These are the specific business results, including, where possible, the economic value of achievements based on an understanding of insight principles.
In most cases an insight appeared during the course of, or shortly after group or one-on-one sessions, thus, an understanding of insight principles could be viewed as a significant contributor to a great result. In other cases, an understanding of insight principles became embedded in and changed the existing work and social processes. So, although the results were accomplished through an enormous amount of work — done by many people using many additional methods — we believe the understanding of insight principles were an essential contributor that often initiated or identified, and always amplified, accelerated, and enhanced the process.
- Turnaround in Profitability in Two Years: A $3-billion, Fortune 50 subsidiary achieved a $300-million earnings increase in two years despite a declining market — the best performance in the company’s history and three times what was deemed reasonable — and has repeated this performance for eight of the last nine years.
- Morale Turnaround During Major Leadership Crisis: The remaining leadership of a $1.2-billion technology company, after the loss of almost all of their top three layers of leaders, were able to turn around an environment of fear and reactivity to one of creativity and innovation within 12 months by embedding insight principles into all layers of the organization. This resulted in stemming the tide of attrition and the improvement of productivity to higher than before-crisis performance. This resulted in revenue improvement of over 75% within the next three years.
- Step-Change in Quality Performance and Employee Retention: A multi-billion dollar defense and aerospace company went from being blacklisted by an important customer due to poor performance to being a supplier of choice. “Cost-of-Poor-Quality” was reduced from 9 percent to 1 percent over a 7-year period. Additionally scores on all measures of the independently assessed Employee Opinion Survey increased significantly consistent with a drop in the attrition rate from nearly 10 percent to 1.5 percent.
- Rapid Shift in Inter-divisional Cooperation: A five-year running conflict between two divisions, both involved in the development of the same game-changing technology, dissolved in less than two weeks as the real causes of their problems were identified and a healthier state of mind became the norm for their meetings.
- $35-40-million/year EBIT Strategic Insight: In a day and a half, 10 members of a food-ingredients company solved a strategic dilemma involving their China business model, that had thwarted multiple prior attempts over the last four years. It emerged that the “China problem” was also a hidden fatal flaw in some 40% of their global business, which was suffering increasing competitive pressure. Implementation of this solution has yielded $35–$40 million of EBIT improvement per year.
- Product Development Timeline Halved Netting $100-millon Profit: A global consumer-goods company reduced the product development process for a specific line-extension from two years to 11 months, contributing a once off profit improvement of more than $100 million for that product alone.
- Rapid Organization Structure Design: In six hours, manufacturing executives from the same company of the previous example created, evaluated, and converged on a new organizational structure for their several-thousand-person organization.
- Strategic Insight Allowed Business Growth from $200-million to $1-billion: After struggling for more than two years, an executive team of a $200-million-revenue, emerging technology business had a breakthrough in developing and aligning around a strategy, and in then gaining the endorsement and vital support of the senior management of the whole company. Eight years later, it is now a $1-billion revenue enterprise.
- R&D Teams Align to Accelerate Innovation: During a 4-day process, two teams responsible for different stages of the discovery and product development processes within a multi-billion dollar biotech business were able to overcome conflicts of interest, turf battles and long standing personal attitudes. The alignment and excitement created has resulted in accelerated scientific processes (50% time saving) and numerous self-generated cross-functional teams between the two organizations without senior leader involvement.
- $200-million EBIT-gap Reduction: A $5-billion specialty products company was able to identify EBIT-gap improvement ideas of $450-million in a 3-day meeting, using their understanding of insight principles. Prior attempts with the same group using the normal “work-out” approach had only yielded $30-million worth of ideas. This initiative was in response to an 11th-hour request by their parent, to improve earnings by $100-million. The idea list was triaged into a $200-million EBIT improvement plan that enabled them to meet their new annual target despite a declining market.
- Legal Team Generates Knowledge Transfer Culture: In a half-day meeting, the top leadership of a 100 person legal department, 70% of which are or are about to be retirement ready, overcame long standing personal and cultural issues to generate new processes, procedures and esprit de corps to accelerate the transfer of knowledge and relationships to the younger staff within their ranks.
- Creation of a New Business in $45-billion Market: An executive team of a $250-million specialties business developed and aligned around a plan to create a new business unit in a $45-billion market after having previously tried and failed for more than a year.
- Efficient R&D Budget Agreement: The executives of a global manufacturing company completed their annual $250-million R&D budget in a single 45-minute meeting, whereas historically this had required a contentious six-month series of meetings and analyses.
- Fast Strategy Development for New Markets: The management team of a unit in a global consulting firm developed both a sharply and powerfully differentiated strategy and new market position in two days.
- Leadership Team Effectiveness and Resilience: By the end of a six-week review of their strategy and associated issues, a self-declared dysfunctional management team had become friendly, collaborative, synergistic, and recommitted to that strategy. Two months later, when their parent company went through the upheaval of a new CEO (and associated across-the-board cost reductions), the team remained on course and produced their best financial performance ever.
- Executive Team Solves Long Standing Scarce Asset and Dividend Allocation Conflicts: In a three day retreat, a small team from one of the world’s largest financial services companies resolved the philosophical and pragmatic issues at the core of deep conflicts existing for over 10 years between their various businesses relating to the distribution of assets and profits. The solution has since been approved by the Board and implemented, paving the way for significant alignment and collaboration between the businesses.
- Rapid Development of a New Business: In less than an hour, eight executives completely dropped the worry and concern they had been carrying for more than a year about how to invent a new business built on their inherent strengths. The path forward became obvious and simple, as did their alignment.
- CEO Makes A Strategic Shift: After lamenting his inability to grow the nascent biotech business of a $35-billion enterprise, in a single conversation, the CEO uncovered the insight needed to refocus his and the organization’s attention and time on the new direction. Within 1 month, he was spending 75% of his time on the new business versus 15% before, without any negative impact on the rest of the enterprise. 5 years later, the biotech business is on its way to being a $3-billion business by 2015. From insight comes clarity and purpose.
- Marketing Executive Eliminates Internal Conflict: The head of marketing of a $1.6B consumer products company was able to resolve long standing conflict with the sales and logistics functions resulting in a surprising 5% increase in market share during the 2008-9 economic downturn. When promoted to a General Manager position, he was able to significantly reduce supply chain cost by 40% in a newly created division he headed up.
- GM Doubles Productivity: The General Manager of a $3-billion global specialty products division was able to use his understanding of insight principles to double his productivity and accelerate business profitability. Over a five-year period, earnings grew by on average 10% annually, in spite of the 2008 economic slowdown. This allowed this division to become one of the parent company’s strongest performers and the major contributor to overall earnings.
- Senior Engineer Guides Organization Through Difficult Leadership Upheaval: Instead of resigning after losing 85% of his peers in a senior leadership shake-up, this executive was able to quickly adjust to the new leadership and turn around the morale of his 900 engineer/5000 person organization, leading to annual revenue increases from $1.2B to $2B within three years.
- General Counsel Increases Size of Settlement: The General Counsel of a $5-billion technology-based specialty products company was able to dramatically impact the outcome of a licensing infringement lawsuit that they had taken to trial. Despite all the contradicting parties involved (internally and externally), he was able to navigate the 72-hour non-stop trial and settlement process, to a $10-15-million better result than originally envisaged. He was amazed how easily he was able to deal with everyone in a clear manner, and think for himself despite the pressures. He commented afterwards that it had been the most satisfying moment of his professional career.
- Senior Leader Gains Endorsement For Emerging Business Endeavor: In a four-hour meeting, the leader of the emerging technology business unit of a Fortune 50 company enabled two executive-committee peers to have a breakthrough in understanding his unit’s strategy — something they had been unable to do since its inception 3 years prior. They were then able to explain it to, and gain the endorsement and support of, the top 130 managers in the whole company.
- Head of HR Redefines His Function: The Head of Human Resources of a $3-billion specialty ingredients company was able to redefine how his function could partner with the business to create more value. This happened in a 15-minute working session during his 1-on-1 training. Prior efforts on this topic had been going on for over a year with modest results.
- Senior Executive Clarifies Next Career Move: As result of his understanding of insight principles, a senior executive for a $1-billion health-care division was able to completely re-shape his thinking about his next career move. This enabled him to re-define how he would do this assignment, solving personal and business-related operational constraints. This allows his employer to retain a high-potential employee and avoid major business disruption.
- Senior Executive Resolves JV Issue: A senior executive of a $1-billion food-ingredients company was able to resolve in two hours, a structural problem (with a $120-million-revenue, Asian joint-venture partner) that had consumed him for more than six months and repeatedly defied solution.
- Senior Executives Resolve Feud: Following their training, two senior executives resolved a longstanding business and personal feud. Today, though they still disagree on many topics, the personal nature of their disagreeing has disappeared, as has the collateral damage to their subordinates and peers.
- Senior Leader Breaks Deadlock: Following a 4-day individual leadership retreat, this senior leader was able to change a long-standing, demoralizing view of the company hierarchy and for the first time truly partner with her boss. Her insight resulted in a 180-degree shift in approach to a yearlong product stewardship debate by the Executive Committee. This resulted in a critically needed structural change to a $1.5-billion revenue business area. Although still in implementation, the expectation is of tens of millions of Dollars of EBIT impact.