The Defining Moment:
A past sponsor, and CEO of the organization, approached us after the Board declared the plan for the division representing the primary growth engine of the company was not good enough. It needed to be more aggressive and put on an accelerated timeline to generate results earlier. A draft plan was in place, but needed to be rapidly enhanced, validated, and kicked off with buy in from all the right people.
The division had acquired 30+ businesses and was experiencing all the traditional barriers to execution following rapid growth –from misalignment to managing change and employee uncertainty.
A group of leaders spent months creating a draft operating plan for the next 3 years for the division. Within the draft operating plan, the business objectives and strategies have been well laid out. However, the leadership team had only 50-60% confidence that the execution strategy to get there was well defined. The team decided to use the Solving Sprint to convene a diverse group of experts together to validate the draft plan, build out a plan of action with steps and contingencies for execution and collectively craft a narrative that resonates with stakeholders.
Faced with limited consistency and standardization across the 30 acquired subsidiaries as well as duplication of processes and individualization of practices at those subsidiaries, The Solving Sprint served as a venue for the leadership team to align people to the long-term direction of the TPA– to make it clear to the organization that beyond a simple roll up strategy, the organization needs to create a plan to showcase themselves as an innovative provider in the TPA market.
Their objectives were:
Engage stakeholders to validate, critique, improve and align on the plan and narrative, with a focus on execution
- Find the balance between retaining existing customers and pursuing a true transformative business model
- Confirm our path to accelerated growth and improved operating leverage/profitability
- Articulate a clearer definition of what “great client experience” looks like and what it will take to get there
- Define our ideal associate experience and how we will engage them
- Ensure a compelling narrative that will resonate with and further engage Associates, Customers, and Partners
With 32 leaders and experts from across the organization, plus an advisory board of 10 additional senior executives, the group spent 682 cumulative hours of high intensity collaboration across 7 days, ultimately aligning on 24 recommendations
Those recommendations were subsequently converted into a detailed action plan, aligned within the key workstreams of the existing in-flight plan. The work was reinvigorated with updated direction, project charters, and a compelling narrative to turbocharge buy in and progress.
Two key benchmarks post engagement:
1. On feeling “aligned to solve the challenge,” participant views shifted from 38% agree/strongly agree pre-engagement to 93% agree/strongly agree post
2. On the topic of how much time it would have taken to arrive at similar recommendations had the Solving Sprint not occurred, 43%of participants said 10months to never
‘I’m amazed at the process and what we accomplished together.’
‘At the end of the day we can usually get the strategy right, but not with this level of buy in and engagement. We have a lot more compelling details now to achieve our goals’
We meet on a regular basis and have conversations but this opened up a catalyst for us to have openness in our future dialogues’
‘Significant moment for me was seeing the team align across the organization and focusing on actionable items that we know needed to be completed to meet our goals’
‘Roundtables were so intense and made me surprised by how much we can get through in an hour and refine our ideas; we need to create opportunities of cross pollination in the future’
‘Collaboration – impactful to see everyone play a part and everyone taking ownership’
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