The core elements of exceptional team performance are also fundamental :
- A clear vision of “success”; formed with broad input and marked by broad acceptance
- Talented people aligned to deliver that success, each with clear roles and boundaries
- An abiding commitment to deliver on S.M.A.R.T. deliverables -- not just make a best effort
- Sufficient resources, tools and support aligned to support the strategy
- A culture of trust, built on communication and reliability
Achieving excellence in each of these core elements is never easy, and is often compromised by market events, competitive activity, budget crises, organizational restructuring, technological advancements, regulatory environment -- and the list goes on. And in the press of daily challenges, it can be immensely difficult to step out of the trees to view the forest.
STRATEGIES CONSULTING provides objectivity and expertise needed in guiding organizations to enhance their ability to consistently deliver “success”. First, we meet with you to learn your needs, your unique circumstances, and what you are trying to achieve -- in specific, measurable terms. Then we assemble the appropriate expertise and custom design the steps our experience shows us will most quickly and efficiently deliver :
- the results you seek
- in a time-frame that makes sense
- at a cost that provides you an excellent return on investment.
A CASE STUDY :
A European branded consumer products division had assembled a team of bright, young-but-experienced, market-savvy department managers. They agreed unanimously on their strategy -- and had helped develop it. But month-after-month, deadlines were missed, sales fell short, customers were disappointed and tempers began to flare. They were all putting in long hours, seven days a week, and no progress to show. An additional complication were the unhappy country managers - each with his/her individual circumstances, culture, language and agenda.
STRATEGIES CONSULTING was commissioned by the corporate headquarters to do an evaluation of the situation and to propose solutions. Obviously, the first hurdle to be overcome was having been hired by corporate. This was addressed by steps to reassure the team the we really did seek their success -- not their scalps. The initial focus of our work was on what they had in common : goals and strategy. Attention shifted from what wasn’t working (a continual complaint session) to how it would look if it were working well. What needed to be fixed became clear to the team. Communication was guided to become supportive, rather than combative. Compromises on key efforts were forged with country managers. Product lines were simplified and restructured so that each country’s customers could customize the purchases to a degree.
Results : Individual managers knowing and executing their responsibilities flawlessly - and in coordination with the others. First year sales increase +20%; Gross Margin improvement +5 points; on-time deliveries of the simplified line; and dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF CLIENT CHALLENGES ADDRESSED :
- “Our (divisions) are silos; they compete internally for resources, glory, etc. They don’t share best practices and we’re not learning from ‘failures’”.
- “How do we transform our culture from “activity-centered” to “results-driven ?”
- “Is there a quick and inexpensive way to learn how we could improve our performance ?’
- “We waste our most precious resource : Time! Worthless meetings, second-guessing, decisions not quickly translated into action.”
- “It’s Management-By-Scrum - we all huddle around problems and make no progress ... but no can be faulted. In the name of ‘teamwork’, individual accountability is kept very vague.”
- “We seem to fall all over ourselves. I’m not sure we’re structured properly.”
- “I’ve got four pages of personal performance objectives -- there’s no way I can accomplish all that ! It’s like I just have to show that I’m busy earning my paycheck.”
- “We all use the same words, but it’s like we’re speaking different languages.”
- “If we’re not back on plan by the end of the quarter, I’ll be looking for a new job.”
(Please also refer to ”What They Say...” under “Clients / Employers”)