Article Written by:
Nico Snyman – Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO):
Crest Advisory Africa (Pty) Ltd
During 2017 CAA was appointed to form part of a business and employee development program, under the banner of implementing a management system, in the drive for the company to be World Class in 2020.
The “World Class” concept objectives were to create a visible transformation of the business from a business dependent on 1-2 big clients, to a Global business with a Global reach, expanding the Global Client base.
The measurement would be done by an Internationally renowned World Class Assessment Agency, measuring this entity against the best companies Globally.
In 2016 the company went through a rationalisation program and in this one department, having 94 employees in 2016, 30 were retrenched. They were a group of 64 we started to work with.
The current state we found was a state of hopelessness, low levels of energy, a lack of initiative, a lack of creativity, a lack of growth, no career pathing, resistance to change and in general and overall negativity. There were no promotions for 9 years and nobody had the guts to explore external opportunities.
The perception of the CAA Incubation program was that we were there to assess the current state and make recommendations to further cut the personnel. And as we know, perception is 80% of what people will experience.
As CAA we strategized with the Top management of this Division and we developed an Incubator Development Program Route Map. This was challenging for everyone, as we expected that the Top Management lived the Tone at the Top.
Within a short period of time, we identified change agents (passion, positiveness, eager to learn) and rebels (negative, referring to the old days, and just against the business direction). We started to engage with them, through small learning circles, providing a safe space, a cultured environment, a learning environment and a specific objective to be achieved by this learning circle.
Through the signing of a Code of Conduct developed through a consultative approach we set the rules of engagement, the growth path to develop knowledge and skills and a definite growth path to learn more about their own company and contextual requirements.
The biggest challenge was breaking the Inertia within the department. Inertia is the resistance of the individual to any change in its competence (knowledge, skills, behaviour and context), motion, including a change in direction. A person will stay still or keep moving at the same speed and in a straight line, unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force.
The CAA Incubation Program was the Unbalanced force. The company and employees were constantly surprised within their own environment, constantly challenged about their own discipline’s context, knowledge, skills and behaviour. And the agreed Code of Conduct was the new Normalised Average (NA)
The Normalised Average were challenged by the Rebels. With clear Group cohesion and decision making, decisions were made collectively using the Code of Conduct as the measurement criteria, the group decided to sanction the Rebel with exclusion from the group. This send shock waves through the department, which was a wake-up call for the rest.
These Change Agents groups grew in size, purpose and execution. The deliverables and outcomes of the project grew in quantity and quality. And success started to creep into the bones and character of everyone involved.
People who know CAA, know that we are using a term, “Goosies”. This is the goose bumps you get when you can see in a person or a group that the penny has dropped, or that you can see into the other person and they can see into you. That moment is the most rewarding moment for both parties.
This cannot be created, planned for or expected. It approaches you like an uncontrolled emotion of happiness and spread over your arms, legs, your hair stand up and you feel in running through your spine. The Goosies moment is fuelling any situation and filling the tanks of everyone involved. We implemented the Goosies moment and if anyone feels it, they can stop any process and explain the Goosies they experienced. With this simple exercise, we created change, continuous affirmation and exponential growth.
The project ended 18 months later, and everyone was on a high. They experienced change, accountability, responsibility and continuous acknowledgement and affirmation.
This freed up the Departmental leadership to withdraw from their operational responsibilities and focus on the strategic direction of the department. This created trust within the department and a boundless energy within everyone.
The rebels, in the minority, were still there and were still trying to disable the environment, but the groups new Normalised Average (NA) created other demands and expectations.
CAA were privileged to be appointed at the same company to take them into the World Class 2020 deliverables. CAA went back and engaged with the same Department. What a phenomenal change.
Out of the 64 remaining employees, the Executive got promoted to an International position, that created an opening for the department to start with internal promotions. 3 of the Change Agents applied for positions in the open market and were appointed as they were far ahead of the competition during the interviews.
In total, within a span of 12 months, 16 employees of this department were promoted or were appointed in senior positions in the global market. This constitutes a 25% succession growth. This is unheard of in any industry.
This is the result of a successful Incubation program.
With the new expansive Incubation program, the current state has gone beyond the Normalised Average (NA) CAA left the company with. They have started to organically grow their own and we are sitting with a 25% new group of people, who arrived and were inducted to the Normalised Average (NA) expected from this department.
Where this department were on the brink of going through possibly another retrenchment process, they were allocated 3 senior positions and the support that goes with it.
The biggest achievement was on the company Corporate Governance. Where this department did not feature for 9 years under the Top 10 Risks, they were in a position to demonstrate 2 risks which is currently No 2 and 3 on the Top 10 register. Funds have been allocated to address these risks and everyone wants to be part of these innovative and pioneering processes and projects.
Where are you? Are you as an individual in this career slump? Or are you as a departmental head sitting with the same challenges.
Below are our contact details. Contact us.
We are the External Unbalanced Force, waiting to change your whole environment with our pioneering approaches.
CAA Incubation Programs create the growth in stagnation, we open the gates to let the water in and we release the energy that was lacking.
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