Shaping an Organization that Lasts
A successful, founder-led professional services company was expanding rapidly and struggling to respond to increasing demand for their unique offering. The company had experienced explosive growth over the last several years and needed a new organizational structure to support its current size and complexity. Simultaneously, the founders were beginning to think about retirement, and wanted to ensure that they had developed the talent and bench strength in the organization that would be able to lead the company into the future. Despite many efforts to distribute leadership, they were finding that they did not know how to work—or transfer responsibility—in the ways that would allow the organization to continue beyond their tenure. They asked CFAR to help them create a new organizational design to support the company’s growth and a succession plan for their leadership team that would ensure the business’s longevity.

CFAR worked with the founders and the leadership team to define the tangible and intangible attributes that had made the company successful to date, including their relationships with clients, their focus on quality and their deep commitment to people and impact. We also assessed what was in the way of succession, including several aspects of the structure and current practices that prevented the next generation of leaders from learning what they needed to drive the business in the future. Working both with the founders and key next generation leaders in the company, we helped them define a new organizational structure and set of roles that allowed them to respond to the increasing number of opportunities in the market. The organizational design also created clear and structured partnerships across generations designed to accelerate the transfer of knowledge and responsibility in ways that preserved the company’s core value. We then helped them implement mechanisms for ongoing learning and adaptation when they encountered inevitable bumps in the road. As a result of the new structure and succession plan, they were able to increase their volume of business even as key leaders began to retire.

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