Leadership Transition

Leadership Transition

The Situation

The new CEO of a professional services company faced the challenge of shifting entrenched leadership and company culture.

The company had some unprofitable service lines because one of the founders had been committed to them, despite their lack of return. Emerging opportunities were not being pursued. The founders were still on the board of directors and their egos were invested in keeping things the way they had been. Morale in some offices was poor, profits were sliding, and collaboration was minimal. Each of the offices operated as its own fiefdom and resistance to change was rampant.

Pain Point: A new leader needed to create buy-in and momentum for a major course correction

Orchard Advisors Approach

I worked closely with the CEO to develop a staged approach to shifting the organization. We brought the board together to engage their thinking (and their self interests) around the future of the company. We solicited their involvement in and commitment to a company-wide strategic planning process. The process included several components, including identifying and gathering both internal and external data. I facilitated sessions with a cross-section of employees in all locations. I assured effective communication between executive leadership and the professional staff in each office. We brought the broader leadership team together for a three-day retreat to create a fresh vision for the future based on both external and internal realities. I served as strategic advisors to the CEO. Management grew stronger focusing on:

  • Reconfigured leadership structure
  • Enhanced processes
  • Optimized service offerings
  • Commitment and plan to centralize many administrative services


  • Increased profitability
  • Improved morale
  • Increased collaboration among offices which contributed to the increased effectiveness (profit) and satisfaction (morale)