Get Growing or Get Going

The Client

A $1+ billion multinational corporation with a new CEO that wants an aggressive global strategy for growth.

The Problem

This new CEO came into the job with major aspirations for what he could accomplish, but he wasn’t sure if his current approach was the correct one, or if he had the team that could realize his vision. In a new position without a clear handle on who he could trust, he realized he couldn’t trust anyone yet. Recognizing that leadership issues combined with a lack of knowledge about all of the players in the room could lead to huge problems down the line, this CEO reached out to me to help him build the team he needed to grow globally.

My Challenge

The new leader chose me specifically because of my expertise in global human resources and talent management. We were also under a bit of a time crunch, as all eyes were on my client and he couldn’t afford weeks of exhaustive analysis (though I love doing that too), so I had to be a quick study and decision maker. In order to give this client the information he needed, on his timeline, I had to be heavily involved in day-to-day operations, which means that everyone in the office had to feel comfortable and safe with me around.

My Role

During my 90 days with the client, I functioned as an objective strategic partner. I attended all of the strategic planning sessions with the new CEO and his team - listening, observing and asking lots of questions. By virtue of my being an objective outsider, everyone in the room felt comfortable responding openly and honestly to my questions. Nothing breaks the ice quite like knowing there is someone who has your back if you make a good point - even if the boss doesn’t like it.

What We Did

Once I’d spent an appropriate amount of time observing the situation, I had several concrete recommendations for my client.

Upgrade Talent

Some members of the CEO’s team mismatched either skills or visionwise with the client, which meant hiring on some new employees to support the global growth strategy.

Fix Team Culture

An already difficult situation was made worse by team culture issues, including a lack of trust in each other and previous leaders, an avoidance of dealing with conflict, and the absence of a clear set of values and principles that people operated under and had known consequences for dismissing. By bringing these challenges to light and developing strategies to fix them, morale and performance improved.

Upgrade IT Infrastructure

Yes! An executive coach and HR consultant does more than help with just people, we also bring the technical advice. This company didn’t have the technical infrastructure to perform at the level my client wanted, so I made some recommendations on hardware, software and processes that would facilitate the expected growth of the sales team.

Separate Sales and Product Teams

I noticed that a huge barrier to productivity and growth was cross-contamination between the sales and product teams. Rather than focusing on developing a great product, the product team was getting distracted by sales and growth figures. By clearly defining responsibilities between the two, both were able to function more effectively.

The Result

Since my time with the client, his vision for the company has proceeded right on schedule. What started as a $1+ billion company now has profitable growth of $5+ billion, market share growth of 40%, new leaders, new partners and a slew of new awards. I can’t take credit for all of that of course (though I wish I could, I’d love to get some of that $5 billion), but this is what an executive coach does. I take leaders with big ideas and together we create an environment where those ideas can be executed.