Todd Wheeler, CEO, Management InsightTodd Wheeler, CEO
Management Insight is an organizational development firm that guides executives and leadership teams in creating healthier, more effective, high trust organizations. Management Insight helps develop value-centered cultures that improve business processes, maximize productivity and retention, while enhancing bottom-line performance.

In an interview with Manage HR, Todd Wheeler, CEO of Management Insight, sheds light on how the company helps clients optimize critical elements of culture, structure, strategy, and leadership style to better align and strengthen their organizations.

Core Competencies of Management Insight

CULTURE:We categorize organizational culture into 12 archetypes; for instance, but not limited to, entrepreneurial, sales, traditional, humanistic, political, etc. To achieve operational excellence and optimal performance, there is an appropriate blend of cultures at each stage of an organization’s life cycle. For example, emerging companies require an entrepreneurial type of culture, whereas well-established companies need to incorporate a more marketing and humanistic culture to gain the best from their people and their market.

ASSESSMENT:As evidenced by the recent great resignation, present-day organizations often lack the holistic vision and the ability to identify and provide for their employees’ needs and wants. We provide precise tools to first assess employee requirements to then enhance overall organizational development - fast. Our Corporate CAT Scan or Management MRI is used to assess the non-financial aspects of corporate performance, starting with culture, strategy, structure, and leadership style, based on the company’s current stage of development, then a Risk Assessment is produced that prioritizes the critical issues.

M&A: We use these tools to evaluate individual employee needs and personalities to create alignment with organizational needs, outcomes and purpose. An inappropriate blend of cultures and structures is a reason why so many mergers and acquisitions fail to produce the expected results. Or simply the failure to assess and understand the cultures to then design a culture for the new entity. For instance, Ford’s organizational acquisition of Volvo failed as the former’s hierarchical organizational structure did not blend with the latter’s entrepreneurial and communicative cultures. We offer a merger and acquisition manager to perform a cultural assessment to match the suitability of candidates and determine and design the best blend of the new organization’s culture.

Clarifying Expectations - Challenges in the organizational development space

I believe many organizations develop a functional blindness to their problems, they often are not suffering because they cannot solve their problems but because they cannot see them. Since historically, this was a very expensive proposition, only the largest of companies had the ability to understand the nature of their employees beliefs and behaviors. Moreover, few had the resources to bring in a specialist to understand and fix their problems. This is just one aspect of what Management Insight does. And we can do this for less than one-quarter of the cost and in one-fifth of the time of typical large scale consulting organizations.

We help companies discover their blind spots by implementing our corporate CAT-Scan to identify their issues - quickly. Our proven methods and tools, such as the entrepreneurial operating system for smaller companies and CAT-Scan for larger organizations, helps them achieve peak performance.

Management Insight’s multi-pronged approach to organizational development

First, we implement a five-step process that increases the odds of organizational success. Starting with Discovery, then we move on to Prioritization, Focus, Plan and Execute. We help companies understand their organizational personality in our Discovery process. By delving deep into the organization and then optimizing its culture, strategy, and structure. Our next stage of Prioritization is critical to achieving their intended vision. By clarifying and prioritizing their 30-, 60-, and 90-day objectives, companies can put a fine point on and execute their 5-year target, their 3-year picture and their 1-year plan, We can also implement a corporate tune-up at board levels to help boards understand, prioritize, and operate with intention, not by default. In our third stage, we focus on the what, when, and how they must execute to excel.

Conservatively, half of all businesses fail in their first five years. We believe this is because they jump from Discover, to Plan, and Execute without the Prioritization and Focus phase. We help them craft their short-term mission to realize their long-term vision. We give employees the confidence to make better decisions with a culture of acknowledgement, appreciation, and improved communication.

Next is our M.A.P. approach to motivating employees, especially millennials and Gen Xers. Inspired by Daniel H. Pink’s book ‘Drive,’ we help companies build an intrinsically motivated team focused on three key factors. “M” in M.A.P. stands for Mastery, giving employees the path and the tools to perform at their best and to do what they love to do. “A” means Autonomy, that we act as coaches, and provide the tools to self-motivate to achieve things how they do it best, without antiquated workplace rules. “P” stands for Purpose, where we help employees and employers align their personal and professional goals.

We also teach senior leadership - emotional agility, using equanimity and mindfulness. Our processes train them how to manage employees, make better, less reactive internal and external decisions, to function more holistically. One of the acronyms we use is R.A.I.N. to help people deal with emotions Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture. It guides them in bringing mindfulness and compassion to handling both your and your people’s difficult reactions and emotions.

Critically today, another key aspect of organizations is VUCA, which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. By understanding these critical aspects to wisely analyze, respond, and plan to mitigate them, we improve the strategic abilities of leaders to yield better outcomes.

Success stories highlighting Management Insight’s expertise

We serve a roster of clients, helping them understand, clarify, and prioritize their issues with a specific focus on solving them. A case in point was when we helped a large internet-based retailer, known for its outstanding customer service, re-establish their core values by engaging their people at many levels. We identified blind spots and identified the critical cultural areas that were lacking in acknowledgement and appreciation. We peeled back the layers of the artichoke and got to the heart of what was limiting them from achieving their core values. We helped our client recreate a culture of acknowledgement, appreciation and awareness to prioritize and focus on the right strategies and improve their organizational dynamics and development

What sets us apart is a clear and proven process that guides management teams in building a framework for solving problems rather than focusing on every possible scenario that nature or humans might toss in your way

Another example was a national publishing group. A group editor was managing 13 regional and national publications, and her performance was par excellence, however she required an assistant. Since her performance was exemplary, the parent company didn’t believe she needed one. It was overwhelming for her to manage single-handedly, and I coached her, after many conversations with the publisher, to resign. Even though she had been with the company for many years and was loyal to a fault, she finally had to leave. The publishing group subsequently hired numerous editors AND assistants to fill her position, none of whom could do the super-human job that she had been doing. Unfortunately, all the publications lost circulation and missed numerous deadlines. The parent company refused to listen to its group editor and suffered the consequences.

Charting the path ahead

What sets us apart is a clear and proven process that guides management teams in building a framework for solving problems rather than focusing on every possible scenario that nature or humans might toss in your way. We work with leaders to understand the critical challenges quickly and help develop more human and compassionate leaders, using empathy to better handle situations while reducing stress.

Our sweet spot is working with small to medium sized companies wanting to sharpen the saw to ultimately achieve and go beyond their initial vision. By considering the four stages of personal growth; incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius, we help organizations and individuals achieve their personal and organizational level of genius. We love what we do, and that’s what maintains Management Insight’s momentum on the path to success.