We love to show you how we work
However, we have not mentioned every iteration; or always highlighted, when we, together with our clients, sprinted in the wrong direction; or when one of our prototypes failed. The digital era requires above all changeability in order for innovation to succeed, for having all stakeholders on board and for mistakes to become a source of learning. We act accordingly.
"It doesn't suffice to speak about something. You have to speak to the human beings involved."Stanislaw Jerzey Lec
An organisation faced high innovation pressure (product and IT), paired with tight deadlines and high risks, if quality and deadlines would not be met. The requirements applied to all functions in the organisation. The majority of the management team had been exchanged as part of the process. The new members were not yet fully on board and the old ones did not want to assume responsibility. Prioritisation of topics seemed impossible in the existing leadership vacuum.
We clarified with the leadership team, if they believed the company to be in a state of emergency, or if the current state would be the new normal in the mid- and long term. The latter was the case, as digitization would demand similar requirements with respect to quality, speed and innovation in the future.
We split the project into two workstreams, one that mitigated short term risks and one that developed the firm into an agile organization. We also wanted planned to use all synergy potential.
- Establishment of a variety of task forces, organised as agile teams with close supervision in order to mitigate the short term risks
- Establishment of a stakeholder management plan that was fully adhered to
- Coaching and team development of the top management team with a focus on taking decisions and assuming responsibility in an agile world
- Definition of the top three behaviours required from all employees in a participative approach to mobilise the entire organisation. The focus was less on technical qualifications but rather on the definition of a mind set and an attitude towards how the work needed to be done
- A communications campaign to explain agile ways of working coupled with
- The introduction of social collaboration tools and a digital collaboration and knowledge platform
- Enablement of the middle management to lead and coach in an agile world
- Successful risk mitigation. The deadlines were largely met with the required quality
- Dramatic change in the understanding of leadership within the parameters of trust and control
- A broader understanding what a digital working world actually means and which opportunities arise from it on all levels
- Increased product innovation through the logic of prototyping and the increased willingness to accept mistakes as learning opportunites
The HR organisation of a DAX company had to realign with the demands of the company. A new HR strategy and a new operating model had to be developed focusing on product offering, quality and efficiency. Downsizing, outsourcing and increasing service quality at the same time turned this transformation into a considerable challenge. It was also apparent that a cultural shift towards performance and service orientation was mission critical. Segregation in silos, lack of process consistency and performance paired with fear were to far spread.
We proposed to the top management to follow a participative and iterative approach for the development of a new strategy and operating model. This had a number of advantages:
- Employees and management who were willing to change, were able to participate in the transformation process at an early stage
- The commitment and buy-in of the HR organisation was larger
- Early versions of the strategy and operating model could be shared with further HR employees and other units of the company in order to gather feedback. This improved the overall result and enhanced the acceptance of the strategy within the group
During the implementation we stuck to the initial approach. Main elements were:
- A dedicated internal project team, which shaped the process and acted as its driver
- An online platform that allowed us to distribute and test content and which also hosted an uncensored blog. The blog was used by all hierarchies in the organisation
- An extensive toolbox for managers together with trainshops
- Large group workshops for the entire HR organisation that focused, for example, on the definition of an outstanding customer experience and the optimisation of collaboration at the interfaces
- Approval of the strategy by the Board of Managing Directors within three months
- Big quick wins such as the development of group-wide and consistent leadership values within a year
- Improved feedback from the group with respect to flexibility and solution orientation of HR within the first year
- Successful sourcing of processes
- Downsizing process generally accepted by employees despite initial grief
- Improved collaboration within HR: reduced silo mentality, increased ownership of topics and thoughtfulness regarding interfaces