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Alliant Techsystems Corporation is a large manufacturer of munitions and we helped them refocus a leadership style and a corporate culture that would support its strategic goals. Honeywell spun off defense divisions post-cold war. They realized they didn’t have a whole company and it was reorganized around a central theme.
Much of the work centered around creating one company out of four independent divisions. A major intervention was the creation of 360° feedback- based program for their top 500 managers and executives, The Leading Edge: Developing Excellence in Leadership. The program’s focus was to help management develop values and practices to support its overall strategy. The leadership and management development program highlighted working together through partnering, respecting each other, providing value to customers and working cross-functionally in matrix management. The management group pulled togethe and opened up communications. <top>
We enjoyed a long-term, ongoing relationship with British Airways dating back to 1984. In 1992-93 we implemented a series of strategic initiatives throughout the airline encompassing senior level executives, mid-level managers, front line supervisors as well as the rank-and-file. Intensive efforts launched in BA’s cargo division launched the creation of culture and values needed to support their business strategies focusing on quality and continuous improvement. These interventions included such programs as Managing Quality (for all managers through the executive team); Leading Continuous Improvement (front line supervisors); and Leading Continuous Improvement (upper level managers and senior team); and Achieving Quality (staff). The staff Achieving Quality programs generated over 2,000 continuous improvement suggestions.
Another airline-wide strategic initiative began in 1993-94. BA had been on their quality journey since 1981 and Managing Winners was a continuation in refining their quality efforts. BA’s top 4,500 managers attended the program over its 16 month run. The program was to achieve understanding of what quality really means in a service business; to introduce BA’s Quality Framework; and to engage managers in rethinking and re-prioritizing their practices toward service quality as a key British Airways’ business strategy.
One of these projects was working with the reorganization of BA WorldCargo, the Americas (Canada, US, Central and South America) and central Europe. Vector Group helped British Airways’ 5,000 person World Cargo freight division reverse a 10 year record of increasing costs and diminishing profits. It was languishing in spiraling costs and failing in its global strategy to deliver cargo as promised to its customers. We led an organizational analysis determining driving causes, conceptualized and implemented a multi-faceted series of interventions geared to improve delivery as promised, increasing profits and driving down costs. We drove for results from the shop floor to the executive suite gaining the full commitment of organizational members and improved cargo delivery over 200% across the global system.
Outcomes included full, current understanding of The Americas situation across the board; articulation of an initial mission statement, strategic goals and values; description of short- and long-term visions for the Americas; alternative organizational structures in order to achieve revenue targets and strategic goals.
Concurrently, we helped redesign critical processes (re-engineering) within Cargo operations at the Heathrow Airport hub using a number of process mapping tools. The top management team realized they were no longer able was unable to map out the entire process of moving a box from Detroit through Heathrow (London) and on to Johannesburg, South Africa. The Vector Group assessment team successfully mapped the process along with the accompanying paperwork trail and international documentation requirements – highlighting a number of road blocks and constriction points that resulted in too many late deliveries of cargo. This led to the creation of staff-level “tiger teams” or ad hoc task teams that dealt with the operational challenges Vector Group uncovered.
Successful implementation of many change initiatives took place with the help of these rank-and- file task teams. As a part of this process the Managing Director realized that he and his team needed to better understand the impact the Executives were having on the work throughout the world wide organization. We developed a new proprietary process called Management Mirror to do an in-depth assessment of the Cargo executive team and its impact individually and collectively on the organization. In addition we conducted intensive on-site, real-time coaching for Hub Managers at Heathrow operations on a 24/7 basis throughout the transition period.
In 1997 we began a major change effort for British Airways Sales Division on a world-wide basis that realigned culture and infrastructure with a new corporate strategy. We successfully completed the transformation in 1999.
Issue: Blue Cross / Blue Shield provider being eclipsed byt other BC/BS….within the Blues, CMIC losing share….change from order takers to a company doing marketing and sales. We developed multiple interventions covering the entire 2,000 employee organization to launch and sustain a Corporate Culture Change Initiative. We worked with the executive team, mid-level managers, supervisors and the staff. The major thrust was a 5 1/2 day feedback-driven residential program for the top 250 managers of the company to help them develop the practices, skills, resources and needed support to move to a new way of doing business. In addition to developing the top management, another prominent intervention was the creation of functional teams within their Information Systems & Technology division. By their internal audit, they achieved a 5:1 return on investment of our work. <top>
Vector Group was Introduced to Board of Directors. A new company was being formed from competitive businesses so this was effectively a startup reservations system competing with Sabre. This was an advantage for American Airlines in response to the market. We developed a value system and culture and helped in the original foundation of the company. We conducted an Organizational Scan of all human resources functions to help align their HR efforts with the organization’s overall strategy. General overall efficiency and effectiveness between units.<top>
The entire GM work force (300,000+ employees) was experiencing an unprecedented amount of change and uncertainty as a result of increased competition. GM needed to create a lean, competitive, and externally focused organization, a considerable shift from its previous 20+ years. It was critical that every supervisor and manager feel comfortable, confident and competent in leading this change. This was pointedly not the case.
The management population was characterized as not being able to create an effective working atmosphere for a number of individual and organizational causes. Our Positive Leadership Program was designed to improve “productivity impact” of 30,000 first and second line supervisors.
After our intervention grievances requiring corporate intervention dropped 20%. In an interview sample of 300 managers 75% commented on instances of direct application of the principles in daily work. A detailed cost benefit analysis showed a program cost of $30,922,500 with an identifiable return of $337,.500,000 for a cost-benefit ratio of 1/11. Areas of impact included reduced voluntary turnover, increased productivity, increased quality, reduced costs. Read the full story
We did extensive work with Square D Company (Groupe Schneider’s North American subsidiary) at their headquarters in Palatine, Illinois and with operations across the US beginning in 1989. We had previously helped them with such interventions as Professional Management Development Program and Leading and Managing Change. We launched Quality Engineered Development (concurrent engineering) in January 1992. Our program of Matrix Management for their executive team, helped them reorganize their North American sales and change the manner in which they were operating. We assisted in the development of an international management team for their operations in Mexico. We conducted customer service modules in their high potential management development programs. <top>
GRE was expanding and was acquiring small regional insurance providers in their business sector. Now they needed to operationally think globally and act local in the midst of buying companies and bringing them in. Each company they picked up were niche organizations who knew their local and unique market and could undercut underwriting costs. GRE wanted to merge these smaller companies together and not lose that strategic piece. We utilized a custom-designed version of Leading and Managing Change including our Matrix Management program to help GRE during implementation of a strategic initiative. The company put together a nationwide package of services but GRE purchased a number of small, regional companies to make their services more competitive in pricing and sensitivity to customer needs at the regional level. Our intervention gathered inputs from local GRE staff who had more understanding of local markets and conditions. <top>
W engaged in two significant processes to help management implement strategy following the merger of Harvard and Pilgrim health care organizations. This included: an Issues-Based Teambuilding intervention with the Executive Committee (primarily responsible for setting future direction of the company) and an Operating Group Management Retreat to improve the effectiveness of the Operating Group, consisting of senior members from both of the merging companies. We helped them deal effectively with culture clash issues resulting from the merger, along with establishing a climate and a value for continuing resolution of issues impacting organizational effectiveness. <top>
We performed an organizational analysis and design intervention to help the client understand and document its own key work processes. We made recommendations to improve their processes or in some cases to support systems that would enable lCG to achieve its service levels and ISO certification in anticipation of a major contract. <top>
We dramatically accelerated effectiveness of new managers for Jeppesen-Sanderson by directing a new leader assimilation process for a new Director of Distribution in the US and a new Manager of Distribution in Mainz / Neu Isenberg, Germany. We gathered functional data from direct reports, customers, and manager peers, compiled, and analyzed the data and facilitated a coaching process bringing the new managers up to speed becoming aware of organizational challenges and taking action to resolve them within days rather than weeks or months. <top>
We designed and presented a three-day, feedback driven development session for high-potential managers. We delivered the program and worked alongside HR management (manager and director) to ensure follow-up actions were implemented. (high potential managers, 360 feedback, action planning). We interviewed top management (VPs, General Manager), gathered data on direction of the company and desired leadership and management capabilities. We custom-designed a 360° feedback instrument. This successful project led to the additional consulting with Alliant Techsystems. <top>
This was a state of the art traffic management company State of the art traffic management….toll collection…access to parking areas….They were experiencing severe internal problems when taking on more and more projects and getting bogged down and missing deadlines. Decision-making points were lopsided and conflicts existed between existing projects and new projects with everyone in decision-making positions being more aligned with new projects. get new players in the room and get a balance…looking at the corporate good. out of balance internally….couple of
We conducted an Organizational Scan to assess factors negatively impacting on development of software and customer satisfaction. Results of the systemic diagnosis provided the client with more effective ways to organize around the work processes and to achieve improved strategic focus. Within 90 days following our recommendations, they learned to manage these issues. <top>
MICHCON was facing deregulation and was at risk for being acquired. They invited us to examine the functioning of the human resource department and assess its relationship with all other functions within the company. We did what we described as OD in the Trenches– intensive, sometimes contentious, real-time shadow coaching and development of the HRgroup — in identifying issues, determining effectiveness, providing feedback, and recommending structural and strategic changes. <top>
The situation was that New York Life was a large company with a strong culture. Theirr HR department was mired in old processes and their ersonnel analysts needed to learn how to become performance consultants. We developed the internal consulting capabilities for the Executive Development group of their corporate human resources division. New York Life has approximately 140 subsidiary organizations to which it provides services. Inits decision to move to more and more decentralization, its subsidiaries made stronger demands for value-added services. We designed and developed a three-part course for the HR group to help it go beyond the needs of its customer groups which was highly successful by all measures. <top>
Vector Group was invited in by the recently hired Managing Director of this 8,000 member sales division to investigate the current business reality. The cost of sales was soaring astronomically at 2.65:1. Following an organizational scan (diagnosis), we launched concurrent multi-faceted interventions to transform this business. Overall, we reduced cost of sales 165%+ for Prudential Assurance Retail Services while increasing sales channels. We directed concurrent projects building infrastructure supporting attainment of strategic goals.
Our international faculty delivered Leadership Mandate, a residential leadership development program for the top 500 sales managers designed to transform the sales organization. We were instrumental in building internal resources to carry on sustained change with a transfer or knowledge. All totaled, we made 1182 process improvements throughout the organization. The final numbers showed cost of sales down 34.7%, sales productivity up 64.6%, internal processes down 29%, all while increasing the number of sales channels. This program focused 75% on leadership and management development programs, 20% process re-engineering and 5% infrastructure adjustments. The overall result was that we brought this 158 year old company into the 21st century.
We did extensive work with Square D Company (Groupe Schneider’s North American subsidiary) at their headquarters in Palatine, Illinois and with operations across the US beginning in 1989. We had previously helped them with such interventions as Professional Management Development Program and Leading and Managing Change. We developed Quality Engineered Development (concurrent engineering) which was a project to alter product development from a sequential to a concurrent process involving engineering design, manufacturing, marketing and sales. Where it had taken years for product development to get to market, the time was reduced to a few months.
Our program of Matrix Management for their executive team, helped them reorganize their North American sales and change the manner in which they were operating. We assisted in the development of an international management team for their operations in Mexico. We also conducted customer service modules in their high potential management development programs on a global basis. <top>
We designed and facilitated 4-day team building session for the corporate Organizational Effectiveness Group. Gathered organizational data, designed team building session and facilitated the process moving them toward becoming more effective team. Coached and shadow consulted with the Director to increase management and leadership effectiveness. Succeeded in moving the team forward and identified and recommended future actions they could take. <top>
We ngaged in a number of processes to help W. R. Grace achieve its business objectives. The primary driver was to develop an organizational culture that supported their globalization strategy. Initially, we served on the faculty for a management development program entitled Leading and Managing in a Global Organization. Stemming from that initial work came a need to develop the Grace Executive Development Program and the Grace Executive Development 3600° Feedback Survey. The targeted population for these programs is their high potential managers and key successors who represent the leadership needed to achieve continued success. <top>