Processes are consistently and effectively applied to initiatives, leaders have the skills to guide their teams through change, and employees know what to ask for to succeed.
At a large transportation company, senior staff launched an initiative to improve the efficiency and performance of their corporate and field employees before addressing change issues at the officer level.
The initiative saw initial cost savings, but stalled when employees began to question the leadership team’s vision and commitment. Only after the leadership team went through the process of aligning and committing to the change initiative was the workforce able to deliver results downstream.
Wrap All Layers
As transformation programs progress from strategy definition and goal setting to design and implementation, they affect different levels of the organization. Change efforts should include plans to identify leaders across the enterprise and reduce responsibility for design and implementation so that the change “spreads” throughout the organization.
At each layer of the organization, leaders identified and trained must be aligned with the company’s vision, prepared to execute its specific mission, and motivated to make change happen.
A large multiline insurer with consistently low earnings decided to change performance and behavior in preparation for going public. The company followed this “waterfall leadership” methodology, training and supporting teams at every step.
First, 10 officers define the strategy, vision and objectives. Then more than 60 executives and senior managers designed the core of the change initiative. Then 500 field leaders pushed the implementation forward.