Higher Education Case Study
Leadership & Communication Strategic Development
Structured leadership development and a purposeful department culture shift resulted in $1.9 million in reduced expenses in addition to improved employee satisfaction and reduced turnover. Inter-department relations are frequently the cause of communication and collaboration issues for organizations in a variety of sectors. We worked with a well- known university to develop a service-oriented culture, coupled with a revamped leadership strategy, resulting in positive changes throughout the campus.
As organizations grow and evolve, leaders often shift their focus to the vision and direction of the business – rather than the employees making the growth possible. Higher education is no exception to this tendency. We worked with a well-known health sciences university to revamp the organizational culture of the school’s IT department. This department lacked the service- oriented culture necessary to work effectively with other departments. With a hierarchical mindset, employees within the department had adopted the belief that other university employees “worked for them.” With an under-productive, over- staffed department, the university hired a new leader to enact change and improve relations between the IT department and the rest of the university.
As new leadership began to assess and enact change, department employees began to resist the new mentality and processes.
We were asked to partner with the senior leadership team to develop a new baseline for what leadership and service should look like within the department.
Working with the senior management team, we assessed the department’s current needs and changes necessary to streamline processes and reduce unnecessary expenses. After we established a baseline for leadership practices and service- oriented inter-department relations, we facilitated a series of workshops and one-on-one leadership coaching sessions with 18 key managers within the department. After working with this initial group of leaders, we expanded our efforts to include an additional group of employees to create momentum in shifting and driving the desired culture. The leadership development was so effective, in fact, that the university has expanded it to other departments. We worked with the client to develop a clear process so that faculty and staff leaders could facilitate the leadership training after our engagement ended.
The results of the leadership training initiative impacted the university not only financially, but culturally as well.
Our initial project reduced costs by
$1.9 million annually. Employee satisfaction rose 68% and turnover was reduced by 24%.