Pomeroy Lodging: Effective Methods for Navigating the Complex Waters of Organizational Transformation

In the fast-moving world of business, adaptability is the key to success. Pomeroy Lodging has experienced this first-hand after years of exceptional growth. That’s why the company sought the expertise of the consulting firm, Iceberg Management, through its valuable and long-standing talent partner, Randstad. This case study goes behind the scenes of a successful organizational transformation, highlighting innovative methods for managing talent with the “9 Box Grid” and clarifying roles and responsibilities with the “RACI” method.

Pomeroy Lodging History

In 1941, the first Pomeroy Hotel opens in Fort St. John. Over the years, the Pomeroy family has owned and operated over 65 businesses under more than 15 brands. The family legacy continued in 2004 with the third generation, Ryan Pomeroy, who is now CEO of Pomeroy Lodging LP, created in 2010. As Western Canada’s leading lodging company, with a range of hotels to suit every need, Pomeroy Lodging also owns two Resorts & Spas: Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge in the province of Alberta and The Hotel Alyeska in Alaska, USA.

The First Steps Towards Change

In December 2022, Pomeroy Lodging reached a growth point where it became necessary to review its organizational structure and the composition of its executive team. The need arose to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each function within the team, as they had evolved organically over the years. Aware that poorly defined roles can lead to frustration, dysfunction, and loss of productivity within a team, Ryan Pomeroy enlisted the support of Randstad, the world’s largest talent organization, to connect him with experts in organizational development and human resources. Thus began his adventure with Iceberg Management.

The challenge? To rethink a structure made up of long-standing loyal team members who had risen through the ranks and were now occupying the highest positions of their careers, while ensuring optimal alignment with the company’s evolving needs.

The Mandate’s Objectives

For Iceberg Management’s consultants, the objective of the mandate was obvious: “the right people in the right seats”. To achieve this, it was first necessary to establish an accurate picture of the current organizational structure, to identify gaps, and then to support senior management and the executive team in defining the desired situation.

Pomeroy Lodging also had specific expectations: to identify the skills required for each role in order to develop the competencies of key people, to obtain expert guidance with a clear process and proven methods, to obtain a thorough understanding of the limitations of the current structure and… to learn!

Assessing Talent with the 9 Box Grid

Faced with executive team members with a broad range of backgrounds, experience and skills, Iceberg Management’s consultants helped senior management assess talent using the “9 Box Grid” in March 2023.

The “9 Box Grid” is a well-known tool in talent management, that categorizes employees into nine groups according to their performance in their current role and their potential for future growth. This tool is regularly used in career development and succession planning. In addition to being versatile and easy to use, it enables the rapid drafting of an action plan or skills development plan based on the employee’s positioning.

To ensure an objective assessment of talent, a questionnaire is developed to define a score for both performance and potential, which is then used to position the employee appropriately in a 9-box grid.

To ensure that the 9-box grid was perfectly contextualized to the client’s needs, the consultants added an additional element to the assessment: the level of importance of the incumbent’s current role within the organization. As a result of this exercise, Pomeroy Lodging’s senior management had a clear vision of its current talent management posture.

Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities with the RACI Method

In May 2023, Iceberg Management consultants then led a series of three collective intelligence facilitation workshops with executive team members to create a portrait of the current roles and responsibilities situation, using the “RACI” method.

‘’RACI” is a method for mapping the tasks of each team member in a matrix, defining who is Responsible, who is the Approver, who must be Consulted or Informed for each.

The method used and refined by Iceberg Management combines facilitation techniques and exercise sequences to encourage the emergence, convergence, and selection of retained ideas through a precise process. A common team pathway, referred to here as a management pathway, is co-created by the members to establish a shared, global vision of the group’s roles and responsibilities, and then associated with each of the tasks performed by the members. In this way, in addition to employing the “RACI” for each task, we can ensure the meaning and purpose of that task for the organization’s needs.

Overall, each workshop was built around creating a deliverable, gaining awareness of the current state of affairs, and establishing a future vision based on the organization’s needs.

The post-workshop results were impressive. Executive team members had a greater understanding of their roles, a shared vision and had created their own management path. As we often say to our clients: “Trust the process!”

The Organizational Configuration

With all the data now in hand, the Iceberg Management consultants analyzed the results of the “9 box grid” and the “RACI” matrix. Based on the positioning of team members in the boxes, the importance of each person’s role, and the graphic representation of the number of times that person is “Responsible, is the Approver, or needs to be Consulted or Informed”, a detailed analysis of the current situation was presented to Pomeroy Lodging’s senior management. All that remained was to make the desired situation a reality.

The integration of Henry Mintzberg’s theories on the typology of organizational structures was crucial. Iceberg Management’s consultants worked with Pomeroy Lodging to define a structure adapted to their specific business needs and objectives – divisional organizational structure.

Iceberg Management then made recommendations based on the gap between the current and desired situation, aligning short-, medium- and long-term actions with Pomeroy Lodging’s ambitions.

The Vision Becomes a Reality

In October 2023, the vision of this new organizational structure becomes a reality. Pomeroy Lodging and Iceberg Management rolled it out to 60 managers.

To ensure sound change management within the company, Iceberg Management consultants facilitated a World Café. This simple, effective, and flexible facilitation technique can be used to organize a dialogue within a large group. Each stage of the method is designed around a specific question. The concept is based on the idea that people already have all the wisdom and creativity needed to tackle the toughest challenges. The workshop therefore helps participants express themselves and put forward their ideas to facilitate support on a specific topic, all in a short span of time.

The Added Value

Iceberg Management’s intervention enabled Pomeroy Lodging to skilfully align its organizational structure with its evolving needs. By understanding organizational issues and working closely with senior management, the consultants guided their client through a smooth transition, ensuring that every team member occupied the chair that maximized his or her potential. The clear process and proven methods, combined with a thorough understanding of the existing organizational structure, enabled Pomeroy Lodging to achieve the objectives of this mandate.

Today, the company is taking its next steps to finalize the composition of its new executive team and the operationalization of their management path. This new step will enable Pomeroy Lodging to establish its strategic objectives and key indicators for evaluating the company’s overall performance.

Conclusion

The redesign of Pomeroy Lodging’s organizational structure is much more than a formal transformation. It’s an inspiring adventure in which the right approach and methods served as the compass for a successful transition. This example illustrates how Iceberg Management can transform organizational challenges into growth opportunities.

This case study is not only a retrospective of success, but also an invitation to explore new approaches. Whether you’re the head of a growing company or a human resources professional, Iceberg Management can help. Our commitment to excellence, our expertise and our deep understanding of organizational structures make us the ideal partner.

If you’re looking to transform your business, contact us today. Let us show you how organizational restructuring can be an exciting journey towards greater efficiency and sustainable growth.

Author

Elyse Marineau

Organizational development consultant

Specialized in human resources


And

Médina Cayer

Managing Director, Co-Founder & Partner

Accredited professional coach & approved trainer

Certified management consultant