Strategy, Operating Model, Human Capital Plan
A global consulting organization was expecting to double in size with growth to be driven primarily from organic expansion of current service lines and also from the acquisition of a new service line. The challenge for leadership was to re-define the service and delivery model such that the business can scale to meet this additional demand (e.g., they had twelve $3M+ clients, but twenty-five of these clients were expected within three years). Through multiple working meetings, a variety of issues were
We have helped our clients address a variety of issues, opportunities, and challenges; although often highly inter-related, case are categorized by these business issues:
identified for the successful management of this growth. For example, evolving the sales and the customer engagement/management model was identified, because the previous account management model allowed for consultants to perform a variety of activities for their clients, which would not scale going forward. It was also concluded that a broader human capital strategy was necessary for development, selection, and other core management process (performance management, rewards, standardized role descriptions). Leadership concluded that aligning the entire organization to this scale-based strategy was critical to successful execution.
Emerging Markets, Globalization
A global medical device company was seeking to broaden its reach into a major emerging market. We partnered with this client to create clarity, drive alignment, and build capability. The client was facing a variety of market forces that directly and indirectly impacted their ability to successfully expand into this new market (i.e., global economy driving downward pricing and reimbursement pressure, increased regulation and unique requirements from this new market that could increase complexity of their
operating model); within this context and with clear design criteria in mind, we re-designed the organization so that it was best structured to compete, maximize scale and local responsiveness, and execute its growth strategy. We brought a global team of leaders together, creatively secured the counsel of experienced executives, and designed an organizational model to best navigate the complexities of adding a new market to their business processes.
Transforming Clinical Operations
A Clinical Operations organization from a global biopharmaceutical company entered into a strategic partnership with a leading CRO (contract research organization). Currently, it was outsourcing clinical operations to many vendors, while industry trends were shifting toward single strategic partners, which can eliminate multiple processes, drive consistent approaches, eliminate duplication, and increase responsiveness to industry/regulatory requirements. This case represented a major strategic shift, a
major operating model change, and the creation of new centers of excellence; all of which resulted in significant change to workflow and role requirements. Key to the successful execution of this new model was strong change management, which accelerates capturing the intended value of the partnership. Fully established strategic partnerships can accelerate speed-to-market by months and cost efficiencies can reach 25- to-30%, relative to transactional outsourcing.
Driving Customer Value & Satisfaction
A technology customer support organization aimed to implement a solution support strategy and operating model, making a shift from supporting hardware and software products, to providing customers with integrated and seamless technology solutions to business challenges. We supported our client by creating a workshop-based solution designed to engage all managers around the globe to frame and address this challenge, enabling them as change leaders, and making recommendations to
senior leadership for successful implementation. This work had a significant impact on the business: it directly led to the creation of a new organization to drive customer self-service; large organizations were restructured to accommodate changes in workflow and operating processes; new skill sets were identified and consistently trained; new technology tools were created (e.g., collaboration tools to more quickly connect SMEs on customer calls and new “customer environment” tools to allow engineers to have a complete view of the customer while on service calls); goal setting and performance management processes were changed, affecting how employees are financially rewarded; and ultimately, several key metrics were impacted (e.g., increased Time-to-Resolve 34%, decreased hrs/Service Request 42%).
Driving Scientific Drug Discovery
This global pharmaceutical client was undergoing a fundamental shift in its Discovery research model, requiring significant change to how therapeutic areas interface with clinical support and platform organizations. This broader change necessitated a core support function to significantly focus their scope and bring more value to how the entire portfolio is managed, thereby enabling and driving the overall performance and productivity of the entire discovery engine. We worked with this client to
outline these strategic choices, propose a new focused-scope purpose, and outline the operating model and organizational structure that drives the new strategy.
Aligning Sales & Services
A large, global technology company was shifting its go-to-market model, with an increased emphasis placed on technology solutions (rather than leading with products). There was a deliberate shift in strategy, but prior to this they had seen a number of sales and pre-sales leaders organically making this shift out in the field. This was putting a strain on the company’s ability to deliver against this promise, and certainly causing a disconnect between the sales and services organizations. This was a classic
matrix issue; they had overlapping goals and objectives that were mis-aligned; they also had legitimate competing priorities that were not fully appreciated and resulted in counter-productive behaviors. We brought top talent from both organizations together for three days, applying a systems thinking methodology to address this challenge. We were able to help leaders from both organizations see a broader perspective, appreciate one-another’s view of the situation, outline the key challenges and opportunities to be solved to drive customer value, and outlined a new high-level operating model for how the two organizations will be more tightly aligned.
Customer Excellence: Driving Efficiency & Effectiveness
A healthcare professional services organization wanted to identify and address opportunities to improve its partnership with its most important client, ensuring a more consistent and proactive approach to project management and execution of its core services. The client was seeing a slip in its profit margin and hoped that through a series of improvements to its operations, we could turn around this drop in margin. A process and performance improvement approach was taken where a through a series of
workshops, we brought together key leaders and managers from around the globe to outline opportunities and recommended solutions. The leaders outlined a variety of areas where operational efficiencies could be achieved (e.g., contracting/scope-creep management, financial account management, knowledge/information management, roles & responsibilities, and reporting/metrics key to this major account) which would drive improved performance for their client and future revenue for our client.
We have supported a few large system installations in technology, biotech, and services organizations (e.g., enterprise Oracle, PeopleSoft, Workday, Success Factors). Many have experienced the challenges of implementing these systems that often result in delays, increased cost, lack of utilization, and lack of expected business performance improvements. Key to this work is strong change management; ensuring alignment between business processes, stakeholder requirements, and technology. We have helped organizations capture the intended value, accelerating successful implementation.
Whole Greater than Sum of Parts
As part of a larger strategy to move into a new therapeutic area, our client organization (European pharmaceutical) formed a global partnership with an American biotech to develop and commercialize a novel drug for the treatment of a major childhood disease for which there is currently no treatment. This is a complex partnership that requires highly coordinated efforts across R&D and Commercial from both organizations. It was further complicated due to their wildly different cultures and operating
norms, which hindered progress due to mis-communication, belabored decision-making, increased conflict, and ultimately lack of clarity around fundamental objectives. We helped create clarity, alignment, and capability by clarifying how value will be created through the partnership; how workflow would result in clear roles/responsibilities/SLAs; and how teams must operate more effectively to achieve their milestones.
Sales Capabilities that Drive Outstanding Results
A global Professional Services organization aimed to double its revenue from $3B to $6B over a four year period of time. The executive team had a sound growth strategy that was largely organic and based on increasing market share, creating a new market/service offering, and also entering a well-established market where competitors already had a foothold. We brought the right leaders together to work through the various strategic choices and trade-off decisions to ensure full agreement and alignment.
Key to the successful execution of this strategy was a sales organization with very different capabilities. This strategy was in part the result of activities seen from top-performing sales people; we also studied those individuals and put development programs in place to build the needed capabilities, while leveraging these insights for better selection and performance management. Our client estimated that this work significantly accelerated the implementation of the new strategy, drove better sales, and decreased the loss of value by improving selection and turnover.
make better-informed decisions during the hiring process. After a period of time, it was found (by the client organizations) that this new methodology reduced turnover by 17% (defined as voluntary/involuntary termination within two years) and increased the likelihood of hiring top-performing executives by 14%. Our clients estimated, based simply on direct costs (e.g., hiring/recruiting, lost productivity) and not opportunity costs, that each “bad” hire cost the organizations nearly $1M. It’s important to note that “bad” hires were about capability mis-matches (as we define it); while traditional selection methods typically do not deploy the same degree of objectivity.
Selecting the Right Executives
We worked with three different organizations (financial services, health insurance, and technology organization) to solve essentially the same problem: they wanted a better methodology to select higher-performing senior executives and reduce turnover at that level. We partnered to build the competency models that served as the foundation for this work; we created selection criteria and a rigorous process that could be trained to managers and recruiters; and we conducted executive-level assessments to
Driving Sales Performance
A software company had built a robust partner reseller program that was maturing and required a shift to continue to drive the revenue growth it had enjoyed over a two year period. The existing sales model, which had developed organically based on the exceptional skills of some early sales people, was beginning to break down and not scale. After rigorous analysis to understand the challenges and the opportunity, we helped our client outline a new sales model/motion that capitalized on newly defined
roles that were critical to the successful execution of the new model. We also created powerful success profiles that outlined the capabilities necessary for excellence in these key roles. Because this was a significant transformational change to sales operations we provided change management support to help install and implement the new future-state model.
Integrating Business Strategy with Leadership & Team Performance
A $5B global fintech organization had experienced significant growth, both organic and through acquisition to achieve that lofty status. The executive team had settled into place, with several new members from acquired companies along with several long-time members who successfully grew the
company. The CEO understood that to continue the growth trajectory, the executive team needed to make some key strategic choices, address some important business topics, elevate the level of individual leadership capability, and become a more integrated and aligned team. We helped this client outline the various challenges facing the team (both business/strategic and leadership/team/culture) and integrated these elements, demonstrating their interdependence. We facilitated a leadership offsite, framing these issues and created a platform for decision making and sustainable change that was necessary to drive their next wave of growth.
The Value of High-Performing Teams
The executive team at a biotech company wanted to do some “team building.” They recognized that to capitalize on the opportunities in front of them, they needed to work together more effectively and efficiently. We decided that we wanted to take an approach that integrated the “what and the how.” That is, we interviewed all team members to identify 3-5 key business issues that illustrate the importance and impact of improved team operating norms and dynamics (e.g., decision-making, communication,