Deep cultural change journeys for senior intact teams - IMD Business School
News Stories · Digital - Team Dynamics - Asia

Deep cultural change journeys for senior intact teams

In 2018, dtac launched a turnaround aimed at regaining the ground that it had to lost to aggressive competitors in the Thai mobile telecoms market. To launch the last phase, which sought to empower its workforce, dtac partnered with IMD to design and roll out individualized deep cultural change journeys for its 46 EMC members and their intact teams.
July 2021

By 2019 dtac, the third largest cellphone operator in Thailand, was beginning to see results from the strategic turnaround it had started the year before. But much remained to be done regarding the culture of the organization to match the strategy. The group needed to shed its command-and-control hierarchical culture and transform itself into an agile enterprise in which employees across the entire company felt empowered to question the status quo and provide fast solutions in response to rapidly changing market conditions.

dtac partnered with IMD to develop and implement a set of highly individualized cultural change journeys each lasting 3 to 4 months for each of the 46 extended management committee (EMC) members and his or her intact team of 5 to 8 people. The objective of each journey was for the EMC members to become more participative and consultative with their intact teams, and for intact team members to step in and become more assertive and enabled leaders.

For the first 10 EMC members and their teams, the entire engagement was executed by Singapore-based IMD coaches who flew to Bangkok every 7 to 10 days to hold deepcoaching engagements with the teams. Because every team had a very different starting point and different set of needs, every intact team journey was different. However, all teams followed the same process of trying out new behaviors in a safe coaching space, trying to apply them throughout the week, and then debriefing successes or failures the next week and then try again until real behavioral change happened and became permanent.

Coaches constantly got together to support each other, and examined similarities in their journeys to create a manual that others could use to undertake these highly personalized intact team journeys.

This manual became the basis for the next 10 individualized journeys for EMC members and their intact teams which was executed by the same Singapore-based IMD coaches who were this time shadowed by Bangkok-based dtac-chosen coaches. This allowed IMD coaches to undertake a train-the-trainer program as they were working with dtac executives. After that, Bangkok-based coaches began to execute the next set of journeys on their own.

This continuous learning and application cycle led to significant positive changes in the leadership behaviors of individuals and teams and increased their effectiveness in collaborating across the organization. Although the journey had to be suspended because of COVID-19, IMD and dtac pivoted the experience to a Zoom-based coach-led journey, this time focusing on the eight members of dtac’s top management team.

Download the full article here: dtac & IMD deep cultural change for senior intact teams