Adding Value Through Major Change

Our client, the UKI affiliate of a multi-national healthcare organisation, wanted to create a new culture of continuous learning.  Against a backdrop of increasing complexity and downward cost pressures, new ways of working were required in order to be successful and the best way to achieve this was to embed a continuous and versatile learning approach to create much greater agility and responsiveness that would make them THE respected, trusted and chosen partner of their customers.

Background

This organisation is a strong matrix corporation with global business units (verticals) supported by functions (horizontals) on a local and regional basis. They adopted the After Action Review (AAR) as a means to ensure that they learned from both their regional experiences in one business unit or function, as well as sharing this learning across the whole organisation for greater application and utility.

The attraction of AAR to this Company was the simplicity of the process and the speed with which the transfer of learning could be achieved. To give the initiative the best chance of success, the Company ensured that the UK Leadership Team were among those first trained as facilitators, both improving their understanding and demonstrating their commitment to the process. Since then iTS Leadership have trained another 2 cohorts of staff to become the company’s AAR Conductors, and have supported their continuing learning journey with masterclasses in AAR facilitation skills, and coaching and mentoring.

One key feature of the successful integration of AAR in this Company has been their decision to conduct AAR cascade training across the local organisation. This has ensured all their people know not only how to call for an AAR but also when to call one and how to behave during one.

In total over 260 people have been trained in the AAR process so far in the UK, within this Company.

Result

This Company now has a SharePoint that all UK employees can access which records the key learnings of AAR’s. Learnings are kept succinct and so are quickly and easily identifiable. All major projects have an AAR after every key milestone and at the end of the project. The AAR process has now attracted attention from Europe and UK facilitators are increasingly being asked to run sessions outside the UK as it is deemed such a great process and supports several of the global core values and competencies.

Employees who have participated in AAR’s report that they are encouraged by how effective AAR is. They know they can be honest without fear of blame and recognise that the purpose is for this Company to learn from events that went well and those that went less well. They see how the process makes them more effective as an organisation as a whole and move faster to implement beneficial changes. They also see it brings opportunities to employees for their own personal development, particularly around constructive challenge and a continuous improvement mindset. Rather than walking away from problems, their culture is now to walk towards them.

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