A billion-dollar business unit in a large chemical company had an imperative to triple their revenues within three years.
Unfortunately the organization was limited by a culture of disjointedness, lack of personal responsibility, pessimism and blaming. No one believed they could achieve growth, especially since it was the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008. Much frustration stemmed from cross-functional and cross-geographical challenges. People’s complaints included “the group doesn’t understand our business,” “we are fragmented and our industrial structure is weak,” “the market is uncertain.”
Something needed to shift.
The CEO and Executive Committee of the group agreed that the organization needed to tap their creativity, resources and energy in order to gain a growth trajectory. They sought Insigniam rather than a traditional strategy firm that might be limited to data based on past best practices.
The engagement began with work on the strategic frame with the 8 management committee members. Afterwards the 60 members of the leadership coalition helped to identify key Breakthrough Projects that would enable the organization to achieve their goal of tripling growth in 3 years. Projects were identified and Insigniam coached key people and project leaders to ensure that the projects were on track. Additional 2-day and 3-day work sessions ensured the entire team remained inspired and had a forum to address breakdowns throughout the year.
By May 2011 the organization achieved incredible results, tripling their business 7 months ahead of schedule despite the impact of the 2009 crisis.
They did this by shifting their culture to a “we can do this” mindset. The organization rallied around a commitment to be “a growth leader” and “market shaper.” Their slogan became “Passion for Growth.” This is illustrated by their bold decision to make an acquisition in the middle of the crisis despite two quarters of 40% decrease in volumes. They saw the acquisition as critical to fulfilling their commitment to triple the business. They integrated the acquisition in record time, less than 12 months, and managed to finance the purchase despite a lack of cash. Now the organization is well integrated and aligned; they broke silos between regions and functions and successfully implemented a culture of growth.