A 7,000 person business unit (BUX), formed by a merger between two industry “giants” needed to be  seamlessly integrated, while downsizing, producing breakthroughs in performance and re-inventing the culture.

 “BUX” is a large business unit of a new telecom company formed by a merger between two leading companies in the industry.  This merger was at the time one of the largest ever in the industry.  The merging companies were both large and well-established entities providing very similar services.  Immediately following the merger, a re-organization folded all divisions having similar functions into single business units.   BUX was one of these newly formed business units.

LPR’s Charter
The President of BUX requested the assistance of the London Perret Roche Group LLC to support a successful integration.  The engagement was designed to deliver on his two primary commitments: 

  1. Seeing that the two organizations were rapidly and successfully integrated
  2. Ensuring that the integrated organization was turned-on, fast, and accomplished - well prepared for oncoming competitive onslaught" in their market.

Potential Problems

  1. Dissimilar cultures and antagonism between the two entities
  2. Pressing performance issues: Maintaining or simply improving historical performance levels was insufficient.  BUX needed to become a fast-paced, customer responsive, high performing entity - a departure from historical ways of working and past performance
  3. Two of everything: Together, the two merging entities brought two leadership teams, two different labor unions, and two different work forces with different practices. How to go forward was potentially an explosive issue
  4. Downsizing a must:  The merger mandated a reduction in personnel, inevitably a process that upsets many people and engenders mistrust
  5. Inadequate management styles: Also, both organizations had a top down, military-like management style frequently described as "command and control” – an engrained style that could not support the vital, fast environment needed for future success and needed to be changed quickly.

The Results
1. A seamless integration, and a revitalized environment:

"A large percentage of employees bought into changing the organization.  I saw a turn.  Employees in my organization were excited about it.  “Ignition” sessions truly touched the organization.  They got people committed to the new BUX.  It touched employees’ heart.  They recommitted to the organization.  The result was a quantum leap in sales and service."
-Senior Team Leader

"I saw a lot of finger pointing . . . and I wanted to alter those things.  By building an organization that had a very high level of urgency, customer sensitivity, everyone being really focused on the best way for us to address the market, satisfy our customers, enhance service results, we developed a cohesive, focused organization."
-BUX President

2. The "command and control" culture substantially dismantled:
 
"Before, the staff people would have analyzed problems, found answers, laid it out there and then walk away.  Now, it’s a partnership.  Staff and workers design together, implement by phases - pilot it, monitor it, tweak it.  The managers are not afraid to say, "My original thought was wrong."  Before, we were defending the wrong method forever.”
-Manager

“It used to be very hierarchical.  You spoke only to your supervisor.  We were not encouraged to voice an opinion.   Now, people are encouraged to shared ideas and promote them.  I’d have never thought I could send a message to even my director three steps up. . . There are no repercussions, even if what’s said is not what they want to hear.”
-Associate

3. Innovation and leadership emerging at all levels:

"Ownership is emerging from the ranks where you normally don’t expect it. We, as a culture, don’t look to service reps for solutions.  We’re used to telling them what to do and when.  That has changed drastically.  Almost 100% of the teams are taking on significant activities. . .With that ownership came leadership, in the ranks where most of the work is done.  Leaders are emerging because we created the space for it.  They didn’t expect that they’d be leaders in the business.  That’s their greatest learning - that they could lead.”
-Manager

“I’ve never seen employees so excited about seeing that they could make things happen.  I see eagerness to be a part of it and people wanting to bring about the change in BUX.  I see a lot of relationship building, working through problems, a lot of team and a lot of confidence.”
-Associate

 

 

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