How Delta realized greater performance through change management

The airline industry has gained a reputation for poor planning and even worse management of human capital. However, as explored in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, one organization seems to be working to shake this notoriety. 

Delta's CEO Richard Anderson wrote that the first step in regaining market share was for the airline to adjust to the many changes in the market. It sought strategic partnerships, merged with another domestic competitor and returned focus on revamping the existing fleet. With a new pricing model and streamlined airport operations, Anderson realized that getting back on top would require more innovative thinking. 

He then focused on strengthening the organizational culture and aligning employees to the new vision of the company. To restore internal teams' faith in their employer, which had emerged from bankruptcy in 2007, Anderson enacted a profit-sharing program and stock-ownership plan that set the new standard for the industry. With the right motivation in place, employees began taking pride in the Delta name and were eager to help shape the future of the organization. 

With teams in place, focus returned to becoming more efficient while increasing the quality of the experience offered. To cut costs, the organization began to think of new ways to promote vertical integration, becoming the first airline to acquire an oil refinery, a decision which brought attention from both oil and aviation industry stakeholders. 

By better managing costs and promoting a sense of ownership among employees, Delta was able to go from Chapter 11 to one of the most profitable airlines in under a decade. 

With the proper approach to organizational change management, similar results are also possible for your organization. Change management consulting is the first step to identifying current areas of improvement and ensuring that employees are subscribed to the company's transformation.