Industry Insights

Making Organizational Change Happen Effectively


Have you been thinking about improving your business through organizational change? Well, you’re no different than many others.

Every leader dreams of enacting positive change to adapt to the never-ending modifications and developments in the market and industry. But what’s intriguing is that most are unaware of, and thus unable to undertake all the necessary steps to ensure the effective implementation of that particular organizational change. A change management strategy helps companies prepare and execute organizational changes and shifts in a company. Changing structure and alignment creates challenging cultural risks which demand executive leadership to implement and reinforce. Below are the steps most integral to effective organizational change:

1. Understand the organizational change and its effects

It is very crucial to your business that you evaluate and calculate the change model and the effects it would create in your organization. Are your employees aware of the need for change and the factors that led to the necessary changes being made? Are they aware of the costs for making these changes and the benefits of the final outcomes? The adoptions and their costs must be fully understood, and it must be ensured that the planned alterations carry the business in the right direction.

Any side effects and negative consequences should be predicted and considered, and a plan of action regarding them should be drafted beforehand. Comprehension before implementation is the key to the effectiveness and efficiency of the change in question.

2. Make sure its in accordance with your business objectives

The plan of action devised should not only be in the best interests of your business future, but it should also align with your business goals. If a process or solution doesn’t make sense for your business, your employees or your resources, then it will not be sustainable. Each business’s structure, values, and people are unique, and changes must take this into consideration.

Most leaders will work towards a certain development to keep up with the fast-paced changes in the industry whilst completely overlooking the possible adverse effects it can have on their organization. Implementing complicated processes might seem like a good idea, but if decisions are made in a vacuum without consideration of overall business objectives, it could severely backfire, landing you in a worse place than you started.

3. Communicate, train, and encourage

First, one should do the planning and evaluate the various consequences that may arise. If the change is in favor of the overall goals of the business, then it must be implemented in the best possible way.

The plan of action, and the vision for change should be communicated effectively to the team members, and its duties should be distributed throughout the organizational structure according to roles, responsibilities, and qualifications. Explicitly defining roles and responsibilities will ensure each task has a person accountable for it. When in doubt, err on the side of over-communication to eliminate the possibility of misinterpretation, roadblocks and gaps in expectations.

But most importantly, encouragement and motivation through a role model, or senior management is critical. Employees should be empowered by leadership to act on the vision for change. Without the senior management diligently leading by example, the employees will not follow through with the plan, and the company will revert back to old processes.

4. Reinforce its execution

To execute this change effectively and sustainably, the change should be embedded into corporate culture. When actions become habit, and part of an everyday routine, there is less likelihood of reverting back to old ways. The organizational change that you want can only become a reality if you closely monitor the process, and the employee and customer experience under the new changes. Leadership should remain interactive throughout the change across all levels of the organization. With determination and excellent management skills, there is no mountain that cannot be summited!

Organizational change might seem like a big feat to accomplish, but with the right amount of leadership, communication, and evaluation, it can be achieved in an effective and efficient manner.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with The Poirier Group who has expertise in helping prepare and execute organizational modifications and shifts in your organization.


Mandatory Breach Notification – It’s complex, challenging and potentially costly. Are You Ready?


Author: Rob Brickman, 2018

What’s MBN and Why Should My Organization Care?

Starting November 1st, 2018, new Federal Mandatory Breach Notification (MBN) regulations require your organization to report on certain privacy breaches under Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

You May Not Be Ready

Cyber-security, legal and other risk experts are expressing real concern about how ready Canadian organizations are to comply with MBN.  Without adequate preparation for MBN, your company could face penalties including fines for failing to report, a negative impact on your brand, audit exposures and the potential for class action suits.

How Widespread Are Breaches?

New data tells us that frequency, scope and costs of cybersecurity breaches are huge.  The IBM/Ponemon Institute “Cost of Data Breach” study recently concluded that 90% of Canadian companies experienced a breach in 2017, at an average of 22,000 records per breach.  The average cost per breach was over $6 million.

Despite these sobering figures,  Ernst & Young estimates that less than 10% of IT budgets are targeted to cybersecurity and breach management.  Your company may be focused on the technical security that keeps the organization and your customers safe, but you may not be ready for MBN.

Why Is Breach Reporting So Complex?

We’ve identified several elements that make MBN uniquely challenging:

  • Cybersecurity is a moving target – Ajay Sood at Symantec has noted that in cybersecurity “as the adversary changes its tactics and targets, organizations must alter their defences and countermeasures.”
  • New processes are required: Meeting MBN requirements demands re-designed, replicable processes and playbooks that integrate seamlessly with a patchwork of underlying cyber and breach technologies. Many of these may not be in your control.
  • Reliance on Third Parties – To manage cybersecurity, organizations may rely on a web of third-party Saas, IaaS and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) for security infrastructure and incident management. Sometimes the service provider, networks and data reside outside Canada. Your existing contracts, SLAs and shared processes may not anticipate MBN requirements.
  • Complexity of tools – Effective MBN reporting is driven by data that come from multiple tools and systems which may be both inside and outside your organization’s control.
  • Matrix roles – When incidents and breaches occur, dozens of stakeholders, both internal and external to your organization, are affected by what happens. Your board, leadership, IT and Security, Business Continuity, Customer Support, Compliance, Legal, Regulatory, Risk Management, Business Partners and other functions all have a role to playas do your customers.
  • Funding – IT, Finance and other budgets may not have provided for the true costs of breach management, assessment and notification efforts.
  • Enforcement – the MBN requirements are new and confusing. The enforcement regime has yet to be defined by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner or the Attorney General.

How Can TPG Help?  The TPG “MBN Readiness Assessment”

The Poirier Group is one of Canada’s leading consultancies in focused performance improvement, with particular expertise in process design and change management.  We are uniquely equipped to help you plan and execute your MBN response.

To get started, we’ve developed a rapid MBN Readiness Assessment engagement. This exercise quickly highlights gaps in organizations’ MBN posture and recommends immediate steps to remediate processes and responsibilities, whether incidents and breaches are managed internally or by MSSPs.

Click on our MBN One Pager for more info!

Contact Rob Brickman to discuss this further at


Feature: Canadian Business Journal – The Poirier Group

The Poirier Group


We are excited to be featured in the October 2018 online publication of the Canadian Business Journal!

CEO David Poirier and Senior Partner Michael Taylor discuss TPG’s journey to fruition, and the culture and values that continue to support the business’s sustainability and reputation.

“Building Clients” Trust through Integrity and   Commitment to Problem Solving

During its first 13 years of operation The Poirier Group (TPG) has assembled a robust team of management consultants who are amongst the best minds in the business who are tasked with obtaining the optimal results for their clients. The primary commitment by TPG is to dispense outstanding, trusted expertise that culminates in their clients’ complete fulfillment…”

Check out the rest of the article Here


An Intern’s Perspective on TPG

Author: Ilya Kreynin (2018)

Over the past 2 years, I’ve had the opportunity to intern with 4 different companies, one of them being TPG. All 4 placements were enjoyable and taught me a lot, as all of them are companies with great leaders in their fields as well as great employers. However, despite being by far the smallest of the 4, TPG has uniquely contributed to my personal and professional growth. While it’s hard to fully describe what made these 8 months so memorable and valuable, here are 3 factors that in my view distinguish TPG as a singularly great place to work. (That’s me on the left!)

1. Values Applied to Actions

The word ‘values’ is tossed around a lot in business, and with good reason: they are what separates mediocre organizations from good ones, and good from great. Almost every company will tell you that they are values-driven, and successful companies generally are. They will have a mission statement or a charter of values, and those values will be referenced during training/orientation and when discussing high level decisions.

The TPG difference? This company’s values are front and center during day to day decisions. They are discussed during meetings, they influence individual deliverables, are reflected upon after every engagement, and are frequently mentioned and reinforced during all points of problem solving. Work and life at TPG is inextricably linked to these values, and they shine through in both the work and the culture of the company.

This clarity and propensity towards principled action keeps everyone on the same page and builds an extraordinary level of trust; you cannot help but grow when working in such an environment.

2. Honest and Regular Feedback

Every company has its own approach towards performance assessment and professional development, often tailored to the function and position of the specific employee. However, the approach generally boils down to a standardized, regularly recurring assessment of job-related performance from a specific individual (often a coach or a manager). This has its advantages: the employee knows when feedback is to be given and can therefore be open to it, and a regularly recurring meeting can be useful for tracking improvement over time.

The TPG approach may not be for the faint of heart, but it’s dead simple and skyrockets improvement: honest, straightforward, in the moment feedback. This can come from anyone on the team, and can apply to anything from a deliverable, to a meeting, to a client interaction. Rather than relying on one individual for feedback, everyone is encouraged to help each other grow.

While regular feedback can be tough at first, the advantages become clear very quickly: it allows you to course-correct far more often and hone your craft at a much more detailed level. It’s the difference between doing 4 presentations in a month and then being told to “work on your pacing” in the month’s end 1 on 1, versus doing 1 presentation, having 2 teammates let you know how it went and at which points you talked too quickly, adjusting, and rocking the next 3 presentations.

The openness, honesty, and family atmosphere at TPG are not just perks of the job. In very tangible ways, the trust that exists between people at this company enhances growth and contributes to exceptional performance.

3. A True Commitment to Quality

Good companies are committed to quality and doing good work. They serve their clients well and employ effective processes to run and grow their business. However, after reaching a certain size and pace of operation, effectiveness gradually gives way to efficiency. The vital 20% of work is identified and focused on, and the details around it are either standardized into repeatable processes or fall by the wayside. A set standard of work emerges, and performance evaluation leans more heavily towards the quantity of work done at said standard than towards pushing that standard higher.

Even as the ratio of work to employees climbed over my time at TPG, I never once saw a dip in the painstaking level of detail with which the work was done, or a dilution of the values mentioned previously. Going above and beyond for each and every client and project is genuinely the standard here, with the mantra of “is this my best work?” being repeated for all client interactions and deliverables, no matter how small.

This was a hard standard to live up to early on, but above all else I am grateful to everyone at TPG for supporting me in growing to reach this standard rather than lowering the bar due to my being an intern. Learning what it takes to do exceptional work on a regular basis, and getting to practice every day, greatly accelerated my personal and professional growth and made for an experience as one of a kind at TPG.


Lean Leaders can Overcome the “Three Root Sins”

jump over a cliff

Author: Cody McCullough (2018)

Defining and Recognizing the Three Candidates for Your Faults

Although the three root sins have a spiritual connotation, the intention of this article is to describe how each of the root sins creates underlying behaviors that lead to frequent faults and failings as lean leaders. Gemba Academy’s Ron Pereira discusses in a compelling podcast how the concept of the “Three Root Sins” can be applied to both business and continuous improvement.

All of us have tendencies and manifestations linked to all three of the root sins. By implying that we have a “root sin” simply means that for each of us, one of the three is dominant, and is more significant and employs greater influence on our day-to-day behavior than the others.

pushing a boulder up a hill

The three root sins are: PrideVanity, and Sensuality.

  1. Pride refers to a disordered attachment to our own excellence, and the inordinate opinion of one’s own importance, merit, or superiority.
  2. Vanity refers to a disordered attachment to the approval of other people.
  3. Sensuality refers to a disordered attachment to comfort, ease, and pleasure.

How to Overcome Your Root Sin as a Lean Leader

Once you have identified one (or more) of the three root sin candidates as being most applicable to you as a lean leader, the next step is to execute countermeasures or actions that will reduce or eliminate the problems that manifest themselves from the root sin.

Countermeasures to Pride – Gratitude and Humility

  • Lean implementations often fail because they are led by someone who’s ego prevents their team members from providing a unique perspective. Teamwork and team problem solving is at the heartbeat of lean.  By harnessing each team members unique skillset and appreciating their unique talents, lean leaders will realize that their team members and are more willing to identify problems and “go the extra mile” to fix a problem.

Countermeasures to Vanity – Understand the “WHY” behind your lean improvement program

  • A common trap or downfall for lean leaders is to overact to their team being categorized as overhead (not adding direct value to the product or service their organizations offer). Because of this, lean leaders will feel the need to justify their existence by trying to add value or seek approval from their superiors in any way possible.  Instead of the work being driven by the need to impress others within your organization, the work within a lean program should be driven by doing things the right way and with the right intentions, which is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.

Countermeasures to Sensuality – Having courage to overcome difficult obstacles, not just the easy ones

  • Lean leaders must understand lean is very rarely easy or comfortable, and that there is no “get rich quick scheme”. Lean is a struggle which requires strength and courage to overcome each obstacle that is found along the way. Often, the most difficult and uncomfortable lean projects are the ones that result in the greatest direct savings and impactful team building experiences.  If you are overcome with wanting things that are easy, you will not succeed in lean.

If you want to get rid of the weeds, you can’t just pull out the stems; you have to get at the roots.

Notice that earlier in the article, we defined each of these root sins as a “disordered” attachment to something. The things in themselves – achievements, relationships, pleasures – are not evil. The problem comes when lean leaders seek meaning and fulfillment from these.

It is important to realize that we each have tendencies that manifest ourselves from pride, vanity, and sensuality. In each of us, one of the three is usually dominant. If we can identify which one, we can better aim our efforts to grow as lean leaders; we can strive to develop the virtues that counteract the cause, the root, of our falls and faults.