BT Operate

CEO Roel Louwhoff needed to implement a new strategy and align some 15,000 people around it. The main aim – to transform the way they service customers.

BT Operate’s team are responsible for the reliability and service across all aspects of IT and network services to all customers, whether domestic residential, communications providers or global enterprise.

The challenge facing Roel Louwhoff, CEO BT Operate (BTO) and his leadership team was to:

  • Implement a new strategy and organisation structure
  • Achieve a new prime objective in being Number 1 for Customer Experience by March 09, and
  • Align some 15,000 employees around this transformation globally

Partnering with Reconsulting a plan was drawn up to run over 150 events across the UK, Europe, India and the US between March and May 2008 – The events built on to both the successful BT Design and BT Wholesale’s programmes. An additional requirement was that each of these 1 day events was to be leader led, involving one executive board member and 5 senior managers.

In summary, BTO wanted to engage their workforce worldwide to deliver real change in the way they service customers.

Our work began with the Operate Executive Board (OEB) to initiate, agree & progress strategy implementation through the production of visual plans. These Change Boards were instrumental in engaging employees in gallery walk-style, leader led discussions which ensured employees had direct opportunity to challenge, discuss and contribute to four strategic areas, face to face with members of the Leadership team. This created the opportunity for employees to raise business issues and discuss change with leaders.

To kick-off the change, we ran a 2 day workshop with the Top 160 Leaders to prepare for their key role in leading the ‘Simply the Start’ employee engagement events. This aligned the leaders around the new strategy, built confidence in employing a “Share and Invite” delivery style, and also developed teamwork across the business.

Throughout January to May, we provided facilitation and support to the leadership team at each event globally, to ensure authentic and honest employee engagement. We also facilitated an interactive business simulation that involves all participants in a practical and emotional way, re-enforcing the key messages and the behavioural changes required to bring the strategy “alive”.

The programme was a huge success that harnessed the talents within the organisation to collect and address issues that were potential barriers to BT’s transformation. Over 500 employee ideas and issues resulted in a ‘Simply Sorting It’ program where issues were allocated to the Leadership team for action. Employees were encouraged to get involved, getting together to form teams to action specific opportunities. To date 56 teams are up and running. Finally, a “Dragons Den” was created to encourage innovative ideas and allocate funding.

The programme also developed BTO’s top 160 leaders, which enabled the successful global roll-out of the ‘Simply the Start’ events. Together, we completed 157 events worldwide, using a combination of Full, Lite and Webcast formats, delivering the engagement and alignment of the BTO leadership and 15,000 BTO employees across the business.

All of this led to streamlined processes, cost savings and improved customer experiences. For example, the customer service delivery backlog reduced from 45%+ to under 10%.