I have so far refrained from commenting Wunderkraut’s sensational crash in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. But many have asked me what happened when I left NodeOne Group and why the three subsidiaries have fallen into tailspin. So, as promised in my first blog post, I will now tell little more…
Anthony Iannarino have, without knowing Wunderkraut, explained what happened in his blog post On Failing to Acquire Opportunities. He writes:
Even more sales organizations struggle to grow their revenue numbers because they believe that their existing clients can–and will–provide them with all of the opportunities they’ll ever need. But then they stall. Worse still, they lose a major client (or two), and all of sudden they find themselves in a tail spin.
There is no way to win new clients and develop new opportunities fast enough to solve the problem of stalled or declining revenue once you start experiencing. The time to have started hunting is long past by then.
More than a year ago, I resigned as Managing Director (MD) of what later became Wunderkraut Sweden. Up until then, the Finance Manager and I had a meeting with the sellers every week. At this meeting they had to account for known and forecast sales and occupancy. It was a vital meeting to keep the steam up in sales.
But it was not a popular meeting. The sellers, including two of the owners, complained and wanted to slow down. When the new MD took over, they got what they wanted. The meetings ended. MD’s explanation was that all consultants were fully booked and more jobs would come from some of the major projects that Wunderkraut Sweden then did for Ericsson, Moderaterna and Unionen.
Late last year it was clear that I and the other owners had diametrically different opinions about the company’s way forward. I wanted to take a stronger hold on the subsidiaries, to work a lot more with sales, especially in Denmark and western and southern Sweden, where there was a huge untapped potential, and further develop the hosting and support business. The three other owners wanted something else which I did not at all believe in. We therefore agreed that I leave the company group and sell my shares.
I offered to exchange my shares for the operations in Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Oslo and the hosting and support business — the parts that the other owners wasn’t so interested in, but which I strongly believed in. But they didn’t accept my offer. Instead, they paid decent for my shares, and shut down the operations in Gothenburg and Copenhagen, including the well functioning and efficient hosting and support team. I don’t understand the logic of it, but I guess the three others see it.
After I left the company, a new era was proclaimed, with less organization, structure and monitoring, and more of a small agency feeling. One of the first steps was to throw out the staff handbook. Not more than a symbolic gesture — but an important indicator on the shift in attitude regarding professionalism.
Then occurred precisely as described in the article: existing clients stalled, and worse “they lose a major client (or two), and all of sudden they find themselves in a tail spin.” In one year Wunderkraut Sweden/Denmark/Norway, with close to 70 employees, has been reduced to Wunderkraut Stockholm with only 21 employees. The question is whether it ends there. I hope so, but am not sure.
On a personal level, I got a pretty good severance agreement and have started on an exciting new journey with Kntnt.com. But I feel sadness for how the company group I have spent almost nine years to build has been ruined in just a few months.
Now, go ahead and read the good blog post by Anthony Iannarino: On Failing to Acquire Opportunities.
Photo courtesy of Cristian Bortes.