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Supply Chain Resilience

Case Study

SUPPLY CHAIN RESILIENCE

The Challenge

A global manufacturing and supply chain solutions company faced significant challenges in maintaining its materials supply at competitive prices during the pandemic crisis and through shipping channel instability. At the same time, rapidly changing market conditions and increased global competition posed growing threats to the company’s market position. Incoming leadership set ambitious revenue and cost saving targets for the company, goals that required a fundamental shift in their market approach and procurement organizational setup.

Opportunity Assessment 

An opportunity assessment was conducted to evaluate the current regional procurement organizational structure, governance, leadership capabilities, and culture. The goal was to determine the maturity of the overall procurement organization and identify areas to enhance procurement to support the global company’s growth and cost saving goals.

What We Discovered  

The assessment revealed a high-risk supply base, underdeveloped structures and governance, challenges with data transparency, and unproductive organizational culture. There was both an opportunity and need for procurement to transform from a siloed regional model to an integrated global organization leveraging synergies and providing strategic value to the business. Ensuring procurement had both the leadership capabilities and operating behaviors to support the next phase of growth was critical to the process.

What Conscient Strategies Did

With these potential risks and gaps identified, we partnered with procurement leadership to design and implement the global procurement organization of the future. Leveraging a collaborative, cross-functional approach, we worked with all levels of the organization across the globe to:
          1. Shape a new procurement vision and global mandate          

          2. Establish the new global procurement leadership team

          3. Align leadership priorities and organizational KPIs

          4. Design the global organizational structure

          5. Create a new operating model

          6. Update governance, roles, and global responsibilities

          7. Implement the new organization

At each stage of the process, this procurement transformation was linked to material cost optimization priorities and board-level strategic initiatives to ensure organizational changes continued to accelerate and reinforce business results.

Results

The new organization was implemented quickly with an agile and iterative approach, providing fast cost-saving results and quick wins. Throughout the change process, procurement leadership continued to deliver results, meeting or exceeding all their KPIs while transforming.
The new global procurement organization and operating model unlocked global synergies and increased regional agility, positioning procurement to capture hundreds of millions in savings and support the business’ future growth objectives.
Today, the updated governance structure drives effective decision making leading to better and faster decisions, and optimized resource utilization. Procurement operates as a strategic partner and key contributor to the business, proactively building a resilient supply base and strategic sourcing footprint designed to deliver savings and mitigate supply chain risk.

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    13 + 10 =

    Leveraging AI Technology to Engage Global Teams

    Case Study

    Leveraging AI Technology to Engage Global Teams

    The Challenge

    Working with a client with a 20,000+ member presence on a vastly distributed global landscape, the challenges to consider were myriad. These constraints included orientation, socio-economic status, geographical diversity, and disability.

    Lessons Learned

    • Human-centered: Age and user orientation were not effectively considered for this project. Challenges were evident with a dominant late Gen X to Baby boomer population of creatives. Looking ahead, future assessment designs will assume a more intentional audience-targeted approach accounting for demographic and social normative influences. In this instance, we will account for fewer lines of questions and more time for the creative minds, and more intentional socialization before the live sessions to get adequate participant buy-in.
    • Time zone divide: With geographical challenges due to varied time differences across Australia, Europe, North America, & APAC region, this presented a challenge. Layered on top of that is a predominantly (>60%) working population, and difficulties with availability were evident. We employed intentional approaches such as time zone converters to find the best common hours. We used multiple sessions at varying times of the day to capture the different time zones. Looking ahead, we will leverage asynchronous data-gathering methods to ensure inclusion and maximize reach.
    • Universal Access divide: Individuals living with physical disabilities are often disadvantaged when it comes to accessing the internet. They may have the necessary skills but cannot exploit the available hardware and software. Some parts of the world will remain segregated from the internet and its vast potential due to a lack of digital literacy skills, low education levels, and inadequate broadband infrastructure. Individuals on the autism spectrum and those with reading challenges may need extra time to comprehend text and compose a response with adequate cognitive processing time. Asynchronous data collection methods can be leveraged to offer more time for responses.

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    7 + 4 =

    Developing Financial Confidence in a new Executive Director

    Case Study

    Developing Financial Confidence in a new Executive Director

    The Challenge

    What started as a leadership transition project rapidly grew into a multi-month effort to help the new Executive Director of a literary association transform her organization with clear goals and an authentic DEI approach. Transformation required growing from a 50-year-old, founder-led creative organization with limited standards and a risky revenue model to a transparent, sustainable industry leader. Our early assessment revealed immature budgeting approaches, limited financial systems, and gut- rather than data-based decision-making.

    What We Did / Results

    Our team partnered with the ED to analyze the issues, build financial capacity in the board, and equip the ED with foundational financial knowledge. As a result, the organization was pushed to make data-informed decisions about its priorities, revamp its membership model, and address financial transparency issues. The most significant change took place within the ED who grew from a place of fear and financial ignorance to having confidence that she and her board could identify and solve the organization’s financial challenges.

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    1 + 13 =

    Founder Transition in a Family Run Organization

    Case Study

    Founder Transition in a Family Run Organization

    The Challenge

    For over 50 years, the founder of the client organization built a vibrant literary association with the help of a close friend and industry influencers. Organically, the organization grew until it reached 20,000+ members and boasted chapters worldwide. Despite the growth, the organization remained connected to the founder, with decision-making power closely held by a few individuals. Over the years, the world changed, but the organization maintained its legacy leadership, ad hoc operations, and personality-led approach. When a crisis around transparency and equity triggered the founder’s early retirement, her daughter-in-law was next in line for the Executive Director role. While the new ED was highly qualified for the role, the promotion was complicated by external critique, split loyalties within the board and advisory council, the outgoing ED’s new staff position, and interpersonal dynamics between the ED and her mother-in-law.

    What We Did / Results

    Conscient Strategies and our partners Axle were brought in to help usher the new ED through a tumultuous leadership transition and set the organization on a new course. With a combination of advisory support, coaching, conflict mediation, and strategic support, we were able to help the ED stabilize the organization, transition legacy leadership and, in time, calm the relationship with the founder.

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    14 + 15 =

    Enhanced Executive Decision-Making through Coaching

    Case Study

    Enhanced Executive Decision-Making through Coaching

    The Challenge

    Stepping into a leadership role after a well-respected founder leader who shares familial ties can be a daunting experience. The new Executive Director (ED) was moved into position quickly and found herself navigating the impact of legacy behaviors, a need for an organizational refresh, and other compliance issues. Under the former ED’s tenure, the organization’s governance and operations were strictly in her purview (heavy top-down leadership). This system created dysfunction in the organization as the leadership team was not optimized to its full potential to drive organizational success. Due to the complexity and number of changes that needed to occur, we included coaching for the new ED in order to support her as she led the organization through the transition. 

    Client Quote

    It definitely helped to have the coaching language in front of me; it made me feel more in control.”

    What We Did

    Coaching was a safe place created for the ED to talk about the leadership struggles. The coach became part of select calls between coaching sessions to gain context for the organization and observe the ED’s behaviors. We established a weekly cadence to work with the ED on the goals and actions necessary to implement organizational changes.

    What We Discovered

    Ongoing coaching and observation uncovered the leader’s struggle with follow-through and that she was overwhelmed by the deliverables. Our agile process helped her set more attainable actions to deliver results and we were able to adjust our delivery at the right level for the ED and her team.

    Results

    The coach reported that the ED was able to practice hard conversations with staff around change and build confidence through coaching. Everyone involved in the project, internally and externally, saw a dramatic difference in the new ED’s executive decision-making skills from the beginning to the end of the project. 

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    10 + 12 =

    Organizational Transformation of an International Membership-based Nonprofit

    Case Study

    Organizational Transformation of an International Membership-based Nonprofit

    The Challenge

    For over 50 years, the founder of the client organization built a vibrant literary association with the help of a close friend and industry influencers. Organically, the organization grew until it reached 20,000+ members and boasted chapters worldwide. Despite the growth, the organization maintained its legacy leadership and ad hoc operations, with decision-making power closely held by a few individuals.  When a crisis around transparency and equity triggered the founder’s early retirement, her daughter-in-law was next in line for the Executive Director (ED) role. While the new ED was highly qualified for the role, the promotion was complicated by external critique, split loyalties within the board and advisory council, and interpersonal dynamics between the ED and her mother-in-law.

    The new Executive Director and her leadership team recognized that transformation was needed for the organization to remain sustainable and evolve in a way that supported future growth. In July 2022, Conscient Strategies began working with the team to reevaluate the organization and to develop a new vision, mission, values, and goals, and map a path forward that would maintain the organization’s legacy while transforming to meet the needs of its modern, global membership.

    Client Quote

    Working with all of you has been one of the high points of my career. Your insights into how we can reinvent [the organization] have been nothing short of brilliant. You ‘see’ us in a way that has helped reshape our thinking and produced some great work we can share with the members.”

    What We Did

    With a combination of organizational assessment, advisory support, coaching, conflict mediation, and strategic support, we were able to help the ED stabilize the organization, and set it on a new course.

    To begin, we employed the Conscient Strategies Organizational Assessment to evaluate past experience, current context and future opportunities.  This tool considers the impact that mission, programmatic practices, structure, organizational culture, leadership and team dynamics, and decision making considerations may have on an organization’s success. To complete the assessment, we considered the following:

    Interviews with leaders within the organization

    Interviews with external leaders within and beyond the industry

    Review of existing documentation and observation of key meetings

    Benchmarking

    AI conversations with the membership

    Facilitated in-person discussion and follow-up survey of the volunteer leadership

    The assessment revealed the following:

    • Ambiguity and variations in role interpretations within the volunteer leadership and HQ staff
    • Lagging transparency in communications and support for financial management
    • Volunteers looking to ease the burden of heavy workloads
    • Dominant US-based language in communication and website
    • Interpersonal issues getting in the way of effective communication and collaboration
    • DEI-related training needs for regional leaders to address the problems as they come up
    • Clarity around legal matters, including finances & data requirements (esp. for non-US)

    Conscient Strategies then partnered with the ED and her team to address gaps related to organizational structure , effective use of the volunteer network, revision to the membership model, a shift to global orientation when considering communication, legal and finance requirements, and improvements to the governance and operating model.

    At the start of the start of the transformation, the CS team led the executive leadership through exercises to shape the new vision, mission, values, and goals. Throughout the engagement, we provided leadership development and advisory services tailored for the ED to support the evolution of the relationship between the Board of Directors and the advisory council.

    As the team gained confidence in the new direction, we served as thought partners to the ED to address opportunities identified in the assessment.  We supported the and onboarding of new board members, including for the first time, a finance chair; we offered guided support to the Board to revise bylaws, empowering the Board as primary decision drivers. This resulted in a board that was fully qualified and committed to supporting the new direction.

    Next we laid out a set of recommendations that would provide financial and structural stability. These included diversifying revenue streams, modifying the structure to support needs across the organization, clarifying roles and responsibilities for staff and volunteer leadership, and cascading communications so leaders can better support the changes involved in the organizational transformation

    Results

    As a result of this engagement, the ED was confident in her leadership, role, and relationship with the board. Our engagement brought the organization compliance and working in concert with its renewed vision and bold goals. The executive team is better equipped to make informed decisions based on data and a deeper understanding of the organization.

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    10 + 5 =

    Strategic Planning & Board Relations Ahead of Series A Raise

    Case Study

    Strategic Planning & Board Relations Ahead of Series A Raise

    Overview

    The CEO of a FinTech Trust Charter Payments as a Service start-up engaged Conscient Strategies to address root issues hindering their growth. The company had pre-seed funding and was looking to do Series A raise. The start-up needed to improve its strategic planning, product roadmap, and communications with the board. Conscient Strategies was brought in to advise the organization on strategic planning, product road mapping, board management, and provide leadership coaching to the CEO.

    Assessment

    We began by undertaking a needs assessment of organization focuses especially on the executive team (CEO, Head of Sales, Chief of Compliance, and Head of Operations). We also had conversations with the board to understand the root of the disconnects between the executives and the board. The assessment focused on the strategic plan and organizational structure.

    What we discovered

    We identified the following root issues and gaps:

    • Lack of a formalized strategic plan and product roadmap
    • No clear process for new customer onboarding
    • Need to identify potential sources for funding
    • Communication gaps between company executives and board
    • Need for leadership coaching for the CEO

    What we did

    Conscient Strategies engaged the CEO and broader executive team to solve these issues in a holistic and iterative manner. Through our work with the whole executive team, we provided targeted coaching services, advised them in writing a strategic plan and then guided them through a communications approach and process to get that plan adopted by the board. We helped the client hire top talent – including banking experts and experienced hires – to fill gaps in the org structure. Additionally, we guided the leadership team as they developed a product roadmap and new customer onboarding process, along with an objectives and key results (OKR) system to ensure they achieved their strategic plan.

    Through their work with the whole executive team, Conscient Strategies provided targeted coaching services, advised them in writing a strategic plan and then guided them through a communications approach and process to get that plan adopted by the board.

    Results

    With these improvements, in the second year of the engagement, the company saw:

    Sales increased 5–15% month on month and some months saw closer to 30% growth.

    The board and executive team established effective working relations.

    The company received an adequate audit rating—the highest possible rating—on the mandatory annual audit.

    Most significantly, the start-up raised $4 Million in a series A funding during our engagement.

    Did you know?

    Our team provides planning and support to ensure successful acquisitions and high value exits.

    From 100-Day Plans to integration support and beyond, we’re here throughout the deal cycle.

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    5 + 12 =

    Leadership Coaching & Strategic Advisory for Growing Healthcare Start-up

    Case Study

    Leadership Coaching & Strategic Advisory for Growing Healthcare Start-up

    Overview

    Conscient Strategies provided coaching and strategic advisory services to the Head of Business Development for a healthcare services platform startup. The start-up had Series B funding and the Head of Business Development was overwhelmed in their role and struggling to manage the relationships both with direct reports and with the CEO and Board. These leadership challenges were hindering new business development efforts and growth.

    Assessment

    Leveraging a combination of coaching models and assessment tools, we worked with the Head of Business Development to understand what he saw as his greatest needs. We then conducted 360 feedback sessions to understand what his colleagues, managers, peers, and direct reports saw as the areas where he needed to grow.

     

    With the assessment and guidance from Conscient Strategies, the Head of Business Development saw an increase in his leadership and management capabilities, which improved his performance and that of his team. He made several organizational changes on his team to ensure peak efficiency and quality.

    What We Discovered

    The assessment revealed the client’s strengths and also indicated areas for significant growth in the following areas:

    Key leadership capabilities

    Talent management for direct reports

    Communication with and upward management of the CEO and Board

    Results

    Over the course of the engagement, the Head of Business Development was able to incorporate feedback from previous performance reviews into his day-to-day behaviors. As his leadership and management capabilities increased, so did his performance and that of his team. He made several organizational changes on his team to ensure peak efficiency and quality. With a higher performing team, he secured several large new partnership deals for the company. His subsequent performance management review was a significant improvement from his pre-engagement review.  The client’s success and growth were rewarded with a promotion to Senior Vice President.

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    12 + 5 =

    Employee Engagement within the Industrial Maintenance and Overhaul of Naval Ships

    Case Study

    Employee Engagement within the Industrial Maintenance and Overhaul of Naval Ships

    Overview

    For nearly five years, Conscient Strategies has been engaged to work with the US Navy and its prime contractor to deliver a culture change initiative to the civilian team operating to repair and overhaul Navy ships.  Through our Performance Coaching program, we help our clients at four Naval Shipyards around the world accomplish their goals—return a submarine or Aircraft Carrier back to the Navy Fleet on time and on budget.  We do this by implementing a coaching based leadership change and increased employee engagement initiative in the Shipyards. We accomplish that mission by providing targeted, high-caliber performance coaching for key Shipyard staff via a time-tested embedded methodology.

    Employee engagement is an on-going challenge at the Navy’s shipyard.  In most cases, the leadership structure includes older employees with a great deal of experience, and young employees with relatively little experience, and a divide in terms of ways in which to accomplish and motivate work. When we first began work with the shipyards, engagement was assessed to be at an all-time low. Conscient Strategies has been on the forefront of helping close the gap and boosting employee engagement.

    Employee engagement is defined as the degree to which employees are motivated to come to work and contribute fully to the organization’s goals.  Further, there are three common attributes which promote employee engagement: vigor, absorption, and dedication. Vigor refers to a high level of energy and persistence. Dedication results from employees finding significance, inspiration, and meaning at work. Absorbed workers are concentrating on their tasks in such a way that it feels like they are in flow and time is passing quickly.  

    Promoting employee engagement requires transformational leadership.  Transformational leaders tap into employees’ intrinsic motivation, which is the only sustainable way to drive high levels of commitment and performance. Tapping into intrinsic motivation requires emotionally intelligent leader behaviors.  When emotionally intelligent leader behaviors are exhibited, employees feel safe and experience an optimal level of excitement (not too much and not too little) for sustainably high performance. Conscient Strategies has been coaching and training shipyard leaders to adopt productive behaviors to promote the type of employee engagement described above. 

     

    Employee engagement is an on-going challenge at the Navy’s shipyard, and divides manifest between working generations and work ethic. Conscient Strategies is on the forefront of helping close the gap and boosting employee engagement.

    What We Did

    The training and coaching program implemented by Conscient Strategies is focused on shifting leader behaviors to create an environment that promotes high workplace engagement. Training on emotionally intelligent leadership as well as targeted individual and group coaching are the foundation for cultivating leaders who make employees look forward to coming to work and pouring themselves into their work with their teams. Specific leadership behavioral changes encouraged through our strengths-based coaching result in employees believing that their leaders care for well-being and support their learning and growth. The resulting changes in organizational culture generates higher levels of engagement.  Conscient Strategies coaches help shipyard leaders behave in a way that makes employees feel valued and empowered, and these feelings drive higher engagement and performance. 

    Results

    As a result of Conscient Strategies leadership coaching and training at the shipyards, there has been a measurable uptick in quality, timeliness, safety outcomes.  Additionally, errors in production have decreased. These types of results are simply not possible with the low levels of employee engagement that were initially present at the shipyard. The proven results that come from productive shifts in leadership behavior have resulted in an increased demand for leadership coaching and development at the shipyards. Further, existing shipyard leaders are taking seriously their responsibility to connect with and cultivate a new generation of inspired and engaged young leaders.  All of this has been possible from the mindset shifts achieved through our breakthrough coaching and leader development program at the shipyards.

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    8 + 9 =

    Compensation and Benefits Analysis

    Case Study

    Compensation and Benefits Analysis

    Overview

    As part of Conscient Strategies’ work with a national think tank located in Washington, DC, following an assessment of the culture of the organization, we found that there was a need to confirm questions around salary equity on the team.  The client requested that we undertake a compensation study that analyzed different salary ranges from organizations similar to the think tank in the Washington, D.C. geographic area. The objective of the study was to enable the organization to compare its salary brackets for the major job levels to those at similar organizations.

    What We Did

    Conscient Strategies evaluated data from a list of comparable institution as agreed in partnership with our client.  All of the institutions we compared were based in the local D.C. area to ensure we had a like-like comparison to the organization for whom we were working.  Not only did we look at specific organization, we also included an assessment of position-level salary estimates published by a variety of sources, including recruiters, job posting sites, and organizational review sites.   We included the following positions for evaluation:

    •  Executive Director/President/CEO
    • Deputy Executive Director/EVP
    • C-Suite Level
    • Senior Director/VP
    • Director
    • Manager
    • Coordinator
    • Program Assistant

    And, although we look holistically at the organization as it compares to other organizations in the geography, we also tested for disparity for gender and ethnicity based on the findings of our culture assessment.

    The client requested that Conscient Strategies undertake a compensation study that analyzed different salary ranges from organizations similar to the think tank in the Washington, D.C. geographic area. Conscient Strategies evaluated data from a list of comparable institution, not only looking at specific organization, but also included an assessment of position-level salary estimates published by a variety of sources.

    What we Discovered & Results

    Overall, our assessment indicated that compensation at this organization veered increasingly to the lower end of the market as positions become more senior.

    At most senior-level positions, the majority of benchmark organizations pay at a higher salary level than our client. For the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director levels, our client was in the lowest 5% of benchmarked organizations for compensation. These two positions also have the greatest range in salary of any position.

    Our client generally pays in the middle of the market range at the Senior Director/VP and Director levels. 

    This organization pays at the high end of the range at the Manager level and is similar to the market range for Coordinator and Program Assistant positions.

    Because outliers can skew a statistical comparison, we also evaluated the data excluding the highest and lowest salaries at each position level.

    Upon delivery of this information, we were able to give leadership data to base compensation and performance evaluation activities.  It also allowed the organization to respond to perceptions that compensation was inequitable across demographic groups on the team.

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    4 + 11 =

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