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Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments

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Board Workshop Programme

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered: 

European Moving Services Company – Principal Client: The Chief Executive

Business Issue

Following a reorganisation, a new executive team was given enlarged responsibilities for a bigger geographical area.  The Chief Executive aimed to establish foundations quickly to create a growth strategy and wanted to bring the executive group together to discuss the critical opportunities and agree the key elements of a framework for running the business.  In particular, a new vision for the business and its people was identified as important following a succession of changes.  It was also critical that the group of executives leading the business were developed into a leadership team which would command respect and engage the next levels of management and communicate the new direction to the whole company.

How We Helped

Initially we held individual meetings with executive team members and developed an agenda for discussion with the CEO.  This included our recommendations for objectives and session design for a Board Workshop Programme.  After getting further input, we developed the workshop programme objectives and session content and obtained agreement for the complete design.  Then we facilitated the Board Workshop, gained everyone’s contribution and collated the decisions generated by the sessions.

Outcomes and Results

A new sense of common purpose was established among the executive team and this, along with inputs about the type of organisation the company aspired to be contributed to the creation of a new vision for the business.  Executive accountabilities and interdependencies were considered and grey areas clarified.  Guiding principles were developed to shape organisational behaviour and service delivery to enable the sustainable achievement of good performance.  A new set of performance measures that were relevant to the whole organisation were also identified for further development.  A review of strengths and weaknesses was completed in relation to the performance measures.  Finally, a short term development plan was agreed for widening the ownership of the new vision, address the priorities for development and commence the implementation of change.


International Conference

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered:          

International Automotive Distribution Company – Principal Client: Chief Executive

Business Issue

Following a de-merger from a broad based multinational, this newly independent company wanted to test and develop its business strategy with its international management leaders from around the world.  It was very important to gain commitment to the new direction from this group of executives.  Also, the executive team wanted to enable each regional executive to recognise the benefits of being an independent organisation with the opportunity of developing a stronger and clearer presence in their local markets.

How We Helped

An international conference was scheduled and we were asked to assist with its design and provide focus with facilitation.  This involved a series of meetings with members of the top team and some regional executives to identify and shape the strategic issues for consideration and potential development.  We proposed a design for the working sessions in the conference programme and with the executive team agreed the details of each session’s working process.  We also helped the Chief Executive with the final preparations of his introductory talk.  Then we worked with executive team members to facilitate the two-day conference.

Outcomes and Results

The main strategic opportunities were discussed and common global themes informed key elements of the new strategy.  Company common purpose was clarified and strategic goals identified and developed.  Also the operating style of corporate head office was reviewed in relation to how it could foster team work and innovation across the international organisation.


Executive Workshop and International Senior Management Conference

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered:

Information Systems (IS) Division of Multinational Automotive Distributor – Principal Client: Information Services Director

Business Issue

Historically, this IS Division had provided what was expected of a support function.  The new IS Director and colleagues on the executive board wanted to raise the profile of IS and its contribution to the business.  Many areas of the organisation would benefit from improved information delivered in a timely way to the points of decision making.  In particular, it was felt that customer service and supply chain performance could be made more effective and efficient through better IS.  It was also expected that project management could  be more easily executed and that innovations could be gained from a more proactive approach.

How We Helped

Initially we worked with the IS Director to scope the aims for an executive workshop to involve the top IS executives in shaping the future purpose and direction of the Division.  Afterwards, we designed the programme and led the facilitation of the workshop.  Then, we designed and provided facilitation at an international conference involving the senior management from around the world in the planned change.  Subsequently, we designed and ran some working groups to develop the detail of the new strategy and a new measurement framework to improve contribution and shape a new relationship with the business.

Outcomes and Results

The executive of the Division and the senior international management were involved and helped with building a new framework and strategic direction for the Division.  Also the details of the new strategic purpose and mission, together with critical success factors, key performance indicators and a set of competencies were developed for implementation in the management of divisional activity.


Strategic Board Workshop – 2

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered:

Large Transportation and Moving Services Company – Principal Clients: Chief Executive and Human Resources Director

Business Issue

With the appointment of a new Chief Executive and other changes to the Board of this UK and Ireland Company, a new strategic focus was required for the top team.  There was a need to establish common purpose and determine how the business areas would contribute to the overall goals of the Company.  Other issues to be clarified and agreed related to executive accountabilities and the key management processes to achieve operational effectiveness.

How We Helped

Initially we met with all the Board members individually and interviewed them about their views of the critical strategic and organisational issues.  Following this we designed a Board Workshop programme to discuss and agree with the Chief Executive.  We prepared the detailed sessions within the agreed objectives and programme timetable and  communicated these to the Board members and then facilitated the Workshop.  Finally, all the Workshop decisions were collated for Board implementation.

Outcomes and Results

A new Company purpose was confirmed which included the style and manner of how the business would be run and interact with its stakeholders.  The focus of each business area contribution was agreed and accountabilities aligned to the overall purpose.  A framework of critical success factors and key performance indicators was outlined to ensure the business areas and functions could measure achievements in a coherent way.  The major operating processes were reviewed to ensure effective executive leadership and control of revenue growth and profitability, utilisation of assets/cost management and reward management.  Finally, a medium term development plan for the next eighteen months and a short term action plan for the next three months were agreed.


Organisational Research – 2

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Electricity Company – Principal Client: Director of Human Resources

Business Issue 

The company had been conducting staff surveys using questionnaires and producing quantitative findings over the last five years.  Some useful information had been produced but failed to indicate the causes and experiences of managers and staff that shaped their opinions.  This was especially the case with respect to communication at all levels of the organisation.  As the company was facing substantial change in the market, executives wanted to obtain a better understanding of the issues to be addressed to improve communication.

How We Helped

We were requested to run a qualitative survey through holding focus group discussions across all functions and locations. The discussion topics on the focus group agenda were taken from the previous surveys.  These were designed into a Focus Group Agenda which was structured to cover topics in the categories of: your job, opportunities to contribute, sources of communication, credibility and effectiveness and improvements in the last two years.  A schedule was developed to ensure that all divisions and departments were represented.  Fifty six focus groups were conducted which included four hundred managers and staff.  On completion of the focus groups, we analysed all the output and produced a detailed report of findings and recommendations.

Outcomes and Results

The main issues identified were communication needs about: job and work, division and department, company, managers and communication, and management practice.  We made recommendations for immediate action for communicating the highlights of the survey and included improvements to internal newsletters and company papers.  We also made recommendations for developments to executive leadership and management practice.  These covered strategy formulation and implementation, performance management from the board down and linking this process to strategic and annual business planning, leadership and teamwork and management development.


Organisational Research – 1

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Major Public Sector Regulator and Services Provider – Principal Client: Head of Management Development

Business Issue

A large public sector organisation covering a regulatory function, providing services from a number of locations across the UK and employing a high proportion of qualified professional people had been going through substantial strategic and organisational change.  It was evident to senior managers that staff concerns were growing in relation to further anticipated change and it was decided to research opinion to identify staff views across a range of organisational groupings (location, function, position etc).  After a competitive tender we were requested to conduct the research using a specific client brief.

How We Helped

We conducted some initial research using structured interviews with a sample of managers and group sessions with staff members to determine the topics for designing a survey questionnaire.  After a communications campaign through internal media we administered the survey to all employees.  Following this we also ran focus groups for staff in various locations to obtain qualitative information about the causes of opinions identified by the quantitative survey.

Outcomes and Results Achieved

All quantitative findings from the survey questionnaire were processed and analysed and the focus group output assessed.  The major issues were identified as being change and future direction, communication, management and the management of performance.  We presented our report to senior executives and made recommendations for immediate communication of the survey highlights, feedback and action planning within functional areas, a communication strategy including a broad publication of survey findings and actions for management cohesion.


Board Workshop

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Large UK Logistics Company – Principal Client: Chief Executive

Business Issue  

A large logistics company that had successfully moved into a number of client business sectors and had also integrated a recent acquisition, was seeking to establish a new base line from which to develop and grow the business.  The Managing Director and the executive board wanted to review the current situation and in particular specific areas for improvement along with new business opportunities.

How We Helped

We were asked to conduct a review through meeting with all the board members and discussing the major opportunities and issues facing the company.  The main purpose of the meetings was to provide each director with the chance to contribute their views to assist in the development of a board workshop agenda.  We developed a semi-structured meeting agenda based on our Model for Organisational Integration and Effectiveness which aligns structure, processes and systems, people and culture with business purpose and direction.  After analysing the findings from the director meetings, we designed and facilitated an off-site board workshop. The programme consisted of a number of inter-related sessions that identified objectives and the working processes to enable these to be achieved.

Outcomes and Results

The board workshop addressed a number of important topics: new market opportunities, customer relationship management, quality management, risk management and managing performance.  Sub-groups worked on specific topics and developed proposals for change and presented these to the whole board.  The proposals were discussed and priorities identified.  Then strategies for change were developed that included implementation plans.  Finally, immediate next steps were agreed to ensure a fast start to implementation.


Improving Human Resources Effectiveness – 1

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered: 

Stock Exchange – Principal Client: Head of Human Resources Development

Business Issue

Human Resources Development wanted to build a more cohesive strategy for serving their management clients and establish the future basis of the HR/line management relationship.  It was also important to ensure that a group of specialists with a range of interests was built into a team with a clear common purpose.

How We Helped

We met with a range of the senior HR practitioners and developed a strategic workshop programme to address the needs for strategic purpose and direction, a relationship management focus for serving client managers and for building a professional team.

Outcomes and Results Achieved

Personal aims were shared and personal ‘visions’ of the future developed for discussion and  as input to creating a vision for Human Resources Development’s support and contribution to the business.  Key services and products were identified along with the main ‘customer’ groupings that would benefit from the service range.  Following this, the principal means of communicating and marketing services to client managers were agreed.  A new basis for establishing and maintaining productive relationships with line managers and an action plan for implementing effective change were developed.


Strategic Planning Workshop

February 26, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Government Agency – Principal Client: Chief Executive

Business Issue

A UK Government agency was about to commence the development of a three year strategic plan and wanted assistance with an off-site strategic workshop for the executive board.  The purpose of the workshop was to discuss and confirm key results areas (KRAs) and the options for achievement, identify internal and external constraints and determine further information needs.

How We Helped

After meeting some of the key executives, we designed a two-day off-site workshop to address the aims for the strategic planning process. When we had agreed the programme with the Chief Executive, we facilitated the workshop.

Outcomes and Results Achieved

A set of key results areas was produced with their corresponding key performance indicators.  A strengths and weaknesses analysis of organisational capabilities was developed for each KRA and an analysis of opportunities and threats for the period of the strategic plan.  Lastly, an executive team action plan was developed which included preparing a consultative process for key stakeholders.


Executive Team Effectiveness

February 26, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Security Services Company – Principal Client: Managing Director

Business Issue  

The board wanted to review its operating effectiveness as part of its preparation for devising a new strategic plan.  Its aim was for the board members to discuss and develop a common view about the strategic priorities facing the company and to develop its team effectiveness.

How We Helped   

Using our Top Team Effectiveness Questionnaire (TTEQ), we conducted a review of the board’s effectiveness in relation to five domains: business purpose and direction, roles and organisation, operating processes, team relationships and organisational relationships and working climate.  We then facilitated an off-site board workshop to discuss the findings of the review.

Outcomes and Results

The workshop discussions identified the key priorities for the strategic planning process and how each member would contribute.  Team development opportunities were identified and discussed and finally action plans were formulated to address the strategic priorities and improving team effectiveness.


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