Recent Work

stock-photo-3644147-thankfullPlease click the case studies below to expand their details.

▼High Tech – Consumer

Challenge: A seasoned executive was brought into the organization to be groomed as the next CEO. Other individuals who were in the organization for a longer length of time were also being considered for the position. In order to be accepted in this position he would need to be able to navigate the culture of the company and understand how his skill could affect the necessary changes to move forward.

Solution: Mentoring helped him understand the culture and where his proposals for significant organizational change could be best received and incorporated.

Results: This individual was eventually promoted to CEO. As CEO, he became frustrated that the executive team would not contribute to owning the company strategy and was focused too much on operational issues. Mentoring the CEO allowed him to find ways to engage the executive staff and provide an atmosphere of trust and openness to move the organization forward. This led to employee engagement throughout the organization, ownership of corporate goals and double digit increases in revenue and profits.

Professional Services

Challenge: A functional practice area of a major professional services organization had been underperforming for some years.

Solution: Working with the leaders of the business unit, a strategic plan was developed that identified non-traditional personnel needed to complement existing resources in order to compete and win at the highest levels in the marketplace.
Acculturation of these personnel was given high priority and tailored mentoring programs were developed for each.

Results: Within less than a year the unit began achieving rapid and profitable growth, and aggressive budgets were soon eclipsed.

▼Manufacturing – New Market

Challenge: A company newly funded by a new level of venture capital needed assistance to organize for entering a new market.

Solution: The dual CEO role needed clarification and the company’s middle management needed upgrading to accommodate their growth.

Results: Improvements with investors old and new were accommodated with more structured governance. Improvements in internal reporting and management tools. Improved financial controls and better communication within the company all helped the CEOs adapt to their larger scale.

▼Manufacturing – Growth

Challenge: The CEO and his largest investors needed help to transition a medium size company for a global growth opportunity the company was uniquely positioned to seize.
The mid management was eager but inexperienced in hyper growth.

Solution: Mentoring the CEO to build new strategic plan to identify goals, strategies and execution plans. New executive leadership was needed in key positions, new internal management reporting, and heightened sophistication in Board relations were key managerial led changes.

Product packaging and pricing, strategic moves to pre-emptively limit new competition and identification and commitment to well defined goals were implemented.

Results: The CEO improved delegation and oversight skills and adopted the key leadership role to help the whole organization structure and respond to the challenges of new levels of growth. The company expected to double its valuation in the first year of the new program implementation.

▼High tech – Enterprise software

Challenge: The CEO of a software start up company was struggling with his Board of Directors. The board members lacked confidence in the CEO’s leadership and in his ability to deliver quarterly results. The CEO, in turn, was frustrated with the Board’s short-term outlook and their inability to see the potential the company’s technology held for those transitioning their current technology into a cloud environment.

Solution: The CEO sought assistance by inviting a mentor to join the Board and work with him on improving his relationship with the other Board members.

Results: After one year the CEO and his team completed an upgrade to the technology and, with the board’s approval, sold the company to a leading high tech company in the industry.

▼Retail

Challenge: The president of a small privately owned company struggled periodically with profitability in a highly volatile segment of the retail industry.

Solution: Provide mentoring support to the President and work with him to re-invigorate the business.

Results: Over the course of a few years, old business practices were replaced with new ones based on a different set of analytics. As a result, this business survived a number of slowdowns in its retail segment, operated profitably with no debt and is one of the few remaining independent operations in its segment and geography.

▼High Tech – B2B s/w and services

Challenge: CEO of this company was experienced in his field but lacked management experience

Solution: Mentoring program for 2 years

Results: During this period, the CEO was helped with important personnel, organizational and strategic issues. The company grew 20% annually during this period and was highly profitable. The CEO’s management team remarked how much improvement they saw in the CEO soon after the mentoring program.

▼High Tech – Services

Challenge: As the world economy imploded in the fall of 2008, the global recession had an immediate impact on the company’s customers as their international trade plummeted. Customers were forced to cut costs, including services and software costs, to remain solvent.

Solution: The company had a choice – hunker down, cut costs and ride out the storm or get aggressive and promote the dramatic cost savings the products and services offered. The company was guided into chosing the latter by increasing customer contact, implementing more aggressive marketing programs and clearly demonstrating through ROI analyses the savings provided for its customers.

Results: The strategy worked as revenue continued to grow, although at a reduced rate. This was achieved in an industry that declined 30% during this period.

▼High tech – Consumer Software

The Challenge: The software company, headquartered in Europe with offices in the US, Japan and China, was in the midst of making a significant strategic shift from their traditional PC software business to a mobile/cloud services model while expanding their customer base from tech-savvy enthusiasts to consumers. The CEO believed improving the company’s marketing would be a key component of success going forward, but was not confident the internal team had the skills or experience to adapt.

The Solution: A Korora Partners consultant worked with the company’s senior executive team to create a new marketing strategy and increase the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing organization.

The Results: The Company was repositioned to articulate the new business strategy, establish broader market awareness, and communicate a straightforward and compelling value proposition. A single, integrated view of global marketing budgets and optimized marketing spend was developed to align with business objectives. Opportunities were explored to improve customer-focused communications, messaging consistency and integration of programs across the marketing mix. The company Implemented operational processes and procedures to improve management visibility and cross-functional communications.

▼Non-Profit Organization

The Challenge: The Bay Area chapter of a national non-profit organization was preparing annual budgets, but wanted to ensure they were considering long-range opportunities and potential impacts for their organization.

The Solution: Strategic planning retreat was conducted with CEO, leadership team, Board chair and several board members. 1:1 meetings held with key contributors across the organization to understand their issues, concerns and view of priorities prior to the retreat.

The Results: A strategic plan was developed that outlined the organization’s missions, goals, obstacles, strategies and detailed action plans over a two year planning period. Departmental budgets were aligned across the organization. Sections of the strategic plan were presented at the National Board meeting and received favorable review and approval. Goals have been achieved, despite a difficult economic environment for philanthropic organization. Team morale increased as a result of the planning methodology, and their participation and commitment to making the plan a success. Execution of action plans has been kept on track through regular reviews of commitments and clear points of accountability.

▼Real Estate – Small/Med business

Challenge: The co-founders of a boutique real estate company were highly focused on recruiting the best agents possible principally by focusing on the company values and culture. The responsibility for recruiting these agents and maintaining this culture has all been on the co-founders. Their rapid growth and success with this strategy was becoming more than they could sustain themselves. The co-founders wanted an intervention to engage a middle management team of company leaders that would all share in the work of recruiting, training and managing agents while embracing their values and culture.

Solution: An executive team offsite was developed with the co-founders. A pre-offsite web-based values/beliefs/behaviors assessment was conducted with all attendees. A full day workshop was conducted as well as additional follow-up meetings.

Results: The executive team identified three core values of the company for which they were responsible to leverage and perpetuate as leaders. They discussed their mission and purpose. And they generated creative ideas on how they, as a team, could engage all of their stakeholders: customers, agents, partners, community. They generated a methodology and timeline for mentor and leadership training which they are continuing today as an active middle leadership team.

▼Education Software – Enterprise

Challenge: A Private Equity firm purchased a large education software company that sold its solutions at a district level for implementation across the district for improving reading and math scores. The company was profitable but well below its potential. The founder who sold the company had just hired a new CEO not knowledgeable in the market segment but related financial and change management disciplines. The new CEO was struggling to embrace the new desired direction of the PE firm, while facing the founder’s existing culture of 20+ years and resistance from his executive team.

Solution: The CEO engaged for coaching and mentoring based on the PE firm’s encouragement. Values/beliefs/behavior assessments were conducted with the CEO as well as the company. Areas of specific entropy (dysfunction) were identified that were blocking progress. An action plan for transforming himself and the company were identified.

Results: In the truest sense, culture trumps strategy. While the business strategies were sound, and the CEO embraced them, he ultimately did not feel that he was going to be successful leading this change from a cultural change perspective. He did not feel he had the support, skills or market segment knowledge to be successful and achieve the transformation needed. Assistance was provided in an amicable and thoughtful transition to a new position with another firm.

▼Consumer Semidurable  – Turnaround

Challenge: revive a previous sports equipment market leader in a stagnant and competitive industry.

Solution: targeted the premium segment with game changing product innovation; recaptured trade confidence and support; ignited passion among influencers in all segments of the market (athletes, consumers, retailers); invested marketing dollars to raise consumer awareness and trial.

Results: sales and market share grew 45% in a flat market; EBITDA increased 6x

▼Consumer Lifestyle – Restructure

Challenge: enable a weakened but historically illustrious branded sports lifestyle brand to regain an effective position at retail, across Europe, in the face of stiff competitive spending and presence.

Solution: move away from a traditional fragmented country focused wholesale/retail and franchisee distribution structure to a regional master licensee model; this meant closing down operations in four countries (including retail stores, offices, warehouses and existing distributor agreements), identifying and signing three new master licensees, and transitioning between both structures to minimize customer disruption.

Results: reinvigorated, refreshed and refocused product and retail presence fueled the brand’s successful re-launch and renewed competitiveness; the new structure also allowed powerful retailers to benefit from brand awareness while enjoying full margins eliminating a middle man

▼Sports Apparel – Start-up – Brand Leverage

Challenge: identify and tap growth opportunities for a storied market leader in a highly fragmented multi segment industry

Solution: penetrate a niche opportunity in Asia; develop a product story and roadmap, a supply chain, retail distribution and marketing strategy; develop a supporting organization and coordinate this across China, Japan and Korea.

Result: product launched in record time, initial results strong and encouraging.