Integration of approximately 3,000 employees operating across 12 countries in Europe into a new operating model, and a new business strategy supported by a high-performance culture. Our client is a global technology consulting firm, with a focus on cyber, data analytics and technology implementations.

The challenge

Our client embarked on the implementation of a new operating model across its European operations in mid-2019. The goal was to integrate its operations more seamlessly across borders, and to align skill sets, methodologies and career opportunities for its 3000 employees, who were all professionals in various technology disciplines.

Our client reorganised its business structure to support its growth ambitions, which had a destabilising effect on the leadership structure and certain teams in the decentralised model, who felt disconnected.

Melagrana was asked to support our client’s delivery of change management and strategic communication to minimise disruption, engage with its customers differently to accelerate growth and investment, and better connect its regional practices.

The primary business language on the project was English, but due to the nature of the decentralised teams, multiple cultures and languages had to be considered.

Our approach

We applied our change management and communication model across five phases over a period of 18 months. This included:

  • Engagement and benchmarking
  • Change readiness
  • Change adoption
  • Internal alignment
  • Market positioning

The entire project for our European client was delivered from South Africa remotely due to the lockdowns imposed by COVID-19 in 2020.

Employees in the client were all qualified professionals in various technology disciplines. Melagrana worked closely with the business leaders of the various operating business units of the firm, such as cyber, data analytics and technology solutions. We also worked closely with the human capital and marketing heads of the business, as well as with project leaders for specific initiatives. The executive leader appointed a senior leader to run the change management and communication initiative as a project, providing Melagrana with access to decisionmakers and influencers in the business.

Our solution

Various change management tools assessed levels of understanding and adoption of new business practices. Examples of best practice were highlighted to focus on expected standards of delivery and teaming. The firm’s human capital team initiated a series of European-wide learning initiatives to address the skills and culture gaps that were highlighted by our change management approach. This was a great platform to communicate internal alignment messages and build a single culture for the firm.

The project was interrupted by COVID-19 lockdowns in early 2020. However, working with our client, we adapted our approach and ensured that people-centric messages and specific support initiatives were put in place to continue building on the firm’s culture.

We extended our focus on the project to include strategic communication to employees and the firm’s customers about adapting to change during disruption through technology. Our client leveraged the business opportunities for technology that presented during COVID-19 to engage with employees and differentiate its offerings and approach among its stakeholders and customers. Melagrana provided strategic communication and content creation support during this period, ghost writing over 25 points of view and developing a library of custom content for the market and employees.

Client benefits

Despite the disruption of COVID-19 in 2020, our client was well positioned to take advantage of its integrated operating model and build on its unified culture. Our client was able to communicate its strategy and operating model to employees who indicated that they understood and bought into the plan. Our client used the opportunity to engage with external stakeholders such as investors and customers about its strategic plans and highlight its differentiated market offerings.

By the end of the project, the client was achieving elevated employee engagement scores, and was successfully delivering cross-border projects at a consistent level of quality. The client achieved its year-on-year revenue targets and continues to position itself as a leader in its field.

Winner of 2022 IABC Gold Quill Merit Award, Change Communication.
(International Association of Business Communicators)

Winner of 2021 IABC Africa Region Silver Quill Merit Award, Change Communication.
(International Association of Business Communicators, Africa Region)

Melagrana was recognised for excellence in change communication by the International Association of Business Communicators in 2021 and 2022.