I would like to take the opportunity to demystify how it is possible to change a culture in 2 weeks, because most executives would be right to think this is ridiculous and might take years. Below is how a high performing culture has been created in 2 weeks, without cutting corners, by way of a live case study. Why does this interest me? As a former NASDAQ and FTSE executive who has been there, I have always been passionate about helping people realise their full potential, and enabling management to achieve truly remarkable results. Learning is at the root of happiness and motivation. Complication is not clever, so I have kept this simple. I hope this motivates you to get in contact.

Oxford Economics research stated that by 2015, 68% of organisations will go through a significant transformation. Is your business culture capable of transformation? And how will YOU enable the right culture to create a sound basis from which to build vastly more value?

The case relates to a well established high technology company based in the Midlands whose sales dropped from nearly £20m to 30% below breakeven and the business was haemorrhaging cash. Their financial projections had rarely been achieved and latest projections were naive. The owner / director’s analysis was centred upon dismissing their staffs’ ability. The company had been unable to recruit or retain the right sales or operations people. That analysis might sound odd, or were these statements linked?

Within 2 weeks of Icebreaker engaging, the organisation was changed, financials clear, team became highly motivated, directors saw the light at the end of the tunnel and the business is running pretty well. Turnover in the last 2 weeks to June month end increased 170% and business loss was reversed to a healthy profit. This business is now on track to a £1m reduction in the overdraft by year end. The basics of a high performance culture are now in place. The business now just needs expert oversight.

What is common here with every other assignment? 90% of this success in changing the culture resulted from changing the directors’ behaviours and redefining their roles. This is the paradox as executives behaviours are always at the root of the issue and therefore the starting point… Or it follows that the culture change will probably never happen, not even in years?

What are the 2 hidden barriers that prevent companies from thriving?

  1. Change in behaviours and roles always start at the TOP. Getting this right defines:You need a catalyst with a complimentary skill set to make this happen. One who walks the talk, carries the can, wears the company fleece and has the experience to know how to appropriately raise the bar to maximise the value and learning up to an event and/or sale.
    • The way employees interact with each other and therefore customers
    • The organisation structure and support that executives give to their staff
    • The way supporting teams operate and how effective the teamwork is

Whilst the title is of little interest to me, I have found it’s best to operate by acting as a portfolio equity chairman, non-executive director, or mentor to maximise the outcome for owners with a long term remit.

These roadblocks are therefore hidden because executives think changing a culture is in 2 weeks ridiculous only because infact it’s their challenge to change and they don’t see that. In fairness, who is capable of providing this type of support? It has taken me 7 years of professional development with my peer and guru John Webster. We are still learning and refining the unique way we do this.

Looking over the ships bridge

Once the relationship is established the executives really enjoy the learning too, get their hope back, have fun, and enjoy the relief of the immediate results too! At last they have got on top of the situation. Icebreaker can provide someone on their side to flexibly support executives in a way that is completely aligned to a mutually successful outcome.

This is what John Webster said after we worked together on one of his portfolio businesses. We turned around and sold this business within 6 weeks.

“Tom’s personality breeds real confidence in his ability to transform a challenging business situation.” ” Great guy and fun to trust and work with.”John Webster VC & Portfolio Chairman”

I would like to make you an introductory offer. I’ll review your plan to improve your organisation, team and interactions to identify a means to increase profits by at least 10%. Even if we decide that we we will not work together, I will offer to share with you how to do this and give you a free mirror, so you can have a go anyway.

If you are stuck, or would like to avoid getting stuck, as Mr Webster says, give me a call and let’s have some fun and work together to sort it out.

With best wishes

Tom Pickering

Icebreaker Executive

UK : +44 (0) 207 193 5518