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Client Overview

Change Leadership

Within a few months, the new director recognized that a culture shift was critical to the effectiveness of this internationally known organization. Senior managers regularly participated in meetings across the globe, while day-to-day operations were handled by the administrative team, which included office administration, finance and information technology.

The director was concerned about the demands on his time within the organization and sensed similar frustration amongst others. Symptomatically, the administrative team was accustomed to kicking decisions up to the senior managers, which resulted in a slow and frustrating process. Managersí time was eroded by dealing with items that could handled by others and the administrative teamís productivity was hampered.

At the outset of the engagement, Saltzman Consulting used interviews and a survey to gain an understanding of the culture.

Key Findings

  • Overall, people reported that working for the organization was a positive experience and cited programs, customer service and teamwork as going well.
  • In general, people wanted improved clarity around the vision, roles and responsibilities, and decision-making authority. While senior managers reported that communication was good, other staff said that they needed more information in order to work effectively and that they would like feedback about their work.
  • The survey characterized the current culture as approval-oriented in which people felt expected to conform, do what they were told and avoid conflict. Members aspired to an achievement-oriented culture in which people are expected to set challenging but realistic goals, create plans to achieve those goals and pursue them in a supportive environment.
Saltzman Consulting used a high involvement approach to create a vision, develop organization-wide communication strategies and attain input regarding how to structure the organization to increase workflow and decision-making effectiveness.

Results

A compelling vision was articulated, and regular staff meetings were instituted to increase communications. Additionally, the organization was restructured so that the administrative team had the autonomy to design work processes to increase organizational effectiveness. To the highest degree appropriate, decision-making authority was assigned to those responsible for the work.