The Seemingly “Impossible Search” (Sometimes, it takes a fresh approach.)
A global food brand had worked with a multinational search firm for nine months without success. The company was looking for a chief supply chain officer to oversee global manufacturing, engineering, customer service, logistics, and procurement and lead a workforce of 15,000 employees.
Our strategy included identifying which consumer products companies had best‐in‐class integrated supply chain functions. We networked with consumer products industry executives and with supply chain experts at global consulting firms to identify where the top targeted talent was. We completed the search within 3½ months.
Strategic Shift (Sometimes, you need us there for the long haul.)
A $300 million distribution company retained our firm for a long-term assignment: to transform the business from a traditional sales representative model to a consultative sales model. Over the next seven years, we recruited nearly 40 consultants who strengthened the company’s customer relationships and measurably improved sales and profits. The net result of the shift increased revenues from $300 million to nearly $1 billion and market share from 40 percent to over 60 percent.
This company increased profitability every year following the transition. The sales leader, ultimately promoted to president, subsequently enlisted us to manage a redesign of the business.
Executive Team Building (Sometimes, diversity can lead to disruption.)
We consulted with the executive team of a financial services company that had recently emerged from reorganization. The new CEO and several new senior executives were experiencing problems in communication.
Our personality and 360° executive team surveys indicated the communication challenges resulted from the team’s diversity in personalities – and lack of understanding about those differences – coupled with little clarity on post-reorganization goals.
We facilitated a series of team-building sessions designed to re-envision the organizational focus. Though some of the initial meetings were contentious, the personality and team survey data proved to be accurate and provided a pathway to forge better relationships.
Private Equity Group Ownership (Sometimes, you need a consultant to help you grow.)
A private equity group acquired an $800 million Midwestern company. The newly appointed CEO hired us to build the infrastructure necessary for the business to grow. We successfully recruited a dozen senior-level executives, including the CFO, VP of distribution, and SVP of HR.
Together, the new executive team recruited, trained, and retained the talent necessary to compete with the company’s formidable industry competitors. These executives took the company from a market share of 45 percent to over 60 percent, and in doing so, improved profitability and increased sales from $800 million to $1.7 billion.
Leadership and Executive Development (Sometimes, your timeline has to be accelerated.)
In a competitive RFP process, we won the contract to design an executive leadership development process for a large manufacturing company. The organization’s aggressive expansion in global operations prompted an urgent need to identify and develop a number of managers to take on global executive leadership responsibilities.
We created a leadership development program for high-potential managers, which was later expanded to include three separate processes for existing executives, managers, and employees. The client expanded operations into more than 36 countries and increased annual sales to over $4 billion.
Board of Directors (Sometimes, one success leads to another.)
The CEO of a $2 billion company retained us to recruit a director for the company’s board – someone with a proven record in the retail industry. We targeted an experienced CEO from a publicly held retailer, who has proven to be one of the company’s most effective directors.
Several years later, the board retained us to recruit another director. This time, they needed an executive to chair the audit committee in what, at the time, was a rigorous, highly regulated post-Sarbanes-Oxley era. Despite the restrictions imposed by the legislation, we successfully recruited a seasoned CFO to guide the company as it sharpened its financial focus.
Succession Planning (Sometimes, you need to share leadership responsibilities.)
The young CEO of a $260 million distribution company hired us to find an executive who could operate the company in case he was ever unable to do so. After a nationwide search, we recruited an executive VP who – alongside the CEO – made several major acquisitions and grew the business from $260 million to over $2.5 billion in sales. The executives transformed the company into a holding corporation which ultimately became the largest privately held company in its trade area.
Over the next two decades, this company enlisted us to conduct more than 30 searches for outside talent, including four division presidents, a VP of HR, a CFO, and an SVP of legal affairs. As a result, the business was able to upgrade HR and IT functions and launch a legal department.
Changing Business Model (Sometimes, you can take both paths at the fork in the road.)
A large financial services organization retained us to recruit a market executive. The company, which operated banking centers in multiple states, was moving to a retail-store model. Our job? Recruit an executive with retail experience to manage a large group of banking centers. After presenting a diverse slate of candidates, the client decided to hire two market executives – one for the original search, and one for a new geographic area the company decided to create.
Executive Coaching (Sometimes, the numbers tell the story.)
We provided executive coaching services, including in-depth personality, leadership, and competency assessments and 360° management and team assessments, to an internet bank in Silicon Valley.
Using that data, we developed targeted performance and development plans in partnership with each manager and executive. During this engagement the organization grew over 1,000 percent(!), and all the executives we worked with were hired to higher profile positions.
Here’s a partial list of searches Coleman Lew Canny Bowen has completed.