Turning drainers into gainers
How to reverse a trend of stagnating and even declining revenue in the B2B segments? Together with an A-brand hardware manufacturer, we took the challenge.
Globally, the B2B segment had always been very competitive. Even before Covid-19 hit the world and stifled this market segment completely. Towards the end of 2019, the Management Team was formed to turn the business around and all set up for future success. At that moment, the recently onboarded GM reached out to us in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities. The start of our journey together.
The main objective was clearly to set up the business for future success. From the beginning, a rough but vague desire to do things differently than the competitors was highly present. Moreover, do this in a sustainable way.
Can a business, known for pushing hardware products to the market, be rethought outside-in by putting the customer’s problem in the center and designing solutions around it?
In order to succeed, the newly formed management team realised that balance between the rational side of building and managing a business and the emotional side of building and managing an organisation was necessary. In that respect, the GM and his team clearly chose to focus on growing the team and developing the entire business unit from a “scale-up” to a “grown-up”.
The initial 6 Batteries of Change Scan colored ‘all red’, implying that none of the sources of organisational change energy were properly charged. Scores ranged between 1,75 and 2,35 on a scale of 5. This was clearly a challenging point of departure, yet the GM and the MT did not despair, although there were lots of items that required attention. Where to start was an important discussion at the beginning of our journey.
We started with the MT to generate ideas around the two left (strategic) batteries, building a Strong Top Team with a strong purpose and ambition, and a Clear Strategic Direction with clear focus and direction for the business. The way of working was set: co-creating the new way forward in several facilitated workshops, spread over two to three months end of 2019.
The next step was to translate this new strategy into different project streams and strategic initiatives. This action planning and implementation enabled to deliver projects that built real customer benefits and organisational capabilities. Besides this, we connected the workforce by sharing the new story, ambitions and strategy, starting with the Country Managers and Middle Managers. We actively monitored to individual change curves to make sure we paid attention to anchoring the change. This ended up in 2 days of program management per week, through the course of 2020.
Towards the end of 2020, the GM and his MT had developed a differentiated strategy with several initiatives, to focus on niches and solutions that win the hearts and minds of customers. A new competitive advantage was being built on a data based outside-in perspective to offer sustainable, customer-centric solutions.
Besides this, the essential organizational capabilities in terms of cohesive and empowered Top Team, a connected and engaged workforce, and a collaborative culture with better cross-functional and cross-level alignment became tangible. It turned into more trust, pride and commitment than at the start.
The confidence in the future has been increased substantially with the Top Team and the other people of the. The second measurement with our 6 Batteries of Change Scan left no doubt:
Almost all the batteries colored ‘green’. The Powerful Infrastructure Battery improved to ‘orange’. This time all scores ranged from 2,89 to 3,72 on a scale of 5. This implies that all – but 1 – sources of organisational change energy are properly charged. An increase of change energy with 20% to 30% in one year time!
In terms of building the business and setting it up for future success, this result is a substantial step forward. A good basis has been built. Without being complacent – the financial results of running the business are still affected by the pandemic – the GM and his MT are ready to evolve from good to great.
That journey is still on its way for success.
Business transformation manager
Managing partner - Portfolio, Innovation & Technology