The following story was told by AmyK Hutchens, CEO and intelligence activist for coaching and training consultancy AmyK Inc.
Client: One of largest sales and marketing firms in the United States.
Problem: The company needed an overall corporate cultural integration. It had inconsistent processes in place from state to state and city to city.
Cause: Within a year, the company had grown from six states, 42 employees, and a handful of 1099 contractors, to a nationwide operation with triple the number of employees and more than 2,400 contractors. The rapid growth—while a good problem—created a need for overall integration and alignment within the organization.
Method/Tools: AmyK implemented several major initiatives:
- Created an internal brand. All employees were involved in branding the cultural integration effort and chose "Seamless Partnership" to describe the initiative. The new brand and logo were immediately incorporated into all internal documents. This all-hands-on-deck method resulted in instant employee buy-in and commitment to the initiative.
- Developed organizational leadership. All regional presidents convened regularly for the first time in the company's history. These monthly meetings were comprised of training and issue-processing sessions during which the senior leaders created strategic and operational plans for the organization. AmyK also coached each of the 56 middle managers on a monthly basis. Both the senior and mid-level leaders learned interactive communication methods, including questions that encouraged reflection, evaluation, and prediction; processes for engaging in conflict resolution, problem solving, and decision making; and tools for having more in-depth dialogue that tackled assumptions, biases, belief systems, and perspectives. For example, instead of merely asking employees, "What is your sales goal?" leaders learned to continue the conversation with, "How might you meet and exceed it?"
- Encouraged employee accountability and support. The company replaced employee job descriptions with performance profiles that focused on employee goals in 30-, 60-, and 90-day increments. The profiles provided more sound performance measurement and instant feedback to leadership. From the company's various processes and forms, AmyK pulled the organization's best practices and compiled 11 playbooks and the performance profiles within a single employee intranet. Employees across the country used the support tools on the intranet to respond to clients quickly without reinventing the wheel.
End Results/Solution: As a result of the initiative, the organization experienced its best business year in history, with 33 percent growth. It achieved companywide consistency and increased time management for employees, allowing them to focus on clients and to grow even more in number. Additionally, from the company's 56 middle managers, two were promoted to division presidents.