Report of experiences
Field Report from the Service Sector
A mid-sized, owner-run communications services provider had experienced rapid growth over a short period of time. This applied to both revenues and the number of employees, which had risen by roughly 5,000 in ten years. Middle management was assuming responsibility for ever larger and, in some cases, multi-site projects; and establishing project leadership structures.
The operative general manager commissioned Metaplan to design a development program that would provide executives with the organizational skills they required, and train them to perform classic management tasks with confidence. The program consisted of four modules: „Understanding Organizations,” „Leading Projects,” „Leading Discourse,” and „Strategic Customer Development;” in addition to periods of guided implementation and a major conference.
We designed an 18-month program consisting of modules lasting between two and four days. Attendance was mandatory. The modules alternated with phases during which the executives could apply the knowledge they had acquired in concrete situations at work. The results and insights gleaned from the learning stage were fed back to management during one-on-one talks and presented at management events. In addition, we provided unambiguous feedback to the executives during each implementation phase and helped them execute their management initiatives. As a result, our program benefited both the executives and their projects. During the program, the company launched an internal reorganization project. We adjusted our content accordingly. Thanks to the organizational understanding they had acquired through our training, the participating executives assumed the role of „internal consultants” on core reorganizational processes, and contributed ideas of their own. Working closely with the COO, we repeatedly created opportunities to link relevant change projects in the organization with our program.
The assignment to bring executives up to speed with the greatly expanded organization led to the creation of a program that was not only beneficial to personnel and organizational development, but also resulted in an internal platform for change. The executives learned and applied new skills and began to develop a stronger sense of identity as leaders. They gained a new understanding of the organization and learned how to deal with micro-politics, conflict, trust, and cooperation. Not least, the executives formed a team that even now comes together to analyze problems and move initiatives forward.