Creating a Rapid Adaptation Culture that Pays for Itself
The IT Director of a large High Tech Silicon Valley business was charged with enabling the organization to rapidly adapt to turbulent market changes. He was charged with doing this in the midst of an uncertain economic downturn, a RIF in the organization, a hiring freeze, and a requirement to do more with less in shorter time frames while implementing a major multimillion dollar system wide ERP project. The organization was composed of very smart technical people, who had their way of doing things, the management team valued their peoples’ intelligence and abilities but they were not responding to the outside forces that required change.
The management team was comprised of mostly junior level managers in terms of management experience, although each individual manager was technically proficient, very smart and cared about the organization’s effectiveness. The Director was an accomplished, seasoned organizational leader and wanted to move the organization to a new level of performance.
The attempted solution before calling Steven Feinberg, Inc.: Management recognized they had to impact the performance culture. The organization had been successful in the past but very inner focused. Management tried to inform everyone of the changes that would be required to perform in a more difficult business environment. Priority list of projects and issues were identified, but without resolution for months. Two major groups maintained that their priority was critical to the business success. In fact, these groups were right in the past environment, but business had changed and the groups hadn’t.
A number of false starts to get an executive sponsor to champion the ERP program across business divisions.
An organizational assessment was performed. It was discovered that a non-adaptive culture was maintained by an underlying organizational structure that kept the organization and management team fragmented with competing goals. This had not been seen by the managers, they were looking in the wrong places. Working with the IT director, individual managers and the team, the organization became aligned and moved forward. The managers became more skilled and made the tough decisions that needed to be made.
The IT director employing influence skills finally found an effective executive sponsor to champion the project.
The organization increased its adaptability and accelerated its performance achieving its strategic objectives under schedule. The Director calculated a $1.5 million dollar cost savings value of the Advantage Maker program.
In addition, he said the most likely scenario would have been for the management team to fall apart, become divisive and raise conflict to an unworkable level. This not only didn’t occur, but they succeeded and will continue to succeed. They are now a more flexible organization able to handle change and the managers grew in depth and scope.