How a large consultancy leveraged Synthetron to enhance its annual Partners conference
A large private sector management consultancy wanted to make sure its annual Partners conference was focused on the right issues.
They ran a Synthetron online dialogue session with all the delegates a few weeks before the conference.
The senior partners used the outcome of the session to determine the overall theme of the conference and set the agenda.
This process was useful as an Early Warning System for the leadership to know where concerns were building in the organization and also served to motivate and engage the Partners around the event.
How Synthetron helped the senior management of a multinational corporation to prepare a Top 100 global conference
Senior management of a multinational corporation wanted to prepare and improve the agenda for a Top 100 global conference focused on the implementation of a new strategy.
We set up two synthetron online dialogues to identify priority actions for the conference. All employees were invited and the debates were segmented by seniority and geography.
The analysis of the debates showed that a significant number of the employees were not aware of the strategy, and even those that were did not necessarily support or even understand it. This Early Warning given to senior management from the online brainstorms helped them realise that the first job was to clarify and communicate the strategy, then build alignment before asking employees to get on and implement it.
The conference was postponed and hundreds of thousands of pounds of travel expenses not to mention the implications of disengagement or an unexpected rebellion on site were saved.
“Of course they all understand the strategy, this conference will be about how we implement it” – This was what our client said before the discussion.”We can’t have a conference about strategy implementation now” The client after the discussion.
How Synthetron helped engage all stakeholders in an IT project roll out process. To facilitate its implementation.
An organization needed to launch a major new IT project that required key stakeholders engagement.
A set of systematic online Synthetron discussion of the plan with different stakeholders before the launch and during the implementation.
Before launch a first session was set up with local management to understand what would make them real change agents. Despite the all faced the same change and came from the same MO, their in-going position was very different.
During implementation Synthetron sessions were organized to conduct a series of review with different stakeholder segments: management, implementation team and floor.
The first round of discussion with local management uncovered that, despite the fact that they all faced the same change and came from the same MO, their in going position was very different. Understanding this helped the change team engage all as change agents with a specific adapted approach.
The reviews with different stakeholder segments not only increased engagement of participants, but gave the PMO and change team clear insight in issues and levers on how to improve and accelerate the roll out.
How Synthetron supported the smooth merger of two banks by engaging valuable staff.
In the merger of two private banks, management was afraid of losing valuable members of one company’s sales force.
The management decided to listen to the sales force, engaging them in a series of interactive discussions using Synthetron methodology.
In a first step, two different Synthetron discussions were held to listen to the salesforce, identify their level of alignment to the merger vision, their fears, the potential bottlenecks, their hopes and suggestions.
This first outcome helped management to take difficult decisions and to give feedback.
A few months later another Synthetron discussion focused on re-assessing the level of alignment and engaging participants in identifying key success factors and actions on which to focus.
The process helped management take difficult decisions, give feedback and generated valuable insights on the level of support for the decisions taken and the way to manage the implementation successfully.
How a Multinational aligned the 100 top managers on a strategic change program leveraging Synthetron online dialogues
The leadership of a multinational decided to investigate the alignment of its top 100 managers with the strategic change program launched 4 months earlier via a cascading communication process.
All 100 managers were invited to join a one hour online, anonymous Synthetron online meeting to respond, discuss and validate their views.
- How urgent was the change programme?
- How far had the change programme been adopted, and translated into action?
- What were the bottlenecks?
Finally, they were asked to identify how the strategic change could be accelerated and suggest improvements.
The outcome was richer and clearer than any classical interview round and generated new and actionable insights.
How a pharmaceutical company involved frontline staff to shape its R&D strategy.
A pharmaceutical company needed to make more effective use of its R&D budget for a high-selling drug.
They wanted to get input from people on the ground since they have a lot of knowledge about the customers’ needs. However those views were difficult to gather and analyse, often distorted by one or two more vocal individuals.
By running an online brainstorm with front line sales representatives, wisdom was collected from every corner of the market, processed and prioritised.
The result was a clear ranked requirements list for for development (these included the drug itself as expected, but also generated valuable and actionable ideas for packaging, communications and distribution).
The salesforce were motivated by their inclusion in the decision-making process and the priority changes identified by them were cheaper and easier to implement than the developments the R&D function had in mind.
The peer review of the ideas during the online Synthetron session takes everybody ’s view into account, including those who never speak up at a meeting. Nobody has to wait for their turn to speak, or be embarrassed at expressing a “silly” point of view.
How a multinational company used Synthetron to develop a shared vision
A multinational energy company was at a turning point. They had grown by acquisition and had a fragmented corporate culture. There was no shared view of what they stood for.
We organised a series of 6 Synthetron sessions during a year to consider the mission, the corporate story, the values and how to bring it all to life.The gap between discussions allowed information to be analysed, assessed and incorporated before the next session.
The approach addressed the feeling in some parts of the organization that they didn’t really belong, or that all the decision were made in HQ.
It also helped build team spirit as every month staff had the experience of working with global colleagues on an important question.
How a global business consultancy harnessed the wisdom of its own top brains to shape its business development strategy using Synthetron online dialogues.
A global business consultancy was under pressure to identify the best sectors and approaches to develop new business
They decided to harness their own top brains to solve the problem. They ran a Synthetron online brainstorm with top performing consultants from around the globe.
The Participants identified best practice, prioritised target sectors and gave some excellent ideas on how to communicate effectively with those targets.
A strategic leap forward in new business development from a single one hour session.
How a consumer technology company used Synthetron to build support for the new strategy and management agenda
A multinational consumer technology company wanted to engage their employees worldwide to build support for their strategy, goals and management agenda over two consecutive years.
In 3 virtual workshops each lasting 1.5 hours the employees of three Regions (Asia Pacific, Europe, Americas) were welcomed personally by the CEO in a conference call, followed by a short presentation of the new strategy.
After the presentation all employees returned to their PCs and engaged in an online synthetron discussion with 100- 200 colleagues of their Region.
Topics discussed included the general strategic direction, alignment of employees and several selected components of the management agenda on how to achieve the objectives.
During the 3 discussions more then 2500 opinions were shared of which over 400 became a synthetron (judged by the participants to be important).
After a quick analysis of the top synthetrons the employees received feedback on the session within an hour from the CEO in second conference call.
The analysis report together with the agreed actions by the management team were shared with all staff by local management.
Management reported back that they realised the following significant benefits of the exercise:
- Collected insights and used the knowledge available throughout the organisation.
- Quantified degree of alignment with the intended strategy.
- Received quality insights, action list , prioritised by several levels of importance.
- Engaged a large proportion of staff directly in a way that would have been impossible to do physically.
- Demonstrated modern leadership based on a true dialogue.
- Interacted with staff worldwide in a conclusive, open, cost effective and environmentally friendly way.
How an industrial Multinational organization measured progress on its change plan and understood what to adapt
A multinational industrial company had started a strategic change program 1 year earlier. It initiated the implementation phase 6 months later with a major communication effort and needed to understand progress
The Top 100 managers were invited to a one-hour interactive Synthetron discussion. We asked them to share their own elevator speech and their observations on the day to day impact of the new strategy to understand alignment and engagement. We then asked them to reflect on the change, the obstacles they experienced and what they understood to be the key enablers going forward
The Synthetron management report gave insights into the situation assessment, the main obstacles and the conditions for accelerating the implementation.
Management was surprised by some of the arguments and their support.
The Change Manager found that this gave much richer feedback than interviews and the outcome confronted management with the reality in the trenches.
Specifically, the client realised that:
- The communication efforts had not created sufficient ownership
- They needed to address a main obstacle which was new to them
- The priorities and key levers they needed to address
- Which of their ingoing management hypotheses were confirmed or not and why.
The roll out plan was subsequently adapted
How a global company used a Synthetron value jam to assess readiness for a culture change
A worldwide division of a large industrial services multinational developed a proposed new corporate culture with a changed mission. They wanted to test this in order to launch it successfully at the worldwide top 500 conference.
Synthetron organised a value jam session with 8 online open discussions split by employee segment to identify : motivators, irritators , hopes and fears today.
The resulting synthetrons were analysed by segment and also integrated to give an overall insight into prevailing, missing and aspirational values for different managerial segments.
A clear overall value map (values that enabled or slowed down) for person, team, company outside world plus profile of each segment were produced from the synthetrons and MindSet analysis
Management realised there was a significant gap between today’s aspirations & emotions on the one hand and the proposed new culture on the other.
They realised this would compromise the worldwide conference and that they needed first to adapt the proposed corporate culture based on the input, and find the necessary bridges and convincing arguments.
They postponed the conference while they addressed this gap.
How an international NGO involved its staff on global scale to shape its new strategy
This international NGO was one of the biggest. The winds of change were blowing through the organisation. Therefore, it wanted to update its strategy. Old, defunct processes were swept away and new questions were being asked of everybody.
The changes were refreshing but also felt a bit unstable. There were some murmurings out in the field as people wondered about the new direction. What was it? Did they agree with it? Did they want to stay?
Then in an unprecedented move the Head of Strategy decided to involve everybody. So they could give input into the new strategy for the next 20 years. However they had staff in 80 countries and no shared language. Hence they thought it would take forever. How could they make sure everybody had a fair chance to express themselves? How could they turn all that raw data into meaningful and robust recommendations?
We set up several Synthetron online dialogue sessions in parallel to be able to involve staff across time zones and languages. In an unprecedented move for inclusion, every single staff member was invited to participate. Hundreds of people inputted thousands of statements and generated a million data points.
After careful analysis the Synthetron consultant was able to give them a single image summing up the story. As well as clear direction on the updated mission and strategy.
Then the board wanted to find out if office staff were over-represented. So Synthetron did a segmented analysis looking only at field staff which confirmed only the most minimal differences of opinion.
The strategy team then incorporated the discoveries into their decision making, confident that their thousands of committed employees were aligned with the new plan.