Our client, the president of a $2 billion international chemicals business (a division of a Fortune 50 petrochemicals company), had recently announced a major reorganization designed to increase customer and market focus. He was frustrated because leader and employee behavior was not changing. From our initial conversation we learned that the organizational change had been announced via email with little follow up communication.
After speaking with the seven members of the senior leadership team we recommended a meeting to engage the employees most immediately affected by the organization change.
We worked with a 20-person design team – a cross functional group representing the range of experience and perspectives of those who would participate in the meeting. During the meeting design process several key issues surfaced and we explored what it would take to move the organization to successful implementation of the new organization design. The design team also committed to make the meeting a success.
The result was a highly interactive 3 day meeting, at which the 200 employees had a chance to understand the thinking behind the new organization design, commit to the vision of a more customer and market focused business, determine changes needed to achieve the vision, and develop the plans needed to implement. For the first time since introducing the new structure, leaders and employees identified specific issues important to each group within the organization – all functions, locations, and internal suppliers — and developed plans to address them. The meeting’s major result was to accelerate implementation of the new organization design, achieving its name – “Making it Happen”.
During the design process it became clear that senior leaders were not on the same page about how they would work together within the new matrixed structure. So we facilitated them to identify their differences, work through them, and reach agreement.
In the course of planning a high profile employee meeting, we often discover that leaders within the organization are not all in agreement on key issues. One of the skills we bring is identifying this, and being able to facilitate the leaders to agreement. This is always a critical step in the change that the meeting is designed to achieve.