From Bureaucratic to Responsive and Agile

We worked with the Director of a large, complex, and technologically advanced federal agency.  Its mission was critical, but it had become arrogant,  bulky, and unresponsive.  The number of policies, procedures, products, services, and projects continually expanded - leading to more and more bureaucracy.

The agency ended up with too many departments and each acted as a rigid silo.  Interaction between departments was  challenging.   The organizational hierarchy was steep and rigid.  The management style was command and control, and (not surprisingly) employees felt disengaged.  Too often when difficult problems surfaced, management disappeared behind closed doors, threw money at the problem, and announced new changes that seldom met objectives.

We introduced and led several agency-wide improvement initiatives that improved performance, and streamline costs by several hundreds of millions of dollars.  The successes of our project teams were exciting, but as we looked to the future, we knew substantive changes were needed.  We proposed reinventing the whole agency.  The Director not only agreed but was fully committed.

Select the Right Reinvention Team Members

We worked with the Director to carefully identify those that would be the ideal next round of top leaders.  These hand-selected individuals were assigned to work full-time on one of three different reinvention teams.  These teams were organized around the core missions of the agency.

Process

We took the leadership teams through a five phased process highlighted below.