Creative Design Firm Implements Strategic Leadership to Drive Growth Internationally

Project At A Glance 

Uplevel Studio worked directly alongside their client, a creative design firm, to accelerate growth and strategic focus within the organization.

Utilizing the tools and communication practices necessary to lead transformation, the firm was able to increase their revenue substantially by expanding their services into the European market. Their team improved client engagement with European clientele, and developed communication strategies resulting in enhanced teamwork, business consulting services and training programs.


Situation

A team of award-winning designers had recently landed a high-visibility contract in Europe and decided to expand their services into that market. They had very little experience with international business, negotiating across different cultures and managing colleagues virtually. The team quickly became frustrated with the challenges they were facing and realized their existing client was in jeopardy of going elsewhere for design services.

Their US-based management team was unclear how to manage this change and their growing levels of disengagement were impacting the quality of design, innovative thinking and work relationships. They needed a new approach to managing both the US and European teams that would be effective, easily implemented and adopted by each employee to fulfill their contract and continue to grow the company.

Solution

In the first thirty days of working with Uplevel Studio, the design firm established guidelines for their work in Europe and reshaped their business plan to include cross-cultural issues, international business practices and longer sales cycles to accommodate their new marketplace.

With the guidance and support of Uplevel executive coaches, the client began analyzing their management practices and leading transformation within the firm by introducing tools and strategies for their new virtual team of designers in Europe. They developed a set of specific management and communication practices to minimize conflict, reduce stress and gain clarity of action.

In addition, Uplevel Studio assisted the firm in evaluating their marketing and sales strategies that would adjust their approach to localizing their efforts and customizing their business activities with the European client in mind. In order to succeed in this market, they understood that they must alter their perspective and behavior.

Within 120 days, the client created a productive agent relationship abroad, launched their European campaign successfully, established a large referral network and landed two new lucrative clients. The firm also experienced improved teamwork between the US and European groups supported by the training and deployment of a European Practice Manager to facilitate further growth.

Results

By strategically rewiring their thinking and actions, they were able to generate accelerated growth and create sustainable change. The client implemented the tools and practices necessary to expand their vision, communicate effectively and embody their strategy through a process of rewiring and transformation. Their team was able to achieve their long-term vision and they successfully produced the following results:

  • Revised business strategy to incorporate European market and business practices
  • Improved relationships with new European client
  • Expanded referral network resulting in two new clients (estimated revenue US$1.3 million)
  • Enhanced teamwork between US and Europe (productivity savings of US$320,000)
  • Training and successful deployment of European Practice Manager
  • Successful launch of European campaign on behalf of client
  • Implemented Business Consulting Services program