Back in 2019 Ben Reynolds, Managing Director of Gallagher’s Employee Experience and Communication division, engaged Jenni to implement The Field Model™ and explore the reality of the culture and communication inside the organisation.
Understand, diagnose and fix
The company wanted to address the symptoms they were seeing, such as stress and poor staff retention, and find out how people really felt about working there. How did they find out what was happening? How aligned was everyone to the strategy? We were asked to help discover what was really going on underneath the surface and identify the change needed to fix the issues.
There had been a huge period of growth alongside multiple acquisitions, bringing three collective communications businesses into the group. However, it felt like progress was stalling, which was impacting the process of the integration. Once you introduce M&A and geographic expansion, the business becomes very different. It was recognised that a different mindset was needed for the ongoing leadership journey. Ben wanted an independent voice to understand what was going on in the organisation and the leadership team, as well as identify who was influencing him as a leader and whether he was listening to the right people.
We began by conducting listening interviews with 26 members of staff located in London, Hampshire and the USA. The findings and The Field Model™ report was shared with the management team. It highlighted eight core areas of focus and a detailed action plan: blockers, structure, strategy, team, culture, skills, integration and leadership. This also helped to identify that a restructuring was needed in the senior leadership team to ensure the right people were in place to support a rebrand and future growth.
The first two phases of The Field Model™ (understand and diagnose) have been completed. This also involved our on-site presence three days a week for two months. The Gallagher team is in the process of implementing the elements recommended in the fix. Although progress was slowed due to COVID-19, there have been some positive outcomes already. The process has enabled leaders to listen to different voices across the organisation, the market and stakeholder groups. It’s created strategic clarity around who they are becoming as a company and allowed them to positively move forward.
A leader’s experience of The Field Model™ (Ben Reynolds)
“I hired Jenni to come and help us explore what was really going on inside the organisation. We had been through rapid growth and I wanted to explore how we could make sure our people were with us on the journey. She took us through The Field Model and – while there were uncomfortable conversations – she always put the team at ease and helped us work through the plan to change.
Jenni enabled me to reposition and understand where we needed to go. She enabled me to gain greater clarity between employees and the business. I truly trust Jenni’s unbiased, independent advice. There’s often more risk involved in not making changes, so this was all about de-risking the business and now, we know we are facing the right challenges.
The tangible output of The Field Model is a comprehensive report but talking through the findings added real value. With a direct and outcome-focused approach, Jenni offered guidance and strategic direction to get us to a better place. Insightful and with a natural instinct that is right, Jenni is also not afraid to tell it as it is!
This is most definitely a challenging process because you have to act on the advice given; even if it’s tough. It’s easy to dismiss feedback because it’s sometimes hard to listen to. In this process, I realised that, as a leader, it’s OK to ask for help – no one is perfect. The true value in this process is that our leaders accept it, challenge themselves and then change the business.
Although difficult at times, the whole experience working with Jenni was fun. The environment Jenni creates and the way she works allows you to fully understand your direction. I never felt rushed, and the style of Jenni’s delivery makes the change easier. Without doubt, 2020 would have been even more challenging without going through this experience. We’re definitely better off today after going through this process. We’re not there yet, but our sights are set on our transformational journey.”
If you’d like to find out more about The Field Model, it’s described in detail in Jenni’s book, Influential Internal Communication. You can also listen to the podcast episode on The Field Model.