“It was not merely the tools and methods of Breakthrough that achieved the effect but the pragmatism, energy and intentionality that Dr. Bart Sayle and his team injected into the organisation that was able to cut-through resistance and inertia.”
– Tony Kypreos, former EVP Business Development & Innovation and Board Member of T-Mobile International and T-Ventures
In 2005 Breakthrough Global was invited to T-Mobile International by the CMO Ulli Gritzuhn who had experienced the impact of the system as a former leadership executive at Wrigleys.
The objective was to address cultural and mindset limitations to performance, to help create a unified organisational vision across between the international HQ and 12 national operating companies and to inspire and instigate new initiatives for innovation and growth.
MY BREAKTHROUGH EXPERIENCE
Told by Tony Kypreos
I can emphatically state that Breakthrough Global was an inspiration and mechanism that created transformational change in the innovation and growth outputs at T-Mobile International and several key markets including T-Mobile UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Netherlands.
Having recently joined T-Mobile from a consumer goods and entrepreneurial venture I was highly concerned with the significant cultural barriers, limited cross-functional and cross-market collaboration, lack of mutual trust and lack of customer focus.
The organisation had over the years become process and governance focussed to the point that it created a straitjacket for any experimentation with sequential processes governed by the power of veto. The complicated approval processes were often used as a method of control not allowing focus on output or results. Furthermore, as a highly resourced and profitable company there was a lack of urgency across the organisation with an emphasis on avoiding risks and mistakes rather than addressing tangible threats and growth opportunities. New initiatives were greeted with cynicism and blocked via complex approval processes.
It was within this context that Breakthrough Global was invited into T-Mobile International and the leadership team across the HQ in Germany and 12 European markets.
“Breakthrough helps the leadership of organisations identify, untangle, isolate and unblock major entrenched cultural and systematic failures that can hold back complex matrix organisations.”
It was not merely the tools and methods of Breakthrough that achieved the effect but the pragmatism, energy and intentionality that Dr. Bart Sayle and his team injected into the organisation that was able to cut-through resistance and inertia.
One of the greatest revelations was that I was not alone in my concerns but that there were many like-minded and talented leaders in the organisation that wanted to achieve progress and real results. It needed Breakthrough to provide the visibility, transparency and confidence for many people to move forward.
Breakthrough helps the leadership team build trust and rapport that was not visible before and to develop the “line of one” approach. We were able to identify co-collaborators and develop 100-day plans to deliver radical new innovative programmes. This led to major new collective initiatives between the HQ in Bonn and markets in ways that would have been inconceivable before Breakthrough.
What is especially valuable about Breakthrough is how it rapidly transverses between high level concepts such as cultural values and beliefs through to mindset changes with courage to identify and address real threats and opportunities and to create relentless energy, empowerment, discipline and passion to deliver results where before there was inertia and cynicism. This is simply explained as having true “intentionality”.
It is simple for such interventions to create a brief “sugar rush” and then subside. This is where Breakthrough’s relentless and disciplined focus on the 100-day plans is so important. Everyone is accountable and takes ownership, starting on time and delivering on time.
The Breakthrough programme provided the pathways and opportunity to achieve high levels of collaboration with national markets including the UK, Netherlands, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to research, develop, design and execute new innovative services in record time.
One example of the a 100-day plan approach was a big data analysis initiative to understand customer lifetime value and the loss of high value customers to competitors.
Partnerships with innovative external creative partners (which would have previously been blocked by process veto) were selected to help develop new propositions to address this issue. Two innovative propositions Flext and Balance were further developed and executed in the UK and Netherlands. In the UK the launch of Flext was the most successful new mobile service launched in Europe and essentially reversed the fortunes of T-Mobile UK creating a breakthrough in customer acquisition and retention. This single initiative delivered over 2m high value customers and over £100m incremental profit in its first year.
Other initiatives conceived during breakthrough developed new capabilities across the T-Mobile markets network including the first major tier 1 mobile operator flat rate data tariff “web & walk” and was the foundation for a new approach to customer centric innovation capabilities versus the previous supplier led technology push approach.
In summary, Breakthrough helps the leadership of organisations identify, untangle, isolate and unblock major entrenched cultural and systematic failures that can hold back complex matrix organisations. It provided the tools, methods and untaps latent passion and energy within the leadership teams drive through real transformation at a speed and impact that would not have previously thought possible.