Moving mountains with credibility and a culture of open feedback
A business unit transforms itself from an external service partner in its own company to an internal unit, to a sparring partner at eye level. The top management is completely replaced along with many more leadership positions. A functional strategy is developed and broken down into all areas. It becomes clear:
We cannot deal solely with the WHY and WHAT our work is about - we also have to keep an eye on the HOW.
People need to re-understand their role. From the contractor you suddenly become an internal consultant, the client is now a partner. In projects this requires a different kind of cooperation. The negotiation of interests increases in importance and success is no longer to be measured by the balance sheet of a limited liability company or billable hours, but directly from the partner’s level of satisfaction. This is a challenge for each and every one of us and a great leadership task for department heads and team leaders, as well as for top management. You start looking for a suitable partner and choose Movendo because Movendo offers a process that fully engages with the situation and the people involved. After 1½ years of cooperation and a lot of hard work, there is a measurable result: in the employee survey that was carried out before the start of the project and repeated after 18 months, the response rate increased from 50% to 75% and employee satisfaction rose by 20%.
How did we do it? First of all: with an intensive, open and cooperative partnership with the client.
... with many learning and feedback loops
... with openness for experiments and fun with new ideas
... with very open and clear support of the management
... with consistent, coordinated communication
... and with the attitude that complexity cannot be reduced.
What contributes to the complexity in this project?
The area we were allowed to support is part of a large corporation and, as an internal service provider, closely linked to the business units. It has to be aligned to their development and react to their needs - a bit more complexity. The central functions of the company also influence the area we support. There are company-wide initiatives, communication campaigns, restructuring processes and budget requirements - a bit more complexity. The world outside the company continues to revolve. Disruptive technologies, changing conditions and new legislation - a bit more complexity. Last but not least, there are the many people, the personalities, their personal development, changes and expectations. And we’ll stop there with the list of complexity factors.
In our project, we have always kept an eye on this complexity, re-evaluating in many small loops each time what influence the internal and external changes have on the change process in the area. Over 1½ years, a variety of measures and actions have been developed, of which a few are to be mentioned by way of example:
- A leadership development intervention over four modules, with a strong focus on the topic "Active Leadership in Change", with transfer support in the form of impulse mails and individual transfer coaching
- Short, open sessions for leaders to deepen individual aspects of the development program
- Also open sessions for all employees, in which they could experience the new expectations and requirements and make them concrete for themselves
- Various events to thank people for their good work and also to address the fun factor; for example, an award for successful projects, a New Year celebration and an advent calendar
- Intensive support of the management team with regular and very open feedback from the organisation, the development of a common understanding of leadership and role awareness within the new set-up as well as concrete messages in the organisation
In the end, for us credibility and an open feedback culture are the most important success factors of this project. The credibility of the management, who repeatedly emphasized the equal value and inseparability of strategy implementation and transformation support, was open to feedback and reacted directly, also ensured the consistent messages in all events. Thus, our client moves on from this process strengthened for further challenges and in the cooperation with Movendo in the future.