Gold Coast Manufacturer

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After purchasing the business in April 2018, this Gold Coast manufacturer had grown from $130k to $1.8m p.a. turnover over 5 years, increasing from 2 to 14 employees during that period. 

The owners were planning to sell the business and wanted it to be running as smoothly as possible to maximise the sale price. 

While growing the business had produced a range of challenges from designing manufacturing systems and supply chains to marketing and promotion, the owners, Tony* and Jane*, found that the biggest one was recruiting, inducting, and moulding a strong team.  

The initial request was to support Tony and Jane manage an issue between two team members. One of these individuals, Louise* had a history of disagreements with others, typically when they challenged her preferred way of working. However, as she was an experienced employee the owners were very worried what would happen if they lost her.

Transformational Journey
Transformational Journey


My initial assessment was that the team leader, Trevor* was insufficiently experienced in managing team conflict and people with a closed-minded style. While the issue had come to a head with this one incident, it was important to understand how much the underlying behaviours were affecting the whole team, especially given the planned sale of the business.  

My initial suggestion was a mentoring package for the team leader to build his skills as a people manager. Because of the potential sale this was a condensed program of sessions where we focussed on the style of manager he wanted to be and the skills he needed to achieve that. It involved paying particular attention to lifting his conflict resolution and negotiation skills.  

What also came out of these sessions was the need to have a stronger sense of role clarity and authority, which led to team workshop that would benefit all employees and build resilience for the upcoming change.   

This workshop proved to be a turning point. While it was an unfamiliar experience for many of the team it took only a few hours to identify the shared values of the group as well as using a product issue that would benefit from the collective ideas and input of the whole group. Interestingly Louise only participated in the first 20 mins of the workshop, made her excuses and left.  

The shared values were captured and displayed for all to see. The team leader’s mentoring sessions included how to use this shared set of values and ideas on an ongoing basis to benefit from everyone’s ideas and build a stronger team.

Immediate Results and Benefits

There was a tangible uplift in team communication, a few weeks later Louise left of her own accord. Tony and Jane were delighted with how well the team was working and could confidently point out to Louise the team cohesion and shared values when she commented on their lack of support.  

Trevor stepped down as team leader, identifying that he wasn’t ready to focus on the skills development needed, but stayed in a different role. The team went from strength to strength implementing improved process flows in the factory.

Transformational Journey
Transformational Journey

Next Steps

Another member of the team, Ash* stepped up as team leader.

The owners identified straight way that they wanted Ash to elevate his management skills and engaged me as mentor. We used a DISC assessment to better understand his preferred behaviours, where he was adapting them to his work environment, and how he wanted to behave as team leader. This increased awareness and reflection accelerated his development. 

During this process I discussed with the Tony* and Jane* what they really wanted as a result of the sale. The answer was time away from the business to be able to travel more and have more freedom. This discussion led to engaging an admin/bookkeeper to take the pressure off the sale. Relieving this pressure allowed the sale to be optimised rather than frustration leading to a poor outcome.

Testimonial From The Owners

Working with Virginia from Transformation Journey helped us identify issues in our team, that we knew we were having but couldn’t pin down and map a way forward. 

Once we had a clear path, significant issues that we had been having were resolved within a matter of weeks. Virginia managed all of the issues in a process that led team members to make decisions about their way forward without confrontation and the team grew beyond imagination once issues were resolved. The whole process was extremely positive, and the team loved the training and engagement.  

We would strongly recommend Virginia to work with businesses looking to resolve staffing issues but most of all looking to create strong productive teams.

Transformational Journey
Transformational Journey

Key Takeaways 

Working alongside Tony* Jane* and their team was a rewarding experience and together we achieved outstanding outcomes.  

  • The owners now pursue their travel dreams 

  • The team adapted to their new ownership environment with a stronger sense of camaraderie and less fear of change.  

  • The new owners inherited a substantially self-managed team making their life much easier than it otherwise would be, and  

  • The business was far readier for future growth.

Are you experiencing the following?

The success of any organisation, especially growing ones, heavily relies on the effectiveness of its teams.
Cracks in your team

Conflict and disagreement within your team

Missed opportunities

Focus on internal issues taking you away from growth opportunities

Juggling too much

Your time and energy spread way too thinly