Conflict Management and NegotiationsSituation: A Fortune 500 manufacturing firm faced major contract negotiations with a union representing thousands of its hourly employees. The company’s global competitors enjoyed huge cost advantages, including lower retiree medical burdens, lower wage scales, less current-employee healthcare costs, and newer and leaner manufacturing facilities. The company knew it faced a hard bargain with a strong and prideful union. Process/Methodology: The company engaged AIM Consulting to develop and execute a negotiating strategy. Over an 18-month period, we participated in intensive deliberations with corporate executives and various other outside partners. We helped launch a comprehensive process that enabled the company to achieve a major shift from its historical bargaining position. We developed a bold strategy that would enable the company to lower its costs, improve its manufacturing capabilities, and reassure financial markets. Bargaining proved difficult and challenging, but our painstakingly developed approach enabled us to achieve significant gains. Results: Once agreement was reached with the union, the company could rightly claim that it had gone a long way toward saving manufacturing operations in North America. It had restructured its labor costs, substantially reducing its retiree health care liabilities. It had also achieved wage and plant-adjustment flexibilities to improve its financial position. The agreement negotiated set a significant precedent for employers in other manufacturing industries.
Customized Training ProgramSituation: A Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company undergoing major changes in operations and leadership wanted to create a more strategy focused organization. Process/Methodology: Over a two-year period, we partnered with them to develop a comprehensive leadership, education, and development program for all the employees of the company. The program was comprised of two key components: 1. Company-wide Leadership Training designed to teach key leadership attributes within the five perspectives of the company business: People, Customer Focus, Process Improvement, Finance, and Service. 2. Individually-focused Education and Development designed to complement and supplement on-going company initiatives and training. We used a “train-the-trainer” methodology to quickly deploy the training throughout company’s locations in the United States and Europe. Results: The program resulted in higher levels of employee engagement, better customer service, and a deeper understanding of their business financials. In addition, the customized training program is now institutionalized and repeated on a regular basis.
LeadershipSituation: Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the need for preparedness-focused leadership programs arose in many state and local agencies. AIM Consulting Associates became extensively involved in the design of several programs to foster inter-agency cooperation, build relationships, and hone leadership appropriate for homeland security specialists and first responders. Methodology: The effort produced a three-tiered program designed to meet the needs of the various agencies. The Regional Program consists of two multi-day training sessions and includes team building, multidisciplinary problem solving, inter-agency collaboration, project management, change management, crisis leadership, emotional intelligence, contingency leadership, and negotiation. Students also participate in a multi-disciplinary project designed to demonstrate the use of leadership skills acquired in the program. An Advanced Program is available to all graduates of the Regional Program, and dives deeper into preparedness leadership principles. The day-and-a-half Executive Program reinforces inter-agency leadership skills important to State agencies involved with preparedness and counter-terrorism task forces. Results: From 2003 to 2007, the programs have produced over 100 graduates from a range of organizational levels. The program is known to promote the value of working relationships between all levels of government and to reinforce the importance of open lines of communication.
Organizational DevelopmentSituation: One of the nation’s leading insurance companies desired to socialize a new vision, and the strategies by which they planned to achieve their vision, across their entire employee base. Process/Methodology: AIM Consulting Associates conducted a series of vision socialization workshops that engaged every employee in the “operationalization” of the vision. The workshops empowered employees to define the employee behaviors that were essential to the Company executing its strategy. The output of the workshops was an agreed upon set of behavioral competencies that were celebrated at a company-wide “launch event.” The competencies, which define “a new way of doing business” at the firm, have been incorporated into the performance appraisal and leadership development systems. Additionally, a new set of customer service standards have been developed to further promote optimal customer interaction. Results: The effort was so successful that within the first quarter following the launch event, the company realized an astounding and unprecedented 11% growth in overall profits.
Strategy Development and MetricsSituation: A large behavioral healthcare provider required a strategic plan that addressed future growth as well as the major managed mental health care challenges in its industry and locale. The organization had recently merged with several small agencies to form a large non-profit behavioral health care organization providing a wide array of services to adults, children, and families. Process/Methodology: We applied our methodology to create a 5-year business plan and establish an executive set of measures that allowed the company’s leadership team and board to monitor progress on the plan. We led the organization through a well-structured strategic planning effort, and then followed this with the development of a “Balanced Scorecard” system of metrics (based on Kaplan and Norton’s methodology). Results: In the seven-year period since the consulting intervention began, the organization has consolidated two new behavioral health care organizations, an outpatient drug rehabilitation center and a youth intervention program into one company. In addition, the organization has more than doubled its size, from a $25 million to a $60 million enterprise. The organization has also grown from 150 employees to 750 and now includes 23 locations.