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How would you suggest saving British Airways?

 
#1 How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/08/2003 00:00

Top-Consultant

British Airways is in quite a hole at the moment, so we thought readers might like to prove a point and demonstrate just how valuable consultants can be... Please do respond to this posting with your suggestions for how BA's management should turn the airline around (and feel free to include your contact details should they want to discuss further!)...

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#2 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/08/2003 00:00

robert

Its simple. They have too many staff. Too many aircraft and too many routes. Why dont they aim to be the worlds best rather than being obsessed with being biggest. They could be twice as good if they were half the size.

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#3 Back to basics approach
07/08/2003 00:00

Marcus

BA is essentially stuck in a rut being a high-cost carrier in a new world of low cost airlines. I think 2 fundamental issues need to be addressed:<br><br>

1. How to lower costs and mimic the operations of the low cost-carriers? BA has made progress in introducing self-service ticketing and the like, but I suspect that the company could drive a lot more bookings online if a concerted campaign were introduced. This would achieve a step-change in BA's costs - reducing the amount of agency commissions paid, and reducing the resources needed to man their call centre. Targetting big-spending corporates to use online booking could switch a large proportion of bookings to the online medium and have a big impact on costs.<br><br>

2. How to differentiate from the low-cost carriers so that BA does not rely on competing on price - and passenger yields are maintained. BA does not have - and never will have - the low cost base of the low-cost carriers. Competing on price, as it has done over the last years, is playing to its competitors' strengths. The airline must identify other factors to compete on and market, that play to its own strengths. Flexibility is something that higher yielding passengers really value, and that BA can offer better than any low-cost carrier. If the company focussed on making all channels - online, mobile, call centre - best in class in terms of making hassle-free changes to bookings, and focussed on marketing this flexibility, it would have an offering that its low-cost competitors could not rival.<br><br>

Comments anyone?

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#4 Concorde children's promotion
07/08/2003 00:00

Tim

I think BA is missing a trick retiring the Concorde fleet. I understand the aircraft are going to be displayed in a number of museums and aerodromes around the country. The company used to try to win over the hearts of children, so that they became long-term devotees to BA. Why not offer tours of Concorde - and a sit in the pilots seat - to all BA's most valued passengers and their children. This would be a great day out, key customers would feel valued and loyalty would be boosted - many marketers say that doing something for your customers' kids is the most powerful customer giveaway. I think BA is missing an opportunity to reward its customer base and encouraging passengers back into the BA fold...

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#5 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/08/2003 00:00

Katherine Fletcher

Align your operations & services to your ethos ( I paraphrase this as &quot; Get the high spending business customers &quot; )

One example. WHY OH WHY do you not run domestic short haul services into London City airport. Heathrow and Gatwick are 1.5 hours from central london by the time you have got out of the terminals / baggage hall. This means the train/your competitors are the only feasible way of making clients site meetings in any reasonable time.

I commend VLM, long may their strategy contine.

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#6 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/08/2003 00:00

Alan Randle

Remember who generally pays for these guys to travel business class!! Check your consultants travel policy.

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#7 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/08/2003 00:00

GI

(1) Cut out short-haul routes, and specialise in longer-haul flights.

(2) Emphasise (through redesigning their services, from check-in to lunch to landing) that the difference between using them and a low-cost airline is like the difference between shopping at H&M and Nicole Farhi.

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#8 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/08/2003 00:00

ms

This is really simple

Sack all the workers who went on wild-cat strike. Then subcontract the &quot;receptionists&quot; as I like to call them. This can be done in reverse order ie replace &quot;subcontracting&quot; with &quot;outsourcing&quot; - same result.

This will set an example for the rest of the staff. Then relocate head office and all admin to a lower cost base ie North of England. Then when the managers won't move - sack them. Employ hungry people and manage out the remaining dross.

Simple

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#9 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/08/2003 00:00

Brian Catt

Its not easy when margins are thin. But overall involve the people. BA is a service business, and the management carries the staff with it or the airline dies. There has to be trust and goodwill (which is probably the sub agenda of the card dispute ?). Reward them for waste reduction, go to war with the competition together, not by direction (and legally this time). One thing is glaringly common with Ayling and Eddington. Both appear to be either too arrogant or taciturn or remote and managed to alienate the staff from check-in to flight deck. Basically nasty people or people who were happy allow nasty people to manage staff. Bullies have no place in a service business. The staff will also tell you this as a customer - they have no loyalty to &quot;them&quot; - because of the way they are treated. BA's staff problems come when the management fails to include its staff in the business. Laycock did this through layoffs and kept the people with him. What BA needs is a professional manager who cares and involves staff transparently in difficult problems instead of an airline mechanic imposing quick fixes by decree. Good management is cheaper in the long run. Self enriching number crunchers with social exclusion problems are a bad idea. Lose Eddington ASAP, hire a human being, change the culture or die. Brian

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#10 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Dr. Jack V.D. Heerik

Having been involved with corporate re-engineering at a number of airlines I suggest a thorough analysis which will without any doubt reveal the various weakspots which have been festering away within BA for a number of years. Thereafter a full scale results orientated implementation of restructuring those areas which are causing the errosion within the organisation. It is time to take of the gloves and start building on the strengths of This truly British corporation and face the same destiny as other airlines of the past such as Swiss Air,Sabena and Eastern.

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#11 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Carel Redelinghuys

BA’s brand and culture is not aligned at the delivery level. What customers experience when they deal with BA is not congruent with the BA marketing promise.

Culture and Brand are more closely linked than most BA executives realise. Our experience with senior executives in general is that many still see the brand as cleverly crafted messages to customers to attract them to the company and its service offerings. Full-stop, nothing more. In other words, executive sees the brand as a function of the advertising firm’s creativity and not as the integral identity and value system of the firm. BA should to align its brand with its service value chain and so create congruency between expectation and reality for its customers – and that translate into loyalty.

Today there are useful technologies available that help organisations identify, in real time, how customers are being serviced all over the enterprise. The benefit of such an approach is that customer service and living the brand become everybody’s job, every day! If this is combined with a culture that is strategically relevant and contractually appropriate significant value is create in an enduring way.

Only when the organisational system is changed to focus (and re-focus) constantly and consistently on the right behaviours when servicing clients, can it be successful in aligning service expectation with service reality. Service processes must be created as learning and adaptive systems that can adjust and self-correct in order to be able to delver customer satisfying service, consistently.

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#12 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Geoff Lezemore

Sirs,

I think BA need to focus on priorities. One example is the believed very high cost component related to their computer systems. I note that Ryanair book customers onto flights using Victorian paper forms without a computer terminal in sight. I also believe that the benefit of the full on-line computer system to BA is to enable every international ticket to be changed prior to flight at no or low cost on average 2.5 times per ticket.

My small suggestion is that customers are offered 2 ticket prices (a) standard, and (b) less a large discount for manual processing with no option to change flights. Analysis and consideration of this option is proposed.

Geoff Lezemore.

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#13 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

neil martin

Why give them free consulting time? As a set of management they are between poor to idiotic as demonstrated by their complete inability to manage a simple task like bringing in a clocking system. Personlly I believe they all should be given watches so they can share them with their management team (if they know how to use them) so they don't borrow ideas from real consultants.

Regards

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#14 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Malcolm Hutchinson

I would caution BA to rely on 'expert' from outside. I would also caution BA from using the latest management fad or fashion being peddled by the consulting industry, particularly the globals. I would suggest that they generate resilience, confidence and robustness in their own strategic management thinking. They should rely more on the cadre of able senior and middle managers within the organisation. This will ensure that once again the message does not go out to another decent UK organisation, private or public sector, that &quot;our own management is so poor that we have to bring a raft of baby boomer MBA's in at vastly inflated cost. They will also be able to hold their own management to account unlike the unevaluated and unquantified inputs that the global consulting industry works so hard to preserve as their busines model. Sadly though the patient has become so reliant on the (witch?doctor) that the patient doesn't realise how frail it's basic life systems have become thanks to the previous effects of external interventions.

Malcolm Hutchinson

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#15 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Valerie Russell Emmott

The focus of my suggestions is all around communucation and shared understanding of both employee and customer needs.

1) Suggest BA management get to know its employees and their challenges a bit better through concerted multi-level workshops.

2) Suggest consultation with customers be done early and often to ensure that what we/they think is not being overlooked. Also, a very good PR opportunity with your business clientele.

3)Do not allow articles throwing jibes at management consultants in your High Life magazine in future!

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#16 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Maria Baiye

British airways delivers quality, but at too high a price. I stopped flying on their UK to Nigeria routes because they charged higher prices than their competitors, and I wasn't getting a private entertainment screen for that price too. I have one sentence for BA : give passengers on long flights their own tvs, and let them choose what to watch.

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#17 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

k

BA is not short of ideas and principles about how to change, nor has it been reticent in adopting massive change programmes. The central issue is maximising the effectiveness of the change.

The most fundamental problem to address is the mind-set shift away from &quot;this company owes me a living&quot;.

As part of a consulting team to BA in the mid nineties, I witnessed every conceivable trick by operational staff to avoid work. Equipment or tools to improve operational effectiveness were routinely vandalised (e.g. radio's that &quot;just stopped working&quot; had footprints on them)

Some examples: &quot;Early trap&quot; is a phrase everyone in BA's operation knows as showing up for an 8 hour shift and finding away to go home after 2-4 hours - usually by having a an accomplice tell a enquiring manager that you are still somewhere on site (&quot;you've just missed him&quot;/&quot;she over on victor pier&quot;, etc.).

I was once even shadowing loading function (the people who put bags into the aircraft, when they all climbed into the hold, shut and the aircraft doors. &quot;What's happens now?&quot; I said naively. &quot;This is the bit where we shut up & read the papers&quot;, said the Team Leader. Which they all proceeded to do for the next 1 and half hours of their shift.

They are able to get away with this because of the relative power of the staff - not Unions - to influence the operation, without even taking industrial action.

This is a direct result of another well-known firm of global consultants taking intellectual short cuts in a cost-cutting exercise in the late eighties. Quite simply they recommended reducing headcount and making up the shortfall by encouraging overtime. With up to 60% of the operation being run on 'overtime' work at certain periods, all the staff have to do to bring the operation to a halt is say they don't fancy working overtime at the weekend, and a whole terminal's operation would be brought to standstill.

The trouble is, you now can't recruit to fill the gap, because a) the unions wouldn't accept redundancies on one side of the business whilst at the same time and b) the fresh recruits are quickly 'trained' in the Early Trap.

Some of the suggestions in this column are, frankly, nonsense:

&quot;WHY OH WHY do you not run domestic short haul services into London City airport&quot;

- Katherine: because it would cost 2.5 times more money than it would generate.

&quot;Mimic the operations of the low cost-carriers&quot;

- Marcus, this is a common fallacy, perpetuated by people who don't understand that despite both carrying passengers in aeroplanes, the cost structure is different because they compete in fundamentally different markets. It's far more about schedule than it is about frills. Low cost carriers, serve point-to-point traffic. They do not bear the costs associated with more complex and frequent scheduling, which is designed to attract the higher yield traffic. Rather than claiming to be the world's favourite airlines, BA would have had some credence in claiming to be the world’s favourite schedule. This is largely thanks to being able to secure optical timings for the key business routes (shuttle included). To be able to do this, you need margin plus load factors, which you can get from a proportion of 6th freedom/transfer traffic. Example: one way to be able to afford a first class London to Tokyo route, more than once a day is to feed it with connecting Paris-London passengers. Although these passengers are lower yield, and in themselves don't earn the airline a lot, they are worth more than their face value because they allow the regularity of the Tokyo route (provided they can make their connections within a reasonable commercial time window).

&quot;restructuring those areas which are causing the errosion within the organisation&quot;

- Dear-oh-dear, Jack. This is reflects the laziest type of consulting, based on a generic approach with no understanding of the industry or company, and little appetite for it. I could point you to a 46 year old middle manager in BA who in 20 years has been restructured 44 times. At one point last year his job and manager changed 3 times in one afternoon.

&quot;inability to manage a simple task like bringing in a clocking system&quot;

- Read beyond the headlines, Neil. The clocking system has been in for ages it's the staff not wanting to end the &quot;Early Trap&quot; system that caused the issue. Even the Unions accepted the system in '86 and '97. How can you seriously claim that it is part of &quot;management's desire to victimise its staff&quot; - as the strikers did publicly? It's back to the &quot;this company owes me job&quot; mentality, bred by a too slow a transition from a neo-state run enterprise. As to the timing of the issue: with so much need for cost reduction, and so much change in progress, BA management simply can't keep delaying initiatives.

&quot;BA is missing a trick retiring the Concorde fleet&quot;

- I know you meant something else Tim, but people often assert that it's &quot;stupid to retire Concorde&quot; from flying. The fact of the matter is it costs nearly six time's more than it's revenue to operate, when you factor in the cost to the operation of the disruption that caused by prioritising for it, even balanced against assumptions about the revenue attracted by its flagship status.

&quot;Cut out short-haul routes, and specialise in longer-haul flights&quot;

- 'GI', you need high load factors to make longhaul work. The average margin on the people in the back of the plane is <£20. One operational cock-up & its all gone. Unless you follow Branson route and scrap 1st class, in favour of more business capacity, you need transfer traffic to justify a full schedule. Remember, it’s mostly frequency that attracts the higher yield passengers - not specific frills. These are expected by people who sit in the front, but for business travellers don't in themselves cause much brand switching behaviour.

&quot;Culture and Brand are more closely linked than most BA executives realise&quot;

- you make an elegant pitch, Carel, but you've missed the point: in BA it's not the executives that don't get it, it's the staff, over which they do not have enough control. Stop a man on the ramp in AA at Dallas what the 3 most important things to his airline are & he can reel them off. At BA it doesn't filter down. That doesn't mean the staff don't want to serve customers well. On the contrary, I've seen Dispatchers insist push chairs are loaded last so that the parent doesn't have to hold their children very long at the other end. More typically, though the staff view of customer service is to focus on the problem right in front of them (you and me shouting at them) instead of the bigger customer service picture, or consequential effects. Example: they might try to delay a Paris departure for 2 Gold card customers, giving little consideration to the 200 already on board who might miss their meetings/connections in Paris or to the subsequent delays (rotational) that the aircraft will have later in the day. Beating up executives with Brand-alignment certainly messages wont help.

&quot;customers are offered 2 ticket prices...with no option to change flights&quot;

- This already happens, throughout the industry, Geoff - except much more sophisticated: even within &quot;economy&quot; pricing there are between 12 and 20 classes of ticket/conditions.

&quot;discount for manual ticket processing...

- Come off it Geoff, even you can't believe labour intensive route is cheaper. You just can't get away with paper forms with the sort of complexity a major flag carrier has. At its peak, BA had close to 500 aircraft in its network serving over 350 destinations. Even now, it has over 200 routes out of London alone, not including franchises or code-shares. you also need to factor in the demands of the destination airport and handlers. Serving Bournemouth, Tampere, or Friedrichshafen, does not have the same infrastructural demands as Chicago, Delhi or Dubai.

&quot;Involve the people&quot;.

- Yes Brian. But you have to understand the last 25 year history of resistance to change, despite the staff being one of the most involved in the history of change management. BA staff live in an anachronistic world characterised by the belief that the nation won't allow the airline to go out of business, no matter how slowly it meets the demands of the industry. Ask any one of the 35,000 people who benefited from a 4 year programme in the nineties to invest in staff well-being. It cost tens of millions and provided all sorts of opportunities (from free language learning to therapies, support for flexible working, etc.) It was designed to make staff feel good about themselves in the hope that this would pay off in being nice to customers. This was specifically a response to the poor experience of sour middle-aged staff in the business sector, compared to the energetic enthusiasm of Virgin and other airlines fresh, young staff. This enthusiasm was based on less exposure to the job-for-life expectation, despite Virgin's much lower pay, longer hours and explicitly sexist recruitment policies.

&quot;quick fixes by decree&quot;

&quot;Why don’t they aim to be the worlds best rather than being obsessed with being biggest&quot;

- Robert, they're not the biggest (less than half the size of several US airlines). Like other European flag carriers, BA had a route network dominated by its former colonies, in a hub and spoke arrangement, driven by related business demand. That demand has not gone away, but profitability has of course become tougher on the better served routes. Before the stupid knee-jerk reaction to 9/11, transfers accounted for 40% of BA's traffic, and as I've said above, these contribute to the frequency of scheduling which attracts the higher yield passengers. You can't do that with a small network.

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#18 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Brian Dillon

1. Get a move on with removing those ridiculous Bob Ayling ethnic feathers off the tail-fins and get back to the more trustworthy regal look of the eighties. Remember people used to fly BA because they didn't want to entrust their lives to a bunch of party pilots from The Banana Republic. (especially business class)

2. Teach Rod Eddington to put on a smile. Not that I blame him. (not much to smile about)

3. Don't be so spiteful with those Concordes. Your fear of Branson's superior marketing stands out like a red flag.

4. Ask Branson to take over and fix your mess.

5. Act don't react. BA is always way behind the curve. Bring in outside efficiency experts to cut the fat. Use marketing strategies that make sense. The business class strategy could never have worked (especially with those silly tail-feathers). It was simply a reaction to your inability to compete with a much more cunning O'Reilly, etc.

6. Swipe cards are actually one of the better ways to keep time, but its the way you handle everything thats all wrong. Be respectful to your workers, explain your actions up-front and they will thank you.

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#19 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

CJ

It seems fashionable to be scathing about BA at the moment and I frankly don't blame them for having a dig at consultants, particularly those peddling expensive &quot;nostrums and snake oil&quot; in the guise of strategic business advice, who tarnish us all with their promises of quick ,one size fits all solutions. No external advice can build the essential relationships within a complex organisation like BA. Perhaps we should be a little more humble and work with the managment and staff of organisations like BA to help them reach their own solutions and provide added value by helpingthem realise their own strengths

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#20 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Geraldine kelly

I would like to respond to the article relating to BA.

I have had a keen interest in BA both as a passenger, and as a Management Consultant. I have watched this airline company slip and sometimes side (uncontrollably) into decline, over the years.

It would be wrong to assume it is &quot;The World's favourite Airline&quot;. I have travelled on many other airlines, and most of them are my preferred choice - and I am not alone.

BA has fallen into the Global Corporation Trap, of behaving in an arrogant manner, assuming it was invisible, and posing as a market leader, by that assuming it was always ahead of the competition.

Any organsiation, irrespective of size or status is destined for failure it if ignores its staff, who are at the &quot;coal-face&quot;. They know more about customer needs, customer satisfaction, and customer complaints, than any senior management team. They are your marketing department. Organisations ignore them at their peril.

The second group you do not ignore are your customers, your &quot;reason d'etre&quot;. They will willingly tell you how to run your business for them - and after all isn't that what you are about?

If you assume you are at the forefront of your field, you will always be looking back at the competition, not a good place to have your focus - backwards, and at the competition - which is setting the standard!

If you are market leader you should be innovative, and dynamic - neither is an accurate description of BA.

Yet again, Senior Managers have taken their eye of the ball, lost the game and ignored the fundamental rule of any ball game - to demonstrate your skill to the paying public.

The way forward is for a complete rethink and reminder of what they are about, how they should achieve this, and who should be involved. Needless to say, the old answers to these questions are no longer valid - if they ever where.

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#21 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

BA BS

This is why BA has a valid point about Management Consultants, ie great theory with nice words, full stop

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#22 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

robert

Sounds to me that you know what ur talking about

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#23 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Charles Louis

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#24 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

Daryl L Smith

Dear Sirs,

With regards to the recent incident at BA. I wonder who was responsible for the risk log and the consultation process with employees (and unions) prior to deciding they would go live with the swipe card.

Unfortunately the employees (unions)are also at fault. If you want to keep your job don't alienate the customer. Did anyone think perhaps just a union directive instructing all members to refuse to use the card would have been better. It could have bought time to resolve the situation (which since has proved was clearly possible) and not caused such widespread bad feeling among its customers and a potential £40m loss to the company.

Strategically BA has never been able to fully exploit its global market position or competitively devcelop the low cost shuttle/feeder airline concept within Europe.

I'm a business auditor and member of the IMC.

In the past I've worked for BRITISH MIDLAND Airways, DHL International and a number of travel related companies.

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#25 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
08/08/2003 00:00

JH

Given that many domestic flights are designed to feed Long haul, this wouldn't work. Better to psuh ALL ops into T5 and close Gatwick. They have a subsidiary called Cuty Flyer that does operate from London City

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#26 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
09/08/2003 00:00

John Turner

Turning an airline around is like turning an airliner around. It can't do it on it's own, it needs a small amount of external assistance (in the form of a tug-truck) to help it.

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#27 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
11/08/2003 00:00

Steve Brown

I wouldn't be so bold to suggest that I can solve BA's problems, I believe that fundamentally it is a sound business and a professional one.

I do find of interest the comment about &quot;management consultants&quot; and perhaps in this simple statement is an illustration of some of the fundamental issues facing BA.

As a Consultant – The process of making change happen and be sustainable

The statement strikes a chord with me as in any organisation, including BA, there are likely to be individuals that for whatever reason do not perform as their role and position &quot;dictates&quot; they should. Sometimes this might simply be that they do not fit the stereotype allocated to the role, perhaps experiencing and seeing things differently to those around them, (client, passenger, manager), this if managed effectively can be a great source of inspiration, if not managed, a great source of stress. It's also possible that the individual doesn't now what is expected or is not sufficiently skilled to fulfil the expectation. Either way, I'm sure there are many more &quot;excuses&quot;, however it doesn't matter, this is the presenting problem and not the desired outcome.

It is the responsibility of the organisation (BA and its consulting partners) to set it's outcomes clearly, in this case how will it work with consultants, what is the outcome of the work or what the customer experience will be, and manage the relationship towards achievement and not simply point out shortcomings after the fact, because all this is, is reinforcing the assured failure and the responsibility of both parties to manage to the outcome. It also does not acknowledge whose responsibility the change really is!

I worked with BA as a client, whilst employed by one of the “big six”, at the time flew regularly with the airline.

I recognise that everything I say about others is at some level saying something about me, projecting my own values / beliefs / attitudes and limitations onto others, and knowing that, false identifications from my own internal reference system. So with this in mind a few observations and generalisations of the airline from that point on ..

BA buy change, expecting the external agent to deliver it for them and abdicate the responsibility to make change happen. Managers hide behind their consultants, not wishing to stand up and be counted amongst their peers and managers, as effective change will challenge all and consequently could be resisted not only by their staff but also by their peers and managers. So . ….. volunteers please!

Protection of past working practice and culture is as relevant in the management structure as it is in the staff. In my experience with BA I met some exceptional people some of whom are lucky and are able to rise quickly through before the shackles are put on, or leave. Others who by the process of time passing, had found themselves in positions where they were exposed and ineffective almost frightened to act for fear of being found out and loosing their perks, pension etc! - For BA to be the dynamic organisation it could be, these blockages need to be clearly identified and more actively managed either to change the role, develop individuals into role, into another role or into another organisation where they as individuals will suffer less stress, generate less stress for their staff and BA can drive forward.

From my experience BA may be likened to a family, albeit one that is in internal conflict and secular with strong legacy of numerous tribal pasts, which although displaying dysfunctional behaviour to the external world, come together briefly and just long enough to repel change and protect the status quo.

As a Customer - I generally choose to fly with airlines other than BA

The following points are generalities from my experience with BA and recognising that all generalities are lies including this one, people do generalise from their experience, it’s one way in which we learn, …

1/ Flexibility and a little time for the customer and short-termism! – as a frequent flier I have on many occasions found myself in need of changing flights, which although in possession of BA tickets, admittedly often restricted tickets (as my organisation reduced its costs), BA staff have been unwilling / unable to accommodate my needs insisting on upgrade fees, even though seats have been available on alternative flights. On every occasion KLM staff, as one example, have found me flights and on one occasion upgraded my ticket to ensure that I reached my destination. Usually this has required significant effort on the part of the KLM representative, which has always been done willingly and with positive intent. I now fly by choice with KLM - For the sake of a few pounds “now”! BA have lost my custom to competitors in the longer term – “treat all of your customers and potential customers as if the have a gold card” (or the may never have, with you at least!)

2/ Fun – By choice I fly Virgin, I find the staff more focused on their customers needs and generally I‘ve found people more willing to engage than has so often been the case on BA flights with BA staff grumbling about their management, and seemingly un-empowered, rule bound, fearful of stepping out of procedure.

3/ Sense of Customer – Other airlines seem to value my custom, BA seem to expect me to value the opportunity to fly with them!

I suspect that many frequent fliers have done as I have and voted, where they have the ability to do so, by focusing on their positive experiences, unfortunately for BA in my case these have generally been with BA’s competitors.

My Learning has serves me well ….

The experience of working with BA taught me many things for which I owe a great debt to BA management in that this learning has helped my personal development and the development of my business.

On the back of the experience of seemingly struggling with BA staff and management for a year, plus 14 other years of “big six” consulting, I have developed a change management and executive coaching approach which recognises the fact that in organisations (and people) cannot change without clarity of vision, congruency of outcome, active leadership and management, and the integration of process change with development of people, enabled to embrace and deliver their own outcomes. Key themes of this approach are honesty in communication, clarity of responsibility and personal accountability and integration. I choose to work with organisations where the management team can convince me, and be congruent in themselves, of their true intent, commitment and ownership for the change and their own willingness to embrace the change personally. In this way I have stress free, fun assignments and my clients have successful outcomes.

Steve Brown

Managing Director

Ikkan (Integrated) Change Management Consultants

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#28 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
11/08/2003 00:00

Neville Webb`

I suggest they change their airliner coach work - again!!

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#29 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
11/08/2003 00:00

Neville Webb`

I suggest they change their airliner coach work - again!!

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#30 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
11/08/2003 00:00

Braden

Does BA want to be saved in the first place?

My suggestion:

Strip out the best part of the business, organise it into manageable bits, focus on it and sell the rest on. It is too complicated a problem and system for anybody to solve at this point in time (too much, too late).

Do anything else and any later and it will have to change its motto to: &quot;The World's Favourite Bad Airline&quot; and it will just be another mediocre airline.

Still, it is easier said then done. Personally, I will avoid all BA flight anywhere.

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#31 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
15/08/2003 00:00

simon

Yeah - I agree 100%. Anecdotally, about a third of the planes in and out of Heathrow are about half full (or half empty depending on your point of view). Of course, not all of these are BA but I bet a lot of them are. Taking this approach also means that Eddington will spend less time at select committees and the like arguing for more runway capacity in the UK and more time getting rid of excess capacity in his workforce.

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#32 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
16/08/2003 00:00

Leonard Bix

Class case! All consultants that ever flew BA and paid egregious prices to be abused in business class, SUE FOR COMPENSATION! Let's get some of our money back from the b@$+@&*s..

They probably have an insurance policy against such action and/or can sue in turn the idiot who wrote this.

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#33 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
18/08/2003 00:00

David Rance

I have been a reluctant customer for more years that I care to remember. I was once even a and Gold Card holder. In my personal experience, BA has always been Bloody Awful at managing customer relationships. The cabin staff only recognise First class customers, the rest are treated as cattle - even Business Class are slightly better class of cattle. I always use BA as an example of a company that is not aligned, ie promising one thing through its brand and marketing and quite another through the actual customer experience.

If BA executive management wants to do something positive, they should carry out a customer centricity assessment to see how well aligned the business is. I am sure they'll be horrified by the results. Alignment has been proven to save operating costs, increase customer loyalty (and therefore revenue) and reduce employee frustration. They can start by carrying out a high level customer centricity assessment at round.co.uk/cci. This is the CRM industry standard tool that is on both CRMGuru.com and CRM-forum.com. And it's FREE - yes BA, not all management consultants are money-grabbers. No watch involved.

Once you see what we passesngers see, the solution will become all too clear to you. It is to us passesngers.

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#34 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
18/08/2003 00:00

David Rance

I have been a reluctant customer for more years that I care to remember. I was once even a and Gold Card holder. In my personal experience, BA has always been Bloody Awful at managing customer relationships. The cabin staff only recognise First class customers, the rest are treated as cattle - even Business Class are slightly better class of cattle. I always use BA as an example of a company that is not aligned, ie promising one thing through its brand and marketing and quite another through the actual customer experience.

If BA executive management wants to do something positive, they should carry out a customer centricity assessment to see how well aligned the business is. I am sure they'll be horrified by the results. Alignment has been proven to save operating costs, increase customer loyalty (and therefore revenue) and reduce employee frustration. They can start by carrying out a high level customer centricity assessment at round.co.uk/cci. This is the CRM industry standard tool that is on both CRMGuru.com and CRM-forum.com. And it's FREE - yes BA, not all management consultants are money-grabbers. No watch involved.

Once you see what we passesngers see, the solution will become all too clear to you. It is to us passesngers.

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#35 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
11/09/2003 00:00

Rene Rupert

Hi

Sorry for the delay. I was fully busy. However, I like to glance through “outdated” issues since I always find something pertinent.

….and BA is still around anyway.

So my suggestion to them is to look for what today would be classified as “Hidden Cost” but that a tool I developed makes visible.

I am pointing at missed opportunities and cost that are caused by inappropriate behaviour all across the company:

of personnel in front of the client – causing clients to fly an other air line or

of managers facing their people – causing them to loose their enthusiasm in their work.

All I know is that behaviour (the famous human factor) causes some 70 % of good projects to fail and that linking behaviour to performance is a huge plus if one can.

I politely suggest BA calls us and looks into this opportunity. I bet they increase their financial performance by a couple hundred millions of good pounds.

I would make myself available, no question. John, Marilyn and my other partners too.

Cheers to all

Rene

www.rupertconsulting.com

0033 663 785 310

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#36 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
07/10/2003 00:00

Godfrey Nwanguma

There wasn't any details on BA for anyone who wanted to throw in a suggestion. Would it be possible to send via my e mail address uchegn@yahoo.co.uk the full details of the position with British Airways.

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#37 Re: How would you suggest saving British Airways?
29/11/2005 20:41

jack hunter

This guys, a so-called &quot;DR&quot;, Jack J. v.d. Heerik can tell interesting things......But please check him out on the Google newsgroups. For instance on the folling link....say no more.........

http://groups.google.nl/group/uk.consultants/browse_thread/thread/c03c35a99bb4c66f/65414dfda3e9fe0e?lnk=st&q=jack+vd+heerik&rnum=1&hl=nl#65414dfda3e9fe0e

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