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Doing Deals And Leading Teams At XAF Partners Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1979 1660 Words (5 Pages) Boris Groysberg, Kerry Herman Harvard Business School : 413032
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

XAF Partners is a private equity arm of one of the European bank focused on providing services in consumer and retail, technology, real estate, health care, manufacturing and financial services. In past XAF Partners grew exponential with its focus on Asian and Oceana markets and its presence in eight major cities in the region. The competitive scenario changed as a result of financial crises, and demand for consultancy services declined. The competition within the industry grew intense and fierce rivalry resulted in an increase in quality of services offered and relationship building measures with the customer became the highest priority.

Managing the relationship with the customer was important as it would result in more deals to close and respectively the revenues of the firm would increase. Economic downturn drifted the energies of the consultancy firms to be more focused and to expand into new markets. The management is more concerned to understand customer and managing teams to enhance their productivity.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Introduction

  2. Background

  3. What are the challenges faced by partners at XAF Partners? What are the underlying causes? 

  4. How should they solve these challenges? Short term? Medium term? Long term? 

  5. How should managers and leaders spend their time? 

  6. What is a good manager anyway?

Case Analysis for Doing Deals And Leading Teams At XAF Partners Case Solution

2. Background

The case focuses on the implications that are the result of changes happening in the environment. It discusses the dire need of XAF Partners to manage teams to increase efficiency in the growing competition. It reflects the issues faced by senior partners and the steps taken by each partner to motivate and raise team performance.

The case is concerned about two important scenarios; first is ‘doing deals’ and the second one is ‘managing teams’. Each concerned departmental head had experimented to incorporate different style; including restructuring of teams to make it cross functional or to make it geographically distributed, and reaped the benefits of restructuring. Responding to customer’s requirement in a timely manner, the rising concern of customer of paying the fee and obtaining services in return, the growing concern of administrative task of team leads, and the quality of work were also discussed.

3. What are the challenges faced by partners at XAF Partners? What are the underlying causes? 

The biggest concerned faced by the senior partners is pertinent to the environmental changes that are enforcing to bring up changes that enhance the output of their teams. This has raised several challenges for XAF Partners. The far most important challenge is to manage teams. The team heads are concerned with the roles and responsibilities they are given. They have to be producer, as well as manager of administrative task at the same time. The administrative and coordination chores take a substantial amount of time and affect the overall productivity of the team lead.

Another challenge faced by XAF Partners is that the manager has to deal with the performance management of the young talent in his team. Concrete steps are required to evaluate the performance of each individual and take remedial actions to manage it. Without performance evaluation and its management, teams cannot determine the objectivity of the task and the desired results that are expected of them. Lack of time is creating another challenge of giving and taking feedback. It is observed that feedback mechanism is getting fragile as few of the team leads are not comfortable to give feedback to young talent.

The growing competition and retaining talented pool is also a challenge for XAF Partners. Young talent wants to join the company that gives them opportunity to grow and where mentoring and talent development prospects are high. Whereas team leads with limited time cannot engage in such activities and one-to-one interaction with the young talent is limited to emails only. Severity of the task and pressure to close deals allow team leads to offer little exposure to young talent in deal making process. Collaboration and delegation of the task is limited as team leads are more concerned of quality and have trust issues to delegate the task to young professionals.

Compensation is an important tool for performance enhancement as it determines the value contributed by each member. The subjective nature and undermining the supportive and administrative services were the key factors that constitute compensation system.

4. How should they solve these challenges? Short term? Medium term? Long term? 

Mentoring program, talent development, training sessions, recognition, and celebrating success are the steps required to boost the performance of the teams. The mentoring program would provide young team members, the opportunity to learn from the experience of senior partner’s by watching them, shadowing them, learning from the best practices they follow, and the way they deal with other stakeholders. 

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