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 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.
How a large multinational used Synthetron to focus the agenda for a top leadership meeting
A large multinational was planning the agenda for its Top 100 Leadership meeting. They did this every two years. This time they wanted to discuss how to implement the new strategy. Head Office had created it and they wanted to see it in action.
Prior to the meeting the team used Synthetron to work out where to focus the agenda. They wanted to discover which aspects of the strategy were most important. Before developing the script, Synthetron consultants asked if the strategy was well known and accepted. Although the answer was yes, the script allowed for both scenarios. All of the meeting participants were invited to join in the discussion to help shape the agenda.
In fact the discussion highlighted a lot of confusion. This was true at various levels. Many people were not aware of the strategy and few understood it. Leadership discovered the trouble spots and could start to tackle them. Knowing the Hot Topics for the meeting meant the meeting planners could give them the priority the meeting attendees were looking for. They fine-tuned the agenda and focused on what would generate energy and engagement. In the end they could all move forward. Together.
How a major electronics manufacturer used Synthetron to engage employees on a new strategy.
A major electronics manufacturer was about to have a significant new strategy launch. They wanted to engage employees to bring it to life in the organisation. But it’s not always easy to create a fair way for everybody to have their say. Traditional cascade systems and town hall meetings can mean many people aren’t heard. So they decided to use Synthetron instead.
We organized 3 Synthetron online dialogue sessions on the same day with a total of 600 employees.
For each session, employees listened first to a webinar explaining the ideas. Then they had their online discussion.
After this session, the CEO came back online to thank them for their participation and tell them when to expect feedback.
In total, more than 2500 comments were gathered through the Synthetron.
Synthetron analysed all the sessions afterwards to deliver key conclusions on employees’ hesitations and accelerators to the client.
The Synthetron sessions identified practical aspects of the strategy that were important to employees on the factory floor or in the distribution chain. Gathering these points of view built engagement as well as provided valuable data.
This enabled the management to adapt the strategy and set targets which they knew were supported by staff.