Case Study # 1: Improving Innovation
The client is global market leader in skin and hair-care products and part of a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical and consumer brand corporation. In business for over 70 years, it’s known for its innovative products and superior brand integrity.
Denisoff Consulting Group (DCG) was brought in to the help the client increase innovation as related to new product development and improve its overall operational effectiveness and responsiveness. Recent growth and new market demands had an adverse effect on product innovation that resulted in lower sales and a smaller market share for the client. Very talented employees weren’t being utilized effectively, which led to a high level of frustration and a traditionally low turnover to increase. There seemed to be a short-circuit in the product development process and an ineffectiveness in the overall structure of the product development and marketing teams. DCG was approached to get things on track, as we are known for our innovative approaches and our ability to maximize talent and produce real results.
DCG’s Approach and Contribution
As the presenting problem is not always the core problem, DCG determined the first step was to provide a proper assessment and evaluation of the entire system. This evaluation was done through one-on-one interviews with key constituents, employee focus groups, and by value-stream mapping core processes in product development.
The results of the evaluation found a lack of collaboration between functions, a culture that had become critical and punishing instead of encouraging, and a structure that could no longer meet current demands.
Once the assessment was complete, DCG worked with the client team to redesign the structure and systems, and to clearly identify the desired results. We used a combination of best practices and an out-of-the box thinking process to create a new way of developing products, which tapped into the latent intelligence of the company in a way that had not been occurring. The approach was holistic in nature, as it considered:
- Core processes
- And a clear change management plan to ensure proper implementation
Through the collaboration with DCG and the client team, the client adopted a completely novel approach to operating the business internally. In the past, the eight existing product categories were managed as a conglomeration with little regard to the difference in positioning, seasonal cycles and customer insights. In their new structure, the category teams were not only more conducive to creating innovative products, but also to better managing each product category.
Additionally, the category teams became cross functional in nature with members from multiple departments such as research and development, packaging, project management, sales and quality control, each led by a marketing manager.
To support this monumental change, a methodology and road map was developed to facilitate the transition. This methodology included training, process building, facilitation and coaching.
Impact and Results
DCG led the initiative that resulted in the establishment of eight strong product category teams. This new approach allowed for more thoughtful consideration of each product category through a deeper analysis of consumer insights, better alignment with seasonal cycles, and a more focused approach. Consequently, the cross-functional nature of the approach has led to:
- Better products getting to market quicker
- Increased level of innovation and synergy between functions
- Stronger and more differentiated categories within the brand at shelf level
- A sustainable process to ensure this for the future.
The new structure and new culture of innovation resulted in increased sales and market share in every product category within six months of its implementation.
Case Study # 2: Reinventing an Organization
Widely recognized as the market leader in luxury hospitality design, the client is a global architecture firm that has been in business over 60 years and has offices in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
DCG was originally approached by the client to provide executive coaching. Through the coaching process, DCG discovered the firm’s problems went beyond its management team; it wasn’t evolving quickly enough to keep up with a rapidly changing market and the recent technological advancements that were significantly changing how work was done. Despite years of dominating the market, the firm was beginning to lose its position, as its competitors were quickly catching up. Therefore, DCG facilitated a complete overall of the firm’s mission, vision and overall strategy
to not only enable the company to thrive in the present, but be better prepared for the future.
DCG’s Approach and Contribution
Utilizing the best thinking from within the company and from outside experts, DCG partnered with the client to develop a clear and relevant new strategy. Using its Vision2Reality©methodology, DCG led the effort to create a process that the board of directors and executives teams could fully embrace to truly “design” their future. The Vision2Reality© methodology was also customized to the unique architectural mindset.
Through an exploration and assessment of the client’s core competencies and skills, its overall goals and a market scan and analysis, DCG worked with the client to formulate a very robust and specific mission and vision for the company. In addition, we led a “performance dialogue” to develop a comprehensive 5-year strategic plan that would provide specific direction for the organization. The updated mission and vision statements were integrated into the company as guiding principles (known as the “Big 6 Ideas”), which served as both an anchor and propeller for the
organization. In addition to the strategic update, a new visual identity was created to reflect the ‘reinvention’ of the organization.
DCG also worked with the client to develop an execution plan, communication plan and appropriate metrics that would help ensure that the strategic plan was fully implemented. Executive coaching was also continued to enable the firm’s executives to lead the way in the origination of this enterprise-wide change.
Impact and Results
As a result of these changes, the organization beat its yearly revenue goals by at least eight percent in the first three years of implementation. The organization also expanded its service lines and thoughtfully adopted additional product types while still staying close to its core competencies.
DCG helped the client reestablish itself as the market leader, capitalizing on its commitment to design and leveraging its proprietary approaches. Customers and employees responded to the re-energized company. DCG helped the client not only find a clear direction, but provided the support to ensure proper execution and a methodology to be utilized for any future strategic changes.
Case Study # 3: Enterprise –Wide Organization Effectiveness
Known for its extremely talented and driven CEO, this client is an ultra-fast growing technology company, which is recognized as the leader in routers, wireless routers and other peripherals.
The client had grown into a mid-sized company with tremendous revenues from the global market, but it still was operating as a start-up. The company had out grown many of its processes and lacked the sophistication to remain the market leader. The executive team was still developing in the new reality, and the line managers were underperforming and many lacked the experience necessary to keep up with new demand. Additionally, the expansion into the global market place was causing additional alignment and execution issues, resulting in gross inefficiencies that increased operational costs, a first-time drop in customer satisfaction, and decreased employee engagement and satisfaction.
DCG’s Approach and Contribution
DCG was brought in by the CEO to bring the organization to “the next level” while keeping its entrepreneurial spirit and energy. DCG first provided an assessment of overall organizational effectiveness and alignment. From these results, DCG worked with the client to create a plan that focused on four major areas:
- Executive and management talent
- Organizational design and development
- Talent management systems
- Process alignment
DCG transformed the executive team through developmental training and executive coaching. We also identified and filled any remaining competency gaps from outside the organization. An extensive management development program was also put in place that evaluated talent, provided training and coaching for managers using the 360-feedback process, which greatly improved managerial performance across the organization.
DCG also redesigned the organizational structure to better meet the current demands. This included providing greater clarity regarding scope, roles and responsibilities of key management positions. To complement these structural changes, we developed new processes and metrics with the different work teams to redesign the organization from within. Once completed, DCG worked with the CEO to conceive a five year strategic plan.
Finally, DCG facilitated the creation of a professional human resources team. We provided expertise and design services to upgrade and, in some cases, create talent processes, including performance management, succession planning and a long-term human capital development plan.
Impact and Results
Through our close collaboration with the client’s executive and management team, the organization transformed itself and improved overall alignment, employee engagement and customer satisfaction, both with its business customers and the end-users of the products. Margins significantly increased, employee engagement soared and the client’s external reputation returned to its leadership position.
A common and shared approach to leadership development was embraced by the management team. The improved and more organized talent processes helped to increase overall performance, retention and succession planning. The result was a much stronger company with radically improved product lines and reputation that attracted better talent. After a short period of time, the company was purchased for over $500 million by a large Fortune 100 technology firm.