Who We Are

Imagine a better tomorrow for your business.

KI will take you there.
KI gets results in weeks, not months or years; they put their fee on the line in terms of results, and they use client people—not a team of MBAs—to deliver results. It's a very different, innovative approach around which they have built an enormously successful business.”

American Skandia

KI ignites a grassroots mindset shift within your organization—in 30 days guaranteed—to achieve true operational and cultural transformation.

KI accelerates the speed and scale of organizational change by creating department-level alignment to embrace and execute new strategies. We then leave you with the skills you need to independently sustain your metamorphosis.

KI succeeds because our pioneering method inspires enterprise-wide belief in, endorsement of—and passion for—new, meaningful change initiatives. As a result, departments smoothly pull change through your organization instead of resorting to coercion.

KI is all about…

  • delivering operational and cultural improvements swiftly
  • getting everyone to think like an owner
  • creating a desire to win across your organization
  • generating passion and energy
  • pulling change throughout the organization and delivering results

Returning $1.5 million for every $100,000 you invest

The Klapper Institute has built one of the most powerful approaches to enterprise-wide change I have seen in some time. It combines problem-solving training and train-the-trainer. Its applications focus on strategy implementation, process transformation, business execution, and large-scale change. Their founder, Brian Klapper, has a tremendous track record of delivering results with both large and small companies.”

Credit Suisse Merchant Banking Partners
What You Get
You get substantive results quickly

Instead of white papers and PowerPoint decks, you get embedded capabilities throughout your organization.

You solve your own complex business issues

You already have the answers—though you might not know it. KI guides you to uncover solutions from within your organization.

You provide the resources for the work

That way, you feel ownership of the change initiative from the outset—and are able to maintain your reinvention after we leave.

You work with KI senior professionals

They're the only kind we employ, with an average of 20+ years of experience driving what works.

You become completely self-sufficient

We don't cross-sell additional consulting services. Within one year, we teach you to autonomously deliver future improvement projects.

You will be delighted by the outcome

Our fee is tied to your results. Not delighted? Don't pay. That said, every KI project has met—or exceeded—client expectations.

Prior to working with KI, we were chasing an assortment of ‘best practices’ that were not connected and had not given us a sales increase for years! Today, we are seeing positive results. Morale is way up. Belief is back. Teamwork is improved. Roles and responsibilities are clearer and everyone is supporting the new process. And, yes... sales increases are happening! Klapper added tremendous value for us.”

AVON PRODUCTS, INC
The Klapper approach uniquely combines the disciplined structure of traditional process improvement methodologies with a rapid time-to-value focus. With the pace of business today, accelerating process improvement is critical. The KI approach has given us a proven way to achieve outstanding results quickly.”

PROGRESS SOFTWARE
HOW WE WORK

We call it the KI Way

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FOCUS

KI works with your team to identify and quantify a series of significant business opportunities or challenges you've repeatedly tried to solve without success.

EXPERIENCE

You live The Corporate Lab™ —a radically eye-opening two-day event, where your people lead an actual company through a three-year transformation. The Lab takes on the unmistakable traits of your company so your team internalizes the proposed transformation. Afterward, your team sees your organization in a whole new way. In fact, they'll never want to return to the old ways of doing business.

APPLY

Immediately following The Corporate Lab, a senior KI advisor works on-site with your team to deliver a fully operational pilot. And does so within 30 days. Unlike other change initiatives, where consultants deliver PowerPoint decks, white papers, and recommendations, your people deliver the results and passionately become the agents of change—inspiring others like never before and turning resistance into positive energy.

EMBED

You receive a KI Site License to ensure that your organization becomes 100% self-sufficient. It gives you the opportunity to take ownership of The Corporate Lab for further use, the KI Way, and as much time from KI as you need to embed the new problem-solving capabilities into your organization.

The Klapper Institute is a program centered on process improvement and over my 30 years working with Six Sigma, ISO, and Kaizen, I've never seen anything as effective [as KI] at driving operational efficiency.”

FINANCIAL SERVICES CLIENT
I am extremely pleased with the dramatic improvements we have experienced in a relatively short time. Our Corpus Christi pilot was up and running within 30 days and its performance exceeded our expectations by 25%. The results were sustainable and scalable and we are operating with a much higher accuracy level and customer complaints have reduced significantly. These improvements are already showing up in the income statement and the balance sheet. I highly recommend The Klapper Institute.”

TOTAL SAFETY INC
WHAT WE BELIEVE

We want to completely redefine the management consulting industry.

For many business challenges, clients themselves—rather than teams of external experts—are in the best position to solve the problem and implement the solution… if given the appropriate tool set.

The Klapper Institute allows organizations to produce lasting change throughout the enterprise by leveraging the knowledge already present within client personnel. After all, who wants to implement somebody else's ideas?

After all, who wants to implement somebody else's ideas?

KI uses your people to transform your company.

KI has an unwavering belief that deep knowledge and innovative ideas often reside with the people operating farthest away from corporate headquarters and most closely with customers.

These heroes—too often overlooked—are a wellspring of insight.

KI's system engages these heroes to contribute their crucial knowledge and leans on them to help lead the change effort. It's the only way to produce lasting change.

Embracing Heroes as Agents of Change»
  • BEFORE KI
  • Satisfy your customers
  • Offer products and services
  • Tolerate incrementalism
  • Accept that good is good
  • Run away from failure
  • AFTER KI
  • DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS
  • DELIVER SOLUTIONS AND GREAT EXPERIENCES
  • DELIVER REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS AT A FURIOUS PACE
  • RECOGNIZE THAT GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF GREAT
  • ASSERTIVELY PURSUE FAILURE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS

We engaged The Klapper Institute to help us solve some of our organization's most challenging issues, including enterprise-wide operational transformation, organizational reorganization, strategy implementation, and cultural transformation.

The results have been startling.

KI's approach has swept like wildfire throughout our organization and people at all levels are clamoring to become involved. Over my career, I have worked with many consultants and none have had the permanent effect on our organization as The Klapper Institute. The overall return on our investment has been extraordinary.”


FINANCIAL SERVICES CLIENT
THE CORPORATE LAB™

Unless you change the way your people think and feel, you won't change how they act.

At the outset of every project, the two-day Corporate Lab™ convincingly shows you what the outcome of your transformation will look like.

In other words, we show you a better future for your company—then we take you there.

In other words, we show you a better future for your company—then we take you there.
The Klapper Institute utilizes a highly efficient analytical approach which allowed us to identify opportunities and get to the required solutions—in only four weeks!”

Priszm Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut of Canada)

Built in collaboration with a team from the The MIT Media Lab, KI engineered this breakthrough learning experience to lead clients through a three-year business transformation of an actual operating company designed to precisely mirror the day-to-day reality of your own organization.

The Corporate Lab absorbs the cultural norms of your organization so the experience is familiar.

Yet the outcome is extraordinary.

After the Lab, you'll see undertakings that you've seen countless times through a very different lens. This fundamentally refreshed view recalibrates your perspective—and opens you to change.

Before and After The Corporate Lab

I have known and worked with Brian Klapper for the past 15 years in a variety of roles and engagements and have found working with him to be one of the most rewarding partnerships of my professional career...

For any organization serious about improving and sustaining long term operating performance, I would strongly recommend partnering with The Klapper Institute.”


Hartford Life Insurance

The Corporate Lab breaks down resistance to change by giving you confidence, empowerment, and passion.

Confidence builds throughout the Lab as participants transform a company that feels just like them—and have success.

Empowerment occurs as participants immediately take their learning from the Lab and apply it to their company's most pressing issues.

Passion takes hold when everyone realizes this evolution will work and that they can truly contribute to the company's success.

The Corporate Lab lets you:

conceive of your transformation
know that your transformation is achievable
learn the KI scientific method of systematic problem-solving
apply the KI Way to your business issues
create alignment and accelerate change throughout your organization

Our Team

GET IN TOUCH

Brian Klapper

Brian is the President and Founding Partner of The Klapper Institute. He is an internationally recognized expert in transformational change, working with a variety of global companies in financial services, consumer products, manufacturing, food service, utilities, retail, and healthcare. His experience spans all elements of the value chain, as well as all customer touchpoints. A recognized thought leader, Brian is currently working on a new book that provides insights on the complex cultural and operational issues that companies must address to achieve and sustain transformational change.

Brian has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Fortune, Business Week, and The New York Times. He is a sought-after speaker for company events and a periodic contributor to business and trade publications. His article "Going from Chief Learning Officer to Chief Destruction Officer" was selected as the cover story for Chief Learning Officer online magazine. Brian also co-authored a chapter in Redesigning Healthcare Delivery, "Applying Performance Engineering to Medical Care," which has become an industry standard.

Before founding The Klapper Institute, Brian was the President of The Tatham Group, a boutique process redesign firm. Previously, he was a Partner at Mercer Management Consulting (formerly Strategic Planning Associates, now Oliver Wyman) focusing on strategy development and operational transformation.

bklapper@theklapperinstitute.com

Sharol Henry

Sharol has 25 years of commercial, managerial, and change leadership experience. She is certified as a Process Master through Hammer and Company and is a contributing member of their Phoenix Consortium—leading-edge companies pushing the frontier of process excellence and operational innovation. In 2000, Sharol was appointed Vice President of Joint Ventures and Operating Agreements and an Officer of Solutia, Inc. She has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for Astaris, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for Advanced Elastomer Solutions, and Vice-Chair for Flexsys. She began her career at Monsanto Company. Sharol holds an executive MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Lindenwood University.

Win Burleson

Win is KI's Director of Product Development. He earned his Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab, where he worked with the Affective Computing Group and the Context-Aware Computing Group. Win has worked with the USER Group at IBM's Almaden Research Center and holds a Master of Science degree from Stanford University's Mechanical Engineering Product Design Program. At Stanford he served as a lecturer on brainstorming, creativity, and visual thinking. He holds a bachelor's degree in Physics from Rice University.

Steve Langford

Steve is a business executive with wide-ranging experience. He has held senior positions at Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Priszm Restaurants, B.C. Hothouse Foods, and A.C. Nielsen. His expertise includes people and team leadership, merchandising, negotiating, supply chain, and marketing. At Loblaws, Steve was part of the product development team that created President's Choice. In addition, he was part of the team that brought the Loewen Funeral Home Group out of Chapter 11 (relaunched as Alderwoods). He was also CEO of Enwave Corporation—a University of British Columbia start-up technology company—when it went public.

Patricia Posada

Patricia has over 20 years in industry, most recently as the leader of Towers Perrin’s Pharmaceuticals practice. Prior to Towers Perrin, Pat worked as investment banker at Morgan Stanley, a controller at JP Morgan, and an auditor at Ernst & Young. She holds an MBA with a concentration in Management and Finance from The Wharton Graduate School of Business and a bachelor's degree in Accounting from New York University.

Robert Stevens

Robert has worked with management teams for over 25 years in a broad variety of industries. He has helped develop growth strategies involving technology, customer understanding, product/market strategy, competitive positioning, acquisitions, and organizational resource realignment. Bob served as Vice President & Partner at Mercer Management Consulting and was an Executive Vice President of Bluefly, Inc., a Soros-funded e-commerce retailer. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Axsys Technologies, Inc., a publicly traded optical components company, which serves the aerospace, defense and commercial markets. Bob has a BA in Economics from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from Columbia University.

Margaret Strus

Margaret, in a career spanning 30 years, has established herself as a leader in Performance Excellence, Organizational Change and Redesign, and Strategic Planning. She is also one of Canada’s foremost experts in all international performance excellence models: Baldrige, National Quality Institute, EFQMA, and JQA. She assisted Xerox Canada, Northern Telecom, Delta Hotels, and the Regional Municipality of Peel in achieving the Gold level award for Business Excellence from the National Quality Institute. Margaret spent the bulk of her career at Xerox Canada where she held senior management positions in sales, marketing, and systems support. Margaret received her undergraduate degree in English from Simon Fraser University.

Our Ideas

Making Cost Reductions Stick
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From Entropy to Excellence
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What Next? 10 Questions for CLO
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The CLO's Role in Business Transformation
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When Simulation Is Better Than Reality
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Going from CLO to CDO
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Learn How to Keep It Simple
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How KI transformed the operations and culture of a U.S. financial services firm

Background
The financial services firm had struggled for years to achieve profitability. The company’s associates were dedicated and worked very hard—yet they were not deployed against the activities that added the most value to their customers and bottom line results to their organization.

Analysis and Teamwork
Over 12 months, six client associates were trained to deliver the KI program, hundreds of associate attended The Corporate Lab, and dozens of projects were successfully completed.

Results
Within 12 months, the company's operational budget has been reduced by 20%. Customer service scores have increased. And employee satisfaction is at an all-time high. The company has created a culture of process improvement and an organization that is much more scalable and operationally efficient. The client is now completely self-sufficient.

How KI increased operational effectiveness for a rapidly growing professional services provider

Background
A global professional services company believed it had a competitive disadvantage in its Finance and Billing operations and felt that it was preventing it from keeping pace with a rapidly evolving industry.

The executive team provided the charter to reduce accounts receivable days from 86 to below 60 days, improve the credit and collection processes, and build a flexible finance function.

Analysis and Teamwork
The KI team helped the company match processing capacity with demand, reduce its batch sizes, and eliminate the root causes for billing delays. KI crafted recommendations to minimize necessary IT changes and capital expenditures and focused the organization on tracking ongoing cycle time performance through a newly generated dashboard of billing and finance metrics.

Results
Accounts receivable days are now down by over 50%, credit and collections have been reduced by over 70%, and customer satisfaction is at an all-time high.

How KI transformed the Corporate Finance Group for a Fortune-100 insurance company

Background
A Fortune-100 investment and insurance company sought to transform its Corporate Finance Group from a strong silo organization of "number crunchers" contained within the business units to an enterprise-wide true business partner.

Analysis and Teamwork
Two teams of six client associates drawn from multiple business units, and supported by one part-time KI resource, were charged with creating a plan to optimize and streamline two key finance activities: expense administration and operating planning/budgeting. During the pilot phase, both teams utilized the client's existing enterprise budget and planning tool to prototype the processes.

Results
Within five weeks, both teams piloted the enterprise-wide processes that reduced time spent and cost by approximately 40%.

How KI launched a total business transformation for one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurant operators

Background
Over the previous 12 months, the company’s stock price had declined from $9.78 to $3.5. The past 13 campaigns had not generated the desired results. Same-store sales growth had declined. The customer base had eroded. And the brand had not resonated with customers.

To dramatically improve overall business performance, the company needed to transform its operational, marketing, product development, merchandising, and human resources processes.

KI was asked to help the company begin the transformation through the creation of “Model Store,” which would provide tremendous insight as to where value was created (and lost) and serve as a template for the national roll-out.

Analysis and Teamwork
KFC A cross-functional team of 11 client associates, supported by one part-time KI resource, was charged with building “Model Store,” which would be “the one store that provides the ‘perfect’ dining experience for the customer.” Elements included unparalleled hospitality and service, exciting new products, expanded consumer choice, enhanced value offerings, a clean and comfortable dining experience, and a highly motivated restaurant operations team. Project objectives were to achieve 25% sales growth and 60% profit growth.

Results
Within six weeks, over 300 improvements were implemented that made Model Store the highest-performing restaurant outlet out of the 750 restaurants in the company. All financial projects objectives were exceeded and sustained.

How KI helped a Canadian municipality reduce water meter reading and billing costs to save the City millions each year

Background
Changes in hydro billing technology as a result of provincial regulatory changes were anticipated. These changes would significantly increase the City's cost for meter reading and billing. KI was asked to help the City evaluate whether—or to what extent—alternative service delivery options could reduce water meter reading and billing costs without compromising services or service levels

Analysis and Teamwork
“Rather than obtain the services of a consultant to come up with the answers the City wanted to invest in our staff to unlock their ideas and experience to improve services and lower costs; The Klapper Institute allowed us to do that by providing the methods and training for our staff to do a rigorous analysis in a very short timeframe." says Jon Babulic, Chief Administrative Officer.”

Results
Within three weeks, the water meter reading and billing project team identified process improvements that would generate average savings of over 60%. The solutions were implemented across the municipality and the expected savings have been fully realized.

KI Embraces “Heroes”
as Agents of Change

“Heroes” are those who really make things happen in an organization—and therefore must be the primary agents of change. KI has developed a unique approach to identify the heroes thoughout an organization, teach them everything we know about operational transformation, empower them to make high-impact decisions, coach them to take the lead, document their results, and work with them to inspire others—all within 30 days.

We have no choice but to move fast—these heroes have a sharp disdain for high-intensity efforts that meander for months before leading nowhere and for bureaucracy that prevents long-term progress.

Our promise: we provide opportunities for your heroes to productively invest their time and emotional commitment to rapidly achieve transformational change.

Here's how we do it:

We look to the front lines to staff our process transformation teams—because the farther away employees are from headquarters, the closer they are to the customer.

We seek out the most eager change agents—those who have not always been working according to the company rules and who have been consistently more effective than their peers.

We form a team of heroes on a very public project with a seemingly outrageous mandate—to show the organization what's possible.

The heroes attend The Corporate Lab before working together to develop a piloted solution within 30 days that can be viewed and evaluated by all.

We encourage management to provide huge positive reinforcement to the team of heroes after the organization has embraced the pilot (and they always do, since it's the heroes who developed it).

We help the organization quickly roll out the pilot—and begin work on another high-priority initiative before the bureaucracy kills the momentum with endless reviews, unnecessary meetings, and ongoing debates.

We work with senior management to help record and communicate success throughout the organization. If it is not accurately chronicled and thoroughly communicated, it will never become interwoven into the fabric of the organization.

Lastly, we then collaborate with our team of heroes to identify other high-impact opportunities and select other teams of heroes…. which accelerates the positive cycle of progress.

“Sally,” A True Hero Story

“Sally” is a Senior Claims Examiner, one of over 5,000 people in the claims department of a major global insurance provider. She is 46 years old and has spent 21 of them with the company. Sally is the person to whom everyone turns when problems arise on the claims floor. However, in 21 years, she has never been formally recognized by management.

By her own admission, Sally has seen BPR, TQM, and Six Sigma initiatives come and go with varying degrees of success. She has been interviewed by "the entire alphabet of consultants." When asked about change, Sally replied "whenever we get a new leader, they're all excited about bringing in a new approach to change us. We know what to do and how things 'actually get done' but management always seems to know better. Nothing ever really improves." After interviewing several people on the claims floor, KI chose Sally to be our Team Leader to improve the productivity of the claims examiners. The goal was to be able to process 25 percent more claims—without changing IT. Within 14 days, Sally and her team of three developed a pilot that delivered a 50 percent productivity improvement. Sally then presented to the Office of the Chairman. She led the 30-day rollout. Sally is now leading process improvement initiatives across the company.

Typical Mindset Shift Resulting
from The Corporate Lab™

BEFORE ATTENDING
Senior Management

  • “Nothing else has worked so let's give this program a try.”
  • “Our senior management team cannot agree as to how to proceed.”
  • “Although I have a clear sense of what we need to do (and how to act), my colleagues just don't get it.”
  • “I know what needs to be done but I don't have the right people or resources to do it.”
  • “If we only had better technology, our problem would be solved.”
  • “Transformation is a discreet program with a well-defined beginning, middle and end.”

Client Associates

  • “So this is the new flavor of the month.”
  • “Has our management team gone through this?”
  • “I hate this kind of stuff!”
  • “Since management already knows what they want to do, I don't get why we need to go through this exercise”
  • “If we only had better technology, our problem would be solved.”
  • “I really don't have the time for this right now.”

Typical Mindset Shift Resulting
from The Corporate Lab™

AFTER DAY 1
Senior Management

  • “Working in NAVCorp [the company used during The Corporate Lab] Fiscal Year 1 was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do.”
  • “Working as an assembler in the Lab, I now realize how disempowered our front-line associates must feel.”
  • “I never realized how much of my workday I spend in unproductive meetings.”
  • “I always thought that a complicated problem needed a complex and expensive solution. It's amazing how simple an answer can be if you really understand the problem.”
  • “It's shocking to see that under stress I tend to make the same kinds of decisions over and over again—and they're not always the right ones.”

Client Associates

  • “As NAVCorp's Director of Operations, it was incredibly frustrating trying to lead without having anyone follow—I now know how management feels.”
  • “I really enjoyed the discussion on rework—that's all my department really does.”
  • “The facilitators kept stressing 'focused and disciplined thinking'. However, our group really struggled with that.”
  • “I'm exhausted; I've never had to think so much in my life.”
  • “It's amazing that under tight deadlines, data and analysis go out the window and we all reverted to gut feel.’.”

Typical Mindset Shift Resulting
from The Corporate Lab™

AFTER DAY 2
Senior Management

  • “I think it was critical that our leadership team went through The Corporate Lab together.”
  • “It has become much clearer what I personally need to do to transform the organization.”
  • “It was sobering to learn that 85% of my time as CFO is spent on non-value-added activities.”
  • “Trusting those at every level of the organization will free up my time to spend on propelling this company forward.”
  • “I can't believe that my usual approach is exactly the opposite of what's needed to motivate my people.”
  • “It's liberating to know that if I empower my front line, they'll make the right decisions.”
  • “It is now clear we need to get the right people involved in this effort.”

Client Associates

  • “I can't wait to get started tomorrow [on the project in our organization].”
  • “I always thought I knew what the answers were, but was never given the chance nor the time to try.”
  • “I am flattered that management chose me for this very important task—I guess they really do want to hear what I think.”
  • “I never want to go back to working in a company like NAVCorp fiscal year 1.”
  • “So that's what management meant by ‘distributed leadership’.”
  • “If we can fix NAVCorp, I have no doubt we will be successful in our company.”