Scroll down for case studies:

Case Study #1: Aeronaught Industries

Case Study #2: Independent Liquor Group Cooperative

Case Study #3: Performance Partners Pty Ltd

                        What for Who: A brief summary of client quotations





"Gave us a way to address morale & goal setting issues"
 Coral de Crespigny MD. Aeronaut Industries

Goaling and morale were the issues Coral de Crespigny spoke to us about. Aeronaut is a leading edge provider of software to developers and had experienced 100% growth per year. Our Smart leadership Audit provided the initial diagnostics.

In summary, our assessment was:

Aeronaut had a unique mix of values in its personnel that were: 

(A) High in expectations for the company to provide structure for performance, and
(B) strong in teamwork (a high proportion of staff were young, in their 1st or 2nd job, with limited experience).

But outcomes were being negatively impacted by "disappointed" organization effectiveness and management competencies in people motivation and development.

Our plan of action was aimed at:

  • A planning and goal achievement process - to assist managers monitor staff performance and provide focus in line with the strategic plan
  • Integrating goal-setting processes with the owner's strategic plan - to alleviate pressure between senior management and staff.
  • Modifications to departmental structure - so that staff would feel comfortable but not diminish staff initiative.
  • Creating a human resource system - to provide a framework for managers to be more effective in their day-to-day control and as part of a longer term QMS potential element. 
  • A management development program - to make middle management more responsible for personal, personnel and team performance.

In essence, we introduced processes to allow the owners to manage staff and morale without the negative impact of stress that existed between management levels and staff.

Development of those processes created opportunities for improved, individually negotiated staff rewards and for the owners to better understand the impact of management style and organization effectiveness.




"I didn't realise just how powerful it (Smart leadership Audit) was until we did it"
 John Raymond MD 'Independent Liquor Group'

While the Independent Liquor Group Co-Operative is subject to external audits (accounting, taxation and Co-peratives), the Board of Directors felt it would be prudent to obtain an independent audit of personnel & organisation effectiveness. Our Smart leadership Audit was undertaken to provide empirical data - identifying issues impacting on individual and organization performance.

The following summarises our findings:

  • ILG was running efficiently with a flat structure and mechanistic processes. These attributes assisted the accommodation of strong growth (14%+ per year), a powerful buying position and low overheads contributing to better margins.
  • Staff satisfaction with the work environment was strong. Personnel used the term "family" when describing organization values.
  • A high proportion of long-term employees; promotion from within; and high satisfaction with the way they were managed (Note: this leads to the possibility for conflict avoidance from future change events by working primarily with management and letting the changes filter down to staff).
  • A potential negative was found with low growth need strengths. This had two implications:
    (1) From a staffing point of view, when personnel don't have a need for growth and they are very happy with their work environment, it begs the question "why change? - especially when the bottom line results are there!" The problem is potential resistance to change.
    (2) For management, it was an indicator they had "levelled out" in their career life cycle. Most managers were in their fifties, comfortable, and the bottom line results were there.
  • Other survey characteristics indicated staff were very happy with the way they were managed.

Our assessment indicated that the "efficiency", together with the continuous and rapid growth in size, was impacting on organization effectiveness from a future growth/performance perspective.

In a small organization, a flat structure is desirable because it promotes innovation, staff motivation and responsiveness to the market place. It also requires strong, hands on management with direct supervision and low levels of rules and regulations.

That was applicable to ILG when it had much lower turnover and fewer staff. ILG was now a $100 million turnover company with almost 60 staff. A flat structure, with 8 managers reporting directly to the Managing Director, was no longer the appropriate structure to satisfy the need and ability to service its membership and match its external environment opportunities.

Our dilemma was to develop an action plan that would retain the positive aspects of low cost efficiencies and staff morale, yet

provide a structure that would ensure ILG can handle, not only a turnover of $100 million today, but $200 million within the next few years.

The result was a number of integrated initiatives, some visible to members, and others not so visible but still important cogs in the wheel to promote ILG's effectiveness. These initiatives focused on three areas.

  • Processes - directed to a marketing advantage and a Member focus but giving ownership and responsibility to staff and line management.
  • Management Development - for improved leadership and direction from the entire management team (through one-to-one coaching), and
  • A Divisional Structure - to facilitate management responsibility and organization performance.

    Three divisions were created, each with a General Manager reporting to the Managing Director:
    - Finance and Administration, bringing all operations and administration under one banner to support the buying and sales activities of ILG.
    - Merchandise and Buying, continually seeking deals and pricing to help Members improve their bottom line, and
    - Sales and Marketing, with a focus on developing & servicing Members.

    When asked what we achieved for him, John Raymond MD, said:
    have taken an efficient organization and made it a professional one".

ILG has since grown to $193 million turnover with 80 staff. Our involvement has facilitated this growth and contributed directly to additional initiatives that would have not otherwise been available to them.



"We're learning how to run our company better"
Rick Allen - Director. Performance Partners

We had been talking to Performance Partners over a period while other consultants were working with them. However they were unhappy with the outcomes.

They felt they were "losing control" of their own company as these consultants were embedding themselves in committee structures for communication, etc. After all, this was a small company with only 30 staff.

We discussed the issues affecting them (namely administration issues and people management) and agreed that the survey results from the other consultants meant they did not have to incur additional costs for further information gathering.

It was agreed we meet for one day per month. They would set the agenda for issues confronting them and my role would be that of mentor and confidant.

§         After nine months our task had been completed.

§         Specific administrative issues were addressed.

§         The owners had learned to "let go" of their autocratic style.

A team of senior people / managers, "The Magnificent Seven" had been formed to allow delegation of responsibility, budget control and goal setting.

And it didn't need a structure of staff committees!


What for Who...


"Gave us a structured format to address morale & goal setting issues"
Coral de Crespigny  MD.  Aeronaut Industries Pty Ltd




"Took an efficient organisation & made it a professional one. I didn't realise how powerful a tool you had  until we used it"
John Raymond  MD  Independent Liquor Group Cooperative Ltd



"The Audit highlighted issues impacting on our organisation. Gave us  specific actions and a tool for measurement to improve company performance"
Peter L Smith  MD  Organon (Australia) Pty Limited

Suffering growth problems. I felt we were losing our family culture”
Felix Zaccar MD Gerling Konzern - London


 "Providing expertise we don't have. We're learning how to run our company better"

Rick Allen  Director  Performance Partners P/L



And from some individual managers....


"Most fellow management are showing signs of changing."

A General Manger Sales & Marketing who was not focusing on the important issues that would allow him to take the next step in his career. He showed significant growth as a "people" leader who can now see more of the potential gap for additional development of people and the organization.


"Being aware of how co-workers see me has changed my focus on my people."

A General Manager who made significant changes to his own communication process. Positive feedback from staff proves he has maintained it over time.


"That the things I think I can't do - I can. I'm much more confident in myself!"

This is a Warehouse Manager who is more confident in himself and has changed his attitude to his job. He dresses differently, has more personal pride and now has proactive control over his actions and job demands.


The way staff are responding is due to the new way I think.”

An Administration Manager who changed from the “wicked witch of the west” to the “good witch of the east” with a recipe book in lieu of a rule book.



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