How understanding context enable you to select the right leaders for your business
Reviving revenue and market share by increasing diversity through shaking up a stale, biased leadership selection process
At a glance
Largest employer in the Caribbean
Doubled mobile subscribers
Rolled out 4G and high speed broadband
Reversed 11 years of market share decline
EBITDA up 8%
The subtlety and nuance of how to be successful in one market is very different from how to be successful in another. In any country where people speak English we can tend to be a bit lazy about taking the time to understand the cultural, political and social contexts unique to that place. Our leadership team needed to be made up of people that did have this understanding. And ultimately the work we did led the business to be run empathetically, as well as commercially.
In the early 2000s one of the “crown jewel” regional assets Market share was shrinking, profits declining, all while its competitors grew. The Chemistry Group, was initially brought in to observe the leadership team and diagnosed the most glaring problem of all. The leadership team was alienated from the workforce and the customers, they incredibly disconnected from the market that they were operating in. Outdated attitudes in large organisations across the Caribbean had created a “brain drain” of good local talent, however the perception of this scarcity was much higher than the reality. Emigration was leeching 10-40% of the locally skilled workforce to OECD countries. On the flipside this meant that 60-90% of nationals were choosing to stay and work in their home nation.
The job was clear, create a talent strategy that put the very best leadership in place, a leadership that was local in origin, and crucially, a leadership that represented the population the business was there to serve. Potential business leaders either leaving the region in order to further their careers or being overlooked by outdated search and selection processes. Chemistry needed to work with the client to reverse this trend in order to create a high performing team that understood the business and the market.
The Chemistry Solution
To combat the effect of the “brain drain” we commissioned a search company to scour the globe for homegrown talent, offering candidates the chance to come back to the Caribbean, work as part of the company’s leadership team. By using Chemistry’s What Great Looks Like (WGLL™) and Executive Assessment capabilities the client were able to put in place an unbiased and inclusive selection process, and employed a data led approach that maintained previous standards of rigour and which gained the board's assurance. This allowed us to consider suitable candidates from the region who would previously have been overlooked Using Chemistry’s Perform tool, the client was also able to assess their existing talent inside the organisation on a level playing field. They were able to measure the potential of their current employees to thrive in leadership roles allowing them to create a pipeline of talent from within.
Using our approach we helped a FTSE100 regional asset build a leadership team of Caribbean and Latin American Talent that created huge commercial success
EBITDA increase created by the new management team
11 years of market share decline reversed
EBITDA increase of 8%
Acquired by John Malone’s Liberty Group in 2016
Chemistry’s approach revolutionised not only the way that we thought about Talent, but also created an unbiased framework to allow the company to produce its own successful leaders of the future.
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