CASE STUDY 1

Client Problem


1. Organisation lacking in strategy to achieve long term potential – focussed on short-term operational targets.
2. Leadership team not driving the stated vision and values. Therefore not leading.
3. Strategy was to deliver to contract, which had an end date looming in 3 years. Not really a strategy.
4. MD not convinced the contract would be extended or renewed as key stakeholder wanting more than just the contract performance delivered.


Initial Diagnostics


Interviews and focus groups to understand the organisation’s current status in regard to the stated purpose, vision and values and the opinion of Executive team, key members of the leadership team and employee representatives in regard to the future of the organisation. This included many interviews and employee focus groups.


Stage 1 – Purpose and Vision


A 2-day workshop was designed and delivered to enable the Executive team to build a consensus around the problem and to start to build the solution.

The workshop began with a facing facts session, which included feedback from the diagnostic work. This helped create a shared acceptance of the current situation and the problems being faced.

The workshop covered the organisation’s purpose – the team considered and identified the real reason why the organisation exists. Exploring what it was about the organisation that the team were particularly proud was a key process to achieve this. Asking the question – why do we exist? For what valuable purpose other than making a profit does this organisation exist?

We identified the key drivers of the business using Jim Collins – “Hedgehog concept” – “What can we be best in the world at?” “What is it we are most passionate about?” and “What is the key economic driver” for the organisation.

We determined key differentiators of success, based on what, we understood, was important to the organisation’s customers.

A combination of these exercises helped the team to clearly articulate the purpose of the organisation.

We undertook an exercise to envisage what success would look like in 5 years time – considering the organisation from the perspective of Customers, Employees, Brand, The Operating Model and Social Responsibility. This culminated in an articulation of a Vision at a 5-year milestone. The 5-year milestone was beyond the franchise contract end date. This was deliberately so in order to create a drive to deliver performance that made the organisation a strong contender for the new franchise.


Second phase Diagnostics


Prior to the second phase workshop we conducted another round of interviews and observations to understand what the organisation focuses on now and how the organisation focuses effort and resources. This included reviewing meeting minutes and agendas, performance systems, performance objectives and reviews, observations at meetings and interviews with all of the Executive and their direct reports.


Stage 2 – Disciplined Focus (The essence of strategy)


The workshop began with a presentation of the feedback from the diagnostic work; this underlined the importance of the workshop and the need for employee alignment and engagement beyond the workshop.

Next we worked through a process to identify the strategic priorities for the organisation based on a balanced scorecard principle and began to map current activity against the priorities.

Next we went on to identify core capabilities in terms of People, Technology and Process, which would be required to achieve the vision of the future.

We created a simple and compelling story to share with other stakeholders using the work completed so far. This also acted as a review stage for the team before we went on to identify a KPI, Milestone and leading indicators for each of the strategic priorities.

Finally we agreed accountabilities and responsibilities for each of the Executive team members for each element of the high level plan, which was by now defined, including Governance, Communication and each Strategic Priority.

We allowed 4 weeks for reflection on the work completed so far and then met again to work through any holes in our plan and any concerns left unsaid. This was extremely beneficial and ensured that after a further one-day workshop the team had full confidence in their way forward.


Effective Team Working


During the first facing facts session in the first workshop it was identified that the Executive team were still a new team and had not fully developed as a high performing team and it was agreed to invest time in additional workshops to explore this and to enable development of the team.

Three team effectiveness workshops were held. The first workshop was based around Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a team model and included an exercise on sharing life stories and individual feedback. We identified Individual commitments for behavioural change to improve team effectiveness. The second workshop focussed more on practical changes the Executive team would make to improve effectiveness, including meeting schedules and meeting governance and leadership processes and behaviour with their own teams. The third workshop introduced MBTI profiles and how understanding individual and team type can lead to behavioural change and process change in order to improve effectiveness of the individuals and the team.


Leadership Team Event – Engaging the next level


Now that the Executive team had a vision for the future that was compelling to them and a purpose and strategy they all believed in as well as a high level plan for achieving the strategy they were ready to share this with their direct reports and take on board their input.

We had not revisited the organisations values at this point as this was an element of the strategy, for which the team wanted more direct input from their teams and at an early stage of the creative process.

We designed a 2- day event during which the story and plans were shared and feedback and ideas were encouraged. The event was high energy and fast paced with a high degree of participation and humour. The Executive team used a metaphor to tell their story and built a 3D model of the metaphor, in front of their teams during the first day. The event enabled high levels of understanding and generated lots of valuable input ready for implementation stages and communication to the rest of the organisation.

We ran a critically important session on organisational values at the end of the second day. It was necessary for the teams to understand the story so far before we could ask them to contribute to the debate on organisational values. Everyone had an opportunity to consider the values, which would be critical to delivering on the purpose and achieving the vision. These were best understood by thinking about behaviours first, then considering which values the behaviours demonstrated. Once we knew what values we needed for the future we reviewed these against current values to ensure nothing valuable had been lost. This session was critical in getting the teams to start to identify with the behavioural changes they would need to make and lead in others.


What’s next for this client?


The next stage is when the leadership team share the story with their teams and translate the Strategic Priorities into local plans and individual objectives.

In the meantime the new Governance for the programme of change has begun and new management practices and changes in behaviours are being encouraged with the disciplined focus of the Strategic Priorities.

CASE STUDY 2

This client is a ‘not for profits’ organisation providing support services to vulnerable individuals and families in the North East.

The CEO was concerned about the long-term sustainability of the organisation and I was asked to complete a review of the organisation and the external environment influencing it and make recommendations for change.


Phase 1 – Diagnostic


All members of the Board and other key members of the team were interviewed and we reviewed recent board reports, financial statements and client project reports as well as completing external research. From this we identified key themes and a core issue.

The key themes were:

1. Organisation purpose strong but not entirely clear
2. Vision not clear
3. No Strategy – responded to circumstance and opportunity
4. Core Issue – Capability and Capacity of Board and Management


Phase 2 – Clarity of Purpose, Values and Vision


We held workshops to understand and gain consensus of purpose in more granular detail than previously understood and we identified the need to drive a commercial agenda alongside the social purpose agenda in order to achieve sustainable results for the social purpose agenda, which is the core purpose of the organisation.

We identified core values that the board and management team believed were critical to achieving the purpose and envisioned success in 5 years time. The vision included delivering commercial services as a key fund generator for sustaining the free services to those vulnerable and without means to pay for services.


Phase 3 – Strategy


We held workshops in order to identify the areas of strategic focus that would enable a more commercial focus to the organisation and identified key accountabilities within the team. It soon became clear that the core issue previously identified, that of Board and Management capability and capacity was a barrier to progress on strategy and this became a barrier to change.

Phase 4 – Creating a Board and Management Team to deliver for the future


Through coaching of the CEO we were able to create the confidence to make changes to the Board and Management teams. This involved the recruitment of 3 new Non Executive Directors, the agreement not to replace an Executive Director, changes to Executive Director roles and accountabilities and a new management structure, including the recruitment of new management roles.

We continue to work with this organisation to embed the new structure and develop the new leadership team, whist moving forward with the new strategy.

This client is a ‘not for profits’ organisation providing support services to vulnerable individuals and families in the North East.

The CEO was concerned about the long-term sustainability of the organisation and I was asked to complete a review of the organisation and the external environment influencing it and make recommendations for change.

"It doesn't make sense to hire smart people
and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.


Steve Jobs


CASE STUDY 3

Background


Initially contracted to enable the Customer Operations Leadership team to develop their team effectiveness in preparation for the following 18 months – 2 years of major change as the organisation prepares for sale. This led to working with the team to create a shared view of the Target Operating Model for the business beyond sale, including a review of the culture required to deliver a new organisational purpose and vision.


Approach


Team diagnostic interviews were conducted with each member of the Leadership team and from this a feedback report was compiled and shared with the Customer Operations Director. The diagnostic made clear a need to focus less on building the team’s team working and more on the purpose of the team longer term, a vision for the future and a plan to achieve.


Phase 1 – Foundations


The first workshop was designed to achieve several objectives:

• Understand the team’s common purpose, vision, priorities and goals for the team over the next 12-18 months
• Clarity on how exactly the team are going to work together to achieve the day-to-day deliverables and the requirements of the sale.
• Agree how the team will work with others outside the team to deliver successfully
• Agree who is accountable for what in regard to delivery

The first workshop included:

• A playback of themes emerging from interviews
• A session designed to review the composition of the team to ensure they make best use of the capability and interests of everyone, whilst acknowledging the potential for weakness and unhealthy conflict
• A session to understand the purpose of the team
• A session to envisage what success for the team means – what success will look and feel like in 12-18 months and what the contributory factors will be to achieving success
• A plan for success – Key priorities and accountabilities
• A team charter – what the team are committing to do to make the team most effective


Phase 2 – Target Operating Model


The second series of workshops were designed using the Business Model canvas as a basis for creating a Target Operating Model, which was contrasted with the current operating model. This enabled a gap analysis and identification of potential plans for change. The Target operating model also included an analysis of the current versus ideal future culture. The workshops also addressed a stakeholder review and initial engagement plan.


Phase 3 – Cost efficiency workshop


A critical aspect of the culture change required was a shift to a more commercial and cost efficient culture. A practical element of this was to identify an initial cost efficiency programme of change in order to encourage people to start thinking and behaving differently. The workshop included a brainstorm, prioritisation process and plan for defining in more detail with clear accountabilities.


Phase 4 – Engagement event for leadership team


We worked together to design an engagement event for the direct reports of the Senior Leadership team (SLT), bringing them up to speed with the work completed by the SLT and giving them an opportunity to contribute to the thinking at this early stage and the planning for the future.


Phase 5 – Translating Culture into behaviours


In this phase we worked together to develop:

• A detailed understanding and plan for what good looks like in terms of Values, Behaviours and Practices, including those for the SLT
• A culture development process for the period leading to sale
• An approach to obtain further input and buy in from other stakeholders


Update


The organisation has subsequently progressed through the sale process and the work we did together has been recognised as fundamental to creating a successful approach to the sale and is building strong foundations for success beyond sale.

CASE STUDY 4

This client is a ‘not for profits’ organisation providing support services to vulnerable individuals and families in the North East. The CEO was concerned about the long-term sustainability of the organisation and I was asked to complete a review of the organisation and the external environment influencing it and make recommendations for change.


The Approach: Phase 1 – Diagnostic


All members of the Board and other key members of the team were interviewed and we reviewed recent board reports, financial statements and client project reports as well as completing external research. From this we identified key themes and a core issue. The key themes were: 1. Organisation purpose strong but not entirely clear 2. Vision not clear 3. No Strategy – responded to circumstance and opportunity 4. Core Issue – Capability and Capacity of Board and Management


Phase 2 – Clarity of Purpose, Values and Vision


We held workshops to understand and gain consensus of purpose in more granular detail than previously understood and we identified the need to drive a commercial agenda alongside the social purpose agenda in order to achieve sustainable results for the social purpose agenda, which is the core purpose of the organisation.

We identified core values that the board and management team believed were critical to achieving the purpose and envisioned success in 5 years time. The vision included delivering commercial services as a key fund generator for sustaining the free services to those vulnerable and without means to pay for services.


Phase 3 – Engagement event for leadership team


We worked together to design an engagement event for the direct reports of the Senior Leadership team (SLT), bringing them up to speed with the work completed by the SLT and giving them an opportunity to contribute to the thinking at this early stage and the planning for the future.

We continue to work with this organisation to embed the new structure and develop the new leadership team, whist moving forward with the new strategy.
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