Prior to the COVID pandemic, I had been working with the leadership team of a mid-sized tech company that was doing $20 million per year with 50 employees. The integrator made some unexpected and positive discoveries during COVID that made the company leaner, stronger, and more profitable.
Making Smart Moves During COVID
When COVID hit, they were forced to work remotely. The leader of the project management department made the decision to bring all of his people together for their weekly Level 10 Meeting™ in order to offset the isolation of being remote. Previously, he had two levels in his department with a layer of bosses that were primarily regionally focused.
At the time, it was intended to be a temporary move, but he realized that there was no longer a lot of value in that extra layer of management. That’s because everyone was joining one call and operating as one team. More importantly, because it was so easy to join video conferences and connect with one another, information and coordination were happening fast and in real-time.
The leader of the sales department, who was using a similar structure, saw the benefits of bringing everyone together. After reviewing his Accountability Chart™, he realized he could flatten his department as well.
The Power of Having The Right People In The Right Seats
In looking at their Accountability Charts, they both realized that the regional leaders would be better served as individual contributors. Using the EOS People Analyzer™ Tool, they confirmed that the move made sense and so they rolled it out.
Seeing it as the best move for the company and frankly, as a way to make more money, about half of the regional leads were open to the move. The other half weren’t interested in what they saw as a demotion. Over a period of two quarters, this second group exited the organization.
What both of the leaders found interesting was that the people who left weren’t performing in their previous roles as leaders and managers of their teams. They felt that the remaining teams were stronger than they were before.
Great Decisions, Great Results
Another benefit to the change was that the Level 10 Meetings in both departments became much more effective — both teams observed more energy and livelier discussions due to more people and more diversity of perspectives and ideas.
Meanwhile, the leadership team realized that due to working remotely, they no longer needed their office spaces in New York and Austin. This became apparent in their weekly Level 10 Meetings when they discovered that these smaller teams were producing more revenue at lower costs, all by working remotely. By closing both locations, they reduced overhead significantly.
The end result from all their work was that they grew revenue by $2 million in 2020 (a 10% increase) and profit by $1 million (at 5%) in the middle of the COVID pandemic. By eliminating a layer of management and complexity, they actually improved teamwork and communication. Going into 2021, they feel more confident that they can grow faster and serve their clients better than ever.