The introduction of the new IT system for controlling all procedures at the production site was accompanied by planning, implementation and evaluation in the change management. The changeover of the systems took place on a target date. The adaptation of the processes was planned beforehand and underwent further optimisation in the months that followed during live operation.
Groß & Cie. first developed the change programme in the management, communication, training, support and evaluation areas. It was not only important to safeguard the operative performance capability of the company at all times and provide training in the new skills, for example. In fact, the managers and employees had to be convinced of the new procedures in order to achieve rapid implementation.
After successful conversion of the IT system as the “compulsory” part of the solution, the “voluntary” part was then to improve the new processes in order to increase quality and capacity in the long term. Groß & Cie. was responsible for the change management, including project management. Selected measures were also designed and implemented. For example, the design and moderation of the two initial leadership conferences, carrying out “Lessons Learned” workshops and the introduction of a new training platform.
The trigger was the merger between several companies which had been purchased previously. The consequence was restructuring of the sales area and location changes, particularly in the back office areas.
The change management initially included the cultural analysis of the different companies, which had a wide variety of products ranging from medical nutrition to prescription medication. The action areas for the change programme and possible conflict potential were identified.
A main focus during implementation was on setting up a comprehensive communication programme in the change communication, including the development of a motto and a logo which were used for two years to mark excellence in the joint integration. Among other things, some of the measures were a kick-off conference and workshops for the management. Project management was carried out for almost one year.
Within the context of a merger of three companies in a new holding structure, all systems and processes were checked. Different interests existed in terms of locations and areas. Consolidation was urgently required.
The origins (e.g. municipal works history) were extremely different. The cultural analysis revealed similarities and action areas in which employees and managers can understand each other. The following then took place: a) Set-up of a shared value proposition, strategy and indicators and b) Specifications for implementation and continuous optimisation.
The consultancy tasks were also project management, set-up and accompaniment of all communication measures and development of the necessary situative management skills.
The merger into Germany’s fourth biggest IT service provider was intended to create synergies and increase the company’s innovative strength. Both companies were marked by their origin as data centres in the VR banking group.
First the model and the master story of the merger were developed. The change concept placed considerable value on bringing all employees and managers on board. At the same time, the most important integration measures such as selecting the future managers were to be implemented as quickly as possible.
This process was included in the change management during implementation, and the results were evaluated. Selected measures were also designed and looked after during implementation. For example, the design and moderation of the two first management conferences took place.
The necessary skills were to be built up within the scope of new company values, particularly within the leadership team. The main focus was on sales and customer service as the most important areas for implementing the values in customer contact and as the “pioneer” of digitalisation.
In the first step on the way to “Digital Leadership”, the situation was evaluated and requirements determined in workshops and a "pulse check". This was used as the basis for designing the measures, which were introduced at employee trade fairs in each location and put forward for discussion. The dialogue reinforced the power of persuasion and led to further refinement of the concept, also for the subsequent change management.
The setting up of specific talent management for customer service was looked after. The pursuit of digital leadership led to the implementation of a learning platform for making “on the job” experience usable for all employees immediately, for example. The implementation of the respective tasks and procedures was checked in all areas in “Lessons Learned” sessions, and other operative changes were defined.
In the competitive environment of the IT industry, a lack of sales success quickly leads to a reduction in employee loyalty. For this reason, a “retention profile” was first produced in order to evaluate the performance of the company with regard to the needs of the employees, also in comparison to the market environment.
Employee loyalty was increased via measures which took effect quickly and also led to successful sales. Among other things, these included moderated resonance groups with customers, in order to make the employees aware of deficits in sales and service and make them change their behaviour.
The identity within the entire group and loyalty to the company were increased via a joint project which succeeded in reducing costs in the head office and on the markets at the same time. The “Spar mal Watt” (meaning: Lets save something) initiative had the goal of reducing energy costs by changing behaviour and also create a team spirit across all sites by means of a competition.
The programme was supported by a new platform for collaboration on the Intranet, including real-time data for energy consumption in every store. An “offline” campaign also took place, like an energy-saving notice board in the markets, since many salespeople do not have permanent online access.
The partners, who were individual auditors and lawyers, were not deriving enough benefit from each other. The administrative processes were also too complicated. The basis for lasting change was the creation of a shared problem awareness via focus groups and workshops.
On this basis, the organisation was redesigned, also with continuous checking in resonance groups in order to bring the decision-makers on board. The process was moderated and the results were put to the test with the participants. The switch took place on a deadline day in order to focus attention internally and encourage people to think differently.
Coaching & Training
The ability of the managers to deal with bimodal management is fundamental for the successful digital transformation of companies. On the one hand, the existing procedures must be permanently optimised. The business model had to be re-structured at the same time.
The training was tailored to the needs of the bank: The specific use of agile methods was the main focus of the interaction between the participants - not just the conveying of competencies. The progress and the obstacles were then reflected in the team coaching. All of the managers benefited from the experience of their colleagues, and a new team spirit unfolded “on the side”.
The entire company group was to be restructured, not only to improve procedures but mainly to activate the joint business potential of the areas. In order to do this, the willingness and ability to cooperate of all managers had to be established or increased.
The programme was implemented for the managers in accordance with the concept for the change management and also the talent management of the future. The intersection for all activities were the half-year leadership conferences: The new procedures and structures were worked out intensively, experience was exchanged and the way to proceed was agreed on.
Groß & Cie. also took over the training programme for the managers, particularly with a view to increasing their competence as change managers and to implement the new business processes. In subsequent team coaching sessions, experiences were exchanged and the best practice for the management of the company group was determined, also as far as digital leadership was concerned.
Within the scope of normal succession plans within the sales team, the up-and-coming managers were prepared for their respective new duties. This included the handling of personal concerns in view of the new duties, taking on new roles, dealing with new employees etc.
Different instruments were used depending on the person and the situation, such as working with the co-called “internal team”, the uncovering of obstructive doctrines and also support in decision-making with the ”Needs-Meter”.
The joint business potential was to be activated, triggered by the integration of new partner groups in the tax area of the auditing company. In order to do this, the willingness and capability to cooperate of all of the professionals had to be established or increased.
The status was assessed in one-to-one interviews with partners and focus groups with employees, and the team development requirements were determined. A programme of measures was derived from this, which put the participation of the partners and employees in the spotlight right from the outset.
During implementation, the initial measures were accompanied as an external coach, such as workshops for getting to know and appreciate commonalities. Support by means of “centric coaching” then took place as and when required.