KLG helps you uncover real obstacles to growth and generate solution-focused and collaborative strategies to ensure resiliency, sustainability, and value generation for your organization. In an era of exponential change, we believe this is a critical element of good leadership.
Many company leaders are not aware of how customers, both current and potential, see their company as compared to their competitors, when those customers are searching and communicating on the web. We often find leadership’s perception of competition conflicts with the reality being created on the Web, both in basic searches and in the Web 2.0 environments. We believe that this is a great starting point for our facilitation and strategic planning process. Expanding top-line drivers isn’t as simple as a bigger marketing spend or increasing the SKU count in an era of exponential change. Real-time information flow is critical to evolve and adapt in order to survive in this environment. KLG believes this occurs because the majority of searches for goods and services now begin on the web. These searches can be basic and generic or through connecting with opinion leaders in social networks. One report suggests that there are 25 different major social networks online and perhaps thousands of other niche networks. If BLOGS are taken into account, millions of interactive media nodes now exist where a company can be noticed and/or noted. Customer feedback, product advancements, loss of market share, eroding gross margins, lost customers, etc. can be foreseen and their root causes uncovered, via the 70 page report we deliver with our joint venture partner. Recommendations for solutions are created and a healthy debate can begin on possible action plans to create stability, resiliency, and renewed growth.
We find the information delivered by evaluating non-English speaking markets for any product or service is very useful in our facilitation and strategic planning process. KLG believes addressable market size is one key to maintain and drive growth prospects. Many small companies find a niche, develop that niche, and then find their growth trajectory slowed and margins eroded by competition. Even inferior products entering a niche can quickly disrupt a company’s plans. By looking for non-English speaking markets that may want or need their products or services, companies can evaluate the prospects for increasing their addressable market, potentially alleviating the squeeze caused by competition. Non-English speaking markets may also deliver great opportunities for new product introduction.
Our facilitations are not formal mediations, unless a specific dispute arises, in which case a separate "agreement to mediate" needs to be in place. However, KLG personnel still act as a neutral in facilitation, in order to help you and your team process communication in a productive fashion. We help remove impediments to communication as you explore feedback from many different sources. Research has shown that opening clear channels of communication with as many people as possible, not just experts, can better enable you to drive your organization’s growth.
We start from the beginning of an engagement using techniques that are derived from Facilitative Mediation, but our facilitations are not an actual mediation. We help you and your team discover obstacles to growth in a non-confrontational, safe, and confidential environment. Real obstacles are identified while, at the same time, we help remove emotion, fear, and ego from the identification process. We then facilitate the creation of creative, solution-focused goals within a defined action plan containing specific tasks. These tasks are distributed among group members in order to create investment and accountability—and results! During the completion of these goal-oriented tasks, we anticipate the need for additional problem discovery and fine-tuning.
We facilitate an open source process for companies across a broad range of issues but try to focus on top-line drivers. This may feel like the “wiki” approach to problem solving to some people.
Brainstorming is one part of our seven step process; however, we are solution-focused through adherence to a process that we firmly believe generates forward momentum and results.
The end result of these facilitations is not soft or vague at all. There is agreement amongst participants who have generated problem identification. We create a consensus regarding an action plan, a time frame, and assigned tasks. The CEO or leaders enjoy more buy-in because, although we guide the process, they drive the results and determine their success which implicitly generates an increase in accountability by all.
We would prefer that companies hire us for 3 months to 1 year so that our process becomes ingrained in company culture, causing a real change in leadership style. We can also train an internal neutral or we can become a permanent outsourced neutral facilitator. Many large companies already have internal facilitators or hire outside facilitators.
For examples of how and when these techniques have been used in corporate value generation read Good to Great by Jim Collins. In Good to Great, all 11 of the companies that made it through his good to great screen had a CEO who used a “mediators” approach to running his/her company. Also, read Jump The Curve by Jack Uldrich. In Jump the Curve, Uldrich describes "The Open Source Movement" on pages 51-53. Uldrich describes a number of large companies who are relying in greater numbers on what he calls open source creativity.
KLG team members offer a sample facilitation if you want to experience our services before you commit time and resources.
No, but we do believe that conflict is always there, always beneath the surface, and has great potential to be an opportunity for redefinition and growth. We believe management must seek out conflict through an orderly managed process with a neutral who can guide a team through a collaborative process that starts with real problem discovery and leads to jointly created forward looking solutions.
We believe leaders must think of conflict in different ways than they have before. They must see unrevealed conflict as the precursor to real crisis. As one example, think of market trends as external conflict. One customer leaves your product for another product and this trend continues exponentially. This is not an overt conflict with direct confrontation, but it is conflict between how a company perceives itself and how it is actually perceived in the marketplace.
There's a shift in the way consumers obtain information and make their buying decisions. Do your customers and ex-customers have a voice about the company's value proposition? Leaders must discover and reconcile any conflict that exists with how they are viewed by a small number of detractors. A small number of detractors can quickly grow into a devastating trend. KLG can help you hear individual customers who are dissatisfied or who want to leave in order to find real problems and create sustainable solutions and growth.
Jack Uldrich, in his book Jump the Curve, describes the phenomenon of this rate of change, as it relates to technological change, as exponential change. Using an example from his book Jump The Curve, but turned upside down to demonstrate the risk posed to companies by this rate of change, a company with 5.2 million customers that starts by losing 1 customer on day one, then 2 the next, and then 4 the next, etc. will lose all of its customers by day 24 (if the loss occurs in months, the total loss occurs on month 24). In our example, at day 20, the company lost less than 10% of its customers. The loss on day 20 is almost immaterial on a nominal basis, but it represents an exponential trend that would cascade in only 4 more days to destroy the company. Think of the Rocky Mountain News or other defunct newspapers. How steep was their ad revenue diminution due to what started as an imperceptible decline in readership? KLG tries to help companies on days 2-10, while there is still time.
We believe this rate of change now exists throughout a company's internal and external environment. By opening up robust channels of information with our joint venture partner’s report and/or facilitations with stakeholders, we believe we can facilitate real problem discovery by revealing these hidden problems. We believe new creative solutions and ideas will result from the process, ones that management by itself can not or will not think of on their own. Using these techniques has proven time and time again to be a value generator in successful corporations as described by Uldrich, Collins, and others cited in the white paper, other books, and articles found elsewhere.
Through our diagnostic tools and facilitative consulting, we help companies identify and solve problems that hold them back from sustainable success. We focus on resiliency, sustainability, and growth solutions that help company leaders transform their companies. Our process can create real value for your stakeholders.
We do not provide financing, nor act as an agent to find financing.