Case-Study

Focus on the outcome.
Not the program.

Sattler & Partner, an internationally operating management consulting boutique, has been supporting family owned SME’s in all phases of M&A since 1983.

As experts in succession planning, they too understand the importance of preparing the path for Andreas Sattler, Founder and CEO, to take a less prominent role in the acquisition of new customers.

Their goal: strengthen the network and ability of the Senior Partners to acquire new customers so that Andreas could take a less active role in daily operations and focus more on his role as main shareholder.

Overview

“Sometimes problems don’t require a solution to solve them, instead they require maturity to outgrow them.” – Steve Maraboli

That’s exactly what we found when we began our work with Sattler & Partner. It very quickly became apparent that the Senior Partners didn’t need to learn more sales skills. What they needed was help to overcome their mental barriers to ‘selling’.

That’s why, after running a workshop focusing on how to structure sales conversations, they agreed to change the strategy and instead to invest in Executive Coaching.

As a first step this quickly showed tangible results, which opened the door to the second step in the succession plan, creating new perspectives for the future.

To do this we began the process of strategic navigation. This has allowed the Senior Partners to take an active role not only in the acquisition of new customers but also in actively creating the future direction of the business.

By doing so, Andreas has not only invested in developing the next generation of his business but also in creating the engagement and commitment of his people, who are the key to that future.

“One is often not a good advisor on one’s own behalf, sometimes unable to assess the facts objectively. Quite different from what one does for third parties.”

— Andreas Sattler – Founder and Owner Sattler & Partner

Approach

Focusing on the outcome:

Keeping our focus on the desired outcome rather than the solution allowed us to really get to the heart of the problem. The initial impulse workshop helped to shed light on what was really holding the team back.

Investing in the long-term:

That means taking one step at a time, which is what we’ve been doing with Sattler & Partner. Concretely that means we always agree on the best next step. That way we can constantly adapt what we’re doing to make sure we’re working on the right things to keep them moving forward.

Adapting the approach:

Our aim is always to create tangible impact for our customers. When we believe a different approach would be better to solve their problem, we say so. Though met with a litte scepticism to begin with, this soon proved to be more effective than the initial plan.

Taking the role of co-creators:

We want our customers to be able to lead their process themselves. That’s why we see our role as cocreators; on hand to support if things get stuck but never as the ‘leader’ of the process.

Result

Both Senior Partners, by working on their mindset and not just their skill set, have now taken on very active roles in developing new customer relationships.

This initial breakthrough has also led them to develop new and innovative ideas in terms of their marketing and business development activities.

Following up this step with the strategic navigation process has enabled Sattler & Partner to get clarity and focus for the future.

Having a clear picture and the concrete steps towards it defined and agreed, the succession plan is back on track and both Senior Partners are now in a position to lead the organisation forward.

Beyond autonomously leading the business, both are also forging ahead to lead their re-navigation processes with light support from us at key milestones.

Conclusion

All transformation efforts require the organisation’s leaders to generate the engagement of their people for the new direction.

If people engage and agree to something, it does not automatically guarantee that they will actively contribute.

Significant contribution to a new direction is only possible if both the hearts and hands of the people are fully engaged and committed.

People must understand the reason for the transformation in the context of the organisation. They must be able to personally connect with that reason. And they must be able to understand what they can contribute, for them to be able to agree and decide to actively do so.

When people decide to actively contribute, leaders then need to support them by helping to remove any barriers and obstacles in their path. Sometimes that requires new skills, sometimes that requires new tools, and sometimes that requires a new mindset to outgrow the things that are holding them back.

Written by:
Andreas Geh,
Managing Partner

“I build structures to enable strategic freedom and creational power in others. This is not just a slogan. I call it my direction of greatness. 

So give me a call and let’s explore how we can build structures together to boost your transformation.” 

You can reach me on +49 175 4372 859 or at a.geh@2leadership.eu

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