In this case study, APS was brought on board to address a cross-section of leadership, culture and climate challenges at an extraordinarily pivotal point in the company lifecycle.
A top six ‘old school’ telecom company made the decision to transition to a technology company to recover from years of financial stagnation and a generalised productivity and innovation malaise. This lead them to offset what was often internally referred to a “toxic culture” with over-sized and disproportionate remuneration across the board which did nothing to address industry-leading attrition levels. An additional factor to be considered was a deadline for a public floatation to coincide with a new name and a reorganised structure.
The Key Issues
For the transformation from telco to tech to occur, a significant number of global and Headquarter redundancies had to be made, to create room and resources for a significant new hiring programme.
APS was commissioned by the board to assess the climate, culture and leadership in advance of a significant HQ redundancy.
The APS Services Provided
APS used the Diagnostic process to gain valuable insights into the organisation over the course of a week, many of which were completely new information to the leadership and the board.
While still onsite, we began to activate positive and ‘untapped’ allies with simple pathways to proactively contribute to the new organisational culture and become ‘custodians of culture’ in their own right. We intervened with one-to-one and small group sessions for those who wanted to be a part of the new organisation and those who we knew to be part of the reason for the toxic culture of old to create a new cordiality and commitment to positive change with an agreed shared roadmap for behaviour and process during the period of flux.
The disruption of the move from Telco to Tech and the speed of employee redundancy and the acquisition of new hires in concert, made for one of the most difficult organisational environments possible. The threat of litigation for disgruntled employees and those losing their positions was a key factor to mitigate and throughout APS used the insights of the Organisational Diagnostic to drive the content and manner of decision-making as well as the tone of their delivery.
Internal and external communications were directly connected to the onsite APS team to craft internal speeches and directives as well as industry and external media – all using the findings from the Organisational Diagnostic to map tone and target to desired outcome.
APS then created a roadmap for the new organisation to grant a “new start”, granting the remaining employees an opportunity to resettle, even as new change in roles and company strategy was in their near future. We outlined how new hires could be inducted to embrace a new culture and indeed a recommended set of new leadership behaviours once the organisation.
The challenges for this Diagnostic were many, but despite the usual resistance to change, the organisation reorganised on schedule, engaged in voluntary redundancies with no litigation, received only positive public press and floated on the stock market on time and with a sizable “bump” in valuation.