02 Nov July 2012 | Driving culture change
The new head of a multinational financial institution wants to dramatically shift the organisational culture while continuing to achieve outstanding business results.
The organisation continued to achieve outstanding business results even as staff satisfaction and motivation dropped to very low levels. Internal tensions were resulting in a number of dysfunctional behaviors that included absenteeism, work delays, inefficient coordination between complementary units. In effect, a silo mentality was entrenched and the new leader wanted to dramatically shift the organisational culture while continuing to achieve outstanding business results. Transparency and collaboration were two important dimensions of this transformation.
Optimis developed and delivered a customised staff engagement process that involved a number of key internal stakeholders throughout the process. The leadership showed by example that it was willing to listen to staff, put the tough issues on the table and work together to establish priorities and implement a set of actions. An open invitation was made to staff to participate in the various phases of the engagement process and over half of all staff accepted the challenge. A great deal of effort was placed on crafting priorities and crafting action plans that were consistent with the values promoted by the new leadership.
By openly sharing the sometimes unfavorable results of the organisational assessment and engaging staff in the full process of identifying and addressing issues, the new leadership was able to establish an internal momentum where staff began to understand that there was a strong commitment to transparency and collaboration. A number of initiatives have arisen from the engagement process and staff report higher levels of trust and seemed motivated by the opportunity to contribute to the continued success of their organisation.