From Management to Leadership

creates an environment where motivated people feel capable and empowered towards contributing to strategy impementation

Sector:    Service
Size:       >3,000 employees

Initial situation

A change in top management and reorganization of the company’s ownership structure resulted in a full-scale strategic restructuring. The new objectives were deliberately ambitious and designed to secure the company’s future. However, the following year, top management did not yet see any significant improvements. Instead of fundamental change, everyday management was dominated by workarounds, firefighting and discussions. Overworked high performers started leaving the company in frustration. Top management unanimously agreed that the situation had not improved despite all the urgency, pressure, and appeals.

Solution 1.0

UMS conducted a series of interviews to discover where there was a need for change in the company with regards to transparency. Additionally, the skills, paradigms, processes, and structures that were already in place were identified. Comparing the current status against the vision derived from the strategy, management were driven to set up a lean leadership program. Managers would be empowered to assert themselves as role models and win over employees throughout the transformation.

Part of the leadership training and coaching involved implementing communication and feedback routines. Compliance with these routines was measured and reported to top management.


Levels of understanding for the transformation rose. Managers actively addressed change as part of their day-to-day management role and recognized and accepted their responsibility. Employees became increasingly involved in the process.

New problem

Despite the change in employee’s perspectives and involvement, the P&L figures remained the same. There was a discrepancy between strategy and execution Time was pressing, investors were getting impatient, and there was a real risk that management would fall back into old habits – workarounds and firefighting.

Solution 2.0

With the help of driver tree workshops, managers were able to identify how their areas could directly and indirectly contribute to strategy implementation. This applies to core functions and processes as much as it does to the support functions. Each unit produced an operational management cockpit derived from the overarching strategic objectives. These cockpits were explained to employees and could be viewed by anyone in the company.


Managers and employees perceive that it is not just about new targets, but that the organization is also prepared to create the necessary framework conditions for achieving the targets. Despite some remaining skepticism, especially amongst the high performers, there was a growing eagerness to be receptive towards new regulations and active participation.

KPIs steadily improved.

Key findings by the client

Sustainable change requires an initial investment in the success factors. Role modeling and measurability are important elements.

Anyone who is expected to contribute to success needs transparency on key metrics.

Next steps

Every two years there will be a strategy review involving the entire company.