Senior Team Alignment & Strategy Execution: Financial Services

Aligning Executives to Drive Development and Strategy at a Financial Services Firm

Client Case Study

Situation
This global real estate and financial services company with over $1B in annual revenues was formed by a merger of a North American firm and a European/Asian firm. The North American part of the firm had grown rapidly via five strategic acquisitions and went public.  The firm needed to improve its organic growth rate and operating systems to compete.

Complications

  • Integration: When we began working with the North American division, it was struggling to integrate its new businesses and capitalize on cross-business growth opportunities.
  • Silos: Senior leaders and their organizations operated almost wholly independently in silos which inhibited customer success.

Approach
The COO of the North American division recognized that major changes were necessary in the organization. He engaged us to gain alignment at the Senior Team level with the conviction that the rest of the organization could not get aligned and work effectively together until the senior leaders did the same.

During the company’s Senior Team Alignment Process, we helped the Senior Team become a more unified group, by:

  • Creating clear norms and values
  • Developing a consistent strategic view of the business and its future using a Strategic Business Framework to gain strategic alignment.
  • Examining what stood in the way of achieving the objectives described on the Framework.

After identifying the six most compelling challenges, the Senior Team selected a group of 48 high-performance, high-potential leaders in the business to study the issues and develop solutions. Working with us, the company then launched a custom Performance Leadership program to provide the cross-functional project teams with a structure and process to facilitate the successful completion of the project work

  • The teams worked for 100 days on their projects, aided by the support of a Senior Team sponsor and a coach.
  • Check-ins along the way ensured consistent feedback from members of the Senior Team as well as the other project teams.
  • The Performance Leadership programs concluded with each team proposing final recommendations and clear implementation plans to the Senior Team, followed by real-time yes/no decisions on each recommendation.

During the Performance Leadership program, each project team member had the opportunity to work on his/her leadership behaviors, receiving coaching and feedback from his sponsor, coach and other teammates. Each team member also had the chance to try new roles and learn about other parts of the business, in effect joining the Senior Team in the strategic decision-making process. And, of course, the projects themselves yielded tangible, bottom-line results for the company.

Results

  • $30m NPV: The “Corporate Solutions” team’s recommendations yielded the greatest results. All the business lines have increased their focus on prospective multi-service companies. One large client opportunity was a direct result of this focus.

    On an NPV basis, this win by itself was worth $30 million to the firm. In the first year, three additional assignments were won as a result of this project, generating $5 million in revenue and $1.5 million in profit in the first 12 months.

  • Decreased Average DSO by 25%: Based on the recommendations of the “Economic Profit” team, the company instituted strict rules relative to receivables. Within six months, the company’s receivables were reduced from 72 average days sales outstanding to 54 – resulting in reduced borrowing costs and interest savings of $700,000 annually.

    In addition, the company restructured contracts in order to receive reimbursed payroll up-front, saving the carrying charge that they had incurred in the past. For one large client alone, the company saved $200,000 annually in working capital costs.

  • Increased Profitability: The “Client Profitability” team’s recommendations focused on improving the profitability of clients. Key outcomes from this project included a new fee structure for low profit accounts and a re-prioritization of support for high profit accounts. These changes have resulted in increased client profitability and new business.
  • Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For: The “Attract and Retain” team recommended changes that promise to increase employee satisfaction scores and reduce voluntary turnover over the next three years. The company saw improvements in both areas in the first 12 months of implementation.

    Via the team’s efforts, and after several years of sustained work on the initiative, the company also achieved its long-term objective: earning a spot in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Related Information

Working on our HR Strategy was so eye opening.  I feel so much better prepared to be successful as a leader individually and collectively.

Now the entire HR leadership team can drive our growth strategy forward in a way that makes sense.

Kristin Talastas
Director, HR Shared Services

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Thanks a million for the great strategy and cultural alignment session for our global leadership team.

Your experience and patience to expertly deal with the inherent and complex challenges between business units uncovered many hidden truths that created a great roadmap for us to move forward as a unified leadership team.

I recommend LSA to any leader looking to shape and align organizational culture.

Juan Plaza
Geospatial Sales Manager, Latin America

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We recently hired LSA to help us take our client delivery methodology to the next level as we continue to grow and help our clients succeed.

The custom strategy and design session exceeded our expectations. They really understood our business and delivered within tight time frames. They were the best I have seen for this type of complex, visible, and strategic work.

LSA’s ability to get a group of 20+ executives from around the globe on the same page, push their thinking to new heights, and ensure an executable plan was excellent.

I would recommend LSA to anyone looking to take their strategy and strategic execution to the next level.

Rob Sturgeon
EVP Client Delivery

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LSA’s action-learning leadership approach has been very beneficial to me, our leadership team, and the entire organization.

The balance of development and results has been excellent.

We have made huge progress, and I was also able to identify 2-3 high potentials while having the extra benefit of people stepping up to carry key strategic projects forward.

The experience was better than anticipated.  I could not be more pleased.

Heather Feltman
President & CEO

LSS

LSA worked with our Executive Leadership Team to help create strategic clarity and alignment as we look to increase our growth rate and unlock innovation.  They masterfully handled very complex, challenging, and high stakes leaders, decisions, and cultural nuances to help us identify what matters most and move toward one unified direction.

Their practical, straightforward, and client-centric approach was refreshing.  I highly recommend them to any executive team looking to get aligned to create even higher performance.  They are lights out awesome!

Patrick Resk
Chief Financial Officer, Partner

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Great job in designing the Mergers and Acquisition strategy session for our global leadership team. The session was excellent.

I gained additional insight on the importance of the role of HR regarding strategy, culture, and people in Mergers and Acquisitions and would recommend LSA to anyone looking to align strategies and cultures.

Gloria Veon
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Fujitsu

LSA Global really shifted our perspective about strategic clarity and organizational culture.

The 3 C’s approach to workplace culture is very practical and really helps  executive teams – even skeptical ones – ensure that your culture is healthy, high performing, and aligned.

Amy Cappellanti-Wolf
Chief Human Resources Officer

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The LSA customized Organizational Alignment Survey gave us a comprehensive view of how our employees experience our culture, talent, and strategy.

The systemic approach provided us with a great forum to discuss the strengths and opportunities in our organization, and then to quickly get focused on the key actions critical to executing our business and people strategies.

Mark Forrest
General Manager, FSM Division

Trimble

LSA has a tremendous ability to distil complex, multilayered challenges into meaningful, impactful, and clear strategies and action plans.

The time we invested as a leadership team to get aligned was well spent in gaining laser focus and identifying ways to prioritize what was meaningful individually and as a team. The facilitation and leadership style was direct, firm, and compassionate.

LSA provided the high level thinking and support for our team to co-create in a rapidly scaling business.

Bindu Garapaty, PsyD
VP, Talent and Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity

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At a time of change in our marketplace, LSA Global did an exceptional job helping our executive team create strategic clarity by helping us to define, clarify, and prioritize our corporate vision, mission, values, differentiation, target clients, strategic priorities, success metrics and key roles.

They beautifully navigated a very difficult and fuzzy situation, respectfully cleared out all of the cultural elephants, and shared impactful insights and leadership development theories along the way. They have transformed our business.

Laurie Sewell
President & CEO

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I can’t emphasize enough what a huge shift you helped to create for us as an organization. Thanks again for your change management consulting help and guidance.

The clarity, practicality, focus, and accountability are exactly what we needed to make this strategy and major transformation a success from a hearts and minds perspective.

Cris Alvarez
VP Corporate Strategy

LSA Global Cambridge Investment Research Financial Services Client

We got great value from the executive strategy session.  We would not hesitate to use LSA again with our Executive Leadership Team.

Natalie McCullough
Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer

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We selected LSA Global over 5 other companies to help our key executives improve their overall communication and executive presentation capabilities. LSA exceeded our expectations.

I highly recommend LSA to any executive team looking to better organize and more effectively deliver key executive-level messages — especially when the stakes are high.

Todd Power
Office of the CEO

Having taken on a new executive leadership role, one of my first calls was to LSA Global to help my leadership team to design, implement, and cascade clear strategic plans.  First, LSA helped our leadership team identify the strategy, culture, and talent areas that mattered most to create organizational alignment.

Then they helped facilitate the design of a strategic growth plan that is clear, compelling, believable, and implementable. We now have 100% commitment from an aligned leadership team and key stakeholders going forward.

I would recommend LSA to anyone who wants to create high levels of strategic alignment, growth, and performance.

Erik Arvesen
Vice President, General Manager

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You have become our premier change leadership strategic partner. Your expertise in the human side of change is unparalleled and enabled our company to successfully implement our ERP Solution under challenging and ever-changing circumstances.

Thank you for your practical and outcome-oriented approach.

Ted Ramlet
CIO & SVP

McKesson

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