2016 Project Highlights
Facing Up to a Sexual Assault Crisis
As part of our ongoing work with a university recovering from a devastating Title IX sexual assault investigation, we guided leaders through the process of rebuilding their reputation by making tough decisions and carrying through on the commitments they had made to students and other stakeholders.
Ready for Trench Warfare
We led the 200-member regulatory team of a global pharmaceutical company through a session on how to survive the trench warfare of the FDA Advisory Committee. The session covered identifying and responding to potential “show stoppers,” using examples from the company’s previous AdComm experiences.
Preparing for “Killer” Issues
At a full-day lab with attorneys, executives, and knowledge lieutenants at a major corporation, we worked to infuse their culture with a process for identifying potentially reputation-killing issues, defining the bottom line for each issue, establishing relevant proof points, and finding the positive outcome in any situation.
We helped a corporation prepare a cohesive panel of witnesses as they sought approval for a complex merger spanning five states. The witnesses needed to understand the diverse – and sometimes conflicting – needs of the different jurisdictions and be ready to deliver convincing responses to tough questions from regulators.
Credibility as a Professional Tool
Based on recommendations from its own clients, an energy transmission firm asked CCA to instill solid, high-risk communication skills in a team of its top engineers. This made them more effective witnesses, helped them to develop a reporting methodology that is easier to defend from the stand, and gave them an instant credibility boost in the industry.
Cutting Through the Nuclear Noise
A planned nuclear project seeking to recover prudently incurred costs needed to convince the state’s public service commission that it was still practical and financially viable. CCA helped prepare witnesses to clearly defend their forecasts in a way that rose above public preconceptions and the background noise generated by other nuclear projects.
Maximizing Witness Support
To help subject matter experts at a Canadian corporation effectively respond to the needs of its corporate witnesses, we created and delivered a program specifically tailored to their vital role in the process. This highly focused solution established a consistent methodology that staff throughout the organization are now using for witness support.
In the wake of reregulation of a previously competitive environment, we helped an energy company prepare for a cost-plus rate case related to a power purchase agreement with a generator spun off from their own company. We led them in the preparation and execution of a strategy that considered the divergent goals of regulators, financial markets, and rate payers.
Focused Leadership Coaching
CCA worked with a corporation’s CEO and CFO to prepare for an upcoming challenge that could reshape both their careers and the future of their company. Because the leaders had previously been prepared by CCA, these private sessions focused on creating strategic and tactical plans for addressing the issues at hand, as well as strengthening their witness skills.
One Lab, Multiple Cases
We conducted a consolidated skills lab for witnesses preparing for a $1-billion rate case, a needs determination, and a merger. This cost-effective phase-one session gave attendees the foundation of repeatable skills and tools they need to make a compelling case from the stand. Case-specific issues and strategies can now be addressed in phase-two sessions as required.
Survival in a Crisis
The death of two customers in a tragic accident put a small business’s reputation and future in doubt. We counseled the owner and employees on how to handle the flood of emotional interactions with families, the media, regulators, and other customers. Then, we helped them identify and implement corrective actions that would prevent future crises and protect their reputation.
After turning to state legislators for regulatory relief, a major corporation faced a daunting new challenge. They had to work with confrontational regulators while navigating a complicated new state statute and largely untested RRA-based rate plan. We guided executives through the process of explaining the implications of new regulations “from the stand,” while also beginning to rebuild frayed relations with commissioners.
Defense of Clean Coal Prudence
A controversial clean coal generation plant – the subject of a major media exposé – needed to defend the prudence of spending and management decisions in the face of rising costs and missed deadlines. We prepared witnesses to prove to commissioners that, while mistakes were made, the plant’s underlying finances and technology were sound.
Controlling Their Own Destiny
Rather than waiting for final IRP guidelines from federal officials, an energy generator began taking measured steps toward a more sustainable model on its own. We prepared them to explain the overall benefits of their plan, and to tell the story of specific actions such as adding renewable capacity, retiring some combustion turbines, and closing ash ponds.
A Foundation for Future Witnesses
To help a regional power generator expand its pool of skilled witnesses, we conducted a group phase-one session that instilled repeatable skills and tools. Participants are now ready for smaller team sessions that cover case-specific issues and strategies for presenting and defending future state and federal regulatory cases.
Responding to an Angry Public
When one of the country’s largest school districts was less than forthcoming about its reasons for not renewing a popular superintendent’s contract, they faced anger and a loss of trust from teachers and the public. We counseled them through the process of acknowledging where they had failed and creating strategic and tactical plans for rebuilding their reputation.
Capitalizing on a Case Delay
When commissioners delayed a power generator’s rate case because of issues related to a separate environmental case, the corporation used the time to work with CCA and make sure they were presenting the strongest possible case. We helped them identify the most valuable witnesses, vet potential issues, and rewrite the case in a clear and persuasive manner.
A Witness Ready for Anything
In a unique jurisdiction where a sole witness represents an organization before the state commission, executives must be ready to respond to questions far beyond their core expertise. We worked with a subsidiary of the nation’s premier energy company to give leaders the tools and skills they need to clearly and succinctly answer questions covering every aspect of their business.
Thriving in a Regulated Environment
We helped a Canadian power corporation continue to excel after making the challenging transition from municipal utility to heavily regulated private corporation. With CCA’s guidance, they have redefined their culture to place more emphasis on the quality of witness performance and the importance of establishing long-term credibility with regulators.
Leadership in Transition
For a major pipeline facing significant executive turnover in a difficult financial and legislative environment, we helped to identify and prepare a new generation of leaders, and guide current leaders through tough issues. During intensive coaching sessions in their offices and ours, we conducted a combination of two-day immersion labs and more specialized one-on-one coaching.
Note: Extensive issue research is conducted as a first step for all assignments.