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Producing Breakthrough Business Results with an Enagaged Workforce

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Producing Breakthrough Business Results with an Enagaged Workforce

  1. 1. Mark Kamin & Associates Page ! of !1 6 Mark Kamin & Associates Ilene Fischer Partner, Large Client Practice (603) 566-0299 Marcea Wolf-Carter Partner, Large Client Practice (704) 516-1986
  2. 2. Mark Kamin & Associates Page ! of !2 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Business Challenge After a national health benefits organization acquired a 900-person non-profit in its field, its Vice President and General Manager was given twelve months to achieve three demanding goals: • increase operating income by $14 million annually • transition the non-profit to a for-profit business and cultural integration • increase Great Place to Work (GPTW) scores from 50 to 66 Kamin Engaged Kamin was engaged to drive an extensive cultural transformation and produce extraordinary business results using WOW! Breakthrough projects methodology. Results The organizations were successfully integrated and transitioned to breakthrough levels of profitability. Operating income increased by $54 million Summary Dramatic improvements like these require cultural transformation in most organizations. Achieving demanding goals requires overcoming business-as-usual attitudes, risk aversion, inadequate infrastructure and a process- oriented cultures. When organizational change is pursued in service to aggressive business goals rather that for its own sake, cultural transformation can lead to breakthrough performance as described in this white paper. PRODUCING BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS RESULTS WITH AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE
  3. 3. Mark Kamin & Associates Page ! of !3 6 THE PROCESS Overview This Kamin engagement followed these four phases: • Cultural assessment • Formulation of leadership team, oversight team and ignition team • Strategy formation • Strategy implementation, teams producing results using the WOW! Breakthrough Process Cultural Assessment Kamin conducted a “Readiness for Change Assessment” to gauge the organizational culture and determine its readiness for change, focusing on the barriers and catalysts for change. The assessment identified the following barriers: • A hierarchical structure with isolated functions • A polite culture, where people were afraid to hold each other accountable • A “fire-fighting” mentality, where quick fixes produced unintended consequences elsewhere in the organization • A poor sense of work prioritization • Inadequate communication processes, resulting in an insufficiently informed workforce • A pattern of unfinished initiatives and projects with no official closure • A culture characterized by “activity” rather than coordinated action, by process rather than results • An “internal focus” in which the customer experience was not always considered and customer service was inconsistent • Low morale among associates The assessment identified the following catalysts: • Senior leadership was committed to—and had begun to lead—the change initiative • Managers and associates, though apprehensive about the future, were open and ready for change • There was participation in the change initiative by employees at every level of the organization • There was a business imperative for change, with specific, measurable, organizational goals driving the initiative PRODUCING BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS RESULTS WITH AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE
  4. 4. Mark Kamin & Associates Page ! of !4 6 Formulation of Leadership, Oversight and Ignition Teams The new leadership team was formulated, as well as the oversight and ignition team. The role of the Leadership team was to manage the business with the new GM, meeting every two weeks for two hours to view and weigh in on the challenges, direction and success of the business. The role of the Oversight team was to act as steering committee for the overall change initiative to help steer and give feedback to the process. They determined who should be on the WOW! Breakthrough Project teams and they provided feedback on the direction and output of the WOW! Breakthrough Project teams. The Oversight team met every month with the WOW! Breakthrough Project team leaders and were updated on the teams progress. The Oversight Team consisted of the General Manager, four senior managers, and two Kamin consultants The purpose of the the Ignition team was to ignite a quick, timely flow of information about the WOW! Breakthrough Initiative throughout the organization. Teams addressed front-line workers through existing All- Associate meetings. They “shook things up” in meetings, making them festive occasions that employees didn’t want to miss. WOW! Breakthrough Project teams put on outrageous skits, on one occasion dressing the VP in prison garb to convey the need to break the rules and work creatively. Strategy Formulation The Leadership team met for a two-day offsite to determine the six strategic business goals and to align to those goals. Strategy Implementation—WOW! Breakthrough Initiative In partnership with the organization’s management team, Kamin conducted a WOW! Breakthrough Project Initiative to achieve six aggressive, strategic business goals while transforming the culture to one that was consistent with the for-profit company. Each of the six goals was addressed by a dedicated cross-functional WOW! Breakthrough Project team. The WOW! Breakthrough Project Initiative entailed an integrated set of interviews, meetings, and WOW! Breakthrough Project workshops facilitated by Kamin consultants. Teams and their members received regular coaching. An Oversight Team consisting of the General Manager, four senior managers, and two Kamin consultants provided direction and guidance. The WOW! Breakthrough Project Initiative process included: • Reframing the purpose of each WOW! Breakthrough Project Team to assure high impact results. For example, the team charged with improving community relations redefined its goal to “becoming a leader in the local healthcare community.” The team wanted to accomplish goals that people would talk about for years to come. • Using “rapid prototyping” to obtain quick input from various constituencies. Teams applied the technique to everything from new work processes to an invitation to the Healthcare Forum, that PRODUCING BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS RESULTS WITH AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE
  5. 5. Mark Kamin & Associates Page ! of !5 6 the community relations team piloted. The process prompted participants to “think innovatively / outside the box” and work iteratively and collaboratively. • Coaching WOW! Breakthrough Project teams to address both the “tangibles”—systems, structures, metrics—and the “intangibles”—passion, creativity, design. The Service Quality team, for instance, brought about critical changes in quality measures and audits while producing fun events to focus attention on quality goals. • Celebrating successes—large and small. Rather than waiting for the final achievement of a goal, teams celebrated the completion of phases and the attainment of milestones. This provided acknowledgement and accelerated team building. Celebrations were as simple as free coffee and doughnuts and as elaborate as a marching band parading through the building to mark the attainment of a profitability target. • Designing project handoffs and turnovers. To avoid a collapse or loss of momentum, Kamin consultants planned their exit by establishing appropriate support structures for the teams. They orchestrated hand-offs to the managers who would take over as coaches, after receiving coaching training from Kamin consultants. Additional Results Kamin’s WOW! Breakthrough Projects had a profound, qualitative impact on the organizational culture, improving associates’ collective ability to think and act “outside the box.” Creative, exuberant associates produced inspired results. WOW! Breakthrough Projects broke down barriers in the organization, stimulated rapid prototyping and fast feedback, increased goal awareness, and allowed natural leaders to emerge from the front lines of the workforce. Challenge Goal Results Cost of quality care Reduce annual increase of 18% Reduced increase to 10.5% 
 (saving $12 million) Service quality A “member touch point” quality rating of 96 out of 100 (in 12 months) 97 out of 100 (in 2 months) Workplace satisfaction Improve from 50 to 66 out of 100 on national Great Places to Work Survey Scored 70 Community relations Become a leader in the local healthcare community by launching 
 a successful Healthcare Forum Launched a successful Healthcare Forum attended by 300 community members that is now ongoing Project management and workflow prioritization Create viable process for project management and workflow prioritization (in 12 months) Built project management “toolbox” (in 5 months) PRODUCING BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS RESULTS WITH AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE
  6. 6. Mark Kamin & Associates Page ! of !6 6 Visitors often commented on the new “look and feel” of the work environment. Lobbies included colorful team exhibits and a video monitor showing uproarious All-Associate meetings. The call center was filled with noisy enthusiasm. “Theme lunches” in the cafeteria featured employees in costume. Frequent team celebrations of large and small successes occurred throughout the facilities. Summary As a result of using the WOW! Breakthrough Project Initiative to meet the strategic business goals, associates have learned to embrace accountability; operate from a team mindset; express their passion in their work; dazzle their customers; and enable their organization to show a significant profit. WOW! Breakthrough Projects have helped create a fast, focused, flexible, fun culture, consistent with the vision of the for-profit company. Customers have been the ultimate beneficiaries of the WOW! Breakthrough Project initiative and have consistently communicated that to the company. QUOTES FROM ASSOCIATES AND STAKEHOLDERS I never expected there would be such a cultural revolution in just 6 months. I’m really glad I didn’t leave. The WOW! methodology has affected everything we do and how we think. The very first thing I think about in approaching my work is how to make it WOW!  It’s actually fun coming to work now. This would not have happened without WOW! teams. It’s never an ordinary week at work. One day a high school marching band is parading through the customer service center to celebrate a profitable year; another day a small plane is circling the parking lot with a banner congratulating us for hitting a quality goal! I often request a video of the All-Associates Meeting so I can entertain my family with the outrageous skits of the WOW! teams and they can see for themselves what a fun place it is where their Mom works. As a customer I had problems for years with the customer service reps but that’s gone. I can tell it’s a different company now. PRODUCING BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS RESULTS WITH AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE