Case Study a rapidly scaling multi-billion dollar business

Gumball turbo-charged the executive leadership team during their rapid transition from a 1 billion to 9 billion dollar company. Gumball customized a 5 month leadership development experience including facilitation and executive coaching that catered to the business challenges immediately being faced.   

The Situation 

Gumball has a particular customer. Our customers are typically doubling in size on an annual basis, they have between $400 Million to $9 Billion, they are new to their executive roles, and they are sometimes considered the ‘disrupters’ of their industry.

One of our customers who fit this mold grew from 100 to 550 employees within two years, the executives had never been in their particular executive roles before, and they tripled their revenues into the billions within three years. The company knew they needed to turbo charge their leadership team so they could scale as quickly and effectively as possible to become commercially successful by 2018. 

GumballEnterprises was hired to customize an Executive Leadership Development Program and deploy it over the course of five months. We designed a 40-hour experiential program that was supplemented by 88 application coaching hours. We began our customization process with our six-phase action research process that guaranteed our client was provided a customized experience that addressed their real, and current, leadership team challenges. 

Quickly, data was collected from multiple sources which indicated the need for development in a few areas including role clarity, decision making, interpersonal communication, effective executive meetings, and cross-boundary collaboration.  We also conducted 360 inventories for each leader and helped them create individual development plans.

The Solution 

Together, GumballEnterprises and the executive team landed on one clear business objective for the project. This overarching objective was to improve the quality, and shorten the time, of decision making. This goal was not only intended within the executive team, but also throughout their organization of 500 people.  The executive team goal was to build their camaraderie and improve their team execution through improved interpersonal communication.  

Gumball developed what we call ‘scrimmages’, which included one full day and four half day experiences that took the leadership team ‘off the playing field’ and ‘onto the practice field’.  The team practiced 27 skills, many of which were practiced by the leaders for the very first time. Live action coaching during their executive team meetings, four social events, and 1:1 coaching were all a part of the program’s compilation as well. 

The Outcome

What was intended to be a five month deployment turned into eleven months. Over the course of eleven months, even though the initial development goals were being addressed, some primary challenges and goals changed over this time period and we had to refocus, recontract, and redesign as the company rapidly grew and new issues constantly arose.

Regardless of the shifting objectives and extended timeline, we gauged the effectiveness of the work by assessing their initial satisfaction of each scrimmage. We assessed what knowledge they gained from the scrimmages, how they applied the knowledge to their business, and what impact their actions had on their business.

When we measured the program, we partnered with BLOOM CONSULTING to assure a thorough investigation. After the assessment, there was an overall satisfaction rate of 84% and three key areas of improvement.  The areas were: decision making, effective leadership team meetings, and improved interpersonal communications among the leadership team. Out of all participants, half confirmed they had learned something new about every one of the 27 skills.

The most successful quantitative measurement was the skill application. There was a 46.5% increase in self-rating, in relationship to the effectiveness of their skill application.  Meaning 100% of the participants felt they were able to more effectively apply the skills they had learned by an increase of 46.5% in comparison to their ability to apply the skills eleven months prior.   

We built a customized decision making process which was a hybrid of best practices proposed from the team combined with our professional recommendations from the field of organization development. The impact of the customized decision making model and process was also measured.  The model had been socialized throughout the organization and among the executive team and thus the process had a direct and positive impact on 16 important company decisions.  At the end of the project, one leader praised the customized decision making model by saying, “The program and process that we went through led us to creating our own decision making model, and that I’m a big fan of. I see how we work quite well together when we use it. It gets us to stop and focus.”

We also measured the impact of coaching between experiences, and the measurements showed a high satisfaction rate within the company after the deployment. Over half of the executive team agreed or strongly agreed that the little coaching that they did have (8 hours over 11 months) added value in terms of time invested, was important to their success, and was relevant to their development.

In the end, the return on investment (ROI) for the client was essentially time saved, quality of decision making, and improved leader relationships and communication. The company saved countless hours by improving the effectiveness of their executive meetings. They were able to make better decisions more quickly, and conduct the necessary conversations in a respectful way, which in turn moved the business forward faster.

As one executive expressed, “Our experience with Gumball moved us from a C team to a B team. We didn’t apply the program as it was designed; had we, it may have had even more of an impact.”

Overall the case was a success given the rapidly changing environment and actual time invested in development. Another executive agreed by saying, “I give a ton of credit to the program; we now have a common language, shared perspective, and shared stories. I’m 100% sure we could not have done this development on our own. We definitely need some form of Executive Development so we can get away from managing the present and more time creating our future.”

GumballEnterprises differentiates it services through customization and ROI assessment. Assessing the ROI of our work not only helps our current and future clients understand the value in relationship to their time and money invested. It also provides us the opportunity to write and share our stories of success which are backed up with solid data. This process helps us build the credibility that our current and new clients are looking for. Visit our LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT page and learn how your organization can benefit from our customized leadership development program, or contact us below for a free consultation!

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