Leveraging disruption: Case study

Those of you who have attended one of my strategic leadership workshops will have received an email from me last week acting as your business conscience.  Checking-in to see how you are progressing with your priorities, learning about the support that would help you accelerate growth and also hearing some of your incredible (excuse the pun) stories.   This week’s blog entry shares the journey of one partner…written by their founder.


Combo is a company that started well in 2002 and grew to 30 people before facing growth challenges in harder economic times. It was not the economy that slowed growth, it was an internal culture that impacted customer service and in turn damaged reputation.

In a business that grows through referral, being known for mediocre service simply does not drive the desired results. Internally Combo had developed a culture of logging calls and ducking for cover. No one wanted to take responsibility for solving the problems. That was four years ago. So what changed?

The answer can be nicely summarised by the 7 candles of business excellence from incredibleresults that got us thinking...

  • Leadership & Strategy
  • Talent Management
  • Technical Capability
  • Finance and Administration
  • Quality of Service
  • Proposition and Marketing
  • Sales Team and Process


I have listed them here in roughly the order we needed to address them over a 4 year period and there was no one defining moment until March 2015 when our new branding and website were launched to reflect the internal evolution that had occurred.

All of a sudden the work that had been done;

  • To align the leadership team
  • Turning over of 70% of our staff to hire against a narrow personality profile that works for our team to build a great company culture
  • Completing dozens of Microsoft exams to sure up our technical skills for the new cloud era
  • Improving internal reporting against KPIs for accountability and feedback
  • Improving quality of service and productivity so clients got what they wanted faster
  • Focusing on our marketing message and launching a refreshed website. We also partnered with other service providers to be introduced to new opportunities. With our quality of service, capability and new reputation for delivering what we say we will it was easier to be taken seriously by partners

Despite a flat economy, business took off and as yet shows no signs of slowing down.

Persistence with a desire to deliver a great service with current technologies and strong partnerships has been the key to this success. Partnering with Microsoft to be engaged with the leading technologies and then associating with their partners has been essential. Learning to collaborate in ways that play to our strengths and not trying to be all things to all people has been part of it too. We now feel like we are just starting the next phase of business with the next key area of focus being on sales team and process. We can then go back and start at the top.


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