Global Utility Making culture a conscious topic

Industry: Utilities

Expertise: Operational Excellence, Rapid Results, Strategy Execution

Schaffer Team: Markus Spiegel, Jonathan Stearn

An initial project that saved $60 million in 75 days helped to spark a full-on transformation effort that added tens of millions in additional savings and top-line revenue growth

Linking Front-Line Workers with Long-Term Vision

Schaffer Consulting helped a major electric utility significantly cut costs, enhance revenue, and build the capability of its staff to drive noteworthy change. Included in these efforts was a focus on helping the leadership team to clarify and articulate its strategy, in a way that linked the behaviors of front-line workers to the long-term vision of the organization.

Jump Starting Company-Wide Transformation

Following its acquisition by a global utility, this US-based company aimed to become an attractive location for future corporate investment. This would require not only dramatically improved performance, but the creation of a culture allowing employees to experiment and discover fundamentally new ways of working.

Disciplined Execution Yields $60 Million in Annualized Cost Savings

In less than one month, Schaffer helped to launch and support 13 performance improvement projects linked to a number of its strategic priorities including:

  1. Customer Service

  2. Electric and Gas Field Operations

  3. Asset Management

  4. Supply Chain

By day 75, the formal close of the first cycle of performance improvement projects, the teams had generated $60 million in annualized cost savings and revenue enhancements while beginning to build the confidence and leadership bench strength to tackle more complex business challenges.

Leveraging Change Capabilities: Leveraging the momentum, enthusiasm and new change capabilities that came out of the achievement of early results, dozens more project teams added tens of millions in additional savings and top-line revenue growth, while expanding the number of employees who were directly engaged and committed to driving improved performance across the organization.

Challenging the Way Things “Get Done Around Here”: To sustain the continued involvement of the entire organization in the transformation, Schaffer worked with the leadership team and a dedicated business transformation group on issues from leadership development and communications to organizational culture and the coaching of leaders to effectively support the transformation efforts.

Included in these efforts was a focus on helping the leadership team to clarify and articulate its strategy, in a way that linked the behaviors of front-line workers to the long-term vision of the organization. Driving changes in the culture was an explicit part of the transformation dialogue – providing individuals with the space to challenge the way things “get done around here” and helping them to identify new ways of working.

Developing More Effective and Sustainable Work Patterns

While the performance improvement projects were focused on delivering measurable results in very tight time frames, they also served as vehicles for experimentation and learning. Making the unconscious elements of culture a conscious topic with the goal to practice, experiment, and reward new behaviors helped to not only drive short-term results but also to develop more effective and sustainable work patterns.

Relentless Focus On Results: Through coordinated and integrated efforts on Disciplined Execution, Change Capabilities, Leadership and Culture, coupled with a relentless focus on measurable results, the company was able to make significant progress on its transformation vision in months, not years, while building the skills and confidence to drive these efforts from within.

 



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