Does your workplace need a cultural transformation?

DustyLeadership, Team BuildingLeave a Comment

Staub Leadership International A major health insurer with two-dozen processing centers around the country was planning to consolidate into six regional super-centers. The local office was not in consideration as a super-center because it was ranked dead last in quality, customer satisfaction, employee-engagement, backlog of claims, and efficiency.

The General Manager had tried to break the negative cycle: seminars, motivational speakers, management-by-objective performance methodology, threats, corporate HR audits, and intervention. Nothing had worked. In desperation he reached out for more radical help, asking Staub Leadership to facilitate a cultural transformation process-intervention.

The leaders of  the intervention team conducted a culture performance-study to gain insight into strengths, weaknesses, leverage points, enabling behaviors, and chief barriers to a high-performance organization. The results, with specific, strategic intervention strategies, were presented to the GM and HR leader. Conclusions and core interventions were self-evident at the end of the half-day workout session with the lead consultant.

The GM was assisted in assessing what he would have to do differently in his overall leadership and the changes he would have to model and re-enforce. He was also assisted in creating a personal leadership development plan to lead the turn-around process.

Additionally, a Gant chart of process interventions, along with critical metrics and check-in points, was outlined to map the next 18 months of work.

The kick-off intervention engaged the top 32 managers in the operation in a two-day working/training/development session. It was a “come to Jesus” moment for the key leadership and management of the organization.

The group then was led through a specific process of mind-mapping the current state of the organization in terms of all that was good and all that was not working or dysfunctional. Once there was agreement on the picture of the current reality, the group was led through creating a mind-map that painted a picture of the “desired” reality in terms of culture, leadership behaviors, results, teamwork, customer experience, and engagement of employees.

The gap between the current reality map and the future map was highlighted and fleshed out. The management and supervisory group then identified and codified the desired culture along with the top five drivers and enabling leadership/management behaviors and practices that would support those drivers.

Team members broke into five sub-groups to work up a set of covenants, key practices, and actions steps that they would take to create the desired organizational outcomes in term of high performance results and a high performance culture. Each group presented to the larger team and after vigorous debate and discussion specific cultural drivers as well as leadership behaviors, practices, and key action steps were agreed upon.

Each person present signed on to specific behavior changes and actions that they would be driving and working on in their work group and departments with an in session progress report within thirty days. Resource support and coaching processes were outlined to support the commitments and actions.

Thirty days later, the group met again to do a progress check-in and make course corrections. Only a handful had followed through on commitments (something that was par for the culture). The handful who had followed-through were excused for some advanced training. The rest were put into “remediation” teamwork.

The GM said, “We always have excuses for why we don’t change or deliver our commitments. That is no longer acceptable. I want you to consider whether you want to be a manager in this organization.”

The group went through the remediation process and at the end of day made new commitments. After another 30 days the group met and only four had not followed through on their commitments. While the group engaged in advanced work the other four were taken, individually, through an “up or out” assessment process. At the end of the third 30-day check-in/workout session, two of the people were gone, one had stepped back into the ranks, and a fourth one had dramatically improved her game, hitting all commitments.

With consistent leadership in place, employee teams were engaged in addressing performance. The results: at the end of 12-months the center was tied for number one in all areas and selected to be one of the six consolidated centers. Engagement created transformation.

Leave a Reply