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Change Management Resources
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Digital hives: Creating a surge around change | McKinsey

Digital hives: Creating a surge around change | McKinsey | Change Management Resources |

[Successful] "Large-scale engagement of the workforce requires...a determination by management to loosen if not relinquish its traditional top-down approach, and an ability to demonstrate how digital activities complement offline or other real-world events.


Four ways to drive change using the digital hive concepts:


1. Engaging the workforce in better strategy

Early experience suggests that better results follow when a problem is presented in stages to avoid overwhelming the participants, when a company uses volunteers rather than conscripts, when it offers training on how to think about innovation, when energy- and community-building offline events (such as workshops or weekly cafeteria sessions) supplement the online discussions, and when executives strike an authentic tone.


2. Connecting silos with a social chain

One of the biggest organizational challenges is to break siloed behavior and get employees talking to one another and cooperating across intracompany boundaries. …[What’s} promising …the “social chain”: a digital platform that …allows employees to work “out loud” online by sharing how they do things. It also encourages people who were previously isolated in part of the chain to identify areas where they depend on others and to tackle problems or bottlenecks collaboratively. 


3. Enlisting key customers to improve the proposition

KLM, the Dutch airline, has successfully used this approach to foster a stronger client-centric mind-set among its employees. The company’s executives opted for a large-scale digital dialogue between KLM and its emerging customers …involving 1,500 participants from small and midsize businesses, who generated more than 1,000 concrete ideas and 4,000 other contributions. Management and customer-facing staff from KLM Netherlands actively participated in these discussions. …It… “opened our eyes to the possibilities of social media to build a far stronger customer focus among our staff.” KLM has since become one of the airline industry’s foremost social-media exponents.


4. Uniting a dispersed sales force to drive higher sales

…[A] new network, implemented at minimal cost, puts collective expertise in the hands of each of the frontline reps, binds them more closely to the organization, and generates faster performance feedback. Within a year of the start, the company has increased cross- and upselling rates to more than 50 percent, from 4 percent, realizing an increase in gross margins of $25 million.


Leading while letting go

Digital hives involve large numbers of previously “disenfranchised” employees in setting strategy, company-wide transformations, and customer-outreach initiatives. Creating these hives requires a delicate balancing act—not least a willingness by top managers to let go. Managers should not be afraid to commit themselves explicitly to acting on the results of these initiatives and should encourage unrestrained participation, however unpredictable the consequences.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The quality of conversation, or lack of it, is telling and provides insights about what is current and what is pending. McKinsey offers four solid examples of how to drive change focusing on digital “hives”—designed to solve a particular problem or set of problems as well as to build new behaviors, so they can become new habits.

This is how a culture shift can happen and sustain itself. ~ D

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Case Studies on "Shared Services" Change Projects from Deloitte Consulting

Case Studies on "Shared Services" Change Projects from Deloitte Consulting | Change Management Resources |

"The shift toward shared services, as a means to cut costs and improve quality is well underway.  Case studies from Deloitte on 'Getting it together.'"

Here's a helpful resources page from the Deloitte folks that links to downloadable articles.

  • Theory:  " giving business units deeper support and let more people focus on what they do best.
  • In practice, it takes serious planning, coordination and hard work to realize those benefits."

Cases listed include:

Helping a large non-profit organization and its chapters embrace efficiency to do more good.


  • getting people throughout the organization to understand and embrace the changes. 
  • extensive training. 
  • tailored messages to stress the additional good people would be able to do if the organization were more efficient with its resources. 
  • pilot tests demonstrated this level of improvement was not only idealistic, but realistic
  • performed a feasibility assessment including practitioners from manufacturing operations, finance, strategy, technology, capital markets, organization and talent and total rewards service areas.


One of the results:  more consistent medical benefits, increased employee participation and allowed for $12 million dollars in annual savings.

  • improvements were designed and implemented including (example) offering more than 500 medical plans through more than 90 different providers, migrating all local health care plans to an enterprise-wide benefits program and creating a Center of Expertise benefits function integrated with human resources (HR) and payroll, to help simplify administration and reduce administrative resources, all while improving service levels. This approach generated more consistent medical benefits, increased employee participation and allowed for $12 million dollars in annual savings.



  • How to establish and improve a shared services organization (SSO), based on the results of Deloitte’s 2011 global shared services survey results.


  • The other half of the shared services battle.


  • Sharing internal expertise.
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Accenture's Cost Cutting Change Plan at University of Michigan

Accenture's Cost Cutting Change Plan at University of Michigan | Change Management Resources |

Early [in November] university administration rolled out the “Workforce Transition” phase of its “Administrative Services Transformation” (AST) plan.


...50 to 100 staff members in the [University of Michigan] College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A) departments were informed that their positions in HR and finances (out of an anticipated total of 325) would be eliminated by early 2014.

Outside consultants [Accenture], none of whom actually visited individual departments for any serious length of time, reduced these positions to what they imagined as their “basic” functions: transactional accounting and personnel paperwork.


Read more: 


From another source, also published in Inside Higher Ed:
...Nineteen department chairs in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts -- the largest college on campus -- wrote a Nov. 1 letter to senior administrators protesting an “air of secrecy” around the effort and raising concerns that longtime staffers, particularly lower-income women, would be hurt by the changes, either because of layoffs or pay cuts. In response, senior Michigan officials wrote a Nov. 14 letter acknowledging they were “not sensitive or consultative enough in the planning and communication of this initiative.”



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UM Law Quad arch photo by  Phil Roeder

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Sounds like overpromising and underdelivering, by quite a lot.  According to McKinsey consulting: many cost-reduction programs are "illusory, short lived, and at times damaging to long-term value creation."  Their own research concluded that only 10% of cost reduction programs show sustained results three years later.

Through my network, I heard there was confusion, moving goals, and all around strangeness, including the staffing of interviews for this planned reduction.  Also, jobs targeted are held by many over-40 low to mid-wage earner women.  

From the AST's information page (FAQ), besides Accenture, there were two other consulting firms:


  • The university is working with Accenture, a global consulting company, on the AST Finance and Human Resources Shared Services initiatives, and Global eProcure and Huron Consulting Group, two firms that specialize in helping organizations transform their procurement operations to achieve substantial savings, on the strategic sourcing initiative.

The change & communication process for the reductions program also excluded the faculty voice, a rare, unexplained move compared to many program & change planning efforts affecting faculty.   This may stand as another cautionary tale about communication during change, which usually is under-planned and under-resourced by a factor of four in most change efforts.

~  Deb

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