CHANGE MANAGEMENT – INVESCO
Invesco is one of the world’s most respected Asset Management companies with offices in most major countries. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, its UK business had three buildings: at Portman Square and Finsbury Square in London and Henley in Oxfordshire.
When an opportunity arose for Invesco to relocate from its office at Finsbury Square to a newly refurbished building at 125 London Wall in the City of London, Denise Harrison, Invesco’s Global Head of Real Estate decided to take it.
Invesco wanted to use the move as an opportunity to break the mould and develop a new model for their workplaces that could be progressively applied to its portfolio across the globe, with variations in each country sympathetic to local culture.
Andy Ward and Rich Ward of Raw Unlimited, Invesco’s design partners realised they needed a workplace change consultant to augment their creative skills and introduced our Managing Director, Andrew Mawson to Denise Harrison.
From this meeting, we were initially appointed by Invesco to undertake a study to clarify the workplace needs of the organisation and then subsequently to develop global standards, based on this work, before working as part of the project team to deliver the new workplace model, working practices and behaviours.
Our first task was to answer some fundamental questions. What kind of workplace would be most suited to Invesco’s culture and functions? Which working practices would be most appropriate to the different units within the organisation? How much space would be needed? Would Invesco’s technology platform support different ways of working? How radical could the new arrangements be, given Invesco’s conservative culture.
To get a fix on the answers to these questions we undertook a comprehensive study over a six week period. First we ran a ‘Vision Workshop’ with Invesco’s London leaders to get under the skin of their priorities and needs. Then, following some carefully crafted communications, we asked all staff based in London to complete our online ‘Work and Productivity Profiler’, which gets to the heart of how people work, their productivity challenges and their desire and acceptance of change. To complement this, we met with senior leaders, holding structured interviews to find out about their perspective, needs and challenges. To establish an ‘Occupancy Profile’ for Invesco, we undertook a Workplace Utilisation study where our team of observers recorded the use of every desk, meeting room and social space over a two week period. Finally, we worked with Invesco’s HR and IT functions to establish how their practices and developments would support or constrain different working arrangements.
From all this data we developed a Workplace Proposition, which set out the options for a range of increasingly radical working practices. This included the nature, number and location of spaces needed to support the organisation, the infrastructure needed and the process needed to get everyone on board with changes in working practices.
We then held a series of meetings and workshops with Invesco’s senior leaders to explain the Proposition, answer their questions and help them work out what they would need to do (with our help) to prepare their people for the changes that were to come. Of course there were some leaders who found the changes challenging, so in these cases we supported Denise and her team in engaging with these leaders, advising on the politics and organising visits to other organisations and bringing in external speakers from other organisations to explain their stories.
Following this phase of work, we worked alongside Invesco’s Project Manager to co-ordinate and guide the solutions for each workstreams to deliver a transition in workplace behaviours to an effective and stimulating workplace experience for users.
We designed and delivered a behavioural change programme linking leaders via a network of carefully selected Champions with the people at grass roots. We worked with Invesco’s Internal Communications team to develop high level messaging, blending it with practical guidance on the new culture and working practices and worked through a series of workshops with Champions to prepare them for their job of supporting their teams through change.
The move was very successful: people were up and running within a couple of hours of moving in. We worked with Champions to capture immediate feedback and to get changes made where possible through the Champions’ network and the Occupier Leadership Team.
After three months of operation, we undertook a post-occupancy review involving a Workplace Utilisation Study, an on-line assessment and a series of staff Focus Groups. The results showed a dramatic improvement in social collaboration, a significant hike in workplace utilisation, a halving of occupancy costs per head and an increase in satisfaction. A very satisfactory result for all involved.