A key growth strategy for this professional services firm was to gain more "share of wallet" through increased cross-selling. This required not only that employees knew what products other lines of business were offering, but that they felt motivated to recommend and refer their clients to other parts of the organization. Long-entrenched silos - as well as a culture that emphasized individual over team performance - were barriers to achieving this. Adjustments to the compensation and performance management programs and the use of inter-departmental presentations helped. But more was needed.
Real cooperation and collaboration between functions required more than knowledge and even financial rewards. It required relationships - where employees knew and understood their colleagues working in other areas of the business. I proposed an online collaboration program, with a focus both on enabling project-based work but also an emphasis on more inter-personal issues where people could truly get to know their colleagues. A robust and dynamic people directory within this platform - one that identified personal interests, office location, physical and online presence, areas of expertise, educational pursuits and the like - would introduce every employee to the entire organization, as a person and not just as a name, phone number, and email address.
The Result After building a business case and then securing buy-in, I conducted an RFP for a platform. I created a small team to help implement the platform and then support it through marketing, training, help desk services, troubleshooting, and community management support. Taking a crawl-walk-run approach - starting with a pilot and then first creating communities that focused on softer personal interests rather than business processes - we launched the platform, including fully integrating it with the Intranet, analytics, single sign-on, and the people directory database, in six months.
Within its first half-year of operations, employees created over 120 communities, most of them created to support the execution projects and to enable cross-functional work. Overall engagement rose. Cross-selling increased. The new matrix structure functioned more smoothly. And most of all, the hierarchical legacy culture gave way to one where employees reported feeling more empowered. When a link on the homepage to the CEO's blog sat next to that of a specialist, a manager, and a director, employees could actually see the flattening of the organization and believed for the first time that ideas and abilities rather than seniority were what now truly mattered.
With rapid growth, heightened competition, and increased scrutiny, this organization realized that it had no choice but to seize of the story it told and participate in the one being written by others.Client name (if possible), or a short list of services delivered
Becoming digital-first in its approach to communications meant that this financial services organization had to re-think what communications was about: its goals, its limitations, and its processes.Educating on and embedding a digital-first mindset and related processes and guidelines across all areas of public affairs and communications.
This organization recognized that it could increase its visibility and build trust and engagement by developing high-value, engaging content on themes rooted in its brand identity - and then to integrate that content across channels.
As a business based on trust, this organization seized the opportunity to use social media to extend its reach, offer unprecedented accessibility, deliver efficient customer service, and directly engage its current and prospective customers in genuine and responsive dialogue.
This major bank recognized that strong communication and addressing cultural issues was critical to successful integrations - fostering employee engagement, retaining high-performers, and reducing the time to integrate processes and technologies.
Real cooperation and collaboration between functions of this professional services required more than knowledge and even financial rewards. It required relationships - where employees knew and understood their colleagues working in other areas of the business.
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