Dow Chemical
Intertec Diversified Systems
Monsanto Continental Airlines
BEA Systems
North American Rockwell
Wheel Works
Pacific Telephone
National Semiconductor
Power Brake Supply
Phillips Petroleum
David Takamoto Architects
Custom Information Services
System Development Corporation
Manpower Associates
Align Technology
Lucent Technologies
Telos Consulting
Adobe Systems
VaST Technology
Emerson Electric
Octel Communications
Keri Systems
RNP Financial Advisory
Bellatore, Inc,
  • Distributed Development of Products/Acquisitions:
    A company grew by acquisition, increasing the number of geographically distributed R&D sites to five. In addition, all five sites had different cultures. Working on a critical project became a “nightmare, in the words of the project director. Spending time developing relationships, understanding each other’s culture, clarifying expectations and establishing ground rules led to a dramatic increase in their ability to collaborate. The project was completed on time, within budget with high quality. The project group is now refining distributed development techniques for their present project.

    Developing the Executive Team:
    When a number of star-quality executives left a small high tech firm during the “dot com boom”, the CEO was unable to replace them with experienced managers. He promoted junior level managers to his executive team. However, he quickly realized the new executive team was not performing to his satisfaction. Utilizing the Alignment, Integration and Accountability model, the group was led through a process of securing agreement to corporate goals, what was needed regarding organizational level design (architecture) to support them, and how they would both integrate their functions and develop accountability. They implemented the above system reducing slippage in delivery and quality, while increasing accountability across all functions to the satisfaction of the CEO.

    An Acquired Software Development Organization:
    Soon after the acquisition, it was discovered that the software team for the acquired company was going to miss its delivery date for a new product, jeopardizing two other releases because there was a need to take resources from the other projects. Morale was at an all-time low while employees adjusted to working for the larger corporation and dealing with the possible slippage. Internal attmepts to move forward had resulted in blame and excuses.. The VP of Engineering brought in the Lauridsen Group to assess and diagnose the situation, then prescribe and implement a solution, which resulted in their deliver the software product on time, within budget, with customer satisfaction. The smaller company became, over time, a model for the rest of the organization.

  • Teams and Member Accountability
    A manager complained that team members made promises to each other and to him, and then failed to deliver. With our support he began to use our “Committed Communication” TM process and co-developed with the team a set of operating guidelines which all agreed to follow. Accountability jumped dramatically, as did energy and morale. One team member who failed to adhere to the group – determined guidelines was coached and chose to leave.

    Coherent Management:
    Promoting top technical people was leading to a management breakdown as the junior managers did not know how to produce through the efforts of others in the context of a coherent management system. They did not possess the skills required to coordinate actions and keep critical projects on target. Instituting our Mastering Management Conversations program (foundation skills) along with the Effective Manager Series (core competencies of management) led to a dramatic increase in overall management competence. Technical people who had threatened to leave because of poor management practices reported positive differences. Most stayed.

    The Marketing and Development Conflict:
    A serious breakdown in cooperation in a large software development company between marketing and development led to a total cessation of communication. In a facilitated session, both groups had requested, they vented their frustration with each other for several hours, then realized they actually wanted the same results. Also, it dawned on them that they worked for the same company and that it would be much better if they treated other companies as the enemy, not their own functional groups. With follow up coaching they made great gains in their ability to get needed support from each other. The intervention was deemed a success.

    Dysfunctional Department:
    A VP took over a poorly functioning engineering department in a newly acquired company. The consultants supported him developing strategic goals, dealing with corporate culture differences, and handling individual team issues. Over a 16 month period, he was able to transform engineering into a model department, which other departments then emulated.

    An Internal Breakdown
    Interviews and analysis of the development process in a software company revealed that breakdowns in the process that surfaced after the alpha stage when code had been written. Prior to that, engineering worked independently to a project schedule which they had achieved. However, at Alpha, the engineers needed to start working through cycles with the Quality Assurance team. At that point, everything started to slip. Quality Assurance did not have the right tests and it was discovered that they had not been brought into the development process early enough.

    Engineers viewed QA as the enemy, rather than as partner in their development cycle. They saw QA a barrier to getting their product out the door. The software development group had evolved from the time when they were doing smaller projects and were engineer driven. As project scope expanded, there was a need to develop a process and team structure to cope with the new level of complexity. Through the consulting and coaching process engineers and QA people began to work in a collaborative fashion successfully changing their development practices. The team hit its delivery date with higher confidence in the quality of the product than previous releases.

  • A CEO of a Financial Advisory firm entered our training and coaching program looking for two things: clarity and focus. His organization was slipping on delivery of products and services. After two months he noted he was not only was I more focused, but his entire team was enjoying the fruits of his participation in the program. They were able to implement a new way of interacting with each other based on commitments, which resulted in finishing projects that “never seemed to get done” and we reaching new milestones in terms of service and support. In addition to what our team and the business were able to accomplish, the CEO claimed he had personally gained an expansive collection of new communication, management and sales tools and techniques that have made him a better manager, a better communicator and a better leader.

    HR as Business Partners:
    The VP of HR determined his people needed to become more adept at “internal consulting” so that line managers would view them as business partners. A three month intensive program provided the principles, processes and structure that allowed HR people to successfully coach managers. Managers expressed gratitude for the help they had received from the HR representatives

    One Engineer’s Story:
    An engineer complained about his inability to get a valued vendor to deliver their product on time. His vendor contact was the CEO whom he wanted to address in person. A member of our staff met with the engineer to coach him on how to have the conversation, then practiced his delivery. When he felt ready he met with the CEO reporting that not only did the CEO apologize but also promised to deliver on time. To the engineer’s delight the CEO kept his word as deliveries came on time the rest of the year.

    Chief Technical Officer:
    A CTO in Australia was experiencing difficulty getting the different groups in his organization to work together. The “The Integration Tool”, a proprietary assessment of the way in which different groups with mutual dependencies interact, was used to check the critical dependencies of his groups. In a workshop, results were shared and then discussed by members of the groups. All participants felt the tool wass of great value as they became more aware of how interdependent they are and the impact they have on each other’s deliverables. The CTO noted, “This increased their sense of ‘team’ and is greatly impacting their productivity.”

  • Acquiring Two New Companies:
    A Fortune 500 company acquired two relatively small companies to forward their software development efforts. Within two months the three groups (one from the parent company) were in breakdown, unable to deal with each other’s expectations and processes. The groups were brought together to “clear the air”, develop working relationships , implement new mechanisms for collaborating and coordination of action, co-develop and commit to a set of operating guidelines, learn key principles of successful virtual working relationships and determine a system for handling the inevitable breakdowns that occur on any project. The groups reported immediate increase in morale, realized they could make the project work and understood that they needed to commit to new practices. The project was rated a success by management.

    Acquiring Companies:
    A small software firm was acquired by a large corporation. Their only product was in direct competition with the parent firm’s product. Top management of the parent company was ignoring organizational problems brought on by the merger and voiced by the acquired company’s CEO. This led to a morale problem, problems with delivery and the threat of key people leaving. Working with the Executive Team of the acquired company, led to a diagnosis of problems, solutions and an implementation plan that began to energize them. The team realized that their attitude about having been acquired by a large corporation, had been covering up many of the delivery problems that existed prior ro the merger. They began to address merger issues along with their own process problems. Maintaining their “small company” environment and producing their software in an exemplary fashion brought them great satisfaction.

    Acquisition Process:
    A Fortune 100 company was anticipating the purchase of two smaller companies. They wanted to know the pitfalls of the acquisition process. Managers attended several meetings during which their concerns were voiced and they learned the pitfalls and how to plan for them. They determined the process they would follow, selected an energetic manager to lead the process and also determined how they would deal with the ongoing concerns, conflict and cultural accommodation process. The acquisitions went smoothly and they are continuing to work well together.