$20 million in savings

When the new president of a North American manufacturing company took the helm, silos between sales and engineering resulted in enormous waste from projects that had to be redone after they were installed. In our first year, factory “redos” dropped from 10 to zero, saving the company an estimated $20 million.

“We’ve gone from silos of people afraid to engage in straight talk to a culture of trust, respect and open communication. Being able to face up to brutal facts and pull together to turn things around means we reduced waste from after-shipment re-work by half and then by half again in the past two years—a significant cost reduction.”

No More Turf Wars

The Health Solutions leadership team of a multinational corporation was dealing with typical issues associated with a large organization: their meetings, while friendly, were strained and territorial, their only reason for coming together was to report on individual targets and goals. It kept them at arm’s length, competing among each other, and buried deep inside of their silos.

Within two months from the start of our work, the VP for Health Solutions noticed that her senior leaders were beginning to reach across their operating and business units, sharing ideas and working together on initiatives. They planned and conducted their annual “all hands” off-site with no input from upper management. The VP also noted an elevated tone and tenor among all the leaders and managers throughout the business unit. Interactions that used to get bogged down with no resolution were moving swiftly and producing good results. Collaborations were popping up everywhere.

“Can you believe we’re actually laughing and having fun together as part of our work? We resolved a disagreement that’s been bogging down our meetings for months in 20 minutes!”

getting government Permission 

Our client was a month away from opening an international exhibition, and everything was on hold because they couldn’t get a letter from the bank authorizing them to take the artifacts out of the country.

We’d been working with them on what it means to take complete responsibility for something, so they flew a senior staff person to Mexico with the promise that he would not come back without the pottery.

He set up shop outside the office of the person who was responsible for getting permission from the government and kept working with him until he made the calls, got signed permission for them to take the artifacts. He stayed with the curator until the pottery was wrapped and packed for shipping. They were terrified they were going to have to cancel the exhibit and it opened as planned.

“Our organization was trapped in a pattern of anger, distrust, micromanagement, gossip and blame. Through our work with you we re-designed who we could be together. The mood shifted and we’re producing more in a shorter amount of time. We went from one leader to 42 leaders, which makes us 42 times stronger.”

Equipment downtime reduced to less than 4%

A cultural assessment of an American manufacturing company revealed equipment downtime averaging 17% and lots of places where people were not listening to each other. A transformation in how engineers and people on the floor related to each other reduced equipment downtime to 4%. The company was the only clothing manufacturer in the US that kept all their production in the US through the last recession, and they stayed profitable while doing it.

25% increase in product out the door

Dorrier Underwood was brought into a global manufacturing company because everyone was blaming each other about why they couldn’t get things done. Ten years after their merger, people were still operating as two separate companies.

After our leadership intensive, the heads of manufacturing, sales, and customer service started meeting regularly for the first time, operating like they were on the same team, and in December they increased orders out the door by 25%.

Five years in, they continue to collaborate in ways nobody thought was possible. They put the company’s interests ahead of personal concerns, get up under each other’s ideas, and are able to have hard conversations/ ask each other for feedback when something isn’t working.

$1 million more in additional work

Training in being a high performance team produced clear communications and lines of accountability on the architect/ engineer/ builder team of a government project.

In spite of numerous change orders, project extensions, and disruptions in funding, the project came in at cost and won environmental, landscape, and business awards from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the AIA, and the National Institute of Building Sciences.

The project team developed rigorous communication practices for keeping promises and meeting deadlines, and the client negotiated for and received over $1 million in fees for additional scopes of work.

System-wide upgrade on time with no breakdowns

A publicly botched acquisition went against long-standing company values and created widespread mistrust. We were brought into to work with the IT department, and within 3 months, they went from being openly hostile toward the new CIO to taking a system-wide upgrade live on time, with no breakdowns. For the first time the company made the Elite 100 of Info Week’s top companies, and their project was a finalist for best innovation in the area of productivity.

Eliminating the Leadership Bottleneck

One downside of being highly competent is that action can slow to a trickle when too much responsibility gets concentrated in one person. The CHRO of a global retailer brought us in to address a leadership bottleneck in their IT department. What began as coaching for a highly competent leader led to building a strong bench of leaders for the department.

For example, as he learned to empower others, the CIO sent one of his colleagues to represent the IT team in conversations with the European owners. His team also forged a partnership with stores that resulted in rolling out a new service at 4900 locations with no breakdowns. That year the CIO won national recognition as Retail CIO of the Year in the area of Innovation.

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