Building Business and Leadership Capabilities at an International Industrial Group


  • International Industrial Group with diverse interests—garage doors, water pumps and others
  • Decade-long decline in performance
  • CEO in his first year
  • Mandate from board to transform highly-decentralized holding company into a more tightly-managed entity with four operating divisions
  • Major gap in leadership capabilities
  • Past leadership development programs had little impact on actual behavior or performance


  • Designed and rolled out new executive management program to 80+ participants
  • Established a common language and skill base around how to lead change and build high-commitment, high-performance organizations
  • Led Strategic Fitness Process within key division to clarify business priorities and organization requirements
  • Drove strategy implementation through breakthrough projects and by creating a cross-division network of top managers who could model honest communication, cooperation and coordination


  • Average return of 19 times of program costs based on results from breakthrough projects alone
  • Largest division improved margins by 7-8 percentage points over a five-year period
  • Better understanding of how business units contribute to overall effectiveness
  • Dramatic changes in behavior and culture:
    • Increased collaboration across functions and geographies
    • Sharing of best practices
    • Honest conversations used to resolve blockages