Case Study 2

  • Telecommunications sector
  • Provider of wireless network solutions

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Developing a Performance Led Culture

Business Need

Following the appointment of a new Chief Executive, we were engaged to support a major business transformation initiative designed to position the company to take full advantage of emerging technologies and opportunities for growth. As part of this business transformation programme, a key objective was to bring about a significant and sustainable change in the company’s culture; in particular, to create a highly engaged, motivational work environment where people feel valued, inspired, and empowered, and can learn and grow. Also, to drive-up business results by eliminating aspects of ‘culture drag’ that were perceived as impeding performance.

Our Approach

The behaviours and attitudes across an organisation often reflect those exhibited in the senior leadership team, whom many people will naturally look to as role models. To address this, we proposed taking both a top-down and bottom-up approach to ensure the buy-in and commitment of the senior leadership team, and also to involve as many people as possible across the company.

We worked with the senior leadership team to build greater awareness in terms of how they worked together as a team. To facilitate insights, we used a leadership team assessment tool that measures specific behaviours proven by research to be characteristic of executive team cohesion and effectiveness. In parallel, we conducted a company-wide Culture Survey to gain feedback from as many people as possible across the company on a number of elements of the culture, including Innovation, Results Focus, Leadership, Knowledge Sharing, Collaboration, and Customer Focus.

The leadership team assessment revealed aspects of dysfunctional behaviour, highlighting trust as a key issue. This was reflected in the results of the Culture Survey which highlighted several areas where improvements needed to be made, for example, Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing, and, perhaps not unsurprisingly, Leadership. We worked with the senior leadership team to facilitate shared understanding of what these outcomes meant for them as a leadership team, and the company as a whole, and helped them to develop an action plan to prioritise and tackle these issues.

We also facilitated Culture Change Workshops to share the results of the Culture Survey with all employees, brainstorm ideas and identify options to improve the current situation, and make recommendations to the leadership. To support this we coached elected representatives to prepare and present these recommendations at a company-wide event.

It was agreed to carry out a follow-up culture survey after six months had elapsed to measure the progress made. The overall results of this second survey show that the changes introduced following the previous survey have brought about significant improvement in the culture and the way people work together, especially in respect of leadership. As a consequence, people feel a much greater sense of engagement and motivation to achieve.

One or two specific areas remain where ‘culture drag’ is still evident, and we have been retained work with our client to help eliminate these.

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