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Organizational Change and an Internal Merger

 

Overview:

The client, a large manufacturing company, came to Delta several months before undertaking a major initiative of change in the organization. They were about to merge three small manufacturing facilities into one large operation under a single roof. With over 100 staff and managers on board, the company realized that such radical and sweeping changes would have significant impact upon performance throughout the company. the client asked Delta to assess and design how their people could be prepared to make the move and the changes with the least amount of resistance and loss of productivity.

 

The Needs Assessment

  • Delta conducted a thorough Needs Assessment throughout the organization to identify what the attitudes of the management and staff were and to understand how the culture of the organization could respond to the upcoming changes. The assessment process which took over three weeks, included some key steps on the part of Delta and the client:
  • Each Manager was interviewed to individually assess their perspective, concerns and ideas.
  • We conducted a series of 'one on one' interviews with a cross-section of the line staff from across all three current facilities.
  • A focus group was held in each of the current facilities with the majority of the staff and managers from each facility attending.
  • We distributed a brief customized survey to everyone in the organization to gather reportable data on attitudes, concerns and potential barriers to success.

 

Designing the Solution

Once the assessment process was complete, the Delta Design Team got to work and organized the outcomes from the assessment into a Solution Strategy that was based on 5 Primary Objectives:

- Primary Objectives -

  1. Provide the leadership and staff of the organization with opportunity and training to prepare them to make the transition into the new facility as seamless as possible - both for the organization and for the people.
  2. Provide leaders and staff with new awareness and tools that will help them to manage the potential negative effects of such radical change in the organization.
  3. Strengthen the relationships within the staff team, the leadership team and between staff and leaders. Let people get to know each other and develop interactive skills that will lend themselves to smooth productivity on the operating line.
  4. Provide the leaders in the organization with skills and opportunities to effectively integrate the three 'site cultures' into a new culture of performance and harmony at the new site.
  5. Focus on developing Communication Skills within and between all personnel and areas in the organization to support an ongoing behaviour of openness and support as everyone settles into their new roles and new operating environment.

The Solution

Once the Primary Objectives were clearer and approved by the client, Delta designed and delivered a series of three programs over the course of a three-month period leading up to the day of the 'big
 change':

 

- Program One -

This one-day program was conducted with all of the leaders from the entire organization. Using a combination of lecturette, open-discussion, experiential activity processes and interactive debriefs, the leaders spent the first half of the program strengthening the identity and value of their Leadership Team. The second half of the program was spent identifying the potential barriers to success that their staff faced and how to help them overcome them. During the final part of the program, the leaders worked with Delta to 'fine-tune' the agenda and format of the upcoming program days with their staff. Delta intended from the beginning to have the leaders participate in the delivery along side Delta facilitators.

 

- Program Two -

This program was actually three half-day sessions. With no opportunity to work with mixed groups from the three sites prior to the move date, we engaged to work with the individual staff groups from each site in order to prepare them to meet with and immediately begin working harmoniously with their counterparts at the other sites once the move to the new site took place. During these sessions the 'site teams' focused on identifying the key aspects of their 'site culture' that would benefit the new organization and how to best integrate those cultural strengths with those of the other sites. During this program each site prepared a highly interactive and energizing presentation that they would deliver to the entire organization during the final program on the move day. Each site team departed this program prepared and excited about meeting their new teammates and finding the best and most productive ways to work together.

 

- Program Three -

 The final program in the series actually took place on the opening day of the new site, and brought all the members of the organization together at the new site for the first time. Delta facilitators and the managers of the company led the organization through a series of presentations, discussions and interactive learning activities during the course of a full day. Each site team made their presentation, and then engaged in a sequence of open discussions on how to overcome the challenges of change that they faced. Everyone in the organization had a chance to meet and work with everyone else through a series of interactive team performance activities designed specifically for the group by Delta. At the end of the day, everyone on the team had an opportunity to outline and commit to how they would be working hard over the next few weeks to overcome the challenges of the new change and take the organization into a new and higher paradigm of productivity and harmony.

 

The Outcome

The series of three programs created a long list of outcomes, some measurable and some not. Overall the outcome of the process provided the personnel in the organization to move into their new facility with an open mind, a positive attitude, a plan for supporting each other and a commitment to 'making it work'. Some of the key deliverables provided by the solution process included:

  • Relationships within the organizational team were developed, strengthened and the overall relationship between the leadership and the line staff was stronger as a result of the demonstrated commitment on the part of the leaders through the program delivery process.
  • The various departments within the organization developed a plan to meet on a regular basis to discuss success strategies and how to overcome obstacles to cooperative success.
  • Each individual in the organization developed a personal Action Plan for how they were going to specifically contribute to the creation of a new organization culture of harmony and productivity. Commitments to these action plans were publicly declared, and strong relationships provided much support to help each other accomplish the goals of their plan.
  • The entire organization contributed to and created a Team Code of Conduct, which outlined a series of positive behaviours and actions that everyone on the team committed to supporting on a daily basis.

 

The Follow-Up Process

Delta created a follow-up process for the team to help support the implementation of the outcomes from the program series. The follow-up process was implemented over a period of 90 days after the opening day, and included some key steps.

  • Manager directed follow-up processes including scheduled team meetings, interdepartmental meetings and one on one support and coaching sessions with the staff. Managers followed up on action plans, commitments, the code of conduct and their own commitment to a more active daily involvement in the interactive cooperation within the organization.
  • Delta conducted a series of follow-up 'Focus Groups' with the cross-sections of the staff and leadership, to check in on progress and application of the program outcomes.
  • A final Effectiveness Survey was distributed to all personnel 90 days after the opening date to measure attitude, compliance and comfort with the outcomes of the program and the merger.

 

The Result

The organization moved into their new site and began production on schedule. Within weeks production was on track with expectations, and within several months performance and productivity was higher than expected and higher than the combined productivity of the three previous sites. Managers in the organization report that attitudes and behaviours are increasingly positive and that open communication throughout the organization is obvious and lends itself to greater support, more effective problem solving and less production down time.