Major Financial Services and Insurance Company Transforming Financial Performance and Corporate Culture

Industry: Finance and Insurance

Expertise: Operational Excellence, WorkOut

Schaffer Team: Matthew McCreight

Achieving financial and cultural performance improvements through WorkOut sessions

From Facing Financial Turmoil to Becoming a Profitable Business

When a large insurance company located in the UK was undergoing financial turmoil, a new CEO stepped in to lead the way. Before improvements could be made to financial performance and culture, some obstacles to success needed to be addressed. By working with the company's leadership and laying the foundation for WorkOuts in key areas of the business, Schaffer Consulting was able to ultimately help the company produce savings of over $10 million in the first year.

A Business Unit Facing Financial Turmoil and a New CEO Mandate

A major General Insurance company based in the United Kingdom – with 10,000 employees and a one hundred year history – was in financial turmoil. The new CEO started with a mandate to transform financial performance and build a high performance culture – but faced major obstacles to success.

Large Scale Transformation Realized via Effective Step Change

Schaffer Consulting (then called Robert H. Schaffer & Associates – RHS&A) worked with this major insurance company to produce a large-scale transformation of its financial performance and corporate culture.

Early work centered on helping the company’s leadership to identify what needed to change, which laid the foundation for WorkOuts in key areas of the business. Each work session focused managers on creating an action plan for one improvement area. Teams were then assembled to implement these plans.

Early projects aimed at reducing overpayments on claims, general cost reduction, and the simplification (and speeding up) of core processes. These projects also helped senior management learn how to sponsor rapid payoff, results-focused change. A small team of staff people was formed into an internal change consulting group and trained in facilitation and results-focused consulting modes.

The process expanded eventually addressing all of the company’s important business and change needs. Projects expanded to include partnering with customers, suppliers, and insurance brokers.

Cultural Transformation Lead to Measurable Financial Savings

In the first year, over 30 WorkOut sessions launched well over 100 rapid cycle improvement projects that produced measurable savings in excess of $10 million (US).

Hundreds of similar projects were launched in subsequent years. Over $100 million in direct savings have accrued to the company over several years.

Culture began to shift as well as performance. Routine management conferences were transformed into results-focused work sessions. Managers began to take on more comprehensive strategic changes. The change process even continued while the business was being acquired. Instead of simply waiting out the turbulence, rapid cycle, results-focused projects staffed by both companies played a crucial role in the integration.

Over the several year period, there was a remarkable change in the performance of this company – from significant losses to strongly positive results, with the merged business becoming one of the global company’s most profitable businesses.


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