As an executive, you have the responsibility to execute your business strategy in order to achieve results for your stakeholders, and your shareholders if publicly traded. You achieve success through the application of various “levers” – including financials, customers, processes and employees. What is common to all these levers is the involvement of people. If the “people” part of your business is not optimized, you will likely have challenges achieving the results that are expected.
As a senior Human Resources executive with over 30 years of experience at a major global enterprise, I have had significant experience in the people part of business. This includes traditional functions such as the acquisition of talent, but also areas where businesses often are challenged, for example, development of talent, coaching of key personnel, and understanding whether your people resources are aligned and contributing to your business strategy.
What follows are examples of the partnerships and solutions that I created within a complex global business. Whether yours is a multi-national firm or a small business with limited resources, I am confident that I will be able to work with you to effectively address your business challenges.
After you have a chance to browse through my website, please contact me at 011-xxx-xxxxx or at firstname.lastname@example.org. My commitment to you is twofold. First, I will listen to you. I do not believe in pre-packaged solutions that are delivered to you in a box. Secondly, we will have a dialogue about where you are with your business and where you want to go. Only after that will we begin to discuss possible courses of action.
I know that your time is precious, so thank you for reading this introduction. If my value proposition has resonated with you, please read on for some detailed examples of how I have partnered with businesses to help them optimize their performance. I am ready to do the same with you!
Thank you and best regards,
1. From business strategy to HR strategy
Are you convinced that the success of your business in the future will depend in large part on the talent and management structures of your enterprise?
Then you should ensure a systematic and comprehensive alignment of any human resources activity to your business strategy.
You need to consistently align your personnel and management structures with your business requirements in order to guarantee your business success. In doing so, you face the challenge of introducing or enhancing a valid, meaningful and lean personnel structure, and establishing a regular “translation” of business requirements into HR requirements.
In operational businesses, the lack of required resources and employee competencies can be considered as major obstacles for business growth. The realization of a successful business strategy will be hindered significantly if you do not have the people or the expertise to deliver what is called for in your strategy. This principle is the foundation of my approach; it forms the basis for my flexible yet systematic approach to designing and implementing effective HR solutions.
I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you how we might work together. Perhaps you are considering a strategic redirection or an adjustment of your business strategy. Those are excellent times to reconsider how your HR model is linked to your business. Even if you are not planning significant change, it can be very beneficial assess the effectiveness of your HR model during your annual review. My services will be tailored to your needs; they can be for the initial assessment, or taken through subsequent steps of design and implementation if desired.
Please let me take you to an example of this. This is exactly what I did for the fossil power generation business of a large international enterprise, resulting in the ability to manage critical market developments for the related staff in relatively short periods of time.
2. Succession planning
Do you want to create or improve the succession planning process for your business? Do you want to improve your ability to challenge, develop and promote your future management potentials?
Then you should consider how to balance the development of your own employees with the addition of talents from outside your company.
It’s a major advantage for your business to be able to develop managers of the future out of your own workforce! This not only reinforces the value of the individual you have already hired, but it also enables you to react more quickly and flexibly to market changes and individual staff changes. To make this happen, management structures are needed with professional and sustainable development activities to guide and develop the leadership behavior of managers at all levels. While processes and tools are a part of it, this is primarily a question of positioning your expectations – i.e., What are your basic principles for leadership and collaboration? What attitudes and behaviors are expected to help people get there?
From my experience, this is a fundamental component of a successful organization, and it is my strong desire to help businesses build and improve in this regard.
Over the past several decades, I have worked closely with business leaders to build personnel development structures and cultures in many organizations across the globe. One example is the creation of management structures in a large technical service organization. In this case, the leadership wanted to establish proven pre-requisites for sustainable business development, while at the same time, increasing employee and management satisfaction.
3. Personnel controlling system
Are you challenged with volatile markets and resulting swings in business volumes?
Then you should consider establishing a control system to optimize the management of your Human Resources.
A transparent and lean personnel controlling system will enable you to meet rapid market changes more successfully. You need a simple personnel structure with a limited number of Key Performance Indicators as a base (e.g. development of order entry, own/foreign workforce, expected hires, etc.).
This will provide an overview of required structures and capacities, and enable a comparison to what is actually occurring in your business. With this data in hand, actions can be identified to close any significant gaps. I will analyze specific areas of your business, based on our discussions, and can then design and implement a solution that fully addresses your needs.
That’s what I did for an international power generation enterprise in numerous countries on several continents, enabling the business to thrive in a volatile market environment.
4. Coaching of Key Personnel
Are you confronted with the challenge of effectively supporting key individuals in your enterprise to assure their development and success, and having sufficient time to do so?
Then you should consider the use of a business coach for a period of time who can assist you and complement you, based on a proper common understanding.
Did single senior managers just recently step into new responsibilities and are they still growing into it? Are you planning a significant re-organization that most probably generates “losers” also? Do you probably have to downsize your personnel capacities majorly? In particular the last issue is probably the biggest challenge of any manager, regularly leading to typical human mistakes that can be avoided also. I guess, you see the conflict you want to guide and support, but you don’t have sufficient time and in selected cases you might miss the helpful distance for a successful coaching of these individuals.
In this situation I can professionally support you through my experience and competence, in order to minimize frictions and maximize success. I’m deeply convinced, optimized (not maximized!) support of selected employees, in particular in new and/or challenging situations, shall be considered as an invest in future business successes. In addition, it can be considered as just being fair to the individual.
5. Organization development – Structure / Systems
Are you planning to reorganize your business to better adapt to current market conditions (and consequently increase efficiency and effectiveness)?
Then you will face the challenge to plan the future organization model in detail, properly communicate the change into the organization afterwards and establish the new structures.
When you make a leadership decision, it is clearly important to select the right person. In addition, it is essential that the person’s leadership behavior is aligned with your company’s values. When this occurs, you are able to realize the desired change with confidence!
As an experienced professional, I can help you analyze future requirements, substantiate your solution-oriented ideas and communicate effectively with all parties. I’m prepared to support you with all necessary activities, including analysis, interviews, and targeted discussions.
In addition, I will support you in creating a capable team that is motivated to achieve the established goals with effective collaboration and little friction.
I’ve successfully done this several times, for example, when re-organizing the power generation business of a large international enterprise.
Additionally you quite often need to review your systems and processes to support the desired behavioral changes.
When you act against custom and practice, you will face basic resentments as well as resistance. Transparency, understanding and consistency will be crucial to the level of success you will achieve.
Over my career, I have had several opportunities to reorganize and reorient businesses that were heavily embedded in their traditional structures, and had become ineffective as a result. I have direct experience in quickly analyzing such structures to identify counter-productive tendencies that hinder growth, then communicating and implementing the change respectfully and effectively. I differentiate myself from consultants who come in with pre-defined solutions. I understand the need to connect to the business and tailor solutions specific to your needs.
The most challenging situation that I faced of this kind was the introduction of state-of-the-art management structures and processes in the Middle-East region of an international enterprise. There were approximately 1.000 employees who were still operating under structures that were ~25 years old and were established when there were only 25 employees in the region.
6. Post-merger integration
Are you planning to acquire another enterprise in order to grow your market share and/or competencies?
Then you’re facing the challenge to successfully integrate the new businesses into your own!
You are combining two different organizations with completely different cultures. You are challenged to create a new business structure and to quickly generate real acceptance from the majority of the employees.
It’s quite helpful to have an external view in a situation like this because an objective and holistic view on both businesses needs to be the starting point towards the desired future state.
I will bring comprehensive knowledge to such situations, as well as proven experience in integrating disparate organizations. I will help your organization to respectfully bridge between different cultures in order to integrate “the best of both” into the new company culture.
I’ve done this successfully several times. For example, in a leading role for the integration of two large businesses of an international enterprise, we were dealing with similar customer segments but very different approaches that needed to be optimized.
7. (Project-) Team development
Are you planning a complex (strategic) project with significant importance for your enterprise’ future?
Then the setup of the responsible project team is of utmost importance; all parties involved need to understand the critical success factors and be empowered to make use of their capabilities successfully.
To be successful in any venture, it is important to be able to professionally handle and align diverse interests. If there is a change and it involves any perceived “take-aways” for certain team members, there is a risk that you will lose momentum in your change process. There may even be hidden or overt resistance. Clearly, an optimal solution will then be hard to achieve.
I pride myself on being an experienced and forceful team leader and coach, who knows how to deal with international teams and how to regularly win the acceptance of employees. What follows is an example of these skills being applied to an international project. The goal was to reorient the university partnership structure of an international enterprise in order to improve technical collaboration, as well as the recruiting of promising new employees with key knowledge and potential.
8. Change management communication
Are you planning to introduce a significant change to your business that will influence not only the roles of your employees, but also their way of collaborating?
Then you should consider the behavioral part of the change, as well as interests and fears of people affected.
As leaders plan and implement change in their organizations, it’s a safe assumption that employees are not always driven by rational thoughts or behavior. For that reason, organizations should not simply communicate the content part of the change (although this is a challenge in and of itself). What needs to be done before this is to have an honest discussion about the desires and fears of the people affected by the change.
Unfortunately, huge change processes don’t always generate the desired outcomes, either in terms of content or timeliness. When implementing change, it’s fine to establish challenging goals, but they must also be realistic, otherwise, frustration will not be far away. At the beginning of the change process, it is very important to spend time on the needs and concerns of the parties involved. If this is not done, these emotions will surface, but in an uncontrolled manner.
I would be happy to help you set up a holistic approach to create successful change in your business. Please read on for an example of how I reorganized leadership and collaboration in the regional company of an international enterprise in Saudi-Arabia.
Additionally, it is important to have the right communication framework to ensure that all target groups properly understand the change and are willing and able to actively drive the desired change.
There is no singular template that can be applied for successful communications. To be effective, it needs to be modified and enhanced based on what we’ve learned from past experiences. We also need to check again and again the needs of the audiences with whom we are communicating.
Does that sound like a task for a communication professional? Well, the answer is yes and no! Yes, because professional communication will be required, but no because it’s not just a question of communication. Any change initiative requires much more than communication. For example, it may involve (re-) organization of leadership, effective collaboration, or dealing with cultural issues.
I initiated and successfully implemented such change a number of times. One example is during a critical phase for the establishment of a new business setup for the power plant solution business of an international enterprise.
9. Sparring Partner
Before taking the first steps towards a significant change in your enterprise, would it be helpful to have input from an experienced external professional?
I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss any planned change with you, and help you to manage the coming change in the most effective manner for your organization and your employees.
If you are facing major challenges and changes in your market environment, there’s a high likelihood that you’ve had to adjust your processes and procedures significantly in order to manage the change.
In similar situations, I’ve found it valuable to first assess the situation in terms of interdependencies for the organization and individuals. What follows then is a deeper dive to analyze overall structures, derive future requirements, and to apply your business priorities accordingly.
I’ve done this quite often with the executive boards of former businesses, for example, when starting a majority Joint Venture of an international entrepreneur with a Russian partner in St. Petersburg.
10. Introduction of a personnel structure / competency management
Do you want to enhance transparency in your business, and as a result, improve accountability, evaluation of performance and learning from each other?
Then you should set in place effective methods to describe, analyze and compare infrastructures and results across your units.
When you have a valid and reliable personnel structure that mirrors your key processes and roles in a lean manner, you can plan and optimize with this new and valuable information.
For more than two decades, when I was in a new position, one of my initial tasks was to create this base for any planned improvements. It is my belief that transparency on your given (human) resources leads to proper analysis and then to groundbreaking decisions.
When I introduced this structure into the gas turbine business of an international enterprise, it served as the “backbone” of the overall energy business, and enabled us to analyze and optimize HR structures. This was an important element in the success that the business experienced after that, both in terms of business results and growth.
These questions provide a brief overview of the expertise that I offer business leaders to help assure business success. I will help you to address counterproductive tendencies that often arise in organizations, especially those about to embrace significant change. I will also help you to position your leaders and employees as key agents to drive business improvement and implement necessary change.
If you have questions that are of concern to you, I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss them with you.