STOVES Case Study
Stoves the specialist manufacturers of cookers had been through a turbulent time before asking the Graham Keen Partnership to help it find its feet again. Up until 1997 sales were doing very well. The company had gone through a flotation in 1995 and following this hit a period of tremendous growth. However, this expansion could not be sustained by the company’s infrastructure. There were no processes in place to deal with the soaring numbers of customers, so its service levels slipped and Stoves began to lose business. Meanwhile, some competitors from overseas were hitting the market and making quite an impact. The effects of these two factors on Stoves and its employees took its toll and sales began to fall. The end result was that Stoves’ performance declined until it was forced into a take over situation. This sparked widespread fear amongst all of Stoves employees – redundancies often accompany take-overs. Not only were they depressed about the state of the company, but they feared for their jobs too. Morale hit an all time low. “Many Sales people seem to naturally lack self-worth,” explained Guy. “Much as comics seem to suffer from bouts of serious depression, sales people can be a pessimistic bunch with little self-esteem to take them through the hard times. Add to this the fear of redundancy with falling sales and the atmosphere becomes very black indeed.” Guy needed some external aid to help his team overcome their fear of the recent take-over, to help them move beyond it so they could focus on their future rather than linger on the past and all its problems
Guy saw that something radical needed to be done to raise his team’s feelings of self-worth, get them achieving once again and working together as a team. He was very clear in his objectives, the problem was finding someone who could help realise these goals. “The team were taken by surprise when they heard they were to go on the New Impetus® course run by the Graham Keen Partnership,” Guy continued. “Previously the company hadn’t made training a priority and had spent very little on the team’s development. So many of them were looking forward to the course and saw it as a welcome change, although of course there was the inevitable hard-core of cynics. Amazingly the Graham Keen Partnership managed to convert all of the cynics except for one – quite an achievement!” New Impetus® runs for two days and then six weeks later a third consolidation day. This enables the delegates to try out the material in their everyday lives and see how they get along. On the third day they discuss their progress and what they found easy or difficult to implement. This is essential if people are going to be successful at working it into their everyday lives.
Results on the Business
The reactions of the team:
Problems faced by Stoves:
• Sales were dramatically down • Sales and Marketing team were very depressed due to the company being take-over • Self esteem of team members at an all time low • Widespread fear of redundancy following the take-over • General fear of the changes that were being thrust upon the team
Sales and Marketing Director’s objectives:
• To restore team’s feelings of self-esteem • To get team members to start looking at the take-over as a positive thing for them and the company • To furnish the team with personal skills so that they could cope with the imminent period of change • To bring the team’s concentration to the future rather than lingering on all the bad that was now in the past • To improve performance and productivity
Bring in an external consultant and change specialist to help turn the situation around. Enter the Graham Keen Partnership, a company specialising in helping corporations work through periods of change, whilst improving morale and motivation and bringing stunning results to the bottom line. All the team went through three days of New Impetus® with the Graham Keen Partnership employing easy to use models based on cognitive and behavioural psychology, modern mind-brain and goal theories, and 1990’s break-throughs in neuroscience. The impact on the individuals, the team, and consequently on sales were staggering.
Why did Stoves choose the Graham Keen Partnership?
Graham Keen, the founder and managing partner of the Graham Keen Partnership is an experienced businessman, having worked as a senior manager with Ernst & Young, and been managing, financial and commercial director of several companies. He has an in-depth understanding of modern organisations and an intuitive insight into business issues. He lives and breathes what he and his colleagues teach. Once you meet him, you see how well he looks on it, and you can’t help wanting a bit for yourself and your team.
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