Case Study 1

Radical Transformation

Britannic Assurance, a British financial-services company, was moving from a decentralized branch system in which customer service was handled locally to a centralized customer-service operation, including a new call center, as part of a larger strategic shift.

They asked TDF International to help instill the vision, the culture, the structure, and the resources to transform the operation quickly.

Through extensive interviews, we identified many expected themes around dramatic change – nostalgia, confusion, insecurity – and a number of themes specific to this change, including culture clashes, clashes with sales, and weak leadership from supervisors.

We recommended work with the customer-service management team as the most powerful intervention. If this group could step up to its leadership responsibilities and function as a team, many of the other issues would be resolved.

We did some individual coaching with the managers, but our primary intervention was a major offsite. At this meeting, we focused on defining what would count as success by the end of the year, creating a 100-day plan to achieve this success, and the roles the managers would have to play to make the plan succeed. We taught the team TDF to create a shared language for this effort.

The team achieved all of these goals, and the outcome of this meeting was a remarkable energizing of the team. The 100-day plan became the centerpiece of the department’s efforts, serving both to focus energy and as a clear and convincing story to rally the employees.

We followed up with a second off-site with the front-line supervisors, communicating the leadership’s vision and to build a culture with common purpose and language, ownership, and a commitment to making a difference.

The impact of the leadership of the management team was dramatic. By the end of the year, most of the ambitious 100-day plan was achieved and a second 100-day plan was initiated. Customer complaints were down dramatically; customer satisfaction had risen significantly; employee satisfaction was also up significantly; and quality measures were showing consistent upward movement.

“TDf was the essential catalyst which enabled change to occur and more importantly be sustained. TDf broke down a century of hierachical cultures, interdepartmental prejudices, and related underperformance.”
KEITH ROBERTS, FORMERLY DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Britannic Assurance