Changing the Culture Remotely!

Building Leaders throughout the Organisation

The world of Financial Information has one constant it gets faster. Our Global client saw the need to make their Technical Support more cost effective, more consistent and swifter. The old service was regional, personalised and idiosyncratic. It was reliant on a few heroes who could fix everything. This wasn’t a resilient, scalable or fast solution that could meet the future needs of the clients.

Remote access was a key part of the future solution however the banks were nervous of allowing remote access to their sites because of security issues and liked to know that “Bob” was coming to fix it as they knew and trusted “Bob”.  “Bob” however would usually take a few hours to come out and fix the problems. This had the potential to cost the clients significantly.  On the rare occasions when they had been able to persuade clients to accept some level of remote access they had cut resolution times dramatically and security was maintained. The work force felt under-pressure to change but was not seeing the need to change from a customer perspective. This new way of working required new skills in terms of dealing with customers remotely, skills which some of the Old Guard were not inclined or likely to want to absorb as they felt it threatened their current way of working.

The Leadership Team was frustrated by an apparent lack of leadership from the rest of the team in being able to persuade people of the need for change. The vision was not well understood and people continued to act in a silo way and failed to make some of the connections, to solve the big problems. In the wake of a number of job losses silo behaviour was prevalent as people focused on what they needed to do to be personally successful. Decision-making was stagnated at the Leadership team as staff felt they couldn’t or wouldn’t make those choices for themselves. Added to this, the Engineering mindset of many of the staff encouraged a risk averse approach. All of the above lead to a lack of progress and a sense of frustration from both the Leadership team and the staff.

The Solution:

We facilitated a series of meetings involving several layers of staff virtually to define what leadership they needed to see from their bosses and each other. We condensed this output into an easy to remember model and rolled this out across the globe.

We collaborated with the client in the design and running of a series of energising interactive workshops both virtually and face to face in London, Bangkok and New York with the 3 management tiers to share the vision and engage them in the definition of what leadership meant in this new context.  We created practical opportunities to understand the implications of the vision and the associated behaviours and what each department needed to do to individually and cross functionally to help achieve it. This gave people a common understanding of the situation and how they fitted into the plan with every one else. It also gave them an opportunity to determine how they needed to develop to be able to best support this effort.

Following on from the Kick Off events leaders at all levels took greater responsibility for addressing important issues they had identified at the meetings and built Virtual Breakthrough teams to address those challenges across the globe. The benefits of that sustained effort are being felt today.

The Results:

• Ownership of the vision at multiple tiers of the organisation.
• Greater clarity on who is up for the challenge of leadership and who was not.
• Greater impetus to drive change through the organisation.
• Clarity in terms of what leadership behaviours they need to move the dial.
• The Technical Support organisation is now better connected and silos have been removed.
• People are making more decisions lower down the organisation.
• The organisation is more aligned.
• They are achieving more with less.