Leading a UK-wide rollout of a Corporate Social Responsibility £3m change management programme in an international financial services organisation
Following a strategic review prompted by worsening sales results, the senior management team of a mutual North American Financial Services Group (with £1bn turnover, 900 employees, 1million members and 20% of business in the UK) proposed realigning the organisation in the market place – targeting a new market. This required elected members of the mutual organisation to ‘let go’ of tradition and ritual as well as long held beliefs and practices. The changes could only be implemented if the elected members voted for them.
The essence of the customer need was how to win the hearts and minds of a very traditional group of people, to convince them that the proposed strategic business changes would be to the overall benefit of the organisation, for themselves and future generations.
As a multinational organisation operating in three countries, with elected members representing each, it was important to show that the benefits of the changes could be realised in each country. So we led the following:
- An audit of the current UK situation by taking a ‘sounding’ of elected members to identify those with an ‘influencable’ vote for the changes
- Identify significant potential local leaders who could be change agents and influencers to work alongside the elected members and help show them that change is possible and beneficial
- Establish a shadow academy to train and develop these local leaders to empower them to be credible influencers and leaders
- Establish a UK pilot area to test out and refine the change proposal
- Create teams of local leaders to act as change agents and support them in successfully running 9 pilot projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new strategy
- Coaching and supporting leadership teams in a number of areas including delivering training, facilitating workshops, giving tools, technology, templates, modelling and pump priming funding.
The local leaders who had touched and tasted success became powerful advocates for change, and best placed to influence peers.
With concentrated support and coaching the Pilot groups were successfully able to demonstrate to their peers that change was possible and beneficial. Bridges methodology and tools were used to enable members to ‘let go of’ and ‘say goodbye’ to old ways of doing things, to help them move through theuncomfortable neutral zone of transition, and then assist them to move forward.
The UK pilot project was a success, refocusing the regional branch network of 150,000 members in line with the international Corporate Social Responsibility change management and corporate rebranding programme – resulting in an 82% vote in favour of adopting the strategy by the elected members of the international mutual organisation.
A multinational rollout followed the vote. In the UK a change management programme was implemented in four regions, incorporating 82 branches and 150,000 members.
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