Related Case Studies
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The organization had been through a series of unsettling senior management level changes in recent years and found itself trapped in a perpetually reactive posture, never able to develop a blueprint for the future. They had been fighting fires and had been accused of “aimless wandering” by their own employees who had been leaving for other opportunities in increasing numbers.
The Board and senior leadership understood the unhealthy, unsustainable vicious cycle they were caught in and knew the organization needed a total reimagination from the ground up. Having exhausted their internal capabilities they decided to reach outside to secure objective external professional support to help guide them through what they know will be a difficult process.
The senior leaders knew they have to examine every part of their organization with an unbiased, zero based mindset covering strategy, structure, shared values, systems and skills.
With the need for an objective, unbiased partner, the organization retained our services to help develop a process, plan and timeline to navigate the journey with the least amount of disruption.
We developed a six-phase plan that would prioritize a high level of facilitated dialogue and information gathering up front, at all levels, to ensure the plan incorporated the necessary insight from across their diverse constituents. Once the divergent phases were complete, the organization could commit to the convergent phases of planning, design and implementation.
See below for a detailed outline of the six-phased plan:
Given the existing mood, anxiety and uncertain capability of the organization, we needed to objectively assess where the important breakdowns and real pain points were. A big part of that examination was to cut through the noise and separate the symptoms from the root cause of the many issues we had been briefed on. The immediate task was to interview a robust cross section of people at all levels in a series of one-to-one meetings and focus groups.
Having finished our extensive ‘listening tour’ we then needed to sift through all the information we had obtained looking for common themes and corroborating evidence. Our objective was to develop a storyboard that not only captured the main points but wove them together into as compelling and convincing narrative which the senior leaders could understand and accept.
Our first of several facilitated conversations with the leadership team was to present the storyboard and walk them through a mature, crucial dialogue on each critical chapter. We needed to address the findings, the conclusions, the remedies and the cost and consequences of not acting. To ensure the leadership team understood, was aligned and fully committed, we used web-based, real-time polling technology to canvas the group at each critical moment of the presentation.
Given the scale and scope of the work that needed to be done, we recommend an internal Project Team be struck to work with us in fleshing out the recommendations and developing specific Action Plans. The team spent multiple days with us (as the Facilitator) and at regular intervals over the next six weeks we guided them through the work, help them stay on track and encouraged them to be creative, bold and decisive.
With our help and experience, the Project Team developed their Master Project Plan covering the five key initiatives required to shift the organization. This included a new strategy, a new structure and a new way of ensuring clarity on roles, responsibilities and decisions rights. As facilitator, we convened a meeting between the project team and the senior leaders to present the recommendations and obtain approval to move to the next and most important step – implementation.
The senior leaders approved the plan and agreed to take the Project Team off their day jobs and resource the team, with the continued assistance of The Beacon Group, to oversee the implementation of the plan over a six month period. We worked with them using well established Project Management processes and disciplines to ensure success and keep on track with the aggressive milestones required to maintain the necessary momentum.
The Senior Leaders committed to a bold plan, addressing many of the long-standing barriers, hurdles and frustrations. The Project Team was embraced by all because they were selected on the basis of integrity, influence and communication skills rather than technical competence. With a high level of credibility, they were able act as ambassadors of the change process across the organization.