Succeeding In A Changing Marketplace

The Situation

In the midst of a changing market in Holland, one of the top IT consulting organizations needed to make a major change in strategy to appeal to organizations who were no longer outsourcing their IT needs. To make this happen, two diverse teams were brought together -- one team had more business than they could handle while the other found it harder to sell and often had more consultants than projects.

In the new team the culture had to shift - now all consultants would need to make sales. A new Managing Director was chosen, disappointing two top-performing consultants who hoped to get the job. How do we keep these two senior consultants motivated? How do we get enough work to decrease the expense of consultants who don't have projects? How do we shift the culture to one of accountability for all results? The challenges were enormous.

Work of Best Year Yet®

When the new team came together, feelings were unfriendly and behavior was stiff and formal. We first brought the team together for a review and planning session in which a new team plan was generated and each member created a personal strategy for achieving their part of the plan. These shared goals had a new level of specificity for increasing the percentage of active consultants, a new sales training program, team building events and sales targets.

Key to the program was the identification of a new set of values and a system for measuring improvement in behavior and cooperation. In the early days performance against individual monthly goals was inadequate. A new level of personal responsibility was needed and over the months this was slowly achieved as the team began putting the full Best Year Yet system into practice.

The Results

Over the course of the year all consultants went through a new sales training and began to take on the challenge of finding work for themselves. In the first year the percentage of consultants "on the bench" dropped from 14% to 6%.

At the same time the intangibles of building One Team, through focus on their new values, were measured and behavior and performance visibly improved. Most important of all in a culture in which there was once no pressure to market and sell, the number of presentations to potential clients rose 35% in their first year.


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