1. Regional Director of Professional Services

    March 28, 2012 by christine

    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.


  2. UK Country Head

    by christine

    WORKING TO A SHARED VISION

    We worked with the UK country head of a global ICT company. Internally there was a culture of individuals and teams working independently of or against each other. They wasted a lot of time and money competing for resources, where they should have been focusing on meeting client needs. His goal was to grow the company by £15 million over 3 years. He knew he needed to change the way they operated if he was to be successful.

    The country head used his Accelerated Success programme to work with his management team to develop a 3 year strategy for the company, and to ensure annual business goals were aligned. During this process he came to understand how much influence quarterly financial targets had on what got done, and what didn’t. This prompted him to introduce a management team meeting cycle that enabled them to balance today’s demands with longer term goals. This in turn highlighted the need for better management processes, which would help maintain focus and improve the quality of the information available to his team. By introducing improved processes, reporting on business performance was more accurate and timely, and decision making on critical business issues was better and faster.

    Not everyone on the management team welcomed this new level of visibility and accountability, and through his coaching programme he also extended his capability in managing change at the individual, team and organizational level. He learned that inspiring others to share his vision was about more than setting an income target. He developed his understanding of what being a good leader looks like and successfully put it into practice on the job.

    As a result, the management team became much more aligned and motivation improved, along with effectiveness. Business performance reporting and management also improved. The country head was communicating more effectively with individual team members and was better at supporting them in their roles. Management team communication was more open, there was greater accountability, and difficult issues were addressed rather than swept under the carpet. There was also a visible impact on the wider organisation, with greater clarity of purpose and improved cooperation and communication. The bottom line was that clients were happier and business results exceeded plan.

    Developing his own career he continued to take on additional responsibilities within the organisation and has since been promoted to a Group Leader position.

     


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