Hi5 is an IT consultancy in Umeå, Sweden. They develop software and provide bespoke IT solutions to their customers around their region. From 2002 to 2013, their revenue growth was 3.4% per year – but from 2013 to 2018 it was 52%. Not only that, profitability actually increased too – from 3.7% to 4.1%.
How did they do that?
In 2011 Niklas attended a conference on “Solutions Focus.” He was deeply impressed, and took the ideas back home - where his colleagues wondered what he’d been smoking! But he won people over, brought in some training, and they applied SF to every aspect of Hi5. Along the way they generated some amazing results that contributed to this remarkable increase in growth-rate:
- More efficient planning workshops with customers - hours instead of days
- Those planning workshops also increased flexibility on the customer side, resulting in a better service at lower cost.
- Customer feedback: “There’s something different in having a dialogue with you that feels better, makes it more fun and rewarding to work with you”
- A “monster” project, which they estimated would take 12-18 months, was competed in 2 months.
- Faster decision-making – for example, a 2 year deadlock resolved in 5 minutes
- Meetings that are 3x more effective (in the same length of time)
- Performance Appraisals that people look forward to – and after which, people “can’t wait to get started.”
- Even during the training workshops there were “at least five really big WOW moments,” for example one participant saying “I’ve been thinking about this problem all summer and now, in a matter of minutes, it’s all clear to me exactly what I need to do.”
When I interviewed Niklas in 2018, he said, "I think this is probably the best tool we have found so far for impacting our bottom line."
Probably the best tool we have found so far for impacting our bottom line.
How did all this happen?