Though only a small part of his business, the successful CEO of an international company was hamstrung by a division that was struggling. His board was growing impatient with this increasingly visible blemish on an otherwise fantastic income statement in a well performing company. He asked me if I would help right the ship.
After an intense period of digging into their core business, which was operating with a “product strategy, ” we were able to identify the challenges with that product and also determine that a strategic shift was required. The market need that their product addressed was still a viable market, but it had to be addressed with different products and services—a shift to a “market strategy.”
This was a complex assignment that involved re-crafting strategy, coaching a division president and fostering alignment between the division president, the CEO and a very involved board member. A series of presidents had failed to turn the corner here and everyone was losing confidence and on the verge of taking drastic action which would have destroyed value. There was also a requirement to move from “problem solving” to “innovation” in the middle of this project. Problem solving, by definition, can only allow you to recover to the previous state. Innovation is required to grow.
In addition to revising strategy, relationships and communication had to be addressed between all parties. Good and talented people can sometimes get to a place where they are not communicating effectively. This was addressed in part through strategy coaching and in part through my role as a very interested but impartial mediator.
By the end of this assignment, the core product was growing again for the first time in years, several new revenue streams had been developed with great market acceptance and the CEO, board members and division president were all confident and excited about the future.