Leading High-Speed Change at Telewest: The Cascaded Engagement Model

By Robert Perkins.

Published by Change Management: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 24, 2015 $US5.00

On June 17th, 1997, the Board of Directors admitted Telewest would be bankrupt within seven months, but asked David Van Valkenburg “to do his best.” The $1.2 B company provided television, telephone and data services in the United Kingdom. After seven CEOs in six years, profits, customer service and employee morale were poor. A huge change was essential. Van Valkenburg envisioned a radical strategy, new structure, and employment reduction. Van Valkenburg and the author applied behavioral principles and created an action sequence to lead high-speed transformation using the, Cascaded Engagement Model. Van Valkenburg implemented the model to engage employees in redesigning practices. Financial improvements appeared in October. In January 1998, the Board invested $800 million. By year’s end, revenue had risen 40 percent. Telewest met financial objectives and employees received bonuses. The London Stock Exchange ranked Telewest stock as Top 100. Morgan Stanley called it, “the multimedia play for the millennium.” Telewest won J. D. Powers’ Award for best customer service.

Keywords: High-Speed Change, Change Management, Leadership, Engagement, Turnaround

Change Management: An International Journal, Volume 14, Issue 3-4, September 2015, pp.25-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 24, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 462.356KB)).

Dr. Robert Perkins

Associate Professor in the Practice of Management, Stetson School of Business and Economics, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA