SYNERGY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES

SUCCESS STORIES: HOW WE DID IT?

STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP : CLIENT CASE STUDY

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: The company had experienced rapid growth sporadically; during the boom phase it was riding on the wave of market opportunities. Now when the market was not buoyant it has the challenge to sustain the whole growth story and even rise to the next level. We were invited to devise a new strategy to deal with the complacency and become more entrepreneurial in moving into new diversifications. We were invited to provide to enable the leaders on the top deck to embrace the changes, align to their new roles, and to maintain engagement levels of their team members within the new strategic plan. Our proven solutions for helping entrepreneurial organizations build and continually feed a pipeline of talented, capable leaders at mid-level made us the natural choice.


HOW WE HELPED:
We began with the three-day PATHFINDERS strategy retreat; which made a review of the operations and problem areas; developed a clear vision statement; defined a core competency framework; did a tracking of the market. We created a blueprint of a new strategic plan. Each vertical head got his personal scorecard. We listed the strategic initiatives for the turnaround and drew up a new talent management plan.

The current leaders had proven loyalty but lacked the competency and potential needed for the future journey of the organisation Our parallel initiative was building capability through various training modules and enhancing employee engagement; we set up a coaching & job rotation plan to acquire new career paths for hi-potentials.

THE OUTCOMES:  We gave a summary report of the strategic initiatives highlighted in the Pathfinders retreat. The organization adopted successfully most of our recommendations. As an immediate result, the directors created specific action committees to pursue the implementation of the recommendations. We were given the task of reviewing the gap between intent and action… where their businesses needed to go, and the ACTIONS required to take them to new level of success. We fostered cross functional teams which helped in breaking silos. We were guiding managers to understand their new roles and responsibilities. We moved further identifying and institutionalizing best practices internally.

This has led to increased transparency, commitment and engagement within the organization besides a consolidation of the growth pattern and competitive strength.

CASE STUDY:  COACHING AND DEVELOPING THE TALENT PIPELINE

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Our client company saw a dramatic change in its business model when the MNC parent decided to make their Indian operations the techno-manufacturing hub globally. Hence, they needed to quickly build a bench of future leaders who could energize the company's new divisions and growth plans in line with the parent company internationally. We assessed the future talent pipeline needs and focused on the key question... "What would be the strength attributes, and behaviours expected of the leadership bench ready to drive the business to new heights?" The business challenge was to develop a clear link between business goals and leaders' development plans to increase and strengthen the future talent pool. We had a roundtable with the senior management to fine tune the competency needs of the organization.

HOW WE HELPED: Our aim was to select a group and develop an objective framework to ensure coaching would help produce the results envisioned: setting expectations for the process and the results, and create accountablity for results. We chose 19 managers to participate in the pilot program and named the initiative THE FAST TRACK MANAGER © The ones selected were functional experts with 12-18 years of tenure at the company. We began by determining the start line: how to assess and get buy-in from the coachee as to where he/she is right now. Our initial phase was creating commitment and readiness; We used a broad set of tools and coaching sessions complemented with background notes; concept sessions; questionnaires for self-assessment/ introspection.

Our method was to involve the manager being coached in determining the desired behavior in their leadership roles. Participants were then introduced to the concept of the "personal learning strategy" with step-by-step guidance. Close interaction with the coachee and behavior reinforcement through "feed-forward sessions" was the star feature. We had identified "action learning projects" in the form of special job assignments/special projects to aid multi specialization & growth levels.

Further moving towards the finish line we developed an ongoing follow up process; Reviewing results and fine-tuning action plans till desired change... transfer of learning on the job is achieved By the end of the program, participants began to try new behaviors at work and report on them to the coach. They were encouraged to attempt new experience and situations or new ways of dealing with work and people.

THE OUTCOMES: From the start, the directors were involved, for ensuring participant buy-in and the overall success of the program. We helped the company meet a key objective of the program— build into the organization those processes and capabilities needed to sustain a continual supply of future leaders. The entire program contributed to substantial improvements for THE CLIENT in the areas of systems, processes, technology and people capabilities. The 19 participants of the program have now become the leaders for critical change management and cross- functional initiatives. We have after a year span created a second batch of highflyers to provide the a talent reserve of second line leaders.

CASE STUDY:  SALESFORCE TURNAROUND

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: A pan India marketing company, an industry leader for many years, had been experiencing stagnant growth for some years. We asked the client to define their problem at the initial top sales managers meet. They summarized as follows:

  • Declining market share in important segments whilst the market was growing led them to ask themselves what competitors were doing to win a disproportionate volume of business?
  • The salesforce could not highlight what differentiated the company's premium products from look-alike competitors and orders were lost solely on price.
  • The growth of the market in new verticals and upcountry areas was unexplored.
  • Retaining key accounts was difficult mainly because of turnover of weak selling processes; managers had difficulty accepting the need to change their approach.
  • Sales Margins were narrowed because of weak negotiation skills and a hurry to fulfil sales quotas.

  • We diagnosed after our initial survey that the issue chiefly was an ad hoc sales management, weak leadership, unclear sales plans, haphazard sales processes & inadequate competency levels of job holders. The company faced high attrition of it new talent and its long serving salespeople felt a sense of complacency. With middle grade performers making up majority of their sales team, we saw great possibilities to have a classic sales performance turnaround.


    HOW WE HELPED:
    The company needed a breakthrough approach to revamp of sales strategies and to spur change in the sales force. We re-looked at all sales policies and practices right from prospecting to credit management, customers service management and compensation and incentive plans. We saw a need to create formal sales process and procedures that documented and define the stages in the sales cycle.

    We launched major initiatives to overhaul Branch Management; developing standard operating procedures for branches and guiding branch managers to enable the sales system, territory management and teamwork. We also outlined a competency map for each level of the sales force what emerged was OPTIMUS training modules for sales managers (5 graded levels).

    Aligned to this we began a yearlong campaign - training on the key customer account process, relationship management and negotiation. To ensure that this intervention had a lasting impact we guided / coached on-the-job; and real accounts in their funnel.; development of sales trainers to upgrade frontlines selling skills.

    Working closely with the client, we closely integrated PERFORMATIC our patent performance management system, enabling more objective, accurate and strategically driven performance appraisals and personal development plans. This ensured transparency in identifying high potential / high performing individuals to take up higher leadership positions for the future.

    THE OUTCOMES: The results have exceeded everyone's expectations. In the first year, the program helped generating new sales and acquiring new customers. There was a big shift from a transaction selling and reactionary approach to an opportunity management mindset. This was evidenced in increased company's revenue (more than three-fold in a span of 5 years) We had documented best practices & the business process into a company specific manual and built the legacy of learning. Like any organization striving against heightened customer expectations, the organization today places a premium on creative ideas, efficient work processes, and documented workflow.

    If there's one constant that has taken hold since our intervention, it's the idea of CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT. We brought about not only a sales turnaround but a change of the work culture of individual achievement.