Transforming Partnerships - Building relationships that mean business
Case Studies M7

During the coaching process Louise:

  • Interviewed all partners and reviewed key documentation
  • Facilitated a board retreat to align goals and behaviours, understand the basis of high trust and address challenging issues. The Board agreed on a strategy that bravely addressed the critical areas of concern. In particular, they unanimously agreed to change the Board structure, despite the fact this almost certainly would result in some members losing board positions. They had taken the first step in high performance, putting the organisation's needs above their own and trusting in their colleagues and the agreed process.
  • Followed up the retreat with a senior managers' retreat in the same venue. The Board was able to present a united front on major decisions to create change for the company. Senior managers welcomed this and set about creating plans and confronting their own behaviour which had contributed to poor results.

Medium-sized professional services firm

Performance improvement project resulting in governance and cultural changes

Established in the 1950s and growing in reputation and size, this firm had reached a critical point in mid-2011. It was managing its workflow, employing 150-plus professional staff and had a very good reputation in the market, but:

  • There was a lack of coherent Board direction from the partners, who were criticised for not making decisions
  • Unit holders were unhappy with the governance model and the fact that they were making no actual return above operating costs
  • The culture avoided holding people to account and didn't encourage a focus on results customer focus and relationship development was not strong, with partners and managers relying on existing markets for business
  • A new managing director had been appointed from among the partners, a decision that was contested by a number of his colleagues. Low morale among the senior team resulted.

There was a need to revitalise the organisation, establish the credibility of the new MD and develop a culture which focused on results rather than process.

The outcome of the two days was continued one-to-one coaching for the new MD, a new management team, a process for changing the governance of the organisation and a new approach to managing performance. By December the company had reported 8% profit each month for the first time in the company's history. This was well on the way to the 10% target set by the Board.

"Louise's work with the Board brought a common, underlying theme to the fore and she facilitated discussions that we couldn’t have on our own. This provided a springboard for results we couldn’t have conceived of a few months earlier."
Managing Director

This project was one of the most satisfying I have undertaken. I went into an organisation where the quality and professionalism of the individuals was significantly reduced because of cultural issues, interpersonal tension and lack of shared vision and trust. By working through difficult issues and creating a safe place for people to talk honestly, we were able to re-energise the leadership and enable the teams to be the best they could be."