Case   Studies

Establishing a Clear Road-Map for Future Action – A consulting project to help an evolving company overcome “growing pains” conflict

What was needed …

A start-up corporation was formed to develop and manage the creation of a major power transmission project between a province in Canada and a state in the USA.  In the beginning, the company was founded by three original investors, but as the project grew in feasibility and size, the company was eventually bought out by a larger industry player based in a different geographic location.  Even after the buyout, the three founding investors stayed on in senior leadership roles and continued to manage the company at a local level.  Unfortunately though, there was constant disagreement between the executives in the local organization and the geographically-distant parent company resulting in an “us versus them” mentality.  Local executives felt that their counterparts in the parent organization didn’t understand regional issues, and the parent executives believed that local management was not being fiscally responsible.  A senior leader at the local level approached Merge for assistance as she felt that the existing relationships were dysfunctional and sub-optimal.

What Merge did …

Merge met first with the leader who had made the initial contact to obtain a better understanding of the organization and its history.  By asking numerous probing questions, she gained greater insights into the current disagreements and tensions.  Because Merge was external to this company, she was able to provide different perspectives for the executive to consider.  She discussed several alternatives of how and when to proceed, and it was eventually decided to convene a meeting with the three founding investors (who were in senior leadership positions in the local organization).

At this next meeting, Merge asked even more probing questions of the group as she attempted to unearth the many issues that were rumbling just beneath the surface.  There were several months of built-up frustration to work through, but eventually, the key issues were brought to the forefront.

What were the results …

As a result of her even demeanour and her skillful questioning, Merge was able to help local leadership first crystallize and articulate a short list of points of agreement.  The intention was to use this list as a foundation on which to build and grow a better relationship with the parent company.  Next, the small group was able to agree on the major obstacles that were getting in the way of successful outcomes.  The objective was to use these as a starting point from which to begin a dialogue. At the end of this short consulting engagement, the local executives had a clear roadmap of what actions they needed to take with executive management at the parent company in order to start on the path to eventual resolution.