Success highlights

  • Faster decision making with positive results

    Shortened estimated project development time by 1/2.

  • Improved speed of implementation

    Shortened project implementation cycle from 24 to 9 months.

  • Overcoming internal objection

    Brought major objectors around to support the changes.

  • Building agility into the program DNA

    Setting up the project in a flexible way to adapt to changes and maximise on opportunities.

The issues

A professional services firm recognises the threats and opportunities arising from automation and AI for its industry. It realised that in order to stay relevant in that changing industry, it would have to undertake significant changes to its national education program to develop the advisor of the future. Driving this program, the firm experienced a number of challenges:

  • Powerful leadership within dispersed reasons could not agree on a unified approach to and common principles for change.
  • The leaders in the firm struggled with the concept of making decisions when there is no one, single answer to the future.
  • Some of the leadership population had an incomplete knowledge of the challenges arising from AI and automation.
  • A culture of scepticism and risk aversion slowed down making decisions and driving change.
  • The dispersed nature of the firm created silos and inconsistency of approaches to change.

Our approach

  • Developing an agile mindset:

    We coached the team in developing agile thinking and working, developing solutions using design thinking and cutting down on time spent in meetings.

  • Breaking down silos:

    Co-created initiatives to break down functional silos and foster collaboration across multi-disciplinary teams. It improved the internal customer feedback, leading to shorter product development times while improving product robustness.

  • Practising empathy:

    Equipped the team with the tools to gain empathy for the needs of different cultures quickly and approach potential conflicts with business objectives in a results-orientated way. This reduced resistance and created greater support from the different country locations, bringing the project back on track.

  • Improving cross-team collaboration to support in times of pressure:

    We coached the teams to self-create aligned definitions of success that supported both: achieving the desired business outcomes and recognising the different aspirations and cultures of the teams & their team members. As a result, different teams supported each other, alleviating pressure in sales and product development teams allowing for a better customer experience, leading to positive customer feedback and higher sales.

  • Realigning focus on customer service makes customers happy:

    Taking the team through practical exercises to enhance their ability to develop empathy for their customers’ needs, enabling them to find suitable solutions quicker. For external customers, this lead to shortening of the sales cycle, for internal customers it meant less time in meetings, more acceptable solutions and less rework.

Business results achieved

  • On day two of the program, the client reported that applying agile problem-solving method helped resolve an 18 months old internal issue within a two-hour meeting,  
  • The initial team spread their capability beyond their functional teams, resulting in widespread buy-in to the transformation project. 
    After 18 months, the portfolio of internal projects remains 98% on track for program, budget and benefits. 
  • Participants in the program report a high degree of confidence in applying the learnings in their work, resulting in greater productivity for themselves and their teams. 
  • Teams report a greater level of initiative being taken at all levels to support the transformation, with less time in meetings.
  • The estimated cost saving is £350,000 for 4 months period alone.

Based on the estimated management time saved, the team achieved an ROI of 21:1

What results could your business achieve?