Case Study


Facilitating a cultural transformation for Abaxis



The Problem:

The company experienced rapid change due to the fast-approaching pending retirement of its leaders and founders. In addition, the organization adopted a new competitive sales strategy.

Our Role:

Assessment, transforming the culture, and supporting new vision.

Abaxis is an international organization based in Northern California. The organization has been experiencing rapid change due to the fast-approaching pending retirement of its leaders and founders. In addition, the organization adopted a new competitive sales strategy.

During the most recent economic downturn, Abaxis was able to survive, but salaries were affected and thus employee morale suffered. In 2014 a new leader was appointed to head up the North American Animal Health division of the organization and under his direction the company has started to make transformational changes in its climate and culture. We were called in to help facilitate this process.

How we addressed the challenge

Phase One: Assessment

Our team used interviews, company records and anthropological observation of work processes. Also a stakeholder analysis was conducted to determine what role both internal and external stakeholders could play during the transformational process. A Force-Field Analysis was done to gain a better understanding of what organizational and human forces are working to enhance or hinder the change process.

Once all the data was collected and evaluated, the executive team was provided with a report of the findings, and we collaboratively, determined next steps. During this meeting it was determined that to create and maintain lasting cultural shifts, the organization needed to create a leadership development program that supports the new vision of the organization.

Cultural Tools Used

  • Anthropology
  • Leadership Interviews
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Force- Field Analysis
  • Behavioral Analysis

Outcomes of Phase 1

  • The executive team developed a clear and unified vision of the future
  • Increased engagement among all groups of employees (including the change decenters)
  • Members of the executive team gained clarity of what forces will contribute to or suppress the change initiative
  • Strengths and weaknesses in the current human processes were realized

Phase 2

Through the work completed with Abaxis, they are gaining competitive advantage and transform culture by ensuring that they are hiring and promoting the kinds of people that will support its new vision.

We are assisting the executive team to develop a clearly defined list of competencies for employees to increase organizational efficiency, drive innovation and enhance the customer experience. Based on those competencies, we have developed an onboarding process projected to the save the organization time and money. Development programs are in design phase which will enhance employee engagement and personal growth. Also in development is a leadership pipeline. This is important as more boomers reach retirement age, but it is also important as there is a need for a deeper leadership among all team members.

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