Ruben Consulting Group Clients
Client Success Stories
Change Management for Major Large-Scale Change Program-High Tech
A premier Fortune 500 high tech company grew so fast that it could scarcely keep up with its orders. Each business unit had been operating in its own entrepreneurial silo, capturing customer data that was often incomplete or inaccurate. Their independent data bases didn’t communicate with each other, which suited the units that believed the data was theirs.
The company had to function as a single team with cross-functional information sharing. That change would require consistent technology and processes to capture customer data that could provide actionable business intelligence. Behaviors would have to change too. All this occurred in a company that had a poor history of managing instituting change across divisions.
After assessing the situation, RCG provided coaching and guidance to the team guiding the change effort and the team that was developing the business solutions. We helped the teams develop an overall change management strategy and communication plan. We also coached them on influencing stakeholders, and developed and implemented a scorecard to measure the involvement of the senior staff who led and influenced the change effort.
RCG successfully transferred our change management methods and knowledge to the client’s implementation teams. With little or no disruption in service, the entire company soon embraced a new technology and way of conducting business. More important, the company overcame what could have been a disaster and is still surviving—and thriving—today.
Leadership Team Development—High Tech
A cross-functional leadership team for a premier high technology program was having difficulty getting traction. The program that they were leading was one of the company’s top priorities. However, their progress was too slow for the timelines the company had set. Team members didn’t trust each other and were not uniformly committed to the team’s purpose. As a result, they accomplished very little at or between meetings.
Through interviews, evaluation and observation, we identified some key areas for improvement. We then designed a series of team development sessions that focused on the leadership and team building skills the team needed, especially decision making, influence and conflict skills. We followed up with one-on-one coaching with some team leaders.
This work resulted in greatly improved team performance and a successful standardization project. In follow-up interviews, we discovered that team morale and effectiveness had improved, as had the impressions that others had of the team members.
Organizational Audit for New Internal Service Group—High Tech
A Fortune 100 high technology company had grown exponentially during the 1990sprimarily through acquisitions. As a result, they had a plethora of engineering tools and processes, none of which integrated with the others. The company, in an effort to cut costs and become more efficient in their operations, decided to standardize processes, tools and procedures. Ruben Consulting Group was called in to one of the divisions where a recently reorganized internal service group was getting poor marks for customer service.
We conducted an audit that included a number of one-on-one interviews and focus groups with members of the service group and their customers. The interview data was analyzed and synthesized into themes and recommendations. The deliverable was a comprehensive report by customer group, outlining key themes and recommendations.
Based on our recommendations, the service group was reorganized again, and customer satisfaction grew significantly.
Cross Functional Team Building—High Tech
A major high technology company created a cross-functional team to identify key customer requirements and build a technological solution to meet those requirements. The team included members from the business and technology departments, which had worked independently up to this point. They began the project with little knowledge of or respect for the importance of making their functions interdependent.
Not surprisingly, major disconnects existed and worked against their efforts to develop a solution. As a result, the “solutions” they developed didn’t work in the business environment and everyone was frustrated.
Through interviews and focus groups, we determined that the two groups had no common goals, no workable communication process, and no process to raise and resolve issues. RCG’s report to the project leadership team included the recommendation that the team develop processes that they could own and implement. The team leaders adopted and agreed to sponsor our recommendations.
The team put processes in place to address each concern. When we followed up 90 days later, we found that the communication, morale and solutions had improved both the working relationships and output of the team.
Large Scale Global Technology Change Implementation—High Tech
A mid-size high tech corporation had undergone a series of acquisitions that left it working with incompatible software on various platforms. This made it difficult, if not impossible, for different parts of the company to communicate, share files and collaborate on team projects. However, ingrained cultural differences between business units, employees’ comfort level with their systems, and decades of data in systems that were going to be changed made the technology change a challenge. Previous technology change efforts had failed; this one had to succeed if the company was to survive.
We conducted a comprehensive and collaborative change readiness assessment with a cross-section of all stakeholder groups. With this information, we designed a strategy for managing the change process and oversaw its implementation. The goal was to help the team mange the change process without disrupting the business.
Thanks to the thorough planning and strategy design, the company’s 8,000 plus employees had moved to the new system within months, with little or no disruption. For the first time, the corporation was able to communicate and collaborate effortlessly, and productivity increased.
When a new CEO took over this national retail company, he found that it was not realizing its brand potential. The previous management had offered products they liked, not what the marketplace wanted. While the company had a fiercely loyal customer base, it had no brand or vision of what the company stood for.
The new CEO was hard-driving and was expected to turn the company around quickly. The executive team was divided between “his” people who were new to the company and a few of the “old guard.”
Collaborating with the CEO, we designed an interactive strategic planning that led the management team through a series of planning processes. At the end of the two-day session, the executive team formulated its strategy, objectives, goals, owners and timelines. They had a clear image of what they wanted the company to be.
Through this process, the entire organization was able to focus on a common goal. The team left the session with a clear focus and detailed action plans to implement their new vision.
Executive Coaching—Financial Services
A young, rapidly rising executive was promoted to lead a new business unit within a financial services company. While he worked well with his boss and the senior executive team, his direct reports complained that he was not managing them effectively. Since this executive was thought to have high potential, grooming him for further promotions was seen as mandatory.
We started by meeting with the executive, identifying his goals and aspirations, and then administered a 360-degree feedback process along with other assessments. Based on the results, each coaching session focused on targeting specific developmental needs.
We did a follow-up survey with all of this executive’s direct reports. Their perception of him as a manager was completely reversed. His staff functioned much more effectively, and he was given more responsibilities.
"Marcia Ruben played a lead role in the change management aspects of one of our largest technology implementations. She skillfully guided us through an analysis of the real business issues which helped us focus our efforts on the technical solution. Marcia was a true partner, in that she cared about the results of the project as much as we did. Yet, she was always objective, flexible and insightful. This project was successfully completed with minimal business disruption."
Former CIO, Fortune 500 High Technology company
"Marcia worked with us on a very challenging, rapid pace technology implementation. Throughout the process, I found her to be dynamic, upbeat, resourceful and extremely flexible. Marcia's leadership in guiding us through the people aspects of the project was invaluable. Her integrity is unquestionable, setting an outstanding example of professionalism for her consultant colleagues and our staff throughout the project. I learned a lot from her."
Former Director, Network and Desktop Information Services, Fortune 500 High Technology company
"Marcia worked with us in the early stages of the design of a transition management strategy for the implementation of SAP R/3. She also designed and led several workshops for key managers to acquaint them with the change issues associated with the implementation. I found Marcia to be a solid professional consultant who brought relevant experience to the project."
Former Director of Transition Management for Fortune 500 Agriculture company