Change management provides real assistance and concrete results.
Here are a few case studies that offer proof of that.
International technology company
Accepting differences and bridging divides.
Background: as the result of a strategic management decision, the development of a highly complex technology programme will, in future, be shared by two locations in different countries.
Special issues: employees and managers at both locations have reservations about co-operating with each other. There have already been a few conflicts. At the same time, though, close co-operation and transfer of know-how are absolutely essential. The central question is, “Can we trust each other?”
Solution: In workshops with people from both locations, the participants learn to develop a mutual understanding for the other side and to recognize that, in most cases, there is »no ill will« involved. They agree to talk regularly to each other in future, retaining the newly established openness. In these discussions, conflict should not be hidden but addressed openly.
An international industrial company
Information is the best cure against uncertainty.
Background: To lower costs and to focus on its core competency, a concern outsourced various (supplier) plants and transferred them to a new company
Special issues: Changes in technological processes had to be accounted for as well as the feelings of uncertainty that afflicted many employees. This uncertainly prompted questions like: “Today my co-worker, tomorrow my customer?” “Will my skills match the requirements of the new company?” “Will I be laid off after decades of hard work?”
Solution: An integrated change-management approach that took into account both the technological and emotional aspects. The aim and focus of my work were: providing plenty of information on the changes, appreciation of employees' past achievements, promoting an open-minded attitude toward new developments.
International oil industry
This is how difference helps to create value.
Background: A consortium wanted its executives to view their tasks not just from a technical perspective but also from a communicative and personal perspective. Furthermore, a network was to be established that leveraged the differences between the individual companies to achieve a productive advantage.
Special issues: A plan had to be developed that embraced the diversity of company cultures and moreover benefitted from that diversity.
Solution: A development programme for the executives of the companies was planned and implemented. They worked together, listened to each other and took part in discussions – not about technical issues but about their personal views, about communication, individual responsibility, culture, and leadership.
Energy supply industry in northern Germany
Each company has its own corporate culture. What does that mean in the case of a merger?
Background: Two energy suppliers merged to save costs and combine strengths.
Special issues: Despite their close proximity, the two companies had different company cultures. The merger resulted in disappointment and an atmosphere of distrust among the employees: “We're better than the others.” “We don't feel that our work is appreciated.” “Some of our colleagues have lost their jobs. Will we be next?”
Solution: A tailor-made change-management solution emphasised the importance of being patient with the other party. It promoted plain-language communication at all levels and the presence of general management. The objective grew into the result: common interests became visible and palpable.
A European industrial company
Only strong teams can be successful.
Background: The individual teams and divisions had been working together for years; however, they were facing constant change, pressure to succeed, and uncertainty. Surveys revealed a low degree of satisfaction.
Special issues: There were complex international company structures with big differences between the divisions.
Solution: An individual team development plan. Workshops were designed together with the team members by asking questions such as: What do we really want to achieve? What can we do within the framework of our situation, and what is beyond our scope? What topics should we focus on? How can we design and benefit from a workshop that is really effective?