Case Studies

Case Study 1: Major Canadian Financial Institution

The new CIO of a large financial institution was determined to move in an entirely new strategic direction. As changes were being introduced and resistance encountered, an organizational culture of alignment and acceptance was needed.

  • Creative ideas flowed. Solutions better suited to business requirements were identified and shared amongst the project teams
  • The leadership teams moved from silos to the sharing of people and resources
  • The hiring profile for managers changed from a focus on task management only to a balance of task and people management skills.
  • Other results included a 10% increase in cost savings per annum and an increase of 33% in on- time project deadlines and a very successful story in client satisfaction.
  • The internal IT department became the vendor of choice of the business units who now are less inclined to use outside consulting firms as their technology providers.
  • 10 years later…the managers within this division are considered to be the best at managing partner relationships and at managing people

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Case Study 2: Multinational Insurance Company

The IT management team in this multinational insurance company was looking for a way to align the culture of their division with a whole new strategic thrust that required a wholesale change of their current technology. This caused a rift in the organization between “veteran staffers” and the newly hired whose newer skill sets were seen as threatening.

  • After only two years, the success of the culture change was so significant in terms of employee engagement and breakthrough collaboration, that the decision to outsource was rescinded.
  • Senior management agreed to extend the funding for the high performance culture initiative.
  • The older workers were actively engaged in multi-generational task forces designed to identify knowledge sharing opportunities, innovative ways to cut costs and decrease outages and the promotion and engagement of all employees no matter their age

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Case Study 3: Computer Component Manufacturing Plant

A major microprocessor manufacturing facility was facing significant challenges related to cost effectiveness and essential viability. Motherboard production averaged 2,100 units behind schedule. Production of major components took, on the average, 7.5 weeks from start to finish. A unionized environment, the plant was costing the firm $11M a year in net losses. The threat of plant closure and outsourcing was very real. All of this was occurring despite best efforts and serious investments in process improvement methodologies and techniques. Our objective was to determine if there were correlative and causal links tying performance to the organizational culture of the plant.

Championed and led by the senior leadership team, all union and non-union employees took part in the process, working within their intact team configurations.One key to success in realigning organizational culture is the transparency of the process. Results that are kept hidden are of no value. The plant senior leadership team understood the importance of communicating all results to employees.

The process of cultural realignment takes time, as does the ability to measure sustainable improvements. Measurable results appeared within the first year, and were tracked for three years. The results:

  • Production backlog was reduced from 2,100 units to 44.
  • Production lead time was reduced from 7.5 weeks to 4.5 weeks.
  • The plant changed from losing $11M per year to adding $25M to the top line, a $36M gain and a 460% improvement in gross profit contribution to the firm.
  • Plant closure and outsourcing plans were cancelled.

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