Case Study – Anderson Acoustics – Culture Change on the road to Employee Ownership
Conscious Business People help us get where we want to go faster, catalysing the decision making and team communication processes – motivating our people, building a high performance learning culture, and saving us both time and money.
John Newman, Client Success Director, Anderson Acoustics
Scaling a consultancy in a Conscious Business reboot
CREATING A LEARNING ORGANISATION AND NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM – USING THE PRINCIPLES OF A CONSCIOUS BUSINESS
- Acoustics consultancy – 14 employees
- Company engineers have no leadership, consultancy or sales skills
- Overworked – but visionary – entrepreneurial owner wants a more conscious self-supporting business. And some of his life back
- We helped them discover the sort of company they wanted to be – and then helped them create it
- Transitioning into Employee Ownership in 2018. The owner is closer to achieving the above
When we first met, Anderson Acoustics were a small firm of talented acoustics engineers with a visionary owner (Andy) who wanted his company to be a place where people were autonomous, trusted and had everything they needed to thrive: an environment where people collaborated and supported each other while achieving a shared vision and values.
As owner and MD, Andy was busy with business stuff while the engineers engineered. It was killing him but he was so overwhelmed he didn’t have time to work his way out of the problem and towards the more autonomous workplace he dreamed of.
The engineers had no experience in management, running a company or the additional consultancy skills required to manage clients – and develop new business. Andy was doing most of that too. The quality of their work was – and is – exceptional but they struggled to grow and distribute Andy’s load more evenly.
It started with a workshop where they decided how they wanted their company to be. We distilled that knowledge into something tangible and then co-designed it with them, allowing each to select an aspect they could champion. We helped them work it out for themselves; from who did what at senior level to where to put the new table football machine.
Our aim was for them to take emotional ownership of the company instead of looking at Andy for direction. We wanted to give those with the desire and promise to lead the chance to take responsibilities from Andy and run with them – initially with support from us, but ultimately from each other.
To provide some education and practical hands-on experience, we created a developmental programme for the newly appointed senior team over nine months to ease them into their new roles, at a manageable pace.
Since then we’ve assisted them with consultancy skills, thinking strategically and how to communicate effectively with each other. We’ve brought in an FD, helped them recruit the right people in new senior positions, and referred clients via our networks.
We are currently coaching some key individuals and Lasy is now a non-executive director, helping facilitate additional growth, and assisting the transition into employee ownership.
The stable organisation of more than 20 people has grown, opened offices in London and Brighton, is taking on more international airport consultancy, in addition to large contracts in major London developments. It’s also profitable and confident enough to transition to employee ownership. Andy has got a large part of his life back and the team are running the show.
In their own words:
“CBP facilitate the development – and accelerate the implementation – of our strategy. Put simply, they help us get where we want to go faster, catalysing the decision making and team communication processes – motivating our people, building a high performance learning culture, and saving us both time and money.
“As a non-executive director, Lasy is a laser-guided weapon against group-think. She monitors the group dynamic and injects challenge, caution and urgency when needed. Her wider business experience significantly contributes to decision making and helps avoid industry-specific tunnel vision often experienced by SME management teams.
“As coaches, the coaching process forces the evaluation of objectives and priorities on a regular basis, providing the control feedback loop linking strategy and implementation. Lasy creates a safe environment for you to be honest with yourself, identify blocking issues and explore options before committing to action.”
John Newman, Client Success Director – Anderson Acoustics
We have watched them grow and develop, wobble at times and then stand stable and confident on their own two feet.
The company’s turnover and profitability is up, more opportunities are appearing, their people are happier (we know because they measure it), and they have matured as an organisation and culture, taking the significant leap to employee ownership.