Organisation review: greater accountability and organisational responsiveness
With solid growth and a stable client base, a high profile multi-billion dollar financial services institution, was faced with significant exposure to operational and legal compliance risk, following an audit review of key business data, coinciding with the global financial crisis.
From the outset, poorly defined and exercised accountability was compromising core work and administrative processes, key operational outcomes, and critical customer touch points. In addition, the legacy business structure was no longer adequately serving the future vision or requirements for a strongly differentiated customer experience. The leadership team were divided on the urgency and scale of risk, and the chief executive was compelled to confront the effectiveness of his leadership team as key contributors to organisational risk.
The first step was to sharply focus and confirm root causes and devise the case for significant and decisive change. The end-game: exceptional end-end member experience, operational efficiencies to deliver speed to market and organisational responsiveness, and effective operational risk management.
Maximise conducted an independent organisational review focussed in the theme of accountability, involving in-depth interviews with the executive team, selected direct reports and business specialists. Desk top analysis was also applied to existing the organisation structure, position descriptions and performance plans, strategy and planning documentation, employee surveys, and audit findings.
The aim of the review was to understand current organisation design, including reporting structure, key work process, customer touch-points and unit accountabilities – what worked, what didn’t, and what needed to happen to address possible factors influencing or inhibiting accountability.
Review findings revealed deep systemic issues, inherited over time, and embedded in the operating culture of key business divisions. It provided a comprehensive set of recommendations to address leadership and culture, strategy and metrics, structure, people and work.
It also provided a compelling rationale and business case for organisational restructure which enabled executive and internal project team to implement recommendations with favourable organisational acceptance and ownership for change.
An externally conducted, independent organisation review is always more than a data gathering exercise. It is the start of an organisational dialogue on the critical issues that drive value, – done well, it engages people for action.
Qualitative research methods provide an in-depth understanding of human behaviour and the why and how of decision making informing key outcomes. Smaller, focused, sample-size using interviews or focus groups enable rapid diagnosis over a short period. It also brings together multiple “truths,” as the basis for collaborative decisions and effort. This approach is particularly powerful where diverse or conflicting viewpoints and experiences can be respectfully integrated. It also helps cut through to what really matters on fuzzy presenting problems.