Business Turnaround Through Management Team Alignment

Client: Leading consumer products manufacturer

Services: Executive coaching, Executive team performance acceleration

Opportunity

Recognized as a risky move at the time, John (fictitious name), an American ex-pat with a strong finance background and limited global experience, was placed into his first general manager role leading a fragmented, struggling European business for a leading consumer products manufacturer. One of his first orders of business was to restructure the European business from a collection of siloed sub-regions to an integrated, One Europe team, organized by function. Existing leaders were coming off of multiple years of disappointing and inconsistent performance and had lost confidence in their ability to effect change.  Following the reorganization, John realized the need to align his new team around a compelling purpose, build greater accountability, while at the same time addressing where his leadership needed to change in light of his new role and new geography.

Solution

  • Conducted a comprehensive leadership 360 feedback process for John, including participation in an online diagnostic and key stakeholder interviews with peers, direct reports, and the company’s CEO.
  • Engaged in a 12-month performance coaching engagement to address new behaviors required to lead as a General Manager versus as a functional expert, including breaking down functional silos reporting into him and striking the right balance between inspiring the future direction while maintaining brutal honesty about current performance and expectations.
  • Concurrently with the coaching, kicked off a series of team performance acceleration workshops over the course of six months with John’s direct reports (most of which were performed virtually due to COVID-19). Focus areas included re-establishing the team’s purpose, clarifying the team’s deliverables and operating norms, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and improving feedback mechanisms to drive peer accountability.
  • Conducted pulse check interviews with key stakeholders to understand the impact, validate key shifts made, and identify ongoing development priorities for John.

Outcome

  • Under John’s tenure, the European business stabilized, increasing its ability to accurately forecast performance, which built confidence and credibility in John’s leadership among his peers.
  • The region has achieved quarter-over-quarter financial performance improvements, meeting or exceeding its bottom-line performance targets and contribution to the broader company’s profitability.
  • Engagement scores for the region made year-over-year gains, while senior team engagement scores increased by 20+ points.