Clients usually engage
us to do:
- Workshops: 1 – 3 day sessions, focusing on a specific topic or challenge. Often done as part of a periodic staff meeting, to address a tough choice or introduce new approaches
- Topical “Audits”: 1 – 4 week assessments of your current strategy, business model(s), operating governance, or organizational architecture. Includes documentation of the current state, assessment of suitability, and diagnosis of gaps and misalignments
- Consulting Engagements: individually scoped projects to define, align, and implement new strategy, business models, organizational architecture or operating governance. Includes “Deep Dives”
We have applied our extensive expertise and collaborative approach across multiple industries.
Below are brief synopses of client engagements across all of our Practice Areas. Clients, like medical patients, sometimes present with a set of symptoms but are unsure as to what treatment is appropriate. Likewise, many practitioners are eager to offer the treatments they know, regardless of whether that’s best for the client’s business (“when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”).
We pride ourselves on applying the appropriate techniques to address a client’s concerns.
Global Business Strategy
The $5b Crop Harvesting division of this F100 global manufacturer was combating “too many priorities” and struggled to focus major development efforts to attain revenue and profitability targets. They hired us to develop a global business strategy to align all geographies and development efforts uniformly around a common vision.
We worked with key members of the executive team to deliver a comprehensive strategy, including:
- Detailed market segmentation based on a set of business assumptions/scenarios
- In depth segment assessment and prioritization and business model development
- Financial modeling of targeted segment revenue growth and costs
- Manufacturing footprint determination
- Program priorities to target prioritized segments geographically
- Vision, strategy and strategic pillars
An engaged and aligned team, they now wield a strategy that explains where they are focusing their development efforts and why, to obtain increased — and more consistent — funding for their product plan.
Innovation & Business Model Development
This international technology company, historically known for its innovative offerings, found itself stagnating in its core markets. Endowed with substantial corporate funding each year, their Labs (R&D) organization invented numerous new products, only to have them languish internally without being embraced by their business units (some of which were very similar to those successfully introduced by competitors – years later).
We worked with their R&D group to:
- Develop a portfolio structure to focus their innovation efforts on the specific areas that aligned the organization’s capabilities with the company’s strategic goals and specific business unit priorities
- Establish the process by which new R&D efforts are funded, prioritized and initiated — to better reflect the needs and interests of the business units
- Restructure the R&D organization — aligned with the new portfolio approach — and re-formulate the teams with the necessary skill-sets
Reframing the “who pays for what” to ensure that the business units “sponsored” projects in particular portfolios raised the adoption rate from 7% to 75%. This model has been replicated throughout the company’s business units for their BU-specific innovation efforts, and the company has resumed its place as a leader in their market.
Organizing for Effectiveness
This leading technology company determined that its Enterprise Architecture capabilities were one of the keys to its future competitiveness. It was mandatory that their infrastructure be cost-effective, flexible, and able to facilitate rapid responses to market demands.
We worked in tandem with both technology and business executives to:
- Define the key strategic goals and requirements of the organization — aligned directly with corporate business goals
- Devise structural options which meet these requirements and assess these structural options for capability, manageability and feasibility
- Draft the primary activities, staffing model, and both leadership and individual roles and job descriptions needed for the organization to be successful
- Execute — implement the new organizational structure, roles, responsibilities and job descriptions; remove staff with skill-set mismatch, interview/hire new skill-sets (including a new CTO)
The new organization is the catalyst for substantial changes being made to enhance the company’s competitive position — including efforts to reduce costs and complexity as well as improve stability.
Re-Organizing to Jump-Start Growth
Under new leadership, this brand name, $1.5b formerly non-profit company was looking to increase revenue, improve operating margins and drive a “profit & loss” orientation deeper within the organization by being more commercially focused and market-responsive globally. They were organized in an ad hoc, organic fashion, without clear accountability throughout the various operational units.
We worked with the executive team to determine an effective organizational structure (based on their strategy and goals) that enabled them to successfully grow and transition to a customer-orientation by:
- Diagnosing the dislocations, misalignments, and inefficiencies in the existing organizational structure
- Developing a set of plausible organizational options and defining a set of evaluative criteria
- Conducting a series of workshops with the executive team to assess the various options and specify a better structure
- Performing an analysis of the skillsets required for the new organization and determining where gaps exist, while creating an extensive organizational transition timeline
Early results are very promising. Surveys indicate that personnel are energized by the increased customer focus and revenue is up for the first time in many years.
Joint Venture Governance
After completing a JV in China between two leading emissions controls producers (an eos consulting recommendation in a prior engagement), the respective Engineering teams needed assistance in harmonizing their collective product development efforts and leveraging their respective strengths and cost advantages.
We worked extensively with the Engineering and Executive teams of both companies to:
- Outline an over-arching vision for how the two organizations should collaborate to co-develop products
- Specify the details of the corresponding governance model for the engineering relationships, including: organizational structure, key operating processes, and decision rights – “who does what, when, and how”
- Determine the costs, ROI and personnel implications of achieving the vision
- Develop a high level transition roadmap/implementation plan, summarizing roadblocks, actions needed, and budgets
Engaged, aligned and collaborative Engineering teams — that led to cost effective, market-leading products – and ultimately to a successful joint venture.
The Power Systems division of this company was stagnating and required a more effective “go to market” growth plan/strategy. In particular, the strategy needed to help determine the optimal mix of products and services to be sold to which segments (and which customers therein) within which regions to drive profitable growth. It was particularly important for the strategy to be actionable by marketing and the sales force.
Working with their executive team, we:
- Analyzed the company’s customer base and segmented their markets based on internal background materials/perspectives and existing external market data
- Determined the attractiveness of each segment and the fit to company capabilities/strengths
- Developed growth models from financial forecasting data
- Established a manufacturing footprint plan
- Determined which products and services should be offered to each segment in order to maximize revenue, market share, potential growth and profitability
Key markets were identified and targeted for increased sales. Products were matched to their ideal markets, and as a result, overall revenue and profitability rose substantially.
Market Entry with a breakthrough technology
This $1b division of a global manufacturer had developed a new technology which had the potential to provide future competitive advantage. However, it could also undermine margins in its existing businesses. The team was struggling to bring the technology to market, and — as costs mounted — patience from the executive suite was running short.
We worked closely with both the senior executives and the business team responsible for commercializing the new technology, to:
- Analyze the market and its competitive dynamics, and then identify new business model opportunities — specifically, to sell individual components of the new technology instead of a complete power generation system
- Help them realize that the technology was better suited to be a part of a different product, in an application for customer segments that they didn’t usually serve
- Redirect their sales and marketing efforts as well as manufacturing outputs on these newly targeted customers and applications
The emerging business unit won renewed commitment and confidence from the executive team — and due to this business model reframing they soon won an $8MM contract to supply a vendor of specialized military products to the government.
Governing the Client Relationship
This company’s sophisticated enterprise software requires significant professional services time and expertise to integrate with its customers’ product development processes. Yet, these complex projects had no documented governance mechanisms to help guide them to successful completion. We were engaged to develop these mechanisms in order to better set/manage customer expectations, reduce re-work and improve profitability.
Working with key executives and Professional Services personnel globally, we:
- Identified the organization’s key governance choices and determined that a customer-tailored client diagnostic and governance model was required
- Developed the specific elements, including a client diagnostic (to determine appropriate governance “level”) and governance templates (decision rights, processes, metrics, etc.)
- Specified a test and communications plan, developed training materials and conducted training classes for globally distributed Professional Services leadership
An implemented framework that enabled the company’s Professional Services organization to custom-tailor a governance blueprint for each client, based on that client’s needs and capabilities; and to update and improve the blueprint framework as experience accumulates. This program resulted in a measurable reduction in re-work, improved customer satisfaction and increased profitability.
This company was facing explosive growth and needed to expand capacity in order to meet market demand. They needed to determine in what locations to manufacture which products/components, incorporating numerous factors, including: current and future customer demand by region, location of current facilities, geographic labor conditions/costs, governmental stability, infrastructure costs, supply chain, etc.
We worked closely with executives and an operational core team to:
- Determine a workable approach and objectives given an aggressive business strategy
- Develop the numerous factors critical to the decision-making process and determine a set of viable candidate scenarios
- Model the financial and assess the non-financial factors for each scenario
- Decide on the optimal scenario/variants and formulate a strategy, including elements cost, risks and associated critical success factors
The strategy was implemented throughout Europe and Asia, generating significant profitable growth — the company returned record results within two years.
IT Governance Framework
The IT function of this multi-billion dollar travel services company was challenged by stability and cost issues, largely driven by uncontrolled complexity, exacerbated by widely distributed IT decision-making.
We worked closely with the client’s executive and technology teams to define and implement a cohesive IT Governance Framework by:
- Establishing comprehensive governance processes, encompassing setting and governing technology standards, as well as business unit-driven projects and IT/infrastructure projects
- Restructuring the IT organization, with defined roles, responsibilities and decision rights
- Implementing a “dashboard” of financial and operational/performance metrics for tracking success
- Constructing a feedback loop – such that the organization can continually refine and improve upon their ability to meet their business commitments
The new CIO, assisted by an energized management team (that had been involved in developing the new framework) was able to rapidly realize significant cost savings and operational improvements – while adding new services and reducing complexity.
Below are some of the issues which resulted in executives approaching us, grouped by practice area.
When might you seek assistance with your strategy or business model(s)?
- You have been brought in to address poor performance (shrinking revenue, loss of market share, etc.) and there is either no apparent course to a turnaround, or a number of options — and no obvious way to get everyone behind any one of them.
- Several critical initiatives have been identified, yet you struggle to get the organization to appropriately prioritize limited investment $ to achieve optimal results.
- You have been asked to establish short and long-term goals for your organization in key performance areas, yet the organization accepts no over-arching strategy upon which to anchor them.
- You feel that you are continually “fighting fires” and operating tactically – with no definitive longer term vision – but all this activity is producing little in the way of improving results.
- You do not feel that there is a “roadmap” for success, and you cannot tell if the current activities are focused appropriately.
When might you seek assistance with your organizational design?
- New management/leadership must signal to personnel the need to think and act differently
- A change in strategy/direction was recently enacted and a different organizational construct could improve its execution
- Too much of your organization’s time/effort is focused internally, instead of on customers or markets.
- Morale is low and/or your workforce is increasingly frustrated.
When might you seek assistance with your operating governance?
- Unclear roles and responsibilities are leading to escalating response times and internal tension.
- In the aftermath of reorganization, people are confused about who is supposed to make certain decisions, resulting in a combination of conflict and important things “falling through the cracks”.
- New management has been added as the company (or a subset) has been growing, resulting in an increasing number of disputes/escalations over the boundaries of each manager’s span of control.
- The company has entered into a partnership, acquisition or outsourcing arrangement and it is not clear what decision authority each entity has or what elements of shared processes each sub-group is responsible for.