Client Examples

We are seasoned advisors and have deep experience in developing leaders and supporting them in their transformational efforts. Clients we have served include: Aclima, Anthem, Bunge, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Light and Power, City of Cleveland, Dairy Management Inc., Fair Trade USA, Nestle, OOCL, Phillips Electronics, Rockwell Automation, Sony, SR Technics, Staples, Walmart and Waste Management. Below are examples of the types of work we have led and supported.

Leading Systems 

Industry Wide Innovation Program, Dairy Industry: Proactive collaborative innovation drove sustainability leadershipThe dairy industry was threatened by sustainability and concerned about possible regulation. The industry responded with a transformative program to turn the threat into an opportunity. The first step was to develop initial insight. This produced a carbon footprint that showed the sources of carbon emissions from farm to retail shelf.  It also identified people, ideas and technologies capable of reducing carbon and creating $250 million of additional business value. Next the industry convened 250 people, representing the whole system.  They created a vision, identified and prototyped solutions and launched a series of initiatives. Implementation was managed through an ongoing program housed in the U.S. Dairy Innovation Center. This effort was recognized by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at the 2010 Copenhagen Climate Summit as model for how agriculture should profitably address climate change.

Leading Organizations

Multi-year Transformation, Global Airline: Proactive companywide effort led to even higher levels of teaming and performance – The airline was facing rapidly escalating costs. A comprehensive diagnostic revealed the case for action. The cost challenge became an opportunity to reinvent the airline’s approach to cost, service, people and process. During a highly engaged offsite, the senior team chose to pursue the opportunity. The effort was organized into 12 transformation projects that spanned internal operations and partnerships. The multi-year transformation positioned airline for continued success in a radically new operating environment. Since that time the airline have been highly profitable and has won several awards naming it the best in the world.

Sustainable Innovation Program, General Retailer: Sustainability leadership through widespread stakeholder engagementThe company was facing severe stakeholder pressure to change a number of employee and social practices. The CEO came to understand other areas of possible stakeholder vulnerability, particularly with respect to the environment. Initial analysis and leadership offsite revealed vulnerabilities and identified the possibility of using environmental sustainability as a driver of innovation, business success, and improved environmental performance.

The executive team decided to launch an innovation planning process organized around 14 teams each with many stakeholders from the NGO community. The teams were highly motivated to out innovate each other and their resulting business plans revealed many huge and exciting opportunities. This won the backing of the CEO and the board. The company then set stretch goals and launched a dozen projects. The projects have had a large positive ripple effect across suppliers, partners and stakeholders. Project implementation has resulted in >$300M in ROI (revenue enhancement and cost reduction). 

Leading Groups 

Real Estate Department Innovation Program, General Retailer: Radical Innovation Drove Large Financial and Sustainability Benefits – Team engaged a wide range of external experts to identify and explore innovative opportunities.   Developed a breakthrough plan and business case to integrate sustainable practices and design into the store and distribution center building program.   the innovation process included deep engagement with network of external experts, holding of a design charrette, whole-system design modeling, and financial modeling. Approval required convincing the president of real estate that the sustainability program could be integrated into the operation of a very ambitious new store launch program. The plan was approved, the program was launched and stretch goals were met.

Supplier Partnerships, Office Retailer: Huge efficiency identified through partnership program – Developed business improvement and sustainability program for supply chain.  This included packaging reductions. The program identified significant financial ($100MM) and sustainability benefits and was launched with top suppliers at a supplier summit. The program fostered a new level of collaboration internally and with the supply community.

Leading Self

Embedded Leadership Development Executive Team – Leadership team development was integral to a comprehensive performance improvement program for a global engineering and maintenance organization. The members of the leadership team realized that in order to succeed with the transformation of the business the leaders would need to transform themselves.  Everyone was personally committed to their personal development and the development of their peers.  Each person began with a personal vision of the ideal leader they wanted to become.  A confidential customized comprehensive 360 evaluation was prepared for each leader.  The leaders then prepared personal development plans to build on their strengths and to transform less-developed functions (commonly mistaken for weaknesses) into new strengths.  The team integrated their development into the work they did together.  They gave each other feedback and coached one another.  

The executive who led this team considered the results to be extraordinary.  A decade after the project was launched he told me that the leaders on this team developed into the most capable ones he had ever worked with. He subsequently, hired many of them for other transformation efforts he led in Canada, Chile, New Zealand and Australia.

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