Case Studies – Refocus for growth & profitability in a changing market

CRU International is a privately owned B2B research, analysis and consultancy business which serves the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries. In 2008, just before the failure of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent financial crisis, the business appointed a new CEO. The business faced a number of challenges – over and above the impact of the global financial crisis, including low profit growth, a paper-based portfolio, a silo culture (silo by commodity and by business function) and production inefficiencies.

The Transformation Agency has been working with CRU International for circa 24 months and has mapped the current & desired culture and identified the values & behaviours that were critical to moving the business forward (including getting a real ‘handle’ on what was getting in the way of success). This was achieved through the utilisation of the cultural transformation toolkit which entailed a survey to all employees, followed by workshops with the senior team and focus groups with a cross section of the employee community.

In addition, The Transformation Agency worked with the senior management team to design and implement a range of initiatives (including holding focus groups with staff, initiating blogs from senior management to communicate progress, and introducing for the first time, modular leadership & management development programmes) to implement the transformation of the culture of the business in line with an ambitious growth strategy.

The results have been significant – the organisation has achieved a double digit increase in revenue and profit each year since 2009, and operational efficiency has increased significantly. In addition, there has been a dramatic increase in employees’ awareness & understanding of how the business is performing. Voluntary staff turnover has been reduced by 30%, and the rate of the rate of people moves across business units has moved from a low point of 0.5% in 2009 (i.e. it hardly ever happened) to 4% in 2011.