Abbott Animal Health (AAH) is a Division of Abbott, a fortune 200 Company with over 70,000 employees worldwide. AAH provides innovative pet care products to veterinary professionals and pet owners in North America and the United Kingdom. For over 100 years, the people at Abbott have passionately and thoughtfully translated science into lasting contributions to health.
This passion and dedication is also the foundation of Abbott Animal Health, which is committed to providing veterinarians with innovative and quality products along with continued education to support their needs in surgery. AAH supports caring pet owners by ensuring that their veterinarian has the necessary products to provide the best care for their pets.
The pet care industry is rapidly changing as the demand for pet care products grows and more and more competitors enter the market. In addition to market challenges, AAH has been facing internal challenges as Abbott split itself into two organizations — Abbott and AbbVie effective January 1, 2013.
Recognizing that they would need to work Above the Line to succeed, AAH trained all 160 employees in the Self Track and created a team of "Oz Champions" to support and encourage use of the tools and processes of See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It. Their efforts at becoming more accountable paid off. Even with significant market and internal challenges, they hit their financial and customer satisfaction Key Results in 2012!
To ensure this trend continues, they have now licensed the Culture Track and are well on their way to creating a Culture of Accountability. With an empowering set of Cultural Beliefs created by the management team and fully embraced by all employees, their team of "Oz Champions" has now become certified in the Culture Track Process. Their Key Results for 2013 are aggressive, but confidence is high that with concerted action on their Cultural Beliefs they will again be successful.
A technology services company was growing revenue year over year, but not fast enough to satisfy several key stakeholders. In addition, both customer and employee satisfaction were lagging and their international operations were losing money. Recognizing a need for greater accountability, the CEO read Change the Culture, Change the Game The Breakthrough Strategy For Energizing Your Organization And Creating Accountability For Results. She recognized immediately that the process of transitioning a culture contained in this book was just what her organization needed and she called Partners In Leadership. Less than two weeks later, I was giving a keynote address to the top 150 managers on Creating A Culture Of Accountability.®
After ensuring that all employees had been trained in the Self TrackTM Training, I worked with the senior management team to identify the key shifts they needed to make within their culture. As Albert Einstein said: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Using the Culture TrackTM Training this leadership team took ownership of integrating the culture management tools into the culture, which shifted the way people, were thinking, and this shift changed their behaviors. They began to see remarkable increases in each of their key results.
Half way through the year, and only a few months into this process, the CEO accepted a new opportunity and was replaced by a new CEO. The new CEO wanted to make sweeping changes and ensure he made his mark on the organization. Several weeks later during my first conversation with the new CEO, he told me that his original plan was to terminate all training initiatives and replace them with ones he approved. However, as he interviewed management at all levels, he was consistently told that the Culture Track Training was having such a positive impact on revenue growth and international profitability, as well as employee & customer satisfaction that he said: "It is obvious that the culture is leading the way to the business results we must achieve. I am supporting this initiative 100%."
With the culture of greater accountability leading the way, the organization delivered year over year revenue growth of 32%, exceeding stakeholder expectations. International operations went from losing to making money and employee and customer satisfaction increased by 9 percentage points to one of the highest levels in company history.
This company demonstrated that Creating A Culture Of Accountability can lead the way - even through significant leadership changes - to deliver key results.
For several years, things had been in decline at the famous German sports car company, Porsche, AG. Revenue, profitability, customer satisfaction and morale were all low and going lower. Cynicism, finger pointing and other Below The Line® behaviors internally, coupled with declining market share and disappointing race track results had resulted in an atmosphere where the belief that 'Porsches' best days are in the past' prevailed. It was in this environment that Peter Schutz became CEO in 1981.
Getting Clear on Key Results:
In an important meeting with executives and engineers, it became clear that the way to turn things around was to win races. Winning races, Mr. Schutz was told, not only helps develop new technology, which can then be incorporated into production model cars, winning races also creates invaluable market recognition. Winning races was the key to market share, revenue, profitability and ultimately customer satisfaction. Mr. Schutz asked, "If we want to make a statement that Porsche is back, what is the one race we must win?" Every executive and engineer responded: "Le Mans." The 24 hours of Le Mans race was one the most prestigious of all European races. However, Le Mans was in just 61 days. A bold decision was made. Porsche would win Le Mans!
Clear Focus Energizes a Culture:
Having clear focus on a meaningful, measurable and memorable key result energized the entire organization. Quickly the finger pointing and blaming turned to cooperation, problem solving and ownership for the result. The best suspension, transmission and engine from various models were crafted into one new race car. 61 days later, the world was stunned when Porsche won at Le Mans! A journalist interviewed Peter Schutz after the race. "How do you explain this?" Mr. Schutz answered with a great truth, "Cars don't win races, people do!" Just as the executive team had predicted, within a few short years, revenue, market share, profitability, customer satisfaction and morale were at or near all time highs.
"Cars don't win races, people do!":
There is a powerful lesson from this experience at Porsche. The people who participated in the decline of the company are the same people who turned the company around. They knew all along what was needed, yet they persisted in Below The Line behaviors. The key was getting leaders clear and committed to a meaningful key result and aligning the organization to achieve that result. Then, one by one, people in the organization began to make a personal choice to rise above their circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary to achieve the desired result. To win the race they had to See It,® Own It,® Solve It® and then Do It!® In other words, people who persist Below The Line lose races. Above The Line people win races!!
(Source: The Driving Force: Extraordinary Results With Ordinary People by Peter W. Schutz)
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