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Our case studies tell amazing stories with extraordinary results


Itron LogoItron was facing a formidable challenge. A series of acquisitions had produced a company with 9,000 employees operating in over 40 countries around the world. While all of the acquisitions had been integrated operationally and financially they were not integrated culturally. Instead of 'One Itron' they operated as a series of tribes spread across the planet. In the words of the CEO, "Itron had lost its swagger and teamwork existed much more as an idea than a practice."

Our job was to build one unified Itron culture. We put the top 200 managers through a nine-month long process of learning the practices of Commitment Based Management and in so doing produced new, unimaginable levels of trust, cooperation, teamwork, and unity. When it came time to measure our financial success we were told, "Don't even bother. The results that you have generated so vastly exceeded our expectations that we are not concerned about the financial promise. You have set us on a course to a new future and that's priceless."

In our view we put in place a new mood of trust, ambition, and confidence in the company. We taught them new practices for communication, cooperation, coordination, and mobilization and they put them to work to reshape the company, generate new business, and get their 'swagger' back! We taught them a new approach to strategic thinking and innovation and this in turn generated a new way of moving in the market.

As a result, Itron has engaged HP2 for an ongoing series of programs to take the work deeper into the organization.

Itron LogoAllianz, a leading life insurance and financial service firm, was the rare client interested in designing their future instead of letting it happen. Rather than waiting until profits had declined and morale was low, Allianz wanted to create flexibility and install innovative practices to enhance their future performance in a dynamic environment.

HP2 started working with Allianz in 2004. During the next two years, they experienced growth of 20-30%. We worked with them to reconfigure their practices to sustain that growth. The entire workforce of 2,500 learned new principles and practices of communication, coordination, and mobilization. The results were impressive. The CEO and President of Allianz Life stated, "It's really improved the performance of our team, both individually and in total."

Allianz completed 55 new projects incorporating the new HP2 practices. They deployed a new performance-based culture and accomplished their goals. Their investment of $8 million netted a $610 million return.

Itron LogoThe Huppin family began business in 1908 and became a mainstay as an electronics retailer in Spokane, WA. Over a decade ago they moved into selling electronics online by starting OneCall. By 2002, explosive growth in the online business was overwhelming this third-generation family business.

HP2 worked with the OneCall management team for just one year. We installed new management practices that enabled them to revamp their IT, HR, and marketing practices to facilitate growth. We guided OneCall into creating strategies that supported short and long-term success. Our new practices enabled them to update their systems and processes as well as improve mood, morale, and trust. We enabled OneCall to maintain quality as well as realize phenomenal growth.

Today, OneCall is ranked 67 out of 100 electronic retailers (TWICE Magazine, May2005), which is a giant step up for a small family business. OneCall has seen 30% growth over two years. It has received a 9.4 of 10 at BizRate for customer service, five stars at Price Grabber, and a Platinum-Plus rating at Reseller Ratings.

Itron LogoCapital One presented a unique challenge, explosive growth. They were in fact growing so rapidly that senior management had the sense that things were "spinning out of control." Our job was to help them standardize their practices for leadership and management. Our work was sufficiently effective that Capital One outsourced senior management development to HP2 for 5 years. We put some 1500 senior managers through our advanced work, installed the practices of commitment based management, and left them with means and methods for sustaining the work.

Capital One went from 700 to 17,000 employees and from 400,000 to 40,000,000 customers all in the span of 6 years and did so without acquiring any other companies. We are proud to have been a substantial part of that growth.

Itron LogoCargill began as a grain-trading company in the US and has grown to be one of the largest family-owned businesses in the world. As they approached their 125th anniversary in 1990 Cargill had operations in nearly 60 countries. However, they were dealing with sluggish growth, an underperforming business, and a rigid culture. Cargill knew they needed to change to meet the increasingly dynamic global business climate. But how?

Starting with senior management, HP2 proclaimed some uncomfortable truths. The past was not going to provide the path to the future. Furthermore, Cargill was feeling the stifling effects of the lack of diversity in its management. HP2 worked with some divisions at Cargill for nearly ten years, creating flexibility, supporting diversity, and installing practices that would allow Cargill to perform in their dynamic environment.

Cargill has changed significantly. They established their "Guiding Principles" for treating employees and customers ethically. The company rapidly diversified and profitability increased. Cargill even exited from unprofitable businesses, which was a first for them. HP2's distinctive work with Cargill enabled them to confidently move into the 21st century market as a leader.

Itron LogoAmgen, a leading biotech company, was building a $2.5 billion dollar manufacturing facility in Ireland. They turned to us to create a world-class management team and a high performing culture that would match the 21st century design of the new facility. Amgen's trust in us is based on past work we have done with them. In 2002, they had a major construction project in disarray. The project was behind schedule, significantly over budget, and the eight major contracting entities involved were in conflict.

HP2 stepped in and standardized practices for communication, cooperation, coordination, and project management. In short, we put all of the entities on the same page and taught them to use the same practices. Then we guided them in creating cross-organizational teams that worked on these new practices so that they could be taken back to the project teams. That project came in ahead of schedule with $8 million in cost savings attributed to HP2's work.

In our work with Amgen in Ireland we targeted an even bigger difference, both with the culture and with the bottom line. Our work with the management team enabled them to complete a project plan and budget 6 months ahead of schedule and innovate ways to save $100's of millions in construction costs. Domestic financial and regulatory concerns lead Amgen to cancel the project thus we were unable to see it through to completion.

Itron LogoScripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas is part of the Scripps network in San Diego, CA. Scripps is a not-for-profit community-based health network, which is over 80 years old. Scripps Memorial Encinitas joined the system in 1978. Twenty years later they were struggling. Donors were alienated, which was a large problem for a not-for-profit hospital. Patients were dissatisfied with the quality of care they received. There was tension among staff and physicians. Not surprisingly, morale was low.

HP2 worked with 60 managers over nine months to install new practices for building customer satisfaction, coordination, mobilization, and managing mood. As managers developed shared values and practices, excellence and performance were ignited throughout the hospital.

Ten months after HP2 started work, the hospital won the "Excellence in Management Award" from the San Diego Business Journal. Patient satisfaction increased by 40% and morale significantly improved. As a result, donors agreed to fund a new wing, which was a remarkable turnaround from their previous stance.

Scripps network of hospitals continues to win awards in ethics, innovation, employee satisfaction and clinical excellence, both locally and nationally.

Itron LogoWestin Hotels is known for its distinctive and personal service to guests. Founded in 1930, the company has 120 premium properties worldwide. Their innovative "renewal services" set the standard throughout the hospitality industry. However, in 1991, the repeated sale of the company had taken a large toll. Employees suffered low morale and were not willing to be accountable. Managers lacked vision. The result was a decline in quality and profits. Westin was no longer attractive to buyers.

To reclaim their historic level of success, Westin Hotels decided to make HP2 a key part of their management development process. Over three years we established a sustainable culture of excellence, focusing on communication, competence, and accountability. We worked with managers to install innovative practices and flexibility. Our customized approach created a climate of peak performance that would be maintained through major corporate changes.

The work paid off. Westin's managers reported strong results from the new practices. There was reduced turnover in management and performance and profits increased. Further, Westin was able to again provide the distinctive and innovative offerings to their guests for which they were known. When we had completed our work, Westin became attractive to buyers. It was acquired by Starwood in 1994 and remains with them over ten years later. Westin celebrated its 75 th anniversary in 2005. It is widely recognized as an industry innovator.

Itron LogoThe Consumer Products Division faced a daunting set of problems shortly after divestiture in 1986. The Division was losing $200 million/year. On the advice of consultants they had downsized from 40,000 employees to 16,000 and closed dozens of locations in order to cut costs. Morale was at an all time low. The corporate culture, coming out of a monopoly, struggled with developing a competitive edge. The Division was given 18 months to stop losses and become competitive or they would be closed.

We provided a custom-tailored program to rebuild the business. Over three years, we trained 6,000 managers, in groups of 60-80, at sites all over the country. We installed innovative management practices and created winning teams so that the Division could successfully compete. The Division's culture changed as people developed the shared values of competence, ambition, productivity, accountability, and support. Our work with the Division came to be called "Project Miracles."

The Consumer Products Division experienced a remarkable turnaround. Over the next four years, the division generated $3 billion in profits. Managers' ratings of job satisfaction, morale, and trust skyrocketed. In a company-wide culture survey, Project Miracles participants were singled out from the rest of AT&T because they were skewing results for the entire company. Consumer Products, once in danger of closing, now was an example of a company experiencing peak performance.

Itron LogoIn 1983 we were contacted by the US Army. The 2nd Armored Division was facing a crisis and was looking for solutions that went beyond military discipline. Too many soldiers couldn't pass the combat-ready physical fitness tests. Substance abuse was on the rise, as was crime in the barracks. Too many soldiers were on sick call. Too many were overweight and morale was dangerously low. Clearly, innovative approaches were needed.

We stepped in and worked with unit leaders who then worked with a brigade of 1,500. With the support of the Army, we deployed a program labeled "combat fitness." It replaced traditional physical training with a unique combination of physical, mental, and team training. We covered new fitness methodologies, contemporary practices for team cohesion, diet, and nutrition.

Before we stepped in the Army had performed a survey on the state of the brigade. Another survey was done six months after we completed our work. These surveys detailed impressive results. Sick calls had decreased by 50%. Overweight soldiers had decreased by 66% and physical training test scores had increased by an average of 25 points. Substance abuse had decreased by 60%. Morale was higher than it had ever been. The unit went from a compromised brigade into one that was performing at its peak.

Over the years we have continued to work with various branches of the military to create groups that are combat ready. And, we have taken the lessons we have learned working with the military into the corporate world.

Itron LogoIn 1982 HP2 had an early opportunity to test our new work on team performance and dynamics. The English National Rugby Team, then world champions, were making their first ever tour of North America. They played 3 provincial sides and the Canadian National Team while in Canada winning all four matches by over 25 points each. In the history of US Rugby we had then beaten Canada once by a score of 7 to 6. The English were understandably taking their match against the US National Team lightly and were in for a big surprise. Using early work in the realm of team cohesion, goal setting, and mental fitness, HP2 worked with the US team for less than one week. At half time England was ahead 6 to 3 and the English coach was beside himself. "What did you do to these guys?" he insisted on knowing. "I watched them practice all week and they were lousy." The English went on to win the match but it was by far their closest game on their entire world tour that year. Upon his return to England, the English coach sent us a letter marveling at "whatever it was you had done to the US players" and noting that it was by far the hardest match they had played in years.

Itron LogoKey players have been injured and the team is still smarting from the frustrations of first missing and then losing in the playoffs the last 2 years. Coach Chuck Knox is willing to step outside of the traditional football norms of simply 'work harder - play harder' and engages HP2 (then known as SportsMind) to make a difference with the team.

Working with a sports team is a different sort of challenge as the athletes are finely honed competitors. Once the season starts there is little time and they are not particularly patient. Our historical work with the military and other athletes provided us with the credibility required to establish trust and from there it was up to us to produce and produce we did.

Using some of our distinct somatic practices in working one-on-one with the injured players we were able to get them back to being competitive well ahead of schedule Working with the team we were able to enhance both their trust in each other and cohesion as a unit. These are the essentials of authentic teamwork.

The result - the Seahawks win the AFC west for the first time. Can we claim sole credit for that accomplishment, of course not. Did we play a significant role - Yes we did!