Insights and BT: The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company
However you measure it, BT is the world’s largest telecoms company. In 1999, when Insights first worked with them, BT employed almost 170,000 people, around half in the UK, and the other half throughout the world.
Three years later, the combination of the sale of third generation phone technology licences, and the subsequent slowing of the economy has resulted in profound internal restructuring, in which the work of Insights has been seen as vital to supporting both strategic decisions and helping individual staff through the changes.
Showing We Care
The early involvement of Insights was in supporting BT’s annual employee survey Our Place To Work (OPTW) within its Major Business division. The Major Business OPTW committee was investigating ways of improving the OPTW scores – which influenced managers’ bonuses – when they saw a presentation by Insights. The Discovery system was immediately identified by BT Major Business as a potential breakthrough, which it turned out to be. The OPTW scores rose, attributed solely to the motivational impact of Insights and the feeling that it gives the individual of being valued.
Insights was also of interest to the BT Major Business sales teams. Following the introduction of Insights sales programs, many sales managers reported that changing sales staff to suit the preferences of the client had enabled the business to adapt and connect to more people. (The Insights training helps sales staff relate far better to all the different personality types).
“Its use has swept through the organisation because it is fun to learn and easily memorable. This means it gets used,” said Katrina Dunkley, Head of Skills Development, BT Major Business.
Neither Insights nor BT Major Business knew that these early successes were building an excellent working relationship that would soon become invaluable. The challenges brought about by the purchase of third generation licences have necessitated major restructuring by BT, as some loss-making divisions have been absorbed into others, while Major Business has quadrupled in size to more than 10,000 people.
Insights has been used as the language of this change. Our Organizational profiling tools have been used to support strategic decisions in such areas as recognition and reward. At the same time, team-building sessions have helped the new working groups created by the changes to start working together better, faster.
“We use it extensively for understanding self, understanding others and learning how to adapt and connect more easily with everyone,” said Ms Dunkley. “We use it for team creation and team building, to help managers understand their people more easily and develop rewarding and productive relationships.”
Spreading The Word
More than three and a half thousand BT Major Business employees have now received their Discovery Profiles, 26 people have been accredited to run Insights courses, and 90% of them have the hasp technology that allows them to generate their own Discovery profiles. In the coming months it is planned to increase those numbers, and to integrate Insights into the culture of BT Major Business.