Our client was in its third year of delivering a significant upgrade to one of its technical logistics systems with minimal/no impact to its 24/7 operations and ~80,000 daily customers. They had partnered with two major contractors for the development of the project and in its later stages, complications resulted in missed delivery gates, frustration between teams and incurring significant penalty fees. Deliverables stalled and as a result, all parties recognised the need to re-set contractual agreements and ways of working for all levels of employees.
We were asked to support the whole management team in creating the understanding and belief behind the new commercial contract and to help ‘reset’ ways of working that allowed better collaboration, more alignment and an ‘all in it’ mentally for the project.
Whole group engagement and collaboration was key for this to deliver the desired outcomes. Our action took three steps – each vital, and each with clear intent:
Firstly, we created a small group of ‘Change Agents’ who were representatives from across the three organisations and facilitated a design session. This was the first opportunity for a cross-org team to create safety and space to explore some of the symptoms and causes of the current situation and allowed us to co-design the right activities, inputs and outputs for a two day Springboard Event™. Our second intervention was to bring the senior leaders from each organisation together and help them reconnect and prepare for the event itself – identifying, refining and practicing key messaging and agreeing how best to ‘show up’ on the day.
The resulting third intervention was the Springboard Event™. The first day was focused on regrouping the whole team – helping them understand the wider context and renewed vision for the project and subsequently what they are ‘letting go of’ to allow a ‘new beginning’. The right mix of assignments, graphic capture, Q&A and whole group facilitation kept the whole group on track and engaged. The second day demonstrated the ‘handing over the baton to participants’, where we used an ‘Open Space’ approach to enable participants to host working groups on hot topics that they themselves had identified as needing attention in order to bring the project back on track.
In 48 hours, what were disparate market entities that had never worked together, built an agreed new starter experience, with the requisite end to end process, business investment cases, technology solutions, communications and project plan for their Board approval. Organisational Effectiveness at its best!