Case Studies

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY

Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) - The importance of understanding attachment for communication


Led by Victoria M Grady

The Federal Government in the United States is often volatile and chaotic plagued by constant change. The Federal Register Index identifies 257 unique agencies. (https://www.federalregister.gov/index/2015). The Federal Aviation Administration is one of those agencies. The FAA is home to more than 30,000 employees globally.

During 2016, the Flight Standards Division of the FAA began preparing for a structural reorganization. The results of this change would be new reporting structures for the entire division. There was great attention to this change as it would serve as the benchmark change process for other change initiatives across the FAA.

Study Included:

During June through August of 2017, the authors worked with the Flight Standard Services Division of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) who were in the process of a wide reaching organisational change initiative. From a change management perspective, the initiative was led by FAA Change Management Advisor, who had implemented the Prosci ADKAR high level framework for change delivery. The Attachment Style Index (ASI) was used alongside the deployed to ensure continuity and familiarity for the parties involved in the change. The goal to understand and transition successfully through DESIRE. Both quantitative and qualitative questions were included within the survey and all responses were anonymous.

Value Delivered:

The results from the participating cohort recorded a dominant attachment style and also provided insight into a number of underlying change dynamics from which change interventions were formulated. The participants included a group of individuals who were committed to the change at an organisational level but whom for many, were unsure (at the time the survey was taken) of the benefits to them personally. From a change management perspective, this insight informed the communications approach and message on a number of levels. Firstly, the attachment assessment provided additional evidence to support the way in which the participating cohort were recommended to communicate with their colleagues at both a peer and subordinate level. Secondly, having insight to the attachment styles and the associated reactions to the way in which the change had been previously communicated, enabled a set of change recommendations to the content of subsequent communication, given that the attachment style exercise enabled a better understanding of how the message would be received.




Business/Process Structure Change Utilizing the Change Diagnostic Index


Led by Drs. Victoria M. Grady & James D. Grady

In this case, the change was based on a business process/structure redesign of the organizational units that impacted the Audit Staff, Actuarial Staff, and associated Management personnel. The client was a Federal Government Agency located in Washington D.C. The key business function of this agency is the protection of retirement incomes of more than 44 million American workers in 27, 500 private sector defined benefit pension plans.

This Study Included:

  • Selection of the Change Diagnostic Index by consultants/directors managing the change process to provide measurable, actionable data throughout by utilizing two administrations of the Index;
  • Establish a baseline prior to the change and approximately two weeks after the change was in place and operational.
  • Staff and Management participation in the Change Diagnostic Index surveys at an overall response rate for invited participants of 62% and is considered representative of those directly impacted by the change.

Value Delivered:

  • The Change Diagnostic Index results evidenced an inadequate leadership/sponsorship buy-in prior to change process plan development.
  • The data provided by the Change Diagnostic Index was then used to enhance the project at the onset to increase leadership/sponsorship buy-in.
  • The Change Diagnostic Index highlighted strengths in the Actuarial department and weaknesses in the Audit department that led to reallocation of resources after new business process integration that resulted in significant resource savings. The Change Index® score for the actuarial dept decreased as the result of reversal of previous change in technology. The reversal of this previous change positively impacted the current Index score for the Actuarial dept demonstrating a decreased need for training/education on current change initiative--- the resources were reallocated to Audit dept where additional training/education was required.
  • The Change Diagnostic Index provided all employees impacted by the organizational change the opportunity to influence the change implementation plan through the cumulative results of the Index at the baseline and beyond. This is consistently cited by employees in their respective organizations as the primary motivation for completing the survey. We attribute this response to our consistently higher than average response rate.





HEALTHCARE

Leadership Change Utilizing the Change Diagnostic Index


Led by Drs. Victoria M. Grady & James D. Grady

An outpatient surgical facility wth employees equally divided between three sets of responsibilities--clinical, nursing, and front office—in addition to doctors. Employee reactions measured were a result of three leadership changes over a period of nearly 5 years. The average length of employment for individuals was 7+ years.

This Study Included:

The Change Index® was chosen as the quantitative tool to follow the impact of leadership change and to provide measurable data throughout the process.

  • The Change Diagnostic Index was administered ten times during the engagement. The first was to establish a baseline prior to the first leadership change. The additional surveys were administered at three-to-six month intervals during two leadership changes over a 3-year period.
  • The overall response rate among the invited participants was 100%. This sample size is considered to be representative of staff members directly impacted by the change.

Value Delivered:

  • The Change Diagnostic Index identified behavioral perceptions and attitudes in the introduction of new leadership that unrecognized would have allowed problems to escalate. Lessons learned in the first leadership change were used to improve the success in the second leadership change. The data provided by the Change Diagnostic Index was utilized to evaluate the first leadership change while it was in process and used proactively in the second leadership change.
  • The Change Diagnostic Index highlighted the employee reaction to a new office manager, and the “poor fit” nature of her relationship to the existing staff. The Change Index® scores showed a willingness to accept the recruitment of a new leader to the organization, and later their inability to accept her leadership style. In the second case, prior experience caused a short exacerbation of symptoms with the arrival of the new leader (as a result of the negative first experience), but steps taken on the second occasion led to a rapid acceptance of their new leader.





GLOBAL DEFENSE

Assessment, Analysis and Recommendations for Leadership change within a Global Defense Organization


Led by Dr. Victoria M Grady, Dr. Lynne Offermann and Major University Partnership Team

A collaborative study involving 35 countries for an incoming leader with an interest in revising the organizational structure and other processes upon arrival. All interviews and assessments were presented/conducted in both English and Spanish to all participants.

This Study Included:

  • 51% participant response rate for on-line Change Diagnostic Index assessments completed organization–wide

  • Conducted 12 leadership one-on-one interviews with ambassadors, generals, staff chairs and other paid staff

  • The Change Diagnostic Index identified Decreased Morale as a result of undefined expectations and goals and a lack of transparency and visibility

  • The Change Diagnostic Index identified Increased Conflict as a result of unclear organizational identity

  • The Change Diagnostic Index identified Decreased Motivation as a result of blurred roles/responsibility and high bureaucracy/low empowerment

  • The Change Diagnostic Index identified Increased Turnover and Loss of productivity due to limited training

    The combination of the qualitative interviews and quantitative assessments resulted
    in specific target areas. The analytic data from both perspectives provided the project with unique information that supported the development of a comprehensive change strategy designed to measurably increase the success.

Value Delivered:

  • The comprehensive plan was designed to operationally guide the mission and purpose of the organization into the future.

  • Analysis provided the data to strategically anchor (long-term) development and define primary goals to guide the organization into the future.

  • The strategy increased internal and external communications, both formally and informally, to enhance organization visibility, reputation, credibility, and trust among members.

  • The data identified transition and training as critical elements in the upcoming change process. One consideration was the term extension for key positions to allow for colleague overlap and knowledge transfer and to create a knowledge management system for data transfer.

  • The creation of an internal executive management team to guide the modernization and change process and to continually assess its progress was identified as the primary catalyst for subsequent development initiatives.





HIGHER EDUCATION

Implementation of a Five-Year Strategic Plan & Vision


Led by Drs. Victoria M. Grady & James D. Grady

An engagement with a state university to assess “beneath the surface” responses of employees before and during the initial phases of a new strategic planning initiative in order to direct focus and resources as efficiently as possible in a severely limited budgetary environment.

This Study Included:

The Strategic Planning Engagement included three Change Diagnostic Index administrations for the Baseline phase, the Calibration phase at the end of the first academic year, and the End phase at the end of the Second Academic Year.

Approximately 1,200 employees were invited to participate in the Change Diagnostic Index survey with acceptance of approximately 42% at the Baseline phase and 38% at the Calibration phase. Each demographic group was proportionately represented.


Value Delivered:

The Change Diagnostic Index Baseline results indicated notable instability across five demographic groups. Leadership in Planning & Research targeted those areas with mitigation efforts directed by Change Diagnostic Index results. Based on the Index, efforts were initiated to maintain stability in stable groups.

The results of the Calibration (second phase) survey showed improved results in three of the five Change Diagnostic Index symptoms. Scores of the demographic group responsible for on-line initiatives were elevated in the Baseline survey and further elevated in the Calibration survey. This strongly indicated difficulties with challenges in the Strategic Plan regarding on-line efforts and indicated an uncooperative attitude from some established faculty members. Based on this Change Diagnostic Index flag, key leaders addressed the issues internally and new measurement initiatives were put into place.

On the Baseline survey, the demographic group responsible for enrollment initiatives showed elevated scores related to economic trends. Based on Change Diagnostic Index data, new measurement initiatives were put into place to reconcile.





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