The North American Division of a Global 50 corporation wanted to drive quantifiable minority participation in an overlooked multi-billion dollar retail segment. The driving force for this initiative was the entities pending exit from convenience store operations – thus a loss of direct influence. With the deadline set time was of the essence.
The division had approached the National Urban League (NUL) about collaborating to achieve this goal. However, when sporadic conversations produced no tangible agreement – yet plan – the sponsoring organization began to feel that the opportunity would go unrealized.
I was given the task of salvaging this opportunity. In fact it was the first assignment given to me when I walked into the NUL. The next five months were spent:
- Rebuilding creditability
- Clearing the deck
- Building rapport with the visionary executive who placed his professional reputation on the line to campaign for the initiative.
The key to this was focusing on having an open and honest business dialogue. By doing so I was able to:
- Connect with the visionary at his level and help him communicate his vision in language understood within the NUL.
- Negotiate a mutually agreeable seven figure ‘fee-for-service’ agreement.
- Design and execute a three-pronged national program – career awareness, media services, and consulting sessions.
As a direct result of my efforts:
- The NUL realized a +25% profit margin
- 250 individuals were exposed to specialty retailing management as a career
- Technical business assistance was provided to three nascent entrepreneurial concerns (multi-million dollar retail marketing entities) allowing them to establish a solid business foundation
My skills, knowledge, and passion for structuring businesses brought order to the numerous moving parts, providing client with a higher level of comfort in the strategic relationship.