The case presented describes the cultural transformation of MECK Insurance. The transformation process aimed to change the culture and improve the performance of the Customer Service Organization (CSO), which is one of the largest MECK's business areas. The MECK's internal organizational development (OD) team worked with CSO leadership. The transformation process consisted of three launches. The first launched involved setting direction and aligning leadership at all levels in the organization. The second launch expanded engagement to help employees understand the current state, create a vision for the future, and identify change initiatives. The third launch was about sustaining the change through implementation, monitoring, and measuring success.
Analysis Of The MECK Transformation
Transformational change is an integral part of organizational development. A company usually engages in the transformation process as a response to internal, external, or technological changes. MECK Insurance Company has been transforming some of its business areas, including Customer and Enterprise Services, Technology, and now Customer Service Organization (CSO). To date, MECK transformation has successfully aligned the leadership team and partially achieved the objectives of The Compass. For example, there were measurable improvements in customer and agency satisfaction and employee engagement at the end of one year of the effort. However, OD has not clearly defined how to engage frontline employees in the process. The lessons learned by the OD seem to be complete because they capture all aspects of the transformation process.
A Design For Launch 2
To apply the actions identified by the CSO leadership into organizational change, the team needs to consider a couple of things. First, the OD team must ensure that all the people, including frontline employees, understand the change initiatives to achieve The Compass. The OD team can accomplish this by communicating the initiatives regularly. The team can also solicit feedback and engage the employees in the process. The engagement sessions should last the whole week, lasting for 30 minutes each day. The OD team should also focus on building the capability of leadership through leadership development. This can be conducted in the form of 2-week workshops. The challenge of ensuring that transformation principles are fully reflected can be addressed through leadership collaboration. The transformation process should be shared equally among all leaders, including the CSO leadership, design team, and the OD team.
The major problem at MECK Insurance relates to financial performance and the customer experience in the customer service organization. The case study states that customer loyalty and satisfaction scores stagnated for long. The leadership at the organization was also concerned that their interventions could either accelerate the change or allow the customer service organization to slide back towards the status quo. The problems in performance and customer experience negatively impacted other areas such as sales, service quality, and product support.
The problems identified above are caused by an internal focus, shared-service structure, and a culture that had existed for two decades (Cummings & Worley, 2014). Lack of collaboration across locations, functions, and top-leadership also contributed to the problems. Other cause includes loss of efficiencies, lack of shared purpose, inconsistent practices to serve customer needs, and varying subcultures. The main underlying issue is the authoritative cultures in the customer service organization, where leaders tell employees what to do. Although authoritative leadership had been effective, the OD team was aware this style would not work in the future because of the changing competitive landscape. Therefore, the OD wanted to shift the customer service organization to compete in the future. The main assumption used by the CSO leaders is that they need to maintain efficiency and expense management strengths but build capabilities in customer service, innovation, and collaboration to compete in the future.
One of the solutions to the problems at MECK Insurance is cultural change. The advantage of this alternative is that it will lead to the timely completion of tasks and goals. The main disadvantage is that it might cause employee disorientation, which, in return, disrupts the smooth running of the organization (Driskill, 2018). The other alternative solution is a change of leadership approach; for example, from authoritative to a more democratic style. The advantage of the democratic style is that it encourages collaboration and engagement of all people. The disadvantages of this style include procrastination, negative emotions, and uncertainty.
The recommended action is collaboration. This action will enable the MECK OD team to meet internal and external needs of their customers. The main benefit of collaboration is that it will increase employee engagement and improved accountability. The negative effect of collaboration is that it leads to the sharing of irrelevant ideas.
The OD team will implement the collaborative action. The first step is creating a clear and compelling cause. In this step, the team will communicate the reasons why change is necessary. The second step is to communicate expectations by defining the roles and responsibilities of team members. The third step is to set achievable goals. The last step is to encourage socialization and brainstorming.
In achieving a cultural transformation, leadership must be actively involved. Active involvement of leaders will ensure that the desired change is achieved. This happens because leaders influence employees, decisions, and objectives in the organization.
Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Cengage learning.
Driskill, G. W. (2018). Organizational culture in action: A cultural analysis workbook. Routledge.
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