Leading the transformation: helping a finance firm shift from a boutique bank to a top-tier player
The Lime Group | Case Studies
After years of placing among the “best of boutique investment banks”, a finance company was ready to rebrand themselves as a serious player in the investment banking market. Meanwhile, the Board was turning up the pressure for increased profitability during a difficult time in the market. This company needed to find their identity and learn how to make their company function at the highest level. The management team habitually failed to step up to the plate and “manage” – let alone drive business performance – leaving much of the managing and decision making to the CEO. From a cultural standpoint, there had been significant turnover over an extended period, creating instability, and a lack of intentional leadership had resulted in a low trust, high fear and relatively disabled environment. Communications were spread through rumor rather than well thought out messages. The Firm needed to transform their brand, business and culture and the management team needed to lead this transformation with passion, but were not yet well-equipped.
THE CALL TO ACTION: GET THE LEADERS OF THE FIRM ALIGNED AND A CLEAR VISION COMMUNICATED
The extended leadership of the Firm needed to get a shared understanding of the reality of the Firm’s situation. Once they were clear on this, they were going to need a robust leadership operating system from which to build in some key organizational capabilities that were poor or absent, including a step change improvement in their Firm-wide communication. At the same time as putting the structure in place, a significant shift of critical operating norms was needed to accelerate performance and client delivery. Finally, the leaders had to receive specific attention to learn critical leadership skills to drive the firm to the next level of maturity.
OUR CONTRIBUTION OVER 6 MONTHS
RE-ENERGIZING THE FIRM TO DRIVE TRANSORMATION
There were high stakes associated with the transformation, with strong support by the CEO and a watching brief from the Board in terms of heightened financial results. Individual feedback and business improvements resulting from the leadership team’s development effort were positive. The Firm’s employees embraced the structured means of meeting and communicating since it allowed them faster and regular access to important information, and better connection not only with their immediate manager but with the leadership, and vision, of the Firm. A new level of behaviors became apparent within the leadership team, with more honest and co-operative approaches to issues. Revenue-generating managers started to take full accountability for their businesses, and focused on motivating their people towards improved performance.