From our home base on Whidbey Island, Washington, we serve clients throughout the world on issues of strategic change, creating a vision for the future, culture redesign, the development of human potential (both teams and leaders), acquisitions, mergers, and strategic alliances.

Strategic Change

Strategic change is the process of altering existing patterns within an organization in order to improve performance. In a complex change effort, multiple patterns may require change, including technology, customers, product and/or service offerings, organization design, communication, and organization culture. The process of executing a large-scale change program involves several key steps:

The Change Pathway

Future Vision

A future vision provides a detailed description of an organization at a specific point in time in the future. The process of developing the future vision enables senior leaders to define the future they want to achieve from a holistic, systems perspective. The process for vision development includes an examination of how leadership, strategic planning, customers and markets, people, processes, and information and communication work together to help the organization achieve alignment and common focus. The Rayner & Associates vision process is unique because of its comprehensiveness, its focus on describing the future as an affirmation, and our vast experience working with clients in a variety of industries.

These clients include:

Culture Redesign Process Culture Redesign

Culture Redesign is an effort led by an organization's leadership to alter the core beliefs, demonstrated behaviors, and existing artifacts of the organization, with the goal to improve performance, ethics, or other characteristics. Culture is tightly linked to leadership and the accepted behaviors and practices, traditions, beliefs, and artifacts that their actions reinforce. We help clients recognize the impact their culture has on organization performance, and we provide specific strategies to build strong corporate cultures. Our process for developing culture can be applied in mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances.

We have helped clients develop strong, competitive corporate cultures by developing common leadership values and reinforcing these values through defined leadership actions and artifacts and common sets of organizational "rites of passage."

Human Potential Development

High Performance Work Systems

A high performance work system operates at an exceptional performance level and is able to sustain and even improve this level of performance over time. A key feature of high performance work systems is a team-based structure. Teams in these systems have been documented to perform at levels 20 - 40 % higher on key performance indicators than traditionally structured teams.

Leadership Development

Effective leadership is a critical element in successful strategic change, culture redesign, or the development of high performance work systems. Rayner & Associates helps clients develop leadership capabilities through customized workshops and coaching sessions focused at developing targeted capabilities.

Development clients include:

Acquisitions, Mergers, Strategic Alliances

Mergers and acquisitions usually fail to return to shareholders what was promised. It has been well documented that only about 25% of mergers and acquisitions (or about one in four) are successful in achieving the planned return. It is rare that the combination of two companies will actually result in the desired synergy. In some cases, the merger or acquisition doesn't even break even; often the acquisition goes so badly that the overall performance of the new company is poorer than prior to the merger.

There are many reasons for this dismal success rate, but the most common ones fall into two broad categories: flawed strategy or poor integration. Obviously, if the strategic rationale for the acquisition is flawed, the effort is in deep trouble before the ink on the contract has dried. While a flawed strategy almost always guarantees that the acquisition will fail, the majority of acquisitions have at least an acceptable strategy. So while bad strategy contributes to the failure rate, the majority of failed acquisitions are actually the result of poor integration, and most integration issues are related to the human side of the enterprise.

Rayner & Associates helps companies get the integration right. We apply our expertise in strategic change, joint future visioning, and culture redesign to help organizations get the most out of their merger, acquisition, or strategic alliance.