SchellingPoint Case Studies

Examples of successful strategic collaboration

Read about the use of SchellingPoint’s software and methods to drive important subjects from leadership team decision-making to complex societal challenges.


‘We’ situations requiring coordinated action


From 3 to 300,000 participants


Within one, between two, or across many


For-profit, not-for-profit, government, NGOs, associations, academia,…


In-person, 100% virtual, or hybrid collaboration


Initial ideating, goal-setting, roll-out, problem-solving,…

The case studies in the tabs below cover a diverse range of situations from the hundreds conducted. In each, the group enjoyed a combination of outputs, outcomes, speed, and efficiency unavailable from conventional collaboration approaches.
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Maintaining Strong Team Alignment over 2 1/2 Years

Use of the Alignment Drift Correction activity to ensure a shared goal is reached.

The Situation
A group of former colleagues established a new professional services firm. Over the next five years, they earned a strong reputation in their industry, leading to high-growth and multi-million-dollar revenues.

The Requirement
The colleagues had set the operating structure up as contractors and freelancers. Their personal income would come from a combination of individual and group-based distributions from profits. The sales growth called for an increasing amount of time to be spent by some founders on governance, marketing, sales, and other overhead activities. Growing organizational expenses were also required, placing additional stress on the original compensation structure.  Further, at this same time, there was growing speculation the US government would change the tax treatments for full-time contractors.

The Solution
The leadership team was advised the organization should convert over to an employee-based structure. This implied pros and cons common to every contractor-owner, plus lesser and greater implications for each individual.

An agreed strategy, with conditions and timing for conversion, was assembled using the SchellingPoint process. A year later, the group used the Alignment Drift Correction to identify where prior thoughts had shifted and new thinking had arisen. The changes were prioritized, discussed, and the conversion agreement was reconfirmed, with minimal adjustments. 

The Result
Eighteen months later, the still-growing firm was successfully acquired. 95% of the contractors converted to employees at the acquiring company.

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Annual Goal Setting and Priorities

Annual goal setting surfaces discontent with a recently revised business strategy.

The Situation

A private equity firm had acquired a US retailer. The private equity firm’s internal consulting group was brought in to help the retailer revise its five-year business strategy and operating model.

The Requirement
One year into their corporate re-positioning, the retailer’s leadership determined they needed to take stock of their situation and select a few core objectives for the next 12 to 18 months. The new CEO brought in by the private equity firm chose a consulting firm using the SchellingPoint software to lead the discussions among a leadership team comprising new leaders such as himself and several from the pre-acquisition management team.

The Solution
The group’s virtual dialogue analytics identified strong alignment amongst the eight most senior executives around the more tactical, operational activities that were underway but weak alignment around their core strategy and go-forward operating model.
The visual display of alignment across the strategic to tactical subjects lead the COO to declare ‘Houston, we have a problem here.’ There was distinct misalignment around the implementation of one aspect of their revised strategy, plus one of the revised operating policies – which several leaders were pleased to have out on the table in full view.

The Result
Through two half-day solutioning meetings, a re-evaluation of their competitive positioning and brand differentiation was conducted, focusing on their branded and non-branded product strategy.
With revised go-to-market priorities set, the organization enjoyed three years of revenue and EBITDA growth.

Clarifying Next Year’s Operational Plans within a New Go-to-Market Strategy

Choosing whether to stabilize or maintain pace during a period of high growth.

The Situation
A mid-size services firm had experienced three years of double-digit growth. Its go-to-market strategy needed refreshing, with clear goals and objectives for the upcoming year.

The Requirement
The firm’s leaders realized they had important choices to make. They understood the need to refresh the go-to-market strategy, but with ‘all hands on deck’ managing the growth, meetings were being postponed.
Also, leadership was conscious that unresolved tension was growing between informal calls to ‘slow the growth to consolidate our execution capability’ versus ‘continue the high growth and risk a few errors.’ A similar divergence was present around the firm’s customer targets, typified by statements such as ‘grow share-of-wallet in the major accounts,’ versus, ‘expand into new markets.’

The Solution
The firm’s President chose to use a consultant using the SchellingPoint software to engage her organization in the go-to-market strategy revision and formulate a set of goals and plans that would meet the firm’s continued growth goals but gain support from its personnel.
42 staff engaged in the virtual dialogue and solutioning activities – leaders, managers, and key staff from business development and service delivery in addition to the leadership team.
All activities took place after the workday ended when personnel felt they could focus on their internal needs.

The Result
The different policies described above were included within the group’s virtual dialogue. However, before these policies could be discussed and agreed, two surprising issues surfaced in the analytics.
On the one hand, confidence in the business model, the leadership team, and the market opportunity were high, but there was unforeseen concern around brand differentiation and decision-making policies.
In two, 3-hour leadership team meetings, the go-to-market strategy revision and supporting annual objectives were identified and endorsed.
The firm maintained its growth rate over the following three years.

Designing a Sustainable Health Information Exchange.

Stakeholders with competing interests develop a policy for financial sustainability.

The Situation
A Health Information Exchange for a US state had been established using available federal and state grants. Given notification of the termination of these grants, the HIE’s governing body faced the quest