A fast-growing, services-based company, with geographically dispersed teams working remotely, was experiencing service failures and growth was beginning to stagnate. As the company had grown and new employees came on board, departments/functions became siloed, collaboration suffered and communication between functions became almost non-existent. Critical information was getting lost or misunderstood, morale was declining, and more time was being spent correcting mistakes than spent effectively servicing customers.

We conducted a session with functional leaders examining 12 recent service failures including client complaints, client contract cancellations, staff turnover and operational mistakes. Performing a root cause analysis, we mapped current communication protocols between functional teams to identify how and where collaboration had broken down. From this, we developed and rolled out more efficient processes, along with tools for communicating between different functions as well as within functions and reorganized several teams. The rollout was supported with a “train the trainer” model for functional leaders after which we continued to follow up and guide adoption.

The new processes reduced the number of steps (volleys) by 25% between sales and operations, cutting amount of time (duration) and payroll (hours) to service a client. In the first year of implementation the number of client complaints was cut by 50% and the company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) improved from 6 to 9.

Our client, a non-profit organization, was being co-led by the three founders. Each founder had a distinct vision for the organizations’ goals and path forward. The misalignment among the leaders led to overall confusion and frustration among Staff, Volunteers, and Donors, which in turn resulted in consistent failure of the organization to meet its goals and fundraising targets..

We conducted in-depth interviews of the stakeholder groups (Board of Directors, Founders and Staff) to determine why each was involved in the organization, what they cared about, their own ideas of success, and how they felt their resources could be best utilized. From the interviews we pulled out common themes and used this as a foundation for a facilitated SWOT workshop with the Leadership and Board of Directors. From the workshop we built a strategic plan, a budget and a prioritized implementation roadmap that included a comprehensive marketing and messaging plan. Additionally, we recommended a change in organization structure from three Co-leaders to one Leader with the other two Founders taking an Executive Director role with distinct areas of responsibility and developed a decision-making protocol for both strategic and tactical decisions.

With the adoption of the strategic plan and roadmap, new leadership structure, and decision-making protocol the organization (including leaders, staff and volunteers) had clarity of purpose and an increased level of engagement. Within 12 months – and for the first time ever – the organization was consistently achieving its goals and fundraising targets.