Industry Category: Media

Close work with teams helps media company takes stock ahead of merger

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Close work with teams helps media company takes stock ahead of mergercasestudy-image

We were very happy with the quality of outputs and clarity created on change impacts and best plans that we gained through this change process

– Merger Team Director – May 2018

Brief

Our client is one of Australia’s most progressive media companies, with more than 2.8m subscribing households and a 22.8% metro share of all TV viewing. Our client was merging with a major content production company to achieve their vision of becoming the nation’s foremost provider of sport, drama, lifestyle, news and entertainment content. The impacts of the merger were split into two parts: the Day 1 impacts of the merger, particularly the enterprise-wide changes; and changes for Day 90, including the merging of some teams, moving to single systems across both entities and aligning processes.

Solution

Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to provide:

  • Change impact assessment
  • Input to communications plan and supporting materials
  • Heat map of change impacts and timeframes, for high-impacted areas
  • Consolidated view of change approach and progress for the Executive team
  • Systems roadmap
  • Change plan for each impacted team and system

The impact on people was at the core of this assessment and change management planning work to ensure the teams and systems were brought together smoothly with one view across the business.

Results

Working closely with the client, our consultants provided expertise particularly in the areas of change impact assessment and change plan development; there was a need to engage heavily with stakeholders and spend time with affected teams and members of staff to gain a better sense of the future state during a period of flux. A clear assessment and plan were developed across each business unit and integrated into the broader project plan maintained by the internal Management Office, and details shared with the communications team for enterprise-wide messaging. By working closely with individual teams facing the greatest impact, fit-for-purpose change plans were created and well received. The client was happy with the quality of outputs and the clarity around the change and its effects that was gained through the process.

Change diagnostic helps media organisation keep pace with audience’s modern needs

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Change diagnostic helps media organisation keep pace with audience’s modern needscasestudy-image

Delighted with both the quality of the change diagnostic report and the approach adopted, which achieved deep and targeted engagement with the key stakeholders using as light a touch as possible on their time

– Program Leader

Brief

The rapidly changing pace of digital technology meant that our client, one of Australia’s leading public broadcasting companies, was keen to find ways to meet the expectations of a modern, connected audience. This media giant had to reconcile its current work culture with the future needs of the organisation as the transformation of media platforms calls for entirely new skillsets from those in the past. An ambitious culture and workforce planning program was put forward to help engage people on the organisation’s journey, upskilling and managing performance where necessary, as well as planning for the future.

Solution

Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to carry out a change diagnostic, looking at the organisation’s new program and, more specifically, analysing the current state of change capability and change tolerance. Our team took into consideration other similarly ambitious programs, either currently running or in the recent past, and made recommendations on how to best move forward and achieve a successful outcome for this scheme. The diagnostic process required in-depth interviews and workshops with key and secondary stakeholders to work out the effect of each component of this very complex program. Our recommendations included several options for change management resourcing based on varying levels of budget, project management staffing, and how to avoid the pitfalls of previous initiatives which had left staff sceptical and wary about change projects.

Results

This was an ambitious culture change program within a complex organisation and the client was delighted with both the quality of our diagnostic report and the process we adopted, which achieved deep and targeted engagement with the key stakeholders using as light a touch as possible on their time. We provided valuable expertise, particularly in the areas of current state and impact analysis, stakeholder management and change management resourcing, and the recommendations were put forward to the board.

Support leaves leaders confident of success during claims process overhaul

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Support leaves leaders confident of success during claims process overhaulcasestudy-image

Brief

Our client, a major insurer covering around 90 per cent of public and private sector workers, including more than 310,000 NSW businesses as well as government agencies, was looking to transform the claims process end-to-end after a successful overhaul of workers’ insurance. The aim was is for internal and external teams to be a highly engaged, high-performing workforce operating productively within the target operating model. To enable this, employees needed to be well supported during the change process across multiple programs, with fit-for-purpose change leadership, engagement, communication, training and adoption support. A highly complex change of this nature can have ramifications across the entire ecosystem with considerable people risk, not all of which is within the organisation’s control. This meant our Blue Seed team had to consider:

  • Impacts identified across affected groups and types
  • Business objectives and outcomes aligned with change success measures
  • Interventions to help leaders fulfil their roles in leading change
  • Culture and behaviour reinforcement, with skills creation and enhancement
  • Operating model changes to deliver the desired customer outcomes.

Solution

Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to complete a Change Diagnostic to fast-track the client’s change program, assessing its effects and establishing direction and clarity in just six weeks. During this time our team consulted with business leaders, experts in the field and the program team to assess the impacts, devise a strategy and develop recommendations to propel the change process. One of the key challenges was how to measure the impact when the organisation was establishing an entirely new claims model from scratch. To do so, the team created sample personas to represent the diverse set of experience and backgrounds that people would bring to the role; this helped identify the unique needs and challenges to be addressed for the different types of recruits. This assessment also helped our consultants adapt the cultural and behavioural changes needed to inspire the workforce. Blue Seed ran a number of workshops with business leaders and front-line staff to highlight the change required, the challenges and a common definition of success. The Blue Seed team also established key recommendations and a delivery plan which included the activities, roles required and responsibilities for delivery of the various components, before taking a lead role in directing and establishing the delivery team.

Results

Because our team provided a focus on the key cultural and behavioural elements of the change and helped build a consistent understanding of the reasons behind it across the workforce, employees responded with excitement to the prospect of reinventing the model and drew confidence from the results they saw. Consulting with business and program leaders on the key needs and messaging also meant that the leadership group felt a sense of confidence and certainty about the program’s success, as they were equipped with the understanding and tools needed to lead change in their respective units. With an aligned leadership team, a clear change strategy and a supportive workforce, the risk of failure was mitigated, meaning the likelihood of realising the savings and competitive advantage of the program hoped for at the outset were very high. 

Reframing the narrative to motivate change in the media sector

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Reframing the narrative to motivate change in the media sectorcasestudy-image

Brief

Our client, a well-known broadcast media company was facing tough strategic decisions about how to respond to disruption in the sector. Multiple low-cost competitors and online entertainment channels like YouTube, Facebook and Apple have transformed the media marketplace, forcing traditional media businesses to reinvent themselves, reduce costs and innovate to retain their audience and advertising revenue. These forces call for rapid, transformational change – impacting people, processes, operating models and technology at once.

One of the first strategic steps our client took was to modernise technology hardware and software and consolidate their property footprint to reduce costs. Subsequently there would be operating model changes with high impact to employees and risk to operational productivity. With financial performance on a knife-edge, employee engagement at risk and a nine-figure investment to complete the program over several years, the risk of failure was high. Implementation of the changes had to be planned with precision to keep things on track, to retain support of their talented employees and to minimise disruption to customer service.

Solution

Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to complete a Change Diagnostic to turbo-charge the client’s change program, establishing clear direction, structure and certainty in just four weeks. Within this period Blue Seed consulted business leaders, subject matter experts and the program team to devise a change strategy and recommendations to propel the change process.

One of the key challenges was how to inspire and engage employees in a program primarily aimed at cost-reduction. In our experience, the term ‘cost-reduction’ alone can create fear and disdain for management. While the sponsor and program manager told us, cost-cutting was the main driver, Blue Seed dug deeper to reframe the change, simply by asking: “What will cost reduction help you achieve?”

The answers were more compelling and likely to motivate employees to act or at least empathise with the exec team’s strategy:

  • “Reducing costs will enable us to deliver better value to our customers
  • “We need to do this to stay in business and remain competitive
  • “Cutting edge companies use cutting edge technology and efficient processes and services. This change will reposition us as Australia’s cutting-edge media company.”

As part of the Change Diagnostic Blue Seed also developed a comprehensive program change strategy and assessed the organisation and the change program against our Nine Critical Change Success Factors.

Results

Blue Seed aligned all business and program leaders to the key messages to ensure they delivered a consistent understanding of the reason for the change across the workforce. As a result, many employees responded with excitement about the prospect of re-inventing the organisation and advancing it to a respected market leadership position as a top Aussie brand. A big shift from the fear-inducing cost-reduction message.

 

In addition, because Blue Seed consulted and aligned all leaders to program change needs and messaging, the leadership group felt a sense of confidence and certainty about the success of the program. They were equipped with the understanding and tools they needed to lead change in their business units.

 

With an aligned leadership team, a clear change strategy and a supportive workforce, the risks of failure were mitigated. The likelihood of realising the cost-savings and competitive advantage of the program were now very high.

Change the leadership to change the game

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Change the leadership to change the gamecasestudy-image

Simple structure, useful tools, sharp and succinct

Program attendee – Media Company

Brief

When our client faced multiple change initiatives with more on the way, they knew it was a strategic priority to equip its leaders with the skills and practical tools to lead themselves, and their teams, through change. This investment in leadership capability and change capacity would serve their new leadership model and the delivery of ongoing strategic change initiatives.

 

The client was looking for a high impact facilitated learning program that was 90 minutes or less, that could be filmed for ongoing electronic distribution and value.

 

The client was seeking facilitated delivery sessions for large audiences of 80 -120 in multiple geographies.

Solution

As a specialist change management advisory, consulting and education firm, Blue Seed Consulting was able to quickly assess, recommend and formulate fit-for-purpose programs for lifting change maturity and readiness for leaders. They included interactive exercises, practice tools and engaging multimedia content for delivery to large audiences.

 

This tailored session included a co-designed session plan that aligned specifically with the learning outcomes of the company’s capability program. Everything from the look and feel of the content, to the relevance of the examples, was customised to suit the client’s audience and to compel them to action.

 

Participants received guidance, exposure, and experience, with easy to use tools and concepts to apply in the workplace. And for those that couldn’t attend in person, there was access to high-quality recordings of the event in a professionally produced and edited online format.

 

The end result was a succinct and targeted change intelligence learning program delivered in numerous locations to large audiences with:

  1. Stories that ‘brought the content to life’ and enhanced the learning experience
  2. Video and multimedia
  3. Visually rich slides incorporating the client’s branding
  4. Interactive exercises with real time digital audience polling and interaction
  5. Expert facilitation by credible change experts

Results

The leadership education was a success. The participants were surveyed after the 90-minute leadership session, and 97% of session attendees were more confident as change leaders or wanting to know more about change leadership.

Design thinking ensures tech change supports people and sales

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Design thinking ensures tech change supports people and salescasestudy-image

Brief

In keeping with our ever-evolving times, one of Australia’s largest media publishing companies revised their pricing strategy to simplify and standardise product offerings to customers. Blue Seed Consulting was approached to provide professional change services to assist with the downstream impact on the realignment of their digital product booking employees, their processes and system. The desired results were significant efficiencies and improved experience in the sales pipeline for digital teams.

Solution

Through a multi-layer analysis with key stakeholders, Blue Seed Consulting swiftly identified the change audience, assessed their requirements and drew up a change strategy and plan.

Human-Centred Design facilitation tools were used to frame the challenge and identify appropriate solutions for both the change and governance of the sales booking process. This assisted staff in looking at the change from an end-user AND customer experience perspective, instead of only focusing on the technology.

Information sessions, walk-a-miles, system demos and virtual seminars were performed for both national and international stakeholders and teams impacted by the change.

A key success factor was Blue Seed’s ability to work beyond organisational boundaries and silos, aligning other project teams and internal functions to ensure that all the various initiatives were staged correctly and the appropriate people were empowered to lead the change from within.

Blue Seed worked closely with the client’s HR learning & development team to develop training content and interventions that included the case for change, governance processes and system enhancements.

An online/virtual community of support was also successfully developed and established to connect end users and experts for swifter issue resolution.

Results

Blue Seed achieved the following:

  1. Aware, knowledgeable and capable end users, who were involved and eager to use the system
  2. A governance process that was client/employee centric and co-created by all parties resulting in immediate “buy-in”
  3. An active community of support and resources to sustain the process beyond go-live

Engaging talent and culture, the keys to merger success

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Engaging talent and culture, the keys to merger successcasestudy-image

Brief

With digital disruption, the war for talent, cost pressures, and constantly evolving customer needs, the Australian Media industry represents a rapidly changing landscape. As a consequence of growth through targeted acquisitions over the last decade, a large media client of Blue Seed’s built a significant market presence, with a variety of brands and platforms addressing diverse customer needs. The challenge however, became a question of “how do we maintain the strength and diverse nature of our brands and the markets they serve, without them directly competing with each other?”

Advertising sales teams from different brands found themselves working on competing bids for the same clients. Instead of having access to cross-brand campaigns through one point-of-contact, they were forced to shift between competing advertising solutions, proposed in isolation.

Solution

To address this challenge, our client made a bold move to merge the competing sales teams into a single sales division working across multiple newspapers, digital and magazine brands. This not only eliminated competition between brands but enabled greater collaboration for customer-centred campaign solutions. Ad sale pitches, now leverage all brands to give their customers’ businesses greater reach and depth of engagement with their customers. The collaboration that ensued as a result of being co-located and integrated, also meant that every pitch leveraged the brand and customer knowledge of a more diverse workforce, generating creative, cohesive ideas and strategies more closely aligned to customer needs.

To further drive collaboration and leverage their multi-skilled workforce, the Chief Commercial Officer implemented an entirely team-based variable remuneration framework, to ensure sales people were rewarded for customer and team input and outcomes, rather than independent efforts alone.

Blue Seed was chosen to identify and manage impacts and risks associated with transitioning to the new operating model. For each aspect, Blue Seed recommended and delivered a variety of actions to develop and reinforce the bridge from old to the new organisation, including:

  • Talent retention: high performing sales people see change as a risk to their status and rewards and they often vote with their feet. To mitigate this, we designed and delivered a communication plan to emphasise the “what’s in it for me” as well as the overall customer and business benefits. In addition, we ensured key leaders hosted open forums as well as anonymous Q&A sessions to draw out and address any individual concerns early.
  • Leadership Alignment: one of Blue Seed’s Principal Consultants led weekly, action-driven steering committees to align the leadership team to the change plan, creating a powerful guiding coalition able to address staff concerns with precision timing and accuracy.
  • Culture Committee: Blue Seed designed and established an ongoing (BAU) cross-team committee tasked with generating ideas to enhance collaboration across teams and to build knowledge, skills and engagement of all sales people. We also appointed a leadership sponsor to lead the committee and share their feedback with the Chief Commercial Officer’s leadership team, further ensuring alignment between leaders, organisation, strategy and frontline.
  • Maintaining Revenue Focus through Change: uncoordinated attempts to change sales organisations inevitably result in distracted sales people, less time in the market, less customer focus and drops in revenue (especially when the best sales people resign). Having a Blue Seed Principal Consultant lead the initiative with visible sponsorship from the chief commercial officer meant that all people knew what was happening when, who was impacted and how, as well as what support was available.

Results

Sales team merger for customer centricity exceeds targets

The sales team merger was regarded as highly successful with sales revenue exceeding targets through the transitional months despite the change process and talent retention rates remaining consistent with other months. Customer and market feedback on the new model was highly positive. Several leaders attributed this success to the impact of Blue Seed partnering with them to coordinate the change in a structured and sensible manner.

How to make non-tech-savvy workforce embrace Google Apps

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How to make non-tech-savvy workforce embrace Google Appscasestudy-image

We’ve been really happy with the Blue Seed resources on our project. This hasn’t been an easy project and we have appreciated the quality, strength and commitment of the Change Consultants. Both Ivonne and Elisa were able to take charge and drive a successful change outcome throughout all phases of the project.
We as a team and project have learned a lot about change and its importance as a result.
– Going Google Project Manager, 2014

Brief

As part of the global IT strategy, our client initiated the Going Google project to transition their entire workforce from the existing Microsoft Outlook platform to the new Google Apps for Business.
This was an initiative largely driven by IT but required extensive business engagement to ensure the existing business processes would not be impacted by the technology implementation.
A key challenge of the initiative was that a large portion of the workforce was considered to have low technology capability, so the change management stream would need to take this into consideration. Another challenge was driving awareness, desire and commitment in a workforce who felt overwhelmingly that the change was unnecessary and disruptive.

Solution

Blue Seed worked alongside a Google third party integrator to develop the overall change strategy. The focus was on achieving buy in from the Executive team and ensuring the change was leader-lead. It was also important to create the right level of excitement and support at the other levels of the organisation. This was the key to a successful transition.
The change strategy included a robust stakeholder engagement plan, a strong internal communications and marketing plan as well as a comprehensive training and support model to deliver the required skills across the business.
The multi-phased implementation approach allowed Blue Seed to continue to tailor and perfect the employee experience with each implementation.

Results

In partnership with the Google third party integrator, Blue Seed oversaw the overall change stream and provided expertise particularly in the area of thought leadership, stakeholder engagement, communications and training.
Key achievements included:

  • Smooth employee transition to the new platform
  • The creation of a robust network of change champions Google Guides’ that not only played a key role in supporting each system implementation, but more importantly continued to offer support and guidance on Google Apps beyond the projects life.
  • Delivery of a comprehensive Google Apps toolkit that provided a sustainable artefact to embed the change and another resource for new employees to become Google savvy.

The delivery was so successful that Blue Seed was later approached by the organisations North American colleagues to support their local implementation.

Upping media org change capability while delivering complex capabilities, amplifies change value

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Upping media org change capability while delivering complex capabilities, amplifies change valuecasestudy-image

Thank you – You helped to lift the quality of change management on this program considerably from what Ad Sales had experienced previously and have been a very safe pair of hands on this challenging piece of work. Thank you.
Transformational Director

Brief

Our Client was undergoing a large and complex change to printed publications which included the implementation of new products, a new booking system and new pricing methodology. This project impacted the entire national sales force (1000+) and every customer who advertised within their suite of printed products across Australia (140+ publications).

Solution

Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to lead the change management stream.
A key differentiator of this example encompassed Change Leadership to mobilise the most appropriate and effective delivery approach. At the outset, the change stream was stand alone; communications, L&D, marketing and PR resources did not form part of this reporting structure. However, by week two our demonstrated capability and leadership saw the entire people team on the project reporting into the Blue Seed Change Lead.
This illustrated the value the organisation experienced through the work of our consultant, who was instrumental in providing holistic and integrated oversight and accountability to successfully deliver against very challenging timeframes. As the scope of the change stream grew, the Client was also quick to look to Blue Seed as its partner for additional resourcing which we were able to very quickly supply. During the life of the project, Blue Seed provided end to change management support from architecting the strategy and mobilizing the team to execution and handover.

Results

The project was delivered on-time with no adverse impact to customers or revenue. All internal staff members were fully trained and ready four weeks ahead of implementation. The value the change lead added in this example was strong leadership for an internal team unaccustomed to project environments, including thought leadership, task allocation, quality assurance, problem solving, and issue resolution. The change lead injected a significant level of rigour into the change stream not seen before in this Client environment.
The Client HR team further used this project as a case study for best practice change management within their organisation.

Organisational redesign for digital powerhouse on a growth trajectory

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Organisational redesign for digital powerhouse on a growth trajectorycasestudy-image

Working with Blue Seed was a great experience for us. They combined clarity of thought with a detailed understanding of best practices which was really useful. They took time to understand the specific needs of our business and our existing values before making their recommendations. In terms of getting to grips with our issues, they showed some genuinely creative thinking and suggested some relatively small changes to our organisational structure that have made a profound difference to the level of service we are offering to our key clients.
Managing Director, Harvest Digital Media Agency, 2010

Brief

Our Client experienced rapid business growth which brought about challenges in servicing their clients and managing and retaining their employees (the company had doubled in size within 12 months).
Our Client realised that to sustain their growth they had to develop a business strategy that would help them maximise the value of their clients. Their organisation, people and operations however were not aligned to deliver on their business strategy.
Their organisational structure and operational model did not provide their clients with a single point of contact and ownership across all their needs and products. Their people lacked the appropriate training and career paths, and their rudimentary performance appraisal process was not driving the right outcomes for the business, or indeed their people.

Solution

Blue Seed Consulting worked with the leaders and employees to redesign and implement a new way of servicing their clients. Our detailed analysis and diagnosis of existing people processes, organisational structure and operational model enabled us to identify why they could not deliver their business strategy and identified points of pain that needed to be addressed in the correct sequence.
Blue Seed Consulting ensured the new organisational structure and operational model was redesigned based on well-defined and agreed design criteria. In partnership with the client, Blue Seed Consulting provided expertise particularly in the areas of organisation, team and job design, communications and engagement and performance management systems.
This was combined with various hands-on activities and interventions, including staff interviews, attendance at team meetings, review of company documentation and observations while co-located with the teams through the engagement.
Importantly, tools and materials were provided to the Leaders, enabling them to lead the change with their teams.

Results

Based on the diagnosis and findings, Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to partner with the Client to implement all change recommendations. These included the design and delivery of:

  • a refreshed company DNA and supporting set of values
  • a new organisational structure and operating model
  • a new performance management system, complete with leader toolkit and training
  • a set of communications tools and materials to enable leaders and engage teams on the change journey

The change program spanned an 8 week period with embedding activities continuing for an additional 3 months.