Logo Element - Dr. Kraus & Partner

Management Consulting for All Facets of Change Management

Key Aspects of Our Work

K&P is Germany's leading management consultancy firm for change management. Change is our craft - and we conduct it with passion and expertise. We delve into systems, assist in the facilitation of change and bring people together. We create a space for exchange, networking, clarifying issues and offer support - all with the purpose of enabling you to get closer to reaching your goal.

We receive numerous inquiries on the subject of change management daily. While every change situation is unique, they often share some common key elements. These can be summarized as follows:

Agility as the answer to the challenges of the future

Dealing with complexity in companies as a central management task

Agility
Do you have questions on the subject of agility? Contact us without obligation!
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A concept is making its way through the business world: Agility. Closely followed by VUKA. In our experience, there are three reasons why companies call out to consulting agencies: "Make us agile! Do you know VUKA?"

When we are requested as consultants

Agility illustrated
From our consulting experience, the three most common triggers for the desire for more agility in companies are the following:
  • Many managers are anxious and afraid when they realize that the market position of their company is no longer safe as a result of the digital revolution. It's no longer "big fish eats little fish". Instead, the slower ones are passed by. For many companies, agility is a trend that - while not yet fully understood - equates to "flexible and fast" - and this is something everyone desires to be.
  • Other companies find themselves trapped in a dilemma: a matrix is introduced in response to complex challenges, but leaves many employees confused because responsibilities have somehow become a matter of interpretation. A sense of individual responsibility amongst employees is one of the essential requirements for a well-run matrix, but no one has ever learned how he or she can or should act independently in the business. Until now, everything has been spoon-fed. A variety of strategy, communication and complexity reduction initiatives (e.g. lean working practices) have already been trialed, but have yet to produce results, either because the mindset of the employees is still stuck in a rut or because structural boundaries and resistances are acting as a barrier to change.
     
  • And then there are those companies for whom agility has already become more than a pipe dream. They recognize that customer queries can be processed faster by using agile approaches and that their employees can come up with their own solutions in a self-sufficient and creative manner. However, this does in no way mean that the path ahead is clear, since different organizations will need to determine exactly how their agile approach is characterized: flexible and fast? Customer-oriented? Self-determined? 
The views on the use of agility vary. The consistent introduction of agile principles, as well as the paradigm shift from consumerism to self-determination and responses, is quite difficult because the introduction of agile principles affects the entire system. Does everything need to change as a result? Even we, as enthusiastic change management consultants, say no. Complexity may steadily increase, but not everywhere. It is not advised to tackle every single thing with an agile method.

The trick is ascertaining exactly which agile principles, measures and methods would make most sense in which areas across the organization. 

Changing everything at once is impossible. Only start-ups have the opportunity to take all considerations into account right from the onset. However, small to medium-sized companies typically find themselves in a position of having to react rapidly to new customer requirements. Even though old hierarchical structures often prevail in these companies, they generally find themselves internalizing a number of agile principles - for example, flexible and fast action with a clear focus on customer needs.
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Many small companies are "automatically" agile. But if they develop the characteristics of a large enterprise during the course of growth, this advantage will be lost.

Quite a shame, because employees, especially those in smaller companies, often strongly identify with the company and the shared success. With the correct attitude and strategy, this can be advantageous to organizations and even be retained during phases of growth. Companies can become more agile in two ways: select individual projects that allow a startup mentality and approach or initiate a small change in the system allowing agile principles to take over. True to the motto "culture follows structure".

We would be more than happy to advise you in taking on the best agile path for your company´s individual needs, drawing on our experience in change management and the implementation of agility.
Agility illustrated
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Change Management Consulting

Shaping Change

Change Management
Do you have questions on the subject of change management? Contact us without obligation!
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Imagine you're approaching a change project that's crucial for the success of your organization. As a result, you're searching for a change management consultancy firm. While you carry out your project, you want to avoid:
  • wasted resources
  • a lack of or dwindling of energy necessary for change
  • risk factors (potentially leading to problems) not being recognized in a timely fashion
  • leaders and employees committing to the desired change only "on paper", which reduces momentum in the implementation of change measures and extends project durations 
  • key individuals "quitting" (internally) because they do not identify with the goals at hand and perceive themselves as losers in the process
Arbeitsebenen im Change Management Prozess

Arbeitsebenen im Change Prozess

Do you want to know more about our concrete approach in regard to specific cases?

We offer a half-day analysis in which we'll review your project with regard to the effects your change case will have on the overall system. Based on the model obtained from this review, we'll discuss the situation with you and give our initial advice and recommendations about what needs to change and what can stay the same. Is it a question of corporate culture, or is it a structural change that is required to bring about organizational development? Perhaps your strategy just needs to be adjusted? Our company specializes in change management and can help you find out exactly where you're going wrong.

Interested? Call and schedule an appointment with our change experts today or browse our website to learn more about what we have to offer.
Die Change Analyse

Die Change Analyse

Change communication for the success of your change project

Establishing understanding in situations of change – Engaging in a dialogue

Change communication
Do you have questions on the subject of change communication? Contact us without obligation!
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Your strategy has been presented dozens of times, your mission statement hangs in your cafeteria as a high-gloss poster, your change project is explained in detail on the internet - and yet no one is acting in accordance with the new goals.
The desired change effects remain to be seen. The commitment of the drivers of change also fades away, because there are no success stories.

The best idea is worth nothing if it is not heard!

Even the cleverest change architecture is of no use if people are not committed to it. This is where change communication comes in. It eliminates obstacles and gets stakeholders involved; it ensures that messages are heard as well as understood.
Change communication is more than a simple handout of information, high-gloss posters in the hallway or roadshows aimed at "selling" the change to employees. Those who want to be understood must not only clearly state what they want, but also listen, especially when it comes to change projects. Allowing employees to speak is an essential task of change communication.

A change story as the nucleus of the change project

Another essential element of the process is the change story. It not only provides a convincing explanation of what needs to change, but can also inspire enthusiasm for the new goal. This story is the foundation of the one-voice policy. It serves as the common thread for everyone who has an interest in the change process. This is the only way to ensure clear, consistent messages. 

How to really reach your target group – even when the message is difficult?

We believe that effective change communication must be aligned with the various stages of change. Only when the right information is communicated at the right time, acceptance is created, coalitions are formed and target groups are assembled.
Only very rarely is one communication channel alone enough to achieve this. As a management consultancy, we combine an effective, project-tailored variety of methods and measures on your behalf.  We always take into account that we are not only sending a message, but also entering a dialogue.
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Leadership and change in turbulent times

Leadership in complex environments

Leadership

Guidance from management to leadership

We could fill a never-ending number of pages with the topic of "leadership", from self-management to leadership theories and the philosophy of leadership to leadership workshops. Leadership has never been more challenging than it is today. It's about continually steering processes of change while allowing space for learning to take place at the same time. We mainly address three groups: Those occupying leadership roles themselves, those dealing with the topic of leadership from an HR perspective and those questioning how leadership is implemented and practiced in their organization.

As such, we focus on the topic of leadership from these three perspectives:

Achieving success as a leader

Your employees aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing. The agreed upon goals seem to only exist on paper and are not being seriously pursued. Your company wants to work in a more agile fashion, but you're not sure how to move your team towards greater levels of individual responsibility. You're aware that differences among individuals exist, particularly among your employees. You're wondering how to deal with the growing demands of your leadership role. What makes a good leader? And what does this mean for your personal development?

Our consultants will assist you with these issues and questions, offering practice-oriented, tangible answers to your questions. You can use our coaches as sparring partners in business or learn more about our customized training courses.

Leadership from an HR perspective

They are faced with the challenge of systematically finding, positioning and developing leadership executives. You are looking for the right people for your company - because as an HR department, you contribute to the achievement of the company's overall strategy. Maybe leadership scored poorly on your most recent employee survey. Or you are currently working on developing your leadership guidelines. Your tasks may include reviewing and conveying relevant management competencies and redefining yourself as an HR business partner ... We are familiar with all these areas and can offer solutions to your questions. With a concrete approach and with a sense for policy considerations, we will advise you on your tasks and your transformations.

Leadership from a business perspective

When you look at your top team, you ask yourself how your goals can be achieved. Your leadership team is lacking backbone and decision-making power. In order for your projects to succeed, you need energy sources, implementers, solution engineers - but right now, you're being held back rather than driven forward. The mood in your company could be better, you are well aware that this is impacting performance. You're wondering what kind of leadership would make sense in your case and how it can be implemented successfully...

If you're dealing with questions of this nature, you're in good company! The requirements for leadership have changed drastically over recent years. As a management consultancy staffed by change experts, we support our clients throughout this development, help you take a closer look at your reflection and aid you in finding answers and understanding leadership as a genuine task. Our ultimate goal is to enable your top team to move forward with full force and become credible in the eyes of the team, giving space to innovative thinking and encouraging engagement. We identify the measures that are pivotal to your success.

Business process optimization - A continous process of improvement

Creating efficient processes

Business process optimization

Are you struggling with quality fluctuations in your products? Do tough processes and elaborate coordination paralyze your organization and tear away at the motivation of your employees? Are resources wasted because the world is constantly being reinvented for innovative projects and products?

High performance requires efficient workflows and stable processes. We help you examine and improve your central processes. This is the only way to create the essential prerequisites for your economic success:
  • Order and stability instead of improvisation in your processes
  • A process map for a continuous overview instead of constant emergency missions
  • Permanent increase in quality instead of the constant struggle for minimum quality
  • Increased efficiency and consistent cost reduction instead of wasting resources
  • Continuous adaptation and optimization interfaces instead of sand in the gearboxes
  • Transparency in your value chain and well-defined KPIs instead of unclear goals and processes
  • Eventual orientation for your employees on how initiatives can be implemented in your company
Business process optimization
From our point of view, process optimization is not a one-off task in a company - good processes must be challenged again and again: How does an organization remain flexible and able to adapt to change despite stable processes? How can processes support innovation and transformations? And how does a process on paper turn into a common practice within the organization?
We are convinced that there is no good ready-made solution for business process optimization (BPO). Your business and your processes are unique - and that's why our consultants work together with you to find individual solutions to make your processes more efficient and your company more profitable.
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Achieving innovative strength by means of an innovation roadmap

Achieving Innovations - Success for the Future

Innovation

Creating real innovation and being the first to market during the race against time is something every company desires. Instead of asserting yourself as a pioneer, the fast follower strategy also promises great success and harbors fewer risks; if you jump on board at just the right moment, you can concentrate your innovative power on the further development of new ideas. Our experience as a change management consultancy helps you to develop innovative competence.

Regardless of which strategy you are following, innovation is like a sensitive plant - it requires a good breeding ground as well as the right climate and corporate culture. Creative chaos can be a vital part of it. Through our change consultancy, we can also offer you a good amount of structure and practical tools in order for you to make quantum leaps.
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A few questions from our innovation toolbox:
  • Are there gaps in the market or new technologies that can help you become an innovative leader? 
  • How can you ensure you have the necessary time and creative space for the development of innovation?
  • How can you activate the collective intelligence of your organization?
  • How can you encourage innovative project teams from an idea to its successful implementation?
  • How can innovations be realized and costs reduced at the same time?
  • How can you decrease the time to market and increase the success rate of new products?
Let's shape the future together. We will meet at the crossroads of strategy, innovative culture and product development, opening doors to new opportunities for your organization. We represent change management with an orientation towards the future.

Lean management for all areas, not only production

Constantly striving to be leaner and better

Lean management

"Less is more!"; "Continous improvement of our processes"; "Transparency regarding all processes in combination with visual management"; "Customer focus with a consistent reduction in costs".
Lean, quicker, more efficient - the goals of lean management are clear and, as a result, highly tempting. Perhaps you've already implemented successful methods such as kanban, kaizen, the PDCA cycle or kata in your production processes. Are you satisfied with these interventions, or could their effectiveness be enhanced even further?
Perhaps you're also dealing with the question of how lean principles can be applied to the administrative areas of your organization. Transferring methods in a one-by-one fashion might sound tempting, but unfortunately, it does not work.

The question of what needs to change beyond the processes to ensure that lean really does enter the cells of your organization is also very exciting. How must ways of thinking change? How can deeply anchored habits be dissolved? Lean is more than a logical order and short pathways - behind the tool lies a philosophy that challenges you to constantly and radically review the patterns of your behavior. Proactive thinking is a welcome asset. Mistakes are seen as an opportunity for constant learning and are assigned a high value - but how does it all work?

Our experts in lean management and cultural change are happy to help.
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Mergers - Joining Companies

When Two Become One

Mergers

Is your company in the fast lane and you do you mainly rely on inorganic growth? Then you should be familiar with all the opportunities, hurdles and after-effects that arise in connection with acquisitions and joint ventures.

We are often called upon to assist in PMIs (Post Merger Integrations). Whether it is for the purpose of securing market shares, purchasing innovation, or maximizing profit, the integration of an organization is a complex and multi-layered process. From choosing the right company and conducting contract negotiations to the actual merger itself, there are large numbers of important decisions to be made.

Merger Strategien

Merger Strategien
One of the key issues that we continue to run into is the question of the appropriate merger strategy. That is why one of the first questions we ask is: Do you want to consolidate the new company? Or do you want to combine the new company with the existing one? Will both systems function alongside one another, or will you create something entirely new by means of a transformation. Once this is clarified, many of the subsequent steps in the process can be identified.

Above all, this gives you a guideline for your internal communication. A merger can result in friction on both sides. There are often uncertainties and fears, including tussles at the management level. Processes often do not run as they should, knowledge is not shared and the common goal is not clear, leading to conflicts of objectives among employees and departments. Management wonders why nothing is running smoothly.

Here you are challenged with clear messages, adapted structures, clear responsibilities - as well as the integration of the new team. We would be happy to discuss all these questions with you in person so that you may continue to grow steadily...

People and Human Resources

The Human Resources Department in transition

People and Human Resources

The Human Resources Department

Equip Your Human Resources for the Future

In hardly any other area will you find so many different target groups and focal points as in HR. We work together with companies in a variety of industries and of a variety of sizes, always in close collaboration with human resource departments - an important partner for successful cooperation.

Perhaps you're facing the challenge ...

... of bringing your HR department up to speed and need to strategically realign it
The strategic development of HR is not linked to the business closely enough. The department is viewed as more of an "administrative caretaker". Its added value is perceived to be only in relation to accounting and HR-related legal matters.

... of implementing and properly communicating downsizing as well as cost cutting in your company
It is always a difficult issue: cutting costs is the only option for keeping the company afloat; processes are already lean. The next step is cutting staff. Labor rights issues are the main focus in this regard - but what happens to the "survivors"? How can you rally them and build trust?

... of implementing HR business partners successfully into your organization and bringing them to life.
Dave Ullrich has developed an innovative approach: The HR Business Partner. This title has been introduced in many companies. Unfortunately, without noticeable changes in the everyday life of the former personnel. The key to success is to derive and define all HR activities from the customer's point of view - the business.

...of identifying and finding the right people for the right position
How do I find the right people for the company? Especially when the company's strategic orientation, networking and trend monitoring are at stake. An assessment of new and existing employees can be helpful here.

... of improving how you deal with high and low performers
Keeping people who do their work well and go the extra mile in your company is difficult in our experience. Appreciation and constructive feedback are old hats that need to be put on again and again. And how do we deal with low-performers? The decline in the performance of individual employees and teams can have different reasons: on a structural, cultural and individual levels.

...of outsourcing personnel development
In times of cost reduction and the creation of added value, many companies outsource their personnel development. But how do you find the right service provider and partner network?

.... the personnel development measures and programs are inadequate or inappropriate
Please feel free to visit our leadership section.  Here we offer an overview of our management training courses and procedures.

As you can see, there are many challenges for the HR department. We will support you in your project with our HR expertise.
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Effective project management

Leading projects to success

Project Management

You know how it is: the percent of project work in companies is constantly increasing. And you know: a project rarely comes alone! In order to solve a large number of complex tasks in a short period of time, powerful project teams that bring together the know-how from different areas of the company are formed. Fast, efficient and agile - these are the advantages of projects.


In reality, however, "project" often means vague responsibilities, conflicts of interest and a lack of commitment. Many project members must serve two masters at the same time. This rarely works out...

As experienced management consultants, we support you in increasing the effectiveness of your project management. We can coach your project managers, offer a variety of project management training modules or complete qualification programs. What might work for you depends on the following questions:
  • Skills: Are the knowledge and skills of all employees at the best possible level?
  • Structures and processes: Are the processes efficient and without redundancies?
  • IT tools and their application: Are your IT tools up-to-date, do they run reliably and can everyone manage them?
  • Project management culture: Is the collaboration across and within the teams running smoothly? Is the project manager free to move forward and can he or she focus on high priority tasks? Is knowledge shared and is success celebrated?

And if you urgently need someone to roll up their sleeves during a busy project phase, we can do that too! We can set up a short-term project management office or send you interim project managers to support you. Let's plan the next milestone together!

Restructuring - Guidance during your company transformation

Effective reorganization

Restructuring

Restructuring can be conducted for a variety of reasons. Regardless of whether you want to outsource business areas or optimize processes, change your market orientation or leverage synergies - if you are planning a restructuring, it's all about your organization's core competencies.


This is where the course for future success is set - or, in the event of a crisis, the plug is pulled. If you do this recklessly, the consequences will continue to haunt you for years to come. That's why we are happy to support you during this sensitive phase and advise you on making the right decisions and implementing them sensibly. Based on our discussions and a performance check, we will propose a restructuring concept and put the required measures in place. This enables you to take the necessary steps efficiently and keep an eye on all stakeholders in all stages.
Bild Restrukturierung
So you don't stumble over the typical side effects:
 
  • The organization is self-absorbed. In the face of new structures and internal projects, the market is losing focus.
  • The competition notices the lack of focus and takes advantage of the opportunity.
  • Your employees are not enthusiastic.
  • The employees may even be eagerly waiting for a meaningful change, but a clear signal must be sent.
  • Management is 10 steps ahead of its employees and is therefore not being understood.
With caution, experience and an eye for the market, you can adapt your company skillfully to the requirements and stabilize it. Set the course wisely!
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Planning and implementing strategies

Planning in a dynamic environment

Strategy

You are looking for a strategic partner on equal footing with whom you can discuss and answer the most important questions in the business world. You are in the right place when it comes to aligning your company with us. We are fascinated by the developments in the markets and love strategic discussions.
 
  • What do we know today about the markets of tomorrow?
  • How can developments be predicted and how can strategic decisions be effectively supported?
  • Which markets do we want to develop in the future? With which service portfolio?
How do we want to position ourselves in the market and which market development strategies can help achieve our sales and corporate goals?

The globalized world is moving fast enough that entire industries have abandoned the concept of strategy as a medium- to long-term planning tool. As change management experts, we at K&P are right at home in this world. Together with our customers, we develop strategies and business models for dynamic market environments and find solutions to the short- and long-term challenges in your industry.

First of all, we ask essential questions: Why does your company exist? Why should it continue to be on the market? What is the objective of your company? All this is linked to a vision: It is a long-term endeavor and will outline an attractive future for the company. Where do we want to be in the future? What are we striving for? Only when these questions are clear will we deal with the corporate strategy - the process of how your company can achieve this future. Together we define a clear direction, with derived goals and measures.
Illustration Strategieentwicklung
Here are some examples of partial strategies that we develop together with our customers: 
  • Customer acquisition strategy
  • Positioning strategy
  • Pricing & branding
  • Communication strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Internationalization strategy
  • Innovation strategy
We have experts at each one of these levels that will help you understand the market environment and involve your key players. They will always have their finger on the pulse of your company, because "culture eats strategy for breakfast". We´ll come up with something...

Team development at all levels

For effective collaboration

Team Development

We are frequently requested to assist in team development. The reasons for this are often diffuse, but one thing is clear: Cooperation in a team does not work as it should and in turn, performance suffers.
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When there are problems in a group, of course it´s not a universal remedy to say: "We're going to a high ropes course!"

Often, the real triggers are hidden and need targeted interventions. For us, team development is not an end in itself, but is always linked to team performance and the respective quality of work. We use practical examples and make sure that the team leadership remains in the leadership role.

We quickly assess where your team currently is and create the right solutions. Possible building blocks of an individually tailored team development workshop are:
  • Interface Management: Where does collaboration run smoothly, where are problems? What can be done to deliver work packages properly?
  • Action Plans: In order to ensure that the workshop results are transferrable, concrete action plans are drawn up. These form the basis for further action within the company.
  • Outdoor: Elements and tasks that illustrate what´s important for successful teamwork as well as how important the role of each and every individual is.
  • Coaching: Leadership executives are familiarized with the central processes of group dynamics, reflect on their own part of the system and are sensitized to the possibilities and limitations of design measures.
We manage your team development on all hierarchical levels. Be it the management, a project team, a team affected by change or a newly formed team. With our help, you´ll enjoy working together again...

 
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Turnaround

Getting back on a positive track

Turnaround

The crisis has arrived! Or are you close to it? What we have to do now is not pleasant: We need to save the company from bankruptcy, restore liquidity, eliminate loss-making structures, and develop new strategies that lead to greater profitability. In light of this situation, turnaround management is one of the most demanding tasks a manager can take on. Mostly because the outcome of the restructuring process is usually completely unclear, due to the large number of intertwined components.

There are many work-sites involved in the turnaround of a company: The strategic reorientation and reflection on the company's core competencies. At the beginning of turnaround, management monitors the safeguarding of liquidity. Focusing on sales policy and customer target groups brings money into empty pockets. Waste and unnecessary costs must be reduced, processes reviewed and optimized. It may be necessary to draw up social plans and to prepare and conduct exemption talks. An open and, above all, coordinated communication with employees is of great importance. In order for the change of direction to be successful, transparency must be created and all parties involved must have confidence in the feasibility of the turnaround.
 
You´ve got a rocky road ahead of you? We are happy to stand your side and help you align the compass.

Sales - Successful selling

Sales Consulting - Sales Strategy and Implementation

Sales

A well-running business is worth its weight in gold, in the truest sense of the word. Nevertheless, we keep hearing statements like these:
  • "We haven't been able to increase our sales and volume for years."
  • "Sales opportunities are constantly being given away!"
  • "Sales is too expensive and must be made more efficient!"
  • "The collaboration at the interface of internal and field service has never worked well before."
Does this sound familiar?
The reasons behind statements such as these are so diverse that we offer support on various levels when it comes to sales and marketing questions.
  • Development of a sales strategy. Does your company have a clear focus on specific products and services, as well as a customer relationship management strategy? Do you really know your target group in detail? Do you have a clear answer to how high your current market potential is? In the absence of facts and figures, our consultants recommend a market and competitive analysis to help you get started in developing a sales strategy.
  • Reorganization of Sales and Distribution. You want to establish a modern and efficient sales organization? You have to lower your sales costs and ask yourself how to do this without sacrificing customer orientation, sales and employee satisfaction? You want to introduce a new sales structure - but how?
  • Improvement of sales processes. You want to optimize the sales process in a way that all sales opportunities are actively exploited and your sales force systematically accompanies the customers when concluding a contract. After-sales support should be organized in a way that generates more follow-up orders. Or the classic issue, you want to optimize the collaboration between your internal and external sales forces?
  • Competency check and sales training. How much power does your sales team have? Do you have the right people on board? Is the mix of "hunters" and "gatherers" well balanced and are all the necessary skills present? Or does something have to change? Have you been able to turn good salespeople into true top salespeople with targeted sales training?

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