What did SAY solve, what did it deliver?

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Christa van der Aa

In 2010 ABN AMRO amidst the many changes due to the merger, chose to also implement ‘the New Way to Work’ (NWW). The goal was higher customer satisfaction, increased contentment among coworkers, increased productivity and efficiency, and less turn-over. More than half of the organization has now embraced NWW, but that didn’t happen without a fight. Some stakeholders put up considerable resistance.

What did SAY solve, what did it deliver?
SAY allowed us, in a fairly simple and objective way, to determine the opinion, judgement and support among a large number of stakeholders. The results allowed for greater mutual understanding and insight. Differences of opinion among various groups involved in the new way were easier to clear up. This in turn made conversations with stakeholders more effective. Because of this the program started running better. Based on SAY concrete steps were defined and executed to make the program more effective.
This also changed the approach for a number of stakeholders. In addition as a result of the perceived lack of support from upper management, among others, a video was produced in which top management of the bank underscored the importance of the new way of working.

Was SAY a worthwhile investment and why?
Doing this on your own, assuming you even know how, would ultimately cost more and you would be reinventing the wheel. Our own time and input was limited. SAY quickly delivered results which were presented in an easy to communicate format.

Was the SAY approach logical?
The questions were short and to the point. There was no room to influence the questionnaire or methodology, those were set. This was not experienced as a negative. Because we took the training we were able to get more value out of the results.

Was it inspiring and did it offer anything new?
It was a real eye-opener. It brought the team a deeper understanding of the concept of stakeholder analysis.

Would you recommend it to others?
For large projects such as ours with many stakeholders who you might not all know, it offers considerable added value. In a relatively short time you get to know where your project is at, how the people fit in it and why some threaten to disconnect. Using the results you can steer the program more precisely.