Developing a New Business Identity
Following the sale of its premier brand serving micro finance markets across Latin America, the legacy portfolio of companies that constituted a diversified investment group required a new business identity, a cohesive growth strategy and new leadership to drive results.
The portfolio included companies ranging from insurance and micro finance specialists to business process outsourcers and educational services providers. They came with a budget of $300 million but lacked the business process efficiency of a fully integrated entity and needed a plan for investing those funds to accelerate business growth.
These challenges were complicated by quality of leadership issues. However, there was a strong consensus that these ongoing concerns could be significantly more profitable with better management.
We engaged the portfolio's Board of Directors with our proprietary TRANSEARCH Orxestra™ Method to help define the cultural markets not only of its biggest business but also of its smaller, more diversified component companies. This exercise revealed tremendous disconnects between their organizational cultures but also helped shape and align them to develop the culture they wanted to build.
We also worked closely with the president of the board charged with governing the entire portfolio of companies. Together, we carefully evaluated options for selecting a new General Manager with the right management experience, market perspective and energy to boldly lead the group in the direction of its business aspirations.
We thoughtfully considered executives from industry sectors known to produce the strongest management skills. We also vetted investment and financial sector leaders with perhaps the sharpest view of new business opportunities in the micro finance and business services markets in Latin America. And, of course, we carefully aligned on the need to find a native Spanish speaker with some cultural association to the markets our client was serving in the region.
Ultimately, we identified a candidate with the level of experience and credibility in the finance markets that allowed him to push the kind of innovation and cultural transformation required to achieve the group's exciting new business plan.
At the same time, he brought a focus on the soft skills required to develop leaders and enabled them to challenge outdated business processes. The new General Manager delved deep enough into the operations to understand the biggest growth barriers facing each of the portfolio companies, but only long enough to identify the leaders who were committed to making the necessary changes in order to achieve the objectives.
One of the potential hazards of assigning such a change mandate to a new General Manager is the risk of some level of misalignment with a board president who likes to be hands on in the business.
Given the need to innovate, transform the culture and change business processes, it was clear that our TRANSEARCH team needed to help both our client board president and his new General Manager adjust to the challenges of working together. So we coached both of them, and helped them understand the very distinct though somewhat overlapped responsibilities of their new working collaboration. After just a few months, each of these instrumental leaders thanked us for helping them forge a powerful new working relationship grounded in respect and a unified purpose.
This powerful duo has indeed pushed a change agenda that has won the support of their management peers and the employees of the portfolio companies they represent. They are deeply invested in identifying the key markets they will serve and how they plan to innovate their offerings to customers in ways that speak more to the future of the business than ever before.
Our client has described its new General Manager as both an anchor for its culture transformation and an important driver of its new business expansion. Together with the board president and the entire executive leadership team, they have scoped more innovative ways to serve some of the diversified financial and services markets than they could have ever realized previously without our TRANSEARCH Orxestra™ method.
Sometimes, seeing a profitable legacy market with a new set of eyes makes all the difference. One of the key lessons is that when you open one's mind to new possibilities, new revelations may surprise you and force you to change along the way.
The challenge of leadership sometimes requires executives -and business partners like TRANSEARCH - to work in subtle ways to ensure communication is clear, boundaries are understood and respected and business plans are changed.
Sometimes, the road less traveled is difficult. However, if the stakeholders agree on the destination, it is quite often possible to create a new path to a brighter future if leaders are willing to bend and flex and renew themselves along the journey.
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