Success Stories

Regional Director of Professional Services

GREAT LEADERSHIP IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD

We worked with the regional director of professional services, heading up the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East & Africa) of a global data warehousing business. He had been hugely successful in setting up and growing his part of the business. However, following the economic downturn, in 2009 the board of the global company demanded tighter cost control and a greater focus on sustaining recent hard won growth.

The director’s challenge was primarily around mindset and leadership maturity. His strengths in the start-up situation had been his blue-sky strategic thinking and entrepreneurial flair, coupled with the drive to jet from one country to another, leading from the front and rallying others to exceed target. For his people, rewards and prospects were good and they readily put up with the turmoil and pain of rapid change. However, his people now feared for their jobs and he needed to provide stability, consistency and focus on retaining core business. This was a significant shift from his previous remit of growth, growth, growth.

Through his Accelerated Success programme he dealt with his disappointment at the dramatic change in his role and then focused on the new situation. He quickly saw that to control costs and retain staff in professional services he needed to build a culture of collaboration between his and other functions, something that had not been a priority when the business was growing rapidly. He developed a new set of strategic goals that were aligned with those of other functions and the business as a whole, and paid much more attention to how he communicated with other function heads and with his own management team. He worked with his management team to refocus their teams, at the same time reassuring them that they had a long term future with the company.

In confronting his own difficulties in adapting to the new situation, the director was able reduce the difficulties faced by his peers, his management team and their teams. He has steadied the ship and reduced costs, while continuing to exceed revenue targets. He has also instilled a sense of confidence across the region, which has served to retain staff who were part of the success in the good times, setting the company up for continued success during the anticipated slowdown – which never came! The services division continues to grow rapidly and, benefiting greatly from its renewed focus, is exceeding revenue targets year on year.

Success Story Profile

Leadership Level

Business Leader

Programme Duration

10 months

Key Outcomes

  • Leading through difficult times
  • Maturing as a leader
  • Realigning the business

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