From Acquisition to Impact: How We're Turning The Company We Bought into a Force for Good

Pim de Morree
Written by Pim de Morree March 24, 2024

A few weeks ago, I spent two days in Seville (Spain) with a group of impact investors. We invited them over to witness the ongoing transformation of the company we acquired last year, through our impact fund, Krisos. My mind was blown. Here's why.

The reason for our gathering was clear: To raise more money for our impact fund. If we have more money, we can buy more companies and transform them into a force for good.

More money = more impact.

I was part of the organizing team together with my colleagues at Krisos. And mostly, when you organize something, you kind of know what to expect.

Not this time.

The good, the bad, the ugly

I didn’t expect to be as blown away as I was by the visit to Indaero, the company we acquired last year. The transformation has just been 7(!) months in the making, but the changes the company and the people have been going through are absolutely mind-blowing.

First, an overview of some of the radical changes made so far:

  • Managers have moved back into teams and ditched their positions of power
  • Bosses have been replaced by elected representatives
  • Individual bonuses are replaced by profit sharing for all
  • Full financial transparency has been introduced
  • A more equal and fully transparent salary system has been co-created and implemented
  • 5 layers of hierarchy have been replaced with 7 self-managing teams
  • Decision-making has been transformed from top-down to collaborative and consent-based

Not bad for a transformation that started just 7 months ago, right?

The big question then is: how does the team at Indaero experience this wild ride so far? Quotes from the people we interviewed speak volumes:

  • “This is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
  • “The past few months have been a rollercoaster. But in a good way. I’ve learned so much about myself and others, I feel like a different person now.”
  • “I’ve developed so much personally; I even notice it outside work. How I deal with things at home with my family and friends has changed dramatically.”

Of course, it’s not all roses and sunshine:

  • “I was one of the few who voted ‘no’ when we were asked to vote if we wanted this transformation. To be honest, I would still vote ‘no’. I see the potential, but I also find it very challenging and hard to change on a personal level.”
  • “The transformation challenges every one of us. Instead of complaining or going to a boss, we must now solve our issues ourselves. That’s more rewarding, but it’s also just a very hard thing to do.”
  • “We’re not good at resolving conflicts. We must get better at that to make this transformation a success.”

While we’re right in the middle of a complete overhaul of the organization and its culture, the first signs are extremely positive.

In this video, more people from Indaero share their perspectives on the ongoing transformation.

Record sales, explosive growth

In January, the company achieved record sales. The team is 180% above its already ambitious projections for this year. As a result, the company is growing. We're on track for a growth year where returns are expected to increase by 50%.

The number of people has grown by 20% since the acquisition and we are still looking for more engineers to join.

All in all, if we were to value the company through the exact same formula we used for acquiring it, the price would be 31% higher today.

As you can see, amazing work done by the entire team at Indaero.

In just 7 months, the company achieved record sales, the number of people has grown 20%, and the valuation has gone up 31%.
Click to tweet

And what's good for the company, is good for the people:

  • The new salary model has been co-created with employees, is fully transparent, more balanced, and much higher (on average, salaries have increased 24%).
  • Part of the profit (25%) is distributed among all employees (we started this for the full 2023 results, even though we only bought the company in July).
  • Significant investments in personal and leadership development have been made. The goal? To improve the quality of the relations and the overall level of trust, collaboration and co-creation within the organization.
  • Vacation days have been increased from 21 to 30 per person per year. And despite the significant increase, we are targeting to be more productive than last year

The first signs are very positive. But that doesn't mean we're already there.

We'll continue to navigate the new reality of self-management, increased accountability, and shared decision-making.

On top of that, an ethics and sustainability team has been established with the objective of identifying a wide variety of initiatives that reduce negative impact on the environment as a result of our activity. This team will also lead the process towards obtaining ISO 14001 and B Corp certifications.

Enough work to be done.

Let's keep pushing and show the world what's possible 💪❤️

Join our free webinar

To give all of you a chance to learn more, we’ll soon organize a webinar to share more details on Indaero’s radical transformation.

The webinar is open for all to join.

It will take place on Monday, 8 April at 16:00 CET. To register for the event, click here.

Written by Pim de Morree
Pim de Morree
As co-founder of Corporate Rebels I focus on: researching, writing, speaking, and building our company.
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