greytogreen encourages managers to be more conscious of the cultural impact of any change and supports their teams in finding constructive solutions to their challenges.
A major player in the European PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) services and consulting industry, with operations in France, Germany and England was in the midst of a transition. Moving from a position as a subsidiary of a leader in designing, manufacturing and delivering aerospace products, services and solutions to a service provider with a focus on consulting and systems integration. Aligning corporate culture and the managerial mindset were identified as areas of focus.
To give managers tools to help themselves and their teams navigate through the transitional “change” period within six months. This included navigating shifts in business processes, approaches to staffing and team design in the ever-present VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) environment, as well as the enlarged role of the manager.
The main goal was to create a foundation where managers could begin to take ownership, increase collaboration and empower others - moving from a more administrative mindset towards a more entrepreneurial spirit.
The focus for the PLM services teams was reframing the acquisition as an opportunity to expand its activity into new markets and for the acquiring consulting firm, to reframe the merger as an opportunity to acquire the expertise to complement their portfolio. An additional focus was to help address the negative and/or limited perceptions the merger had created amongst staff.
In order to best align the program with the needs of the client’s staff and economic strategy, first the following actions were taken:
- A Program Team was created to collect key elements (strategic and human) to customize the program. This included reviewing past program feedback to help identify what managers have already done and how those programs were perceived. Participants included managers, employees from different BUs, Human Resources, as well as top management from both organizations involved in the merger.
- The Program team served to build trust amongst the various internal stakeholders, develop the program strategy and create communication around it, as well as to agree on the best roll-out schedule. The program team also served as the main audience to pilot each element of the initiative – webinar and workshops – prior to roll-out.
- An Organizational Climate survey was created with two objectives: 1) to better understand the individual needs of the managers and 2) as a vehicle to pre-engage participants. The anonymous electronic survey, in English, French, and German, was sent to collect the managers’ assessment about how change was being perceived within the organization (cf. what changes and what stays the same; what they know or don’t know about the strategy), individual challenges (which could be resolved in the workshops), as well as any unanswered questions that remained.
- Responses were collected one month before roll-out, summarized and shared with top management for feedback, then key elements were integrated into the program.
The “Leading through Change” initiative was then designed to address three dimensions, 1) ATTITUDE: its influence in the working environment, 2) CHANGE: enabling managers to better understand the process of change and how that affects both individual and group dynamics, and 3) a focus on TEAMS: providing approaches to better lead, motivate and communicate in times of change.
- Understand Change Webinar (1hr 30min) Enabled managers to develop a deeper understanding of the basics of change and how that applied in their context.
- Making our attitude count (1-day workshop) Created awareness about how our attitude influences our experience and results, and offered ways to resolve unexpected or challenging situations more effectively. The workshop was based “greytogreen – CHOICES & RESULTS”, customized to European PLM’s organization.
- Lead a team through change (half-day workshop) Practiced leading, communicating and acting effectively in times of change. Explored issues around qualities of leader and how to empower their teams.
100 managers attended workshops in France, Germany and the UK. It opened their mindset, providing a foundation for acceptance of the change happening within the organization. The varied sessions encouraged managers to be more conscious of the impact the transition was having.
The resulting shift in approach opened channels of communication between a selected number of managers and their team, better addressing varied perception leveraging greytogreen and other tools acquired.
Throughout the programs initial development, roll-out and follow-up, there was explicit support from top management, with clear communication to those participating into the program. Building the foundations from the various input sessions allowed the facilitation team to:
- Consider as much as possible the participants’ needs and the client’s objectives, enabling adjustments the program along the way to address concerns and needs brought up during the process.
- Develop explicit links throughout the program’s elements and the business behaviors of the organization moving forward.
- Align with top management, offering better long-term chances of success.
- Deliver a program within both time and business constraints. This included a small group webinar which allowed for interaction and flexibility, working around tight schedules of the participants.
- Deliver the same quality of content and facilitation in three languages due to greytogreen’s design.
- Actively collaboration with HR ensuring strong participation and very few last-minute cancellations.