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When investors come in

Tackling transition and growing pains of scaling a business

Situation

A private equity firm acquired a start-up. The shift in pace and strategy led to low morale, diminished team spirit, and lack of personal performance, ultimately impacting results.

Approach & outcome

The people involved from the company’s inception were still with the organisation and were experiencing a change in culture, direction and method of working. The PE firm was acquiring other companies and integrating them into the business, bringing further complexity and increased pressure on the core team, who felt undervalued and unrecognised. The growing negative sentiment was reaching a critical point.

Conducted a series of one-to-one, group coaching sessions and in-depth analysis:

  • Identified individual core drivers, strengths, aspirations and areas they wanted to develop;
  • Personal reflection on events and interactions – perception, reaction and subsequent influence on relationships with their colleagues;
  • Awareness and adjustment of personal behaviour and communication to improve relationships with colleagues;
  • Exploration and development of ways to tackle rifts with colleagues (e.g. pinpoint areas in which they could be each other’s mentors and role models, playing off each other’s strengths);
  • Reviewed compensation structure: what got measured, what got rewarded and how they felt about it;
  • Reviewed roles and individuals in those roles;
  • Realignment of roles with functions playing to strengths and areas of competence as opposed to titles due to length of service.

This resulted in:

  • A cohesive team consisting of committed, competent and collaborative individuals.
  • Greater communication, transparency and higher levels of trust.
  • Less friction and improved results.
  • A compensation structure aligned with deliverables, contribution and value-add.

Realising they were not in the right role or company, some team members resigned – some went on to become founders of their own start-up.

Why it matters

You may be a tech company, but your engine is still human ingenuity. Treat people like the humans they are, not cogs in the wheel.

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