Transformational Change, Leadership, and Strategic Organizational Capability

Gap Analysis: Intersect Investments

Intersect Investment company is an organization losing ground in the financial services industry. The company executives have identified that a major change initiative is necessary in order for the organization to survive as a key industry player. The following paper will identify key issues and opportunities the organization must address in initiating change across the organization. This author will also address key stakeholder issues and concerns and how they all affect each stakeholder group. Stakeholder perspectives and ethical concerns will be addressed. This document will formulate an end state vision statement that will be developed in detail. The new vision will lead the way to formulating key end state goals that the organization will attain as the transformational leadership change plan is implemented. A gap analysis will be performed and discussed to bridge the ravine between where the organization is today and how they will get to where they need to be tomorrow. Lastly, this paper will conclude with a summary of the findings highlighting key components for institutionalizing transitional leadership change.

Situation Analysis

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Intersect Investments is a company within the volatile financial services industry that is struggling. The organization has fallen from being an industry leader and is plummeting further as new players have taken the competitive advantage. Customer and employee retention have declined to historic lows, and customer satisfaction is down 10% (Intersect Investments, 2008).

In order for the organization to rebound and get back on track, the company has promoted a new EVP Marketing and Sales to carry out the new corporate vision. Janet Angelo’s plan of implementing a customer intimacy model that will prove results in 12-months will be a challenge. The organizational culture has been ingrained for 15 years and the resistance to change will be hard-fought. “Managers need to learn to recognize the manifestations of resistance both in themselves and in others if they want to be more effective in creating and supporting change” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2003). Angelo must learn her new organizational culture and the individuals who shaped it. In order to drive a change process, she must align the people through communication and participation. “Managers who trust their employees make the change process an open, honest, and participation affair. Employees who trust management are more willing to expend extra effort and take changes with something different” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2003).

A barrier for Angelo to overcome is the organizational culture and resistance towards change. The culture is hardened and struggling to maintain a leadership position within the industry. Resistors to change say the company is lean and that the goals are too high. The naysayers state that sales goals can not be attained since customer call times have been reduced in order to establish new clients. In the mean time, existing clients are not being serviced and customer retention and satisfaction are on the downslope.

The new vision for the organization will be difficult to achieve if change is not combated properly. Transitional leadership, or transformational change, will be necessary for the organization to reach their goal of becoming the customer’s most trusted financial advisor. The vision calls for providing customer value through new services that demonstrate client value in their investments. The new strategic focus is an initiative that must be lived by each employee in the organization. Transformational leadership must prepare the employees that change is necessary and is good for the future of all stakeholders involved with the corporation. “Resilience to change is a composite characteristic reflecting high self-esteem, optimism, and an internal locus of control” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2003).

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

Janet Angelo must be focused on the key stakeholders to the organization. First off, the employees that are resistant towards change do not see the lofty goals as being attainable. She must communicate clearly the new vision and implement a plan that will motivate and unify the teams to drive forward with the new initiatives. Angelo can provide new employee value in terms of rewards to the team members. “Pay for performance is something extra, compensation above and beyond basic wages and salaries” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2003). Employees become more motivated when there is more money involved on their paychecks. Rewards motivate people to perform higher because the extra incentive demonstrates higher employee value. “Proponents of incentive compensation say something extra is needed because hourly wages and fixed salaries do little more than motivate people to show up at work and put in the required hours” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2003).

Disgruntled shareholders also need to be satisfied since their stock value has been reduced as the company loses ground to competitors. Not only must Angelo’s change processes work, they must deliver in a relatively short time frame of 12 months. Shareholders tend to be impatient and unforgiving stakeholders. This stakeholder group will make their voices heard in short order if results in terms of share price are not realized. If the Intersect Investment organization fails to deliver progressive results in the months leading up to the one year deadline, key executives could lose their positions. Shareholders care about one thing and that is their stock price. Stock price is reflected in a couple of key areas, primarily in customer sales, customer retention, and customer satisfaction. If all 3 goals are met, the stock price will go up. Each goal has an overwhelming effect on corporate social responsibility (CSR) towards all stakeholders. Financial service providers make sales and retain clients because they provide the services that customers want and need. The stock price of course, will reflect this.

The customers need quality service, respectful interactions, and immediate attention to their financial needs. They seek new and innovative services that work and will be delivered on time. Customers need their investments protected and the Intersect Investment organization must demonstrate value to their clients in terms of return on investment (ROI). The customer does not want to feel like a number and made to feel unimportant. This is a critical element of the institutional change process for the organization. A key to customer satisfaction is delivering services, providing results, and building an intimate relationship that makes every customer feel that they are the most important client the company has.

End-State Vision

Intersect Investments will, “Provide a broad set of products and services to consumer and small business customers using a model of customer intimacy that will build long-term relationships based on trust and value to the customer” (Intersect Investment, 2008).

Gap Analysis

The two areas that senior leadership defines in leading to the success of the corporate mission are strategic capability and transformational change. Transformational change is “the ability and process that leaders use to transform the very nature of an organization in order to help ensure its success in the marketplace” (Intersect Investment, 2008). In order for this transformation to occur smoothly and effectively, leaders who have vision, passion, and focus, will be needed to help the change process be successful. Strategic capabilities are “the few beliefs, skills, knowledge, and processes that create the ability or capability of an organization to continuously act and do what is needed to realize its strategy and succeed in its markets” (Intersect Investment, 2008). Angelo and key executives must make these two critical areas of organizational concentration a priority in order for the company to realize mission value. “I believe that executing our new strategy will require we make these two factors strategic priorities for us” (Intersect Investment, 2008).

Top transitional leaders must teach and train lower-level leaders to duplicate their efforts and become aligned to the new strategy. “It will be important for us as a company, and each one of us as leaders of large organizations, to ensure we have leaders who can lead the transformational change needed to realize our new strategy” (Intersect Investment, 2008).  Transitional leadership will be the driving force behind the change process at Intersect Investment. “Commitment to change is defined as a mind-set that binds an individual to a course of action deemed necessary for the successful implementation of a change initiative” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2003). With the new alignment towards a unified change strategy, their customers will experience a new bond with the Intersect organization. “And as we look at our new vision and strategy we can consider our new sales and marketing model based on customer intimacy as a strategic capability” (Intersect Investment, 2008).


“Customer commitment does not happen overnight. It must become a value we all believe in and live everyday. Each time we talk to a customer we must begin by understanding their needs, long and short-term goals and what they value” (Intersect Investment, 2008). Transformational change, leadership, and strategic capability on a unified cultural level is required for the Intersect Investment company to realize long-term mission and vision value through the implementation of new processes. Whether change is organizationally or individually orchestrated, it requires a dedicated manifestation of a goal-oriented vision commitment that supports and aligns itself to harmonize with the new processes. This change does not come easily and will not happen overnight. It can be done quickly however, when transitional leadership is prevalent across the organization. When the transitional leaders are able to motivate the staff to live and believe in the new corporate vision, success will soon follow. “Thus, customer intimacy is a strategic focus. It is a personal value and priority for each of us” (Intersect Investment, 2008). Registered & Protected

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  1. #1 by Alpana Jaiswal on June 13, 2011 - 11:55 am

    This is some post…I am exhausted reading this Charlie,but very informative..I am passing your link to my niece,who is working on a project,for which this will be beneficial.

    • #2 by charlie nitric on June 13, 2011 - 12:00 pm

      Hello Alpana –

      I won’t do many posts like this because this is so boring and not fun to do. It’s just reporting facts (yawn) but they are important to corporations and other organizations looking to make positive changes. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  2. #3 by TJLubrano on June 13, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    Nice post & very informative! This sounds a lot like a book I read called Total Performance Management. Well, not only that book, I’ve read quite a lot of articles that cover what you’ve discussed here haha. Change consists of many levels (hmm terms that pop in my mind now intrinsic & extrinsic motivation) and you need good leaders who communicate this to everyone involved. Biggest mistake that most organizations make is that change can happen quickly by just giving enough information to the employees. It’s a constant process of reminding and making everyone aware what will change, how and why. Humans are the ones who can make the change happen, they just need to believe in it and understand why.

    • #4 by charlie nitric on June 13, 2011 - 3:04 pm

      Hey TJ –

      You’re so right that change consists on many levels. Employee buy-in to the changes is key and rarely attained fully. Here is where a big problem exists when you have some of the people playing with the change team and others resisting it. Then you also have the problem with the people who are acting like they support the change but deep down inside of them they do not like or believe in it. There is no passion to change and therefore the change may work in the short-term, but usually will not have long term value. The teams will resort back to the old way of doing things and be worse off than they were before. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  3. #5 by Larry Lewis on June 13, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    Interesting post and as a business consultant to the fitness industry i agree with what you have said. But i landed here by mistake because i was counting on the funniest best writer of comedy i’ve ever come across giving my fill of humour. Strangely you both have the same name. You really are multi talented

    • #6 by charlie nitric on June 13, 2011 - 2:55 pm

      Hello Larry –

      I probably won’t be writing too many more like this one. Although the topics are very good, it’s really not my cup of tea in terms of writing. I’m going to get right on that other side of Charlie that you say you prefer although I do appreciate your kind words. Hopefully in the next day or two, I will have a more enjoyable and laughable read coming to you soon. Thank you for reading and for commenting. 🙂

  4. #7 by kriti on June 13, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    It is so difficult to achieve this Charles! So very very difficult since everything depends on the staff/ teams to cooperate. How many team players will you find in an organization? Some only pretend to be one till they find a new exciting offer – Yes it does take a long long time unless I am absolutely out of line. Loved reading this as always…

    • #8 by charlie nitric on June 13, 2011 - 2:51 pm

      Hi Kriti –

      In theory it all sounds great. In reality, it rarely works as many people never fully buy-in to the change process. Most everyone will say “oh yeah, this is great” but many don’t believe it. Their actions in regards to the change are merely going through the motions. What usually happens next is that some or all of the initiatives resort back to how things were done prior to the changes being implemented. Sometimes they are just tweaked to make it look newer and better, but it back to the same old thing none-the-less. You asked how many team players? I’ve found that the answer is not very many “true” team players. It’s difficult to win when all the players are not playing the same ball game. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  5. #9 by InJensMind on June 13, 2011 - 4:48 pm

    Interesting. What made you decide to write this type of post? Usually, I pick pieces that come to mind or that I read about and I want to add something to it. I’ve seen you say you don’t like “reporting news” stories so I wondered how this idea came about.

    • #10 by charlie nitric on June 13, 2011 - 5:32 pm

      Hi Jenni –

      True that. This is not a favorite formal form of writing that I enjoy doing. The sounding like a reporter, as you recall, was in reference to me simply detailing fact after fact about past life events….experiences. That kind of writing makes me feel more like I am reporting an event and bores me. This piece is research and study, and although it is definitely not a favorite form of writing for me, I just wanted to toss something in here to mix it up a bit. I wish you could have found something about my post that you enjoyed so sorry for disappointing you in that respect. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  6. #11 by Roy Durham on June 13, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    Charlie , Charlie, Brian if i may, please except my apology for the “what” i have sat through many meeting were this speech was given. the failure was that the plan was never commutated to to the staff who had to do the work and implement the the new policy. in staff meeting the yes men say they will and this is great but when they leave the meeting they are back to do what they have alway done. i have got myself relive over this because i wanted to make the change happen. maybe someday it will. thank you for the post and god bless

    • #12 by charlie nitric on June 14, 2011 - 9:11 am

      Hi Cowboy –

      My experiences from the study you just read is that these business practices rarely work at all. The reasons transitional change rarely works is because the organization cannot attain total buy-in from the employees. People in general dislike change especially when they are instructed to change, breaking from their comfort zone and traveling a new path. It upsets them because they are used to doing things the old way. Even though the old ways may be negative, they’re comfortable with their paychecks and don’t care enough that the company is failing. These people do want their jobs but they want others to take care of the problems that exist. Positive change will only be short term and usually resorts back to the old way of doing things because of the resistance forced by a group of people unwilling to adapt. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  7. #13 by Nelieta on June 13, 2011 - 8:38 pm

    This was quite an exhausting read Charlie but very informative. After reading this I thought to myself: “Damn girl, you can be so lucky to be out of the Corporate world!”…tourism is much more interesting 🙂

    Have a great week Charlie!

    • #14 by charlie nitric on June 14, 2011 - 9:16 am

      Hello Nelieta –

      LOL, you are a very lucky girl indeed. The corporate world is stressful for many reasons and one of those is transitional change. It’s difficult to attain positive change when you’re forced into it by leaders whom cannot lead properly. People are much more likely to change when it is their idea, their motivation, and their reward at the end of the day. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  8. #15 by Jessica on June 13, 2011 - 9:29 pm

    This was great! Did you write this for a university course at some point? You just added a nice piece to your technical writing portfolio.

    I only have one suggestion: When you write a conclusion, always be sure that the first and last sentence is not a quote. That helps solidify you as the analyzer, and take away from any speculation that you are merely regurgitating someone else’s view.

    Maybe I’ll have to do my Blog Carnival this weekend again, since now I have something for under my Finance section. 🙂

    Great write-up. I love that you added your sources, too.

    • #16 by charlie nitric on June 14, 2011 - 9:28 am

      Hey Jessica –

      Yes this was a final paper I did for one of my master’s courses a few years back. I had deleted hundreds of papers I constructed from both MBA programs and stumbled across a few strays that were held in other places on my computer. I re-wrote a large portion and felt like posting something different on my blog. Originally when I wrote my school papers, I could never task on them in advance. As I did for my bachelors a long time ago, I waited until the last minute approaching deadline. This way I didn’t have much time to over-think and could rock-n-roll the papers out in one writing, one quick edit, and submit seconds or minutes before the clock struck midnight. I know it’s not the best method for doing school projects but it seemed to be the best way for me task and get it done. I was lucky enough to ace both programs so that’s a good thing, I guess ;). For this type of paper, one must always provide resources since it is a study and a report. All my other works you’ve read here are opinion, experiences, and creative scribbles, lol. They require no research or documentation (i.e. Charlie Nitric’s little brain, 2011) hahaha. Yes yes yes. Blog carnival this weekend. Please sell cotton candy this time around. It’s my favorite and was disappointed you offered only peanuts, lol. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  9. #17 by Lynne on June 14, 2011 - 2:55 am

    Charlie WOW your actually bored me for the very first time (yawn) x

    • #18 by charlie nitric on June 14, 2011 - 9:33 am

      HiYa Lynne –

      Boring boring boring, lol. The concepts are actually fascinating because they do involve human nature which has allows allured me to study. However, I admit with you that it is a boring read for many people. It bores me to write this way and read it back my self hahaha. Oh Lynne, there’s a first time for everything ;). Stop yawning and go read something I wrote that is more enjoyable for you. I think I have one of two on my blog that you haven’t read yet that you will like ^5. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  10. #19 by Dangerous Linda on June 14, 2011 - 7:00 pm

    Hi, Charlie! —

    I thought I was at the wrong blog at first — as many have observed before me 😉

    As much as I enjoy the entertainment value of your usual writing, I LOVE that you are breaking the mold with this piece. You reveal yourself as the complex, thinking individual that you are. I appreciate the “character development” seeing this side of you offers.

    I don’t believe this is so far afield as some have suggested. I see glimpses of your depth and intense thoughtfulness in your humorous posts also.

    Thank you for all that you are!

    • #20 by charlie nitric on June 14, 2011 - 9:31 pm

      Hello Linda –

      I’m actually trying to figure out how to move this post to a new page titled “business” or “management”. Something to that effect, anyway. This will allow me to post underneath that page in the future although I won’t be doing a lot of these. I don’t know how to move the post without losing the comments, lol. It’s not my favorite form of writing but I can easily perform this way if I wish to do so. I like that you notice this fact about me. 🙂

      I appreciate your kind words of support and insight towards me, this blog, and my other funnier blog posts. It’s fantastic that you see some of the truths and subtle hints I’ve dropped in and around the humor. Although almost everybody gets the humor, I often wonder who sees the realities within. Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  11. #21 by rimly on June 15, 2011 - 5:17 am

    Charlie I will be honest, I skimmed through this post. I guess you have spoiled all of us with you witty, humorous, sensitive posts. But this post sure was informative. Look forward to your ones. xoxo

    • #22 by charlie nitric on June 15, 2011 - 8:01 am

      Hi Rimly –

      You don’t want to skim through my next post coming here in a couple of hours, lol. You might miss something very funny and we don’t want that now, do we ;)? Thank you for reading me and for commenting. 🙂

  12. #23 by sulekkha on June 15, 2011 - 9:10 pm

    First I read the article and then I double checked the author’s name to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. It really was written by Charlie and it didn’t make me laugh. It is a well researched and informative post, quite unlike your witty ones. I enjoy reading a mix of posts because it keeps my mind working, though i would love to read something light next to keep things even. Thanks for sharing this interesting piece Charlie…

  13. #25 by melissa on June 18, 2011 - 4:36 am

    Dear Brian…I’m glad I reread this post as I had to take a few days off to rest my mind and it paid off. It was a kind of an enlightenment that I understood your case report.

    As my mind formulated questions while I read it part by part, you were able to answer them satisfactorily. You were able to present everything well. The key is transformational change. I have only been working in the corporate world for less than a year and I could see how aggressive some companies could be in terms of competition. However, it doesn’t always occur that the values and trends follow the rapid movement of the company. People could really be stubborn in terms of structures. Once structures are changed, everything seems lost. The transition brought about by the change of leaders in the person of Ms. Angelo is already a progress. The next step further is when she is able to bring back the company back to its vision/goal. I think one of a company’s primary goal is customer commitment. However, the way I see it now with other companies, service is compromised because of cost cutting or low financial budget…hmmm… my head is throbbing now, I’d better stop 😛

    This is feasible and very informative Brian. It is very useful… Thanks for sharing. I was able to see another side of you I truly admire.

    • #26 by charlie nitric on June 18, 2011 - 5:48 am

      Hey Melissa –

      The bottom line is that the majority of people do not accept change very well, are not open-minded to change, and are not willing to support change processes. It is one thing to say verbally that the changes are good. It’s another thing to believe and live the change first hand. Thanks for taking time to study my report. 🙂

  14. #27 by Ana Herradon on January 16, 2012 - 8:02 am

    First of all, thank you for sharing this excellent post that I have enjoyed reading.

    Transformational change is a long, complex and expensive process for any organization. It is a common mistake to think that it can be quickly done.

    I have read many papers and books about it and the most critical factor for success is building the right environment, that is aligning your strategy with your company´s culture and structure.

    Many corporations fail at strategy execution. Many think of change as a project instead of as a process and many fail because while it is true that you need to buy-in staff, you need to buy-in your Senior management first, and keep buying-in staff from top to bottom in order to get the necessary engagement to make it happen.
    Motivating employees can be easy if you know what makes people tick at work which is not only money.

    The great majority of organizations fail at clarifying and communicating company´s purpose, identity, and long-range intention.They also fail because goals are not clearly defined and metrics do not support the strategy.

    Finally, organizations need to understand and assume that the process for transformational change is going to be painful and once it has started cannot be abandoned.

    The only constant is change, adapt or die!

  1. organization theory

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