Inflection points are critical junctures that can make or break your organization, depending on how you respond. It’s hard to recognize you are facing an inflection point; it’s even more difficult to know how to lead your team through one.
Executive Advisory Partners was created to help senior executives effectively lead through critical periods of transition. Through a wide variety of advisory services and a comprehensive network of partners, we help with both strategy and execution. We ask you the tough questions, warn you of potential pitfalls, and help you identify alternative solutions. We equip you to see and achieve your potential.
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Most organizations will encounter one or more of the following challenges once in their lifetime. EAP has been through all of these and more multiple times. We can help you effectively lead through these often difficult situations.
We've all heard the axiom: Grow or die. The question is not, "Should I grow?", but, "How should I grow?" As organizations mature, there are multiple strategies for growth, including organic growth, outside funding, expanded markets, and merger or acquisition. Picking the right one is critical, but so is the strategy you build to optimize your growth opportunity.
Proof Points: By working closely with the CEO and operating as an interim VP for the products division, EAP was able to help Outreach grow topline revenue and turn a profit in a division that hadn’t had growth or profit in more than 5 years.
While a VP at J.D. Edwards (now Oracle Corporation), Steve led a transformational process that redefined market strategy, aligned sales and marketing, and drove lead generation and sales execution that led to a $400M increase in topline revenue in just 2 years, setting the company up for a premium acquisition price.
Your current market is getting saturated. There are lots of products and competitors, there is slow or negative growth in your market segment, and you can't grow market share or product/service revenue at the rate you need. A common strategy is to leverage the equity in your current product to enter a new market. The questions are: which market, with which products, and what is the best way to enter and gain traction in that market?
Proof Point: Working closely with the CEO of RT Logic, later acquired by Kratos Defense, EAP built an entire strategy and worked closely with the executive team to define a new vertical go-to-market strategy that enabled Kratos to enter the commercial market space that is now a critical part of their business success.
Whether you are acquiring or being acquired, mergers are a disruptive time in the life of any organization. You need to successfully navigate integrating products, cultures, messaging, brands, processes, physical assets, and even locations. While recognizing a merger or acquisition as an inflection point is easy, leading and successfully navigating one is not.
Proof Point: Over the past 30 years, Steve has been involved in 9 corporate mergers and acquisitions: sometimes acquiring, sometimes being acquired, some successful, some not so successful. EAP can help you navigate these turbulent waters.
You are at a point where your current products or services can no longer grow or are no longer relevant to your existing audiences. This inflection point could include the need to expand into a new target vertical, or—if you are a nonprofit—to reach a new, younger donor base.
Proof Point: As the CEO of The CSK Group, Steve and his team worked with dozens of nonprofits who desperately needed to continue to drive donations from an aging donor base, while effectively pivoting to be relevant and reach younger audiences and younger donors. Those strategies have led to comprehensive turnarounds that have kept those organizations relevant and growing.
If you've been slowly growing at 5 to 10 percent per year, or worse, declining by that same amount, you're probably getting lapped by your competitors. It's possible to get value out of steady growth or even rapid decline, but staying flat is a death knell. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to creatively invigorate your revenue. There are a wide variety of strategies to do this, but you need to pick the one that you can execute and the market will respond to.
Proof Point: Employers Council had 10 years of 1.5% average revenue growth. After engaging EAP, they’ve transformed their marketing and sales approach, built an operational model that is in line with customer needs, and redesigned their membership and pricing model that they believe will enable them to significantly increase growth, impact and member retention.
The average tenure of many C-suite executives is two to three years. This puts your organization in a constant state of flux. You can't sit still while you wait for the next perfect candidate. A good way to help manage this inflection point is to engage a transition CXO to maintain momentum while you are looking for your next longterm executive.
If you are an incoming CEO, you are facing big challenges. Incorporating your passion and vision while maintaining established history and culture is hard. If you are an outgoing CEO, it can be hard to let go. This is a particularly sticky inflection point that can benefit from the help of an external advisor who has navigated these difficult situations.
Proof Point: EAP has significant experience working with organizations who’ve needed to plan and effectively manage through founder and senior executive transitions and equip the new CEO/executive for success. This includes Focus On The Family, Outreach, ACSI, Employers Council, Kratos and many others. We are often asked to step into interim CXO roles that can help smooth these difficult transitions.
As a founder or CEO, you didn't get to your position by not having great instincts. But there comes a time when you can no longer achieve the growth you need by using your intuition and experience alone. You need an outside perspective to drive strategic opportunities, implement proper execution, and grow market share and revenue.
Proof Point: Our entire client history is built around helping CEOs see things they can’t see, or implement ideas and strategies that they have not thought of. We bring a comprehensive set of experiences and tools to the table with a common goal of making you and your organization successful.
There is nothing more important than hiring good people. If your most important assets are walking out the door, you are at a critical inflection point. It could be a culture problem, a leadership problem, a product or service problem, or simply a market problem. In any case, you need an outside set of eyes and ears to determine the root cause and help build a plan to reverse the exodus.
Proof Point: Our work frequently involves doing assessments and audits of people, process, and technology. Many of our clients start out thinking there is a problem in one area, but we almost always find there is an undercurrent that is leading to poor performance and unhappy teams. Culture, brand, mission, purpose, vision, strategy, and accountability must be aligned to create an environment where people thrive and want to work. We’ve helped transform culture and, by association, performance by integrating and driving results in these critical areas.
“I consider EAP trusted advisors and friends, and I am grateful I have had the opportunity to work with them over the years and look forward to many more opportunities in the years to come!”
“EAP really does have a great wide-angle lens on all aspects of the business and can bring them into focus across divisions. They are fantastic at helping guide an organization through challenges towards growth.”