Case study: Transform cultures and organizations


When human transformation enables business recovery​


An industrial giant found itself in trouble. The company was severely underperforming and was plagued by the corporate and common diseases of bureaucracy and silo-mentality.

The companies had grown through numerous mergers and acquisitions – and had not invested enough time and effort in aligning and bonding the new entities.

Sub-optimization was in particular a big challenge – and became abundantly clear as quarter after quarter the company was not meeting financial goals and yet many leaders expressed “well, my team and I are performing – so it’s not my issue.” People had become complacent and showed little drive and ambition on behalf of the business as a whole.


It was clear to the CEO that to turn this situation around, first and foremost something needed to be done to encourage more collaboration. Recognizing that the what, how and why of transformation should go hand-in-hand, he introduced a collaborative profit and loss structure for teams that needed to collaborate to serve the company’s customers.

Instead of looking at business development, operations, sales, marketing, production units as separate parts, and assessing their performance in isolation, a team’s performance was assessed in the view of their contribution to the full value chain. This meant that each unit would have a stake in the game for an end-to-end delivery, reflecting the real dependencies between units.

In this new way, many teams realized that even though they delivered to the same customers, they had never before been in a room together. The learned to value the healthy tension and have the needed courageous conversations needed for building a collaborative culture – creating value for the totality and their customers.

The key mindset shift from silos to collaboration, and from own results to serving the totality was ignited by also a shift in operating model – business transformation and human transformation reinforcing each other.


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