True Story: Productive Collaboration Shined the Light on a Potential Successor

Jennifer Goldman Consulting productive collaboration

This story is one for the books. It shows how productive collaboration showed a leader the path and technique to becoming a successor.

This $3.9 million gross revenue services firm was lead by an elder founder and younger visionary founder. Both embraced their team as their work family. Both oozed positivism and wanted to empower their team to rise up and succeed them. But both lacked the techniques to make this happen naturally and in a timely manner.

After a few years of trying to groom an advisor and COO to become heir apparent, we implemented visual collaboration and accountability techniques to spark the progress.

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At first, there was disbelief that visually collaborating around business ideas and hurdles within an online software would work. There was hesitation for some to speak up and offer differing solutions to resolve issues. And the COO questioned their leadership skills, while the team members lacked trust in most ideas. Business growth wasn’t impressive, adoption of collaboration and processes was at a snails pace, and the team culture wasn’t humming.

Jump ahead 5 months and the COO’s persistence around collaboration has built trust, clarity around business solutions that are worth implementing, buy-in and proactive actions from team members, and a hum that is undeniable. Business growth has picked up with the attraction of $250,000 new gross revenue, the team is willing to agree to disagree to more quickly devise solutions, and processes are being used to collaborate and complete work. Most of all, the COO and CEO had their ah-ha moment, which was that the COO was a great leader, able to manage the business and team, and had the makings of becoming the successor.

The bottom line: productive collaboration is key to a successful, growing business. And there are only a few techniques to learn to make this happen, which you can find in our other article. The rewards for trying is a successful business with a great culture and leaders to rise up and carry the business into the next generation of life.


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