Each time the shift in perspective was able to reveal solutions that previously alluded the management team. Here are some examples of how we have helped others. Perhaps we can help you.
Improving Process - A high-level crypto security company was having trouble converting proposals into sales. We identified the underlying root cause and shifted the Context of the engineering group. Outcome: they won the next 5 out of 7 proposals.
A NASDAQ Public Company division focused on the high-level crypto security segment. All the customers were agencies of the US government. They got their start as a sole-source supplier based on their unique expertise in certain areas of cerography and hardware design and development. With this context, their design and proposal efforts were focused on the elegance and sophistication of the designs, for that is what made them stand out from the crowd.
As they grew and the government moved farther away from sole source suppliers, they found themselves repeatedly in competitive bid situations and usually against the larger companies in this market. They struggled to win proposals and brought in a consulting firm that specialized in developing proposal processes that won contracts. This was a top tier firm with many of their larger competitors as clients.
We were invited in. Even with this refined process, they were still not converting proposals into sales. We assessed the process and found that it was, in fact, a well thought out process, so we quickly eliminated the process step as the cause of the problem. We did observe tension between the business development people and the engineers as they worked through a major proposal. As we dove a little deeper to the source of the tension, we found the engineers’ Context was around their ability to create sophisticated, elegant technical solutions. They viewed the problem as Biz Dev not being able to “sell” the agency on the value of the solutions.
Once identified, we met with the engineers and reframed what success was. “Anyone can define an elegant solution with unlimited resources. Only the best engineers can do so within the constraints of defined budgets.” This shift in Context brought the engineers and Biz Dev in alignment and freed up their creative energy.
The Outcome: they won the next 5 out of 7 proposals.
Mergers & Acquisitions - An engineering firm had a lackluster track record of success with acquisitions. We added another layer to their due diligence, seeing the acquisition as a joining of two people in deep relationship. Outcome: they grew from $100 Million to over $200 Million.
The board of a $100 Million engineering services firm developed a strategic direction around an industry rollup strategy. This particular field was comprised of a few major players and many local small mom and pop firms. This firm was right at the middle of the pack and saw an opportunity to take a lead position in the industry.
The company had done a number of acquisitions over its history and did not have a great track record of success. In addition, the company had turned over the reins to a new younger management team who would be responsible for executing this strategy. To help the new team, the board established an acquisition committee to advise and guide the team through the process. They had helped the team develop an effective selection and due diligence process. However while many of the acquired companies were good choices, the integration was not going as smoothly as they envisioned and did not provide the expected synergies.
We were brought in to help the executive team improve their ability to integrate the companies. Evaluating their integration planning process, we felt they had an effective process for integrating the systems and customers. We did find that they were not integrating the people as effectively as they expected.
We started by establishing ways for them to evaluate the different cultures and ultimately the Context of the acquired company. We also helped them develop a process for identifying key players and what their individual Context, motivations and drives were, so they can be integrated in ways that was a real win-win for all. To help this process along we guided them to think of the acquired company not as a company with assets and people but as a “person” with a personality, skills and interests, as a new marriage they were entering into. This shift in Context, combined with some defined processes, was so effective that they moved this aspect up to the front end, starting with selection and then incorporated in the due diligence. This made the integrations go much smoother.
The Outcome: Over a five-year period they successfully integrated 8 out of 10 acquisitions and grew from $100 Million to over $200 Million.
Customer Experience - A restaurant was planning to expand and wanted to maintain “The WOW Experience”. We worked with them to develop a set of trainings that would communicate the essence of The WOW Experience. Outcome: they opened up 6 new restaurants in three cities and are currently expanding into two new cities.
A restaurant was beginning their expansion strategy. They had built a great reputation for creating not only fine food but an outstanding dining experience. As the CEO said,” we work hard to make each guest feel like they have left their day to day world behind and entered inter a magical, sensory experience.” His concern was being able to maintain and propagate, what he came to call “The WOW Experience” as he expanded to his second store and beyond.
He brought us in to work with him and his leadership team and assist with developing training for the staff. Initially we had to dive deeper into what created that WOW experience and bring it from an unconscious “thing we do” to a conscious understanding of the elements that created it. At first, they thought that it would mostly involve those who serviced the customers, the wait-staff, but we quickly discovered that it involved all the staff. The Relationship between the wait staff and the kitchen staff was especially critical though not obvious at first.
We worked with them to develop a set of trainings that would communicate the essence of The WOW Experience. We helped them craft stories that brought this attribute of their Soulful Purpose to life. We helped them reframe the Context of the kitchen staff to expand beyond making great food, to helping the wait-staff create that special experience of customers.
The Outcome: They have over the last 4 years opened up 6 new restaurants in three cities and are currently expanding into two new cities. All the while creating the special unique WOW Experience for thousands of customers.
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