CASE STUDIES

The following case studies provide a look at Don’s work over the past thirty years. We hope you enjoy them.

 

Team Building

At a mid-sized manufacturing facility, the awkward communication style of a well-meaning General Manager was alienating staff, causing high turnover and financial doldrums. Once team building began, the GM became aware of her many strengths, and the ways her style changed for the worse under pressure and distress. Since then, she learned how to adapt to become more effective. Through a series of workshops, the entire management team learned the concepts and tools they needed to match her new, higher level of teambased performance.

Postscript: The company just experienced the three most successful years in its history. The GM attributes the improvements in herself and her company to the team building workshops facilitated by Don Murray.
Facilitated Strategic Planning

The General Manager of a construction company wanted to set a torrid pace for growth. He began by testing the water with a strategic planning workshop for his senior managers, and hired Don Murray to facilitate. The results of their collaboration were astounding. Over the next five years, the company averaged annual growth rates of 18% to 45% and decided to expand into three states. The GM proudly attributes this growth directly to the consultation and training services of Don Murray.

Postscript: In 2006, the company once again placed among the five fastest growing companies in the state.
Board of Directors Team Building-Strategic Planning

The Chairman of a Seattle-based manufacturing company was less than satisfied with the efforts of his board. He invited Don to conduct a workshop in team development and consensus decision making prior to the annual strategic planning retreat. As part of their Sarbanes-Oxley plan, they decided to conduct 360 assessments on each board member. They used the RealTime Performance 360 to trigger interpersonal feedback and team building, creating a new set of working agreements along the way. The board formed a Governance Committee to attend to ongoing needs for team development and boardsmanship expertise.

Postscript: The company now conducts an annual joint Board–Management Strategic Planning workshop and their bottom line has improved every year since.
Management Development Training

At an insurance company in the South, the VP of Human Resources reported that his managers all rated high on performance evaluations, yet the company ranked closer to the 50th percentile on national standards. The VP contacted Don to design a management development process. It was pre-tested by the senior management team and then provided to all managers and supervisors in the 2000+ company. As a result, sales-per-employee doubled, and the company won the “Winners Circle” award from the American Society for Training and Development as the top insurance company in ROI from training dollars invested.

Postscript: The company’s decision to brand their employment practices as an “Employer of Choice” reduced turnover, producing a $2.3 million annual savings.
360 Team Development

A VP of Human Resources contacted Don and his strategic partner, Sean Murray, to design a technology to integrate the capability and skills of managers during a merger. Using RealTime 360 technology, Don and Sean conducted a 360 based teambuilding process with mixed groups from both entities, for over 700 managers in nine regions across the country.

Postscript: The results were so positive that management converted their 360 based training into an ongoing two week Management Development program required of all new managers called “CORE”.
Nike

Don Murray served as the premier consultant to NIKE as they grew from $1.6 to $9.0 billion in sales from 1989-2002. He helped plan and facilitate their annual Strategic Planning with senior management, implement NIKE’s Business Process Improvement Program, and conduct two Summit conferences with up to 400 participants. Don pretested a training program with CEO Phil Knight and senior managers, and then implemented the successful program known as LITE (Leadership, Innovation, Teamwork, & Excellence).

Postscript: CEO Phil Knight identifies Don as one of his three valued confidants in the book “Just Do It!”
Process Improvement

Don began his study of quality process improvement with a site visit to the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers in Tokyo in 1981. He worked with Dr. Michael Inoue, Assistant to the President of Kyocera Corporation in San Diego, and they coauthored a text on Quality Circles in 1983. Don later studied “Kaizen”, known in the US as Rapid Process Improvement (RPI), at the GE Crotonville campus. Since then he has installed various forms of Total Quality and Rapid Process Improvement with over twenty-five companies. The customized RPI program he helped install at Nike was called ADAIR: Assess, Define, Analyze, Improve, and Reengineer.

Postscript: Don has written a complete set of training materials including a soon-to-be published book on tools for small group problem solving titled “STP for You and Me.”
Conflict Resolution

The medical and administrative directors of a regional medical center were seriously locked in conflict, both floating resumes as well as threatening lawsuits. During a one year program, Don and his associate Dr. Terri Bennink helped the two leaders patch up old differences and become a model for co-leadership, bringing the laboratory corporate culture up to the highest level of performance in its history.

Postscript: The leadership recently embarked on a new initiative of Rapid Process Improvement and Lean processes throughout the lab and potentially other hospital departments
Banking

Don was invited by the Holding Company Chair of a regional bank to help facilitate the bank’s annual strategic planning workshops. Over a period of ten years, the bank’s stock grew from $1 to $21 per share.

Postscript: In 2005 the CEO was nominated as Entrepreneur of the year by McKinsey and the bank was recently chosen as the No. 1 Best Place to work in Oregon.
Leadership Institutes
Don was selected as part of a nationwide search as instructor with three of America’s premier Leadership Development programs: AT&T Executive Development Program, USC’s Center for Telecommunications Management, and Weyerhaeuser Co. Leadership Institute. Don’s unique program on learning styles was the kick-off presentation in all three institutes.
Organization Turnarounds

Consultants from Don Murray & Associates were selected to help with the turnaround of a workers compensation insurance company. They conducted top-down team building and reengineered the organization by closing twelve offices and centralizing services at corporate headquarters.

Postscript: The company instituted a Change Management Organization Development program, resulting in a $100 million turnaround during 1990-91.
Family Owned Business Transitioning

Don conducts Family Transitioning workshops with family owned business of all sizes, helping to complete succession plans, create family councils, and design a family Charter for smoother operations. At a regional newspaper, the founder-dad was ready to step down and let his well prepared son take over the reins, but the process became stalled for several years. Don was invited to facilitate a meeting with the family, attended by the father and children plus a few financial and legal advisors. The group support and encouragement helped implement a successful father-to-son transition.

Postscript: The following year, dad kept an office on site and watched as his son led the company to its best year in history.
Athletic Team Triumphs

Don successfully conducted team building with the USA Men's Volleyball team in preparation for their Gold Medal performance at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, so the former team coach, now executive director of the USA Volleyball Association, invited his ongoing involvement.

Postscript: Don Murray continues to design and facilitate annual strategic planning at the USAV Olympic training center in Colorado


 

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