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CHANGE HAPPENS

Technology disrupts. Markets shift. The competitive landscape morphs

In a volatile business environment with an accelerating pace of change, leaders and organizations increasingly find themselves at a crossroad where tried and true solutions begin to fail and continued success is uncertain. Centauric offers an array of consulting services specifically targeting the challenges facing today’s leaders and their organizations. From Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, across sectors from financial services to high-tech and healthcare, we help clients survive and thrive at pivotal moments.


Some pivotal moments we’ve helped our clients face:


  • Significant growth strains culture capability and systems
  • A leader takes on a new role and / or joins a new organization
  • There is a need for fresh ideas and innovation
  • It's imperative to get leaders on the same page
  • It's time to make a critical hiring decision
  • A leader needs staff to shift into high gear
  • Morale falters and turnover is a concern
  • A leader needs a thought partner
  • A key player is not delivering
  • Its time to prepare high potential leaders to move up the ladder
  • Its time to execute a new strategy or initiative

CASE STUDIES


Growth & Scalability

When significant growth strains culture capability and systems

When significant growth challenged the flexibility and intimacy of a turnkey asset management provider, Centauric helped senior leaders to clarify the competitive advantages offered by the organization’s culture and find ways to balance flexibility with the control, specialization and discipline that scale demanded. Targeted coaching, periodic surveys and an intensive management development program all helped to ease the growing pains and maintain a successful trajectory.

Leader Transition

When a leader takes on a new role and / or joins a new organization

When a commercial real estate executive was promoted to a senior global role, Centauric helped her acclimatize and set priorities with a combination of behind-the-scenes research, personality assessment, coaching and a one-day transition acceleration lab. The lab did the trick and set our client on her path with confidence and the support of her organization and board of directors.

When a skilled surgeon was appointed CEO of a large teaching hospital, he wanted to establish his credibility as a leader and set his agenda. With the aid of his direct reports and board, he sought to articulate a new course that would win the support of the organization’s many constituencies. Through a combination of coaching, assessment, and a carefully orchestrated transition lab, Centauric helped him survey the situation, clarify his options and develop a strong action plan. He hit the ground running to great success.

Innovation

When there is a need for fresh ideas and innovation

When the Chinese research and development center of a multi-national food and beverage company lagged its counterparts on all measures of innovation, its leaders turned to Centauric. In collaboration with our counterparts at Innovationship, we created a prototype innovation team of scientists, engineers and marketers. Over a period of two months, the team learned how to apply design-thinking methods to generate, evaluate and pitch new product ideas to management. By the end of our engagement, three new products were in the pipeline and a culture of innovation was taking hold throughout the lab.

Alignment for Action

When it is imperative to get leaders on the same page

When the CEO of a global investment firm realized that leaders from different countries and divisions were sending different messages to their people and the market, he called on Centauric to help him achieve alignment. Centauric interviewed the key players to determine the range of opinions. We held a series of half-day labs during which the entire leadership group could reflect on the interview findings and understand the nuances of the views expressed. We then negotiated agreement on a small number of strategic priorities to get everyone onto the same page, ultimately aligning their messages and coordinating their activities.

Strategic Hiring

When its time to make a critical hiring decision

A 50-person professional services firm faced a high-stakes decision on bringing in a seasoned professional to manage its operations. While the right person could elevate performance, the wrong person could undermine the culture or waste time and money. Centauric helped the CEO and his team generate a clear hiring profile and role definition. Centauric also constructed a recruitment and selection process, trained senior managers to conduct targeted interviews and to process results in a coherent and collaborative manner. In parallel, Centauric conducted its own assessment of the final two candidates as input into the selection decision.

Mobilizing an Organization for Action (Rallying the Troops)

When a leader needs staff to shift into high gear

When a new Chief Human Resources Officer landed in a global financial services organization, she discovered that senior leadership had given up on the possibility of strategic support from the HR group. She knew it was time to shake things up and help the people in HR connect with their strategic role in supporting business success. Centauric helped the CHRO to develop a communication and engagement program, including a two-day laboratory for all 200 HR staff. The lab prohibited PowerPoint and encouraged honest conversation. Ongoing measurement, communication and issue resolution activities followed the launch. Over the course of six months, the HR group moved from confused complacency to focused commitment and excitement about a new strategy and direction. The CHRO was recognized for her contribution and invited to fly with the CEO to all subsequent board meetings.

Engagement & Organization Climate

When morale falters and turnover is a concern

The CEO of a family-owned business turned to Centauric after turnover began rising and increasingly negative hallway conversation began diverting energy from mission-critical efforts. Our investigation discovered that roles were not clearly defined, prima donna behavior was being tolerated and the CEO himself was seen as disconnected from the reality of his employees. Centauric coached the CEO and facilitated a series of dialogues with the employees. There was a great sigh of relief when people realized that the structure and orientation of the Centauric dialogues created a safe environment for putting cards on the table and making improvements without fear of retribution. Two years down the road, the management team has been augmented with some careful hires, and the atmosphere has significantly improved. The company, in fact, has just been named one of the top places to work in the region.

Thought Partners

When a leader needs a thought partner

It is lonely at the top. Leaders at different stages of career and in a range of industries rely on Centauric to help them manage the dilemmas of leadership. Our conversations are designed to stimulate and clarify thinking, challenge assumptions and provide encouragement and feedback in a highly confidential and personalized environment. Most leaders prefer to speak with us on the phone on a semi-regular basis and all are free to call us at any time when things are really cooking. Some of the topics that our clients bring to us include: working with board members, managing conflicts in politicized environments, thinking through complex deals that have significant implications and making decisions about senior staff assignments, organization structure, governance, and succession planning.

Derailment

When a key player is not delivering

From healthcare to commercial real estate to the finance sector, senior leaders call Centauric to help them determine how best to address key players whose performance is lagging. Centauric evaluates underlying causes, capabilities and blind spots to enable informed decisions about the best course of action. In most cases, Centauric employs a battery of standard assessment tools and supports direct dialogue among key players. In all cases the resulting action plan is customized to reflect the unique nature of the situation.

When a senior lawyer in a large insurance company had a direct and unpleasant interaction with the leader of a foreign affiliate, questions were raised about his fitness for more responsible roles. Centauric was asked to evaluate the lawyer’s leadership potential and interpersonal capabilities. We determined that he had recently joined the organization from an aggressive Wall Street firm and that he was a very caring and interpersonally skilled individual. The resulting plan involved expanding his conflict management and accountability skill set so that he had a range of culturally acceptable approaches that he could employ. Feedback across the organization recognized his development and six months later he was promoted into a more senior operational role.

When the CEO of a large organization became frustrated at the inaccuracy of budget reports coming from her CFO, she had to determine causes and solutions. Centauric reviewed the CFO’s mandate and his communications with the CEO to understand any ambiguity or misunderstandings. We also explored the workload and staffing of the finance organization. Ultimately, the CFO admitted that he was struggling to meet the needs of an organization that had grown in complexity. Through formal assessment and direct conversation, we helped all parties to answer questions about the highest and best use of this individual and his talents and how best to bring in a more experienced CFO. After six months, the individual found a new position in a smaller less complex organization.

Centauric helped the CEO of a professional services firm gain the clarity and courage required to make a tough personnel change. The head of the IT department had begun to struggle after the firm grew rapidly from 20 to 200 people. The CEO valued his loyalty and appreciated his role helping business make a start. But he had failed to pass a licensing exam, direct reports were in disarray and systems were failing. As thought partners and coaches, Centauric helped the CEO understand the issues and make a decision in the best interests of the organization.

Leader Development

When it's time to prepare high-potential leaders to move up the ladder

When a global insurance company turned its attention to leader development in anticipation of CEO retirement, the typical cast of leadership gurus paraded their programs through the C-suite. At the end of the day, Centauric was tasked with creating a leading-edge program that would take senior high-potential leaders to the next level. Since our premise is that leaders are people who elevate the performance of other people, we saw skill acquisition as less important than demonstrated performance impact. Centauric curated, coordinated and integrated a group of leading-edge thinkers from industry and academe. Our program included in-depth assessment (Hogan Assessments), mindfulness (Wisdom Labs), social network management (University of Virginia), design thinking (Innovationship) and a series of carefully designed simulations and on-the-job assignments (DesignArounds).

Strategy Execution

When it's time to execute a new strategy or initiative

When a new CEO took over a sleepy technology company, he quickly realized that he needed help in bringing strategy to life. Centauric advised that strategy execution required effective and aligned people, strategy and operations processes built on a strong foundation of leadership. Centauric launched a program of coaching, process improvement labs and careful facilitation of no-holds-barred executive team meetings. Our program enabled the CEO to build on his organization's strengths, elevate the performance of his direct reports and execute strategy relying on streamlined processes. Centauric provided ongoing assessment of employee understanding and commitment as well as leader alignment. These assessments along with various business metrics demonstrated the positive impact of the CEO’s agenda.

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