Develop a Positive Culture


A family business was confronting the classic issue faced by most entrepreneurs. What to do when the business grows too big to be managed through the eyes of the founder alone? New product development processes were starting to be slowed down by internal choke points, and the administrative systems in place to run operations and finance were not keeping up with the growth of the business. They were at the point where the entrepreneurial culture, which had brought them to success, needed to be supplemented with a new culture and type of leadership skills that would take them to the next level.


We worked with the owner to identify the skills that he would continue to bring to the business and the management and administrative skills he would need to develop or acquire for his business to grow. We provided the leadership team with project planning, performance management and accountability skills to supplement the existing high level of sales and marketing skills. We helped them learn to collaborate more systematically with each other and delegate work more purposefully. We helped the team acquire new people and put accountability measures in place for making personal and organizational changes necessary for growth to stick.


New products, which had been held up in development, now come to market significantly more quickly. The business opened new distribution channels based in part on the training and collaboration skills developed by the sales team. At first, vendor and customer councils were held that engaged stakeholders in the business's growth. Revenues and profit grew consistently at more than 20 percent annually over five years. They garnered recognition in business journals and trade press for their innovation and customer service. They were also a regional finalist in the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and they won the regional Family Business of the Year Award.


Our involvement with the business has matched the organization's growth. The initial work involved individualized coaching and assessment with the owner and key executives. It progressed through a company-wide workflow management project and back to support key initiatives. At each stage we tailored our work to embed new skills and processes in the leadership team. We have worked with the business through multiple years of consecutive growth and have regular monthly and quarterly progress meetings.


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