The Chief Financial Officer at a mid-western farming co-op
was excellent when it came to the spreadsheets. She
understood future forecasting, money at present and future
value, and fiduciary responsibilities. For the most part she
was excellent at her job.

Yet there was one little thing that aggravated her boss -- she
gave away a lot of money. While many managers would
terminate an employee like this,
leadership dictates a
different course.

Leaders find root causes of employee failures and then find
ways to redirect them so each employee is engaged in the
organization's goals.

The Symptoms.

The co-op used very specific activity-based costing for its
charges. Competitors rolled some of these charges into
general service fees, giving the impression these activities
were free. At face-to-face meetings the farmers would
object to these charges, citing that other co-ops did not
charge them. The CFO would immediately reverse the
charges, thereby eroding the bottom-line.

The Diagnosis.

A careful review of each trait identified by the assessment
revealed nothing until a comparison of multiple traits
uncovered an obvious solution. In the farm country of the
Great American Prairie people learn to be hospitable and to
play by the rules. This CFO had learned these lessons well.
When someone claimed the charges were unfair, she did
the hospitable thing by reversing the charges. However the
assessment also pointed out she had a strong sense of
compliance. In other words, she would not break the rules

The Prescription.

Her coach intervened and saved her job. He redirected her
thoughts by getting her to view review reversal requests as a
matter of compliance, not hospitality. She agreed to give it a
try. Surprisingly, it had an immediate and complete impact
on the way she perceived reversal requests.

Future Prognosis.

As this is being written it has been more than two years
since the assessment was reviewed. The CFO remains in
her position and has reversed just three charges – which
were the result of input errors. Not only has the co-op has
realized a triple digit return on their investment, they
escaped the cost of hiring and training a new CFO.

Use this case study during workshops, coaching sessions,
self-development, or team meetings about:

"Dr. Max" shares his success stories by looking at the
symptoms of a business problem or opportunity, his
diagnosis of same, his prescription for success, and the
prognosis for the future. For more case studies,
click here.

©2016 Max Impact, Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA
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