Our Impact

A Rapid Business Assessment (RBA) Develops Actionable Insights and Builds Internal Capacity for Improved Performance

Crucible Industries, LLC (CIL) is a start up steel mill that was created after its predecessor, Crucible Materials Corp, filed for bankruptcy in 2009.  By the beginning of the 4th quarter of 2010, the new company was profitable and operating safely. They had hired over 300 employees and regained their place in the specialty steel market. At the same time, the company experienced a loss of its sense of shared goals and shared knowledge. There were early signs that the culture of the old company was returning.

In order to address the concerns about the new company’s culture, Mike Shay of Praxis and Dennis Lasker of the Sigma Group partnered with four CIL high potential mid-managers to conduct a Rapid Business Assessment (RBA) consisting of one-on-one interviews, small focus groups, and direct observations over the course of three intense days and two nights.

Goals of Engagement

  • Rapidly assess the business: culture, strategy, and leadership behaviors.
  • Ascertain what was being lost.
  • Develop specific, actionable recommendations.
  • Partner with mid-level, high potential managers to develop local ownership and internal capacity to manage implementation of recommendations.
  • Develop a baseline metric against which future interventions could be measured for impact and effectiveness.
  • Utilize a process that cut across all functions, all levels, all shifts and all departments and employed multiple methods of data collection.

The Result

  • Utilizing the evidence-based RBA Scorecard, a senior management retreat was held at the end of day three to receive and review the RBA results from the RBA team. The CIL members of the RBA team led the reporting.
  • The senior management team accepted the RBA recommendations and a prioritized action plan was developed at the retreat with assignments made to various members of the senior leadership team and the CIL RBA partners.
  • Senior management developed and implemented a strategic planning retreat, and an internal strategic communication plan that focused on recapturing a sense of shared knowledge and shared goals within CIL. CIL leadership also gradually implemented a high engagement process improvement strategy in support of a culture that emphasized relational coordination and improved performance.
  • Senior management performed a 360 review and designed and implemented individual development plans. The 360 process and leadership development is currently cascading through the rest of the management in the organization.
  • The RBA scorecard will be run at appropriate intervals to measure trends to assess the effectiveness of the various interventions.