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Case Study

Agile

 The secret behind Colliers International’s global revenue performance: agile, interdependent teams

Teams that have learnt the principles of Agile Styles © more than double their revenue over teams that haven’t.

Colliers International is now the third largest real estate company in the world, employing over 15,000 staff in 61 countries. In the past decade the company has grown from $250M in global revenue to $1.7 billion and is the fastest growing company in the commercial real estate industry.

The speed of that growth has been built on a reputation for thinking and moving fast; and that is sourced in a remarkable approach to people. In 2002 the company founded its own University as a world-class training resource that supports learning and knowledge management across the entire global company. But a missing piece in this remarkable institution was a simple and transferrable methodology to create agile, fast-moving and interdependent teams and to develop consistent team performance, essential to achieve Colliers ambitious growth targets.

That problem was solved when Colliers’ Global COO (now Global Chief Knowledge Officer) Craig Robbins, who founded the University, discovered Agile Styles © and Agile Teams © approach, developed in the US by Market Force, which he describes as “not only the foundation of [our] curriculum, but also the core of the Colliers’ operating model” enabling all participants to “embrace their personal work styles and to coordinate action with others in an interdependent team.”

Colliers is rigorous in assessing the commercial return it receives from each of the core programmes delivered by its University and has identified a striking correlation between the adoption of the Market Force (Agile Teams © ) programmes and commercial performance. On average, the increase in revenue achieved by those teams that have experienced the methodology has been just over twice that of teams that have not experienced it. To quote Katherine Steen, Colliers University’s Global Director, “Of all the courses in the University’s core curriculum, this has shown the highest correlation with accelerated revenue growth and improved performance. Individuals and teams in every service line have dramatically transformed their results with these tools.”

Across the Colliers business, service delivery teams who use the system are consistently rated much higher than their counterparts with a measured Net Promoter Score on average 43% higher.

The impact is supported by research conducted by the University of Arizona. Martha Gilliland, the former Senior Vice Provost of the University, who used the approach to develop teams over five years, believes “this approach is unique because it focuses on results, in contrast to many team building approaches in which the primary goal is to improve group dynamics. This approach is extraordinarily effective since it converts techniques into action from day one.”

Close to 10,000 of Colliers’ people have now been through the Agile Teams © experience around the world and the impact has been dramatic.

“Of all the training I have done during my career, this approach has had the greatest impact on my success in both sales and management. It teaches you to build relationships and close transactions faster and with more predictability.”

Marty Pupil, Regional President, Colliers International