WHY WE CHOSE LEVINSON AND CO.
FORMER CEO, ALGOMA-ESSAR STEEL
We chose Levinson and Co. to help us transform Algoma Steel because of its strong history in the areas of leadership and organizational development.
We recognized that the firm had been in this business for over 40 years, dealing with all manner of complex business enterprises in some of the world’s largest and most complex organizations. Understanding this background, I felt comfortable that Levinson not only understood the fundamentals of business systems, but also their cultural and sovereign constraints—having operated with these companies in the U.S, Canada, South and Central America, Europe, and Japan.During this 40-year period, Levinson and Co. has built a substantial knowledge bank around the “business enterprise” through its work with numerous multinational companies, ranging from 1,000 employees to well over 300,000 employees. More than several of the top 100 U.S.-based companies have sought Levinson and Co.’s teachings and wise counsel. I felt if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for my company!In my previous role at Kimberly-Clark—where over 200 senior leaders had attended Levinson’s powerful leadership seminars—I had the opportunity to attend two weeklong programs and then deployed Levinson consultancy and staff development processes in my business unit. They were so helpful there that I reengaged them when hired to turn around Canada’s third-largest steel company, Algoma.We engaged Levinson and Co. to do the following:
- Look at the business processes and structures within our company;
- Bring these processes into line with Algoma’s new strategic direction;
- Create efficiencies, remove overlapping functions, and generate a more effective operating model;
- Assist us in evaluating the effectiveness of the people charged with delivering this new direction and determine whether they possessed the competencies and capabilities to achieve that new initiative; and
- Help drive the new accountability leadership practices and behaviors down and across the entire company.
I can only say we were more than delighted with the results.Not only was Levinson and Co. able to deliver on the key objectives and tasks outlined, Gerry Kraines and his team found several areas of “floored process” which we functionally realigned to provide significant impact on the business overall.A high-level list of our business gains included:
- Productivity gains:
- Cost savings:
- Overall performance relative to No. American industry
- Stock price: from $3.50 per share in Dec/2002 to $56.00 per share in June/2007
- Increased enterprise value: valued at $520M when I took over in Sept/2002 and sold to Essar for $1.85B for a gain of over 300%.
Their work was most beneficial and we kept Levinson and Co. in a key advisory role for many years thereafter. I still send executives to their two main teaching programs, On Leadership and Strategic Organization.I wholeheartedly recommend any organization looking seriously at the alignment of their strategic direction with their structures, processes, systems, and people, to consider the Levinson and Co. approach.