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Leadership, culture change and transformation at AVIVA: Norwich Union Insurance (A and B)

Author: Galunic, D. Charles ; Cagna, Anne-MarieINSEAD Area: Organisational BehaviourPublisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2008.Language: EnglishDescription: 14 p. + 17 p.Type of document: INSEAD CaseNote: Latest version available via https://publishing.insead.eduAbstract: This two-part case study describes the initial merger and cultural transformation of Aviva's Norwich Union (NUI) operation in the UK. It examines the complexities of integration that arose following a series of mergers that created NUI from 1998 to 2000. Case A describes how, after CGU Plc and Norwich Union joined forces to become NUI, top management's priority was to restore profits. Behind the scenes, however, the need for a whole new corporate culture was becoming increasingly imperative. It shows the tensions that arose between the need for immediate gains in efficiencies and that of longer-term approaches to the business that required careful nurturing and attention. It ends as the executive team's announcement of the new corporate philosophy - "to be a service provider with insurance at our core and care at our heart" - is greeted with disbelief by employees. Case B describes what was done to overcome their skepticism and successfully implement the new philosophy - actions that required significant change to the organizational culture. Pedagogical Objectives: This case does two things. First, it shows how easy it is for strategy and culture to move apart. Firms seek strategic advantage all the time; top executives look for ways to improve the positioning of the firm in the marketplace, often making major and seemingly sudden decisions on how the firm will play the game against competitors - once they see a direction, they expect the change yesterday. If the company culture is important to realizing these strategic ends but is not moving in the same direction or is being asked to move too often, misalignment can occur. Second, the case shows how to go about realigning culture and strategy, following the steps of one large organization in trying to ensure that the people and systems support the strategy.
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Latest version available via <a href=https://publishing.insead.edu>https://publishing.insead.edu</a>

This case does two things. First, it shows how easy it is for strategy and culture to move apart. Firms seek strategic advantage all the time; top executives look for ways to improve the positioning of the firm in the marketplace, often making major and seemingly sudden decisions on how the firm will play the game against competitors - once they see a direction, they expect the change yesterday. If the company culture is important to realizing these strategic ends but is not moving in the same direction or is being asked to move too often, misalignment can occur. Second, the case shows how to go about realigning culture and strategy, following the steps of one large organization in trying to ensure that the people and systems support the strategy.

This two-part case study describes the initial merger and cultural transformation of Aviva's Norwich Union (NUI) operation in the UK. It examines the complexities of integration that arose following a series of mergers that created NUI from 1998 to 2000. Case A describes how, after CGU Plc and Norwich Union joined forces to become NUI, top management's priority was to restore profits. Behind the scenes, however, the need for a whole new corporate culture was becoming increasingly imperative. It shows the tensions that arose between the need for immediate gains in efficiencies and that of longer-term approaches to the business that required careful nurturing and attention. It ends as the executive team's announcement of the new corporate philosophy - "to be a service provider with insurance at our core and care at our heart" - is greeted with disbelief by employees. Case B describes what was done to overcome their skepticism and successfully implement the new philosophy - actions that required significant change to the organizational culture.

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