Great ambitions often demand fundamental change

Transforming your business

A financial institution that is stepping up its online service to customers. A chemical company that wants to speed up innovation. A government organisation that has to start seeing citizens as customers. A transport company that wants to become more performance-oriented.
These are all examples of organisations where management believes success depends on a fundamental change. This will often affect various aspects of the organisation: processes, systems, products and operational models, culture and behaviour.

The building blocks for such changes are often provided by projects and programmes. Whether or not the change is indeed successful, however, depends mostly on line managers. They  should ensure that there is sufficient focus and sense of urgency within the organisation, and the common will to make it a success.

That is where we help our clients. By managing change based on an effective vision and using the right tone at the top. By mobilising managers and involving staff. And by means of an effective communications- and change programme.

Case study: transformation in the financial industry

A bank had just completed a major reorganisation. The classic branch-based bank had been transformed into a modern multi-channel bank, closing down branches and laying off about 8000 staff. The development made sense from a strategic point of view but also had some major side effects: staff commitment and customer satisfaction dropped to an all-time low and three quarters of senior managers had no faith in the bank’s future.

After a change of leadership the bank launched a new strategy, shifting focus from cost reduction to revenue growth, with the organisation no longer structured around products, but around clients.

A communication and change programme was developed to explain the new strategy, mobilise staff and support change towards a customer-driven performance culture.

Success factors
The strategic vision was based not just on the technical analysis, but on the management´s personal beliefs about the road to success.

A roadmap was developed to help the organisation focus long term on a limited number of priorities.

The bank made a substantial investment in strengthening leadership, aligning managers at all levels and empowering them to take ownership and ‘walk the talk’.

Top managers used a very open, honest and direct tone of voice. This helped them create a sense of urgency and, at the same time, gain their staff’s trust.

The programme went beyond a great launch. It ensured that over a two-year period the strategy was gradually translated into concrete changes in everyday work.

Impressive results
The programme proved to be particularly effective with an increase in all key indicators for mobilising the organisation over a six-quarter period:

  • Support for the strategic direction increased from 38% to 90%
  • Sense of urgency increased from 40% to 89%
  • Company pride went up from 65% to 82%
  • Employee engagement went up from 65% to 78%

More importantly perhaps: the fundamental approach permanently improved the quality of leadership and thereby the effectiveness of internal communication.