Case Study:
Restructuring a $150 M publishing company


Organizational Development:

Large-scale strategic shifts and cultural initiatives require a coordinated, sequenced organizational response. No matter how good one’s strategy is, the initiative will falter if the organization is not structured correctly and people do not have the right skills. We have extensive experience across the broad range of activities required to align strategy with function. This is where we excel.

Our involvement proceeds through a series of stages.

Phase 1. Assessment/Discovery

We first meet with senior executives in the organization, and a cross-section of mid-level and junior employees, to assess work flow, structure, existing lines of communication, points of friction, leadership effectiveness, and business objectives. We mine the knowledge that exists in the organization to help determine existing strengths and opportunities for growth.

Phase 2. Strategy development

We leverage our experience and deep knowledge in specific industries, and work with senior business leaders and alliance partners to develop a strategy for growth and development. Best practices, macro-economic, and industry-specific trends, opportunities, and challenges are considered.

Phase 3. Organizational review/Action planning

We then work closely with the Executive Management Team to define a structure that will allow the organization to exploit the new opportunities that have been identified. Our goal is to leverage the company’s assets, enhance decision-making and accountability, simplify communication, and maximize efficiency.

We create competency models for each major role and assess members of the senior management team against those models. Our goal is to put the “right people in the right boxes”. Semi-structured 360° interviews and structured surveys are used in the process. Dimensions such as the following are assessed:

Findings from the interviews and surveys are integrated and summarized in brief written reports delivered to appropriate targets. Development plans can be created based on the results of the 360° assessment.

Team-level functions such as decision-making, role definition, communication, potential for innovation, development and training, and morale can also be assessed.

Using all the data that has been compiled, we create an action plan to guide the change process. Our objective is to identify critical structural and organizational changes that need to be instituted to improve team functioning, profitability, communication, and morale. Output consists of a roadmap specifying a shortlist of developmental objectives, tactics, necessary resources, and appropriate timelines. We help senior leaders communicate the action plan effectively and create buy-in across the company. The existing training and development function is evaluated and the ability to deliver on new corporate objectives is assessed. Necessary changes in infrastructure and personnel are recommended.

Phase 4. Implementation

Execution of the action plan developed in Phase 3 begins at this stage. Our goal is to provide training that compliments that provided by internal Human Resource functions. We typically assist in the following areas:

Workflow and Process Mapping
We identify processes required to deliver product, establish checks and controls, and define necessary lines of communication.

Executive Coaching
The individual development plans created in Phase 3 provide the foundation for the coaching relationship. Training is designed to meet the unique needs of each individual and can occur in the following areas: creating and motivating high-performance teams, change management, intermediate- and long-term strategic planning, project management, conflict resolution and problem-solving, cultivating alliances in the organization, performance management, consultative selling and client-base expansion, etc.

Team Development
Senior consultants in our group work with division/group heads to review how their teams are structured, evaluate existing channels of communication, and make recommendations regarding necessary changes. We then help leaders develop competency models that specify core skills required for success and assess current team members against those models. Finally, we can create training and development platforms to insure that employees have the skills they need to meet established business objectives.