“It can be hard to break through in our organisation, but they made it happen.”
— managing director
An economical and spatial development agency of a large city was widely viewed by its commercial partners and the municipality council as fluffy, inefficient, and having little impact on the city’s economical development. In addition to its image problem, the agency had major operational challenges. Its employees operated within a highly complex and poorly defined organisational structure, and had few clear goals against which to measure their success. As part of a larger campaign to improve the customer-centricity the management board asked us to help improve the agency’s performance.
In collaboration with the client’s team, we first conducted a comprehensive lean assessment of the agency’s service operations.To identify opportunities for improvement, we interviewed over 20 senior managers, over 100 representatives of key stakeholder groups and assessed the emerging economic and spatial issues.
We then partnered with frontline employees to design, test, and refine a set of solutions aimed at increasing efficiency and effectiveness. We helped them redesign the operational setup so that processes were streamlined, co-ordinated, and customer centric. To enable the agency’s frontline employees and leaders to roll out the solutions and sustain impact, we helped create and deliver an extensive capability-building program that consisted of change-leadership coaching and technical training for middle management.
Since the transformation effort, the agency’s reputation has improved dramatically. Regular surveys show greatly increased satisfaction among employees and stakeholders, productivity increased by more than 50 percent; backlogs have been reduced by two-thirds. The agency’s staff has built the capabilities to sustain these performance improvements. Equally important, the program has generated enthusiasm and buy-in among frontline employees. Internal surveys indicate that fully 100 percent of the agency’s employees feel they are “encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things.”