Gap Analysis: Intersect Investments

Intersect Investment Company (IIC) is a financial investment firm that has struggled to regain the trust of their clients as well as their constituents on Wall Street. Since the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001, the financial industry has been nothing short of chaotic. Frank Jeffers is the CEO of Intersect Investment Company and is looking to implement a “customer intimacy” model that will help Intersect become successful in the future. Frank Jeffers has selected a leadership team consisting of Janet Angelo; Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Tomas Hardy; Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Lyn Chen; Vice President of Sales, Joel Contino; Vice President of Marketing, and Annie Sorrento; Director of Sales Operations. Intersect has a wealth of talent to draw from and simply needs to make sure staff are on board with the organizational changes being proposed.

Change can stretch an organization to and beyond the breaking point. Changes are seldom welcomed within most organizations and Intersect Investments is no different. Frank Jeffers has a vision of where he thinks Intersect needs to go; unfortunately not everyone on the team shares his vision. Jeffers wants Intersect to fully implement the new “customer intimacy” program within the next year and expects things to go according to his plan. According to Kreitner and Kinicki, “True change in any organization usually takes not only months but years to accomplish.” A leader willing to implement change must have a good understanding of the company and deep knowledge of some or even all of its processes. Along with extensive knowledge of the company this leader must also have the ability to understand the people in the organization. Frank Jeffers appears to posses the knowledge of the industry, but the human factor is proving to be a difficult challenge for him. This is why Janet Angelo was brought in to help make his vision a reality.

Janet Angelo has successfully implemented the “customer intimacy” model in two other companies. However, there was no mention of what the other companies where or their financial position at the time of their organizational change. It is possible that the companies may have simply been at the right time with their place in the industry to implement the change successfully, in which case Mrs. Angelo’s success may have been only situational (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004). For change to occur in any company core knowledge of the change is required. Most of all it must be understood that not only is the change in the company to be considered, but also those who make up the company, internally and externally. According to Frank Jeffers, Intersect Investment must be morphed into a better company. Jeffers feels Intersect has the possibility to reach the rank of number three or better in the industry.

In order to successfully transform an organization the leader will have to be committed to being a transformational leader. To be a transformation leader requires a great deal of commitment and communication with the team. In the simulation Jeffers left his employees and leadership team with more questions than answers indicating that he does not fit the model of a transformation leader. He has failed to clearly communicate his vision to his staff or the process to making his vision a reality. Frank Jeffers has the proper business perspective in looking forward and anticipating what Intersect will need to accomplish to remain successful. Unfortunately he lacks the ability to convey the excitement of what he truly believes in. In order for Intersect to continue its success, it is imperative that a new attitude be adopted that minimizes stagnant thinking. One of the most difficult parts of being a CEO is mastering the ability to reset goals as necessary to keep up with changes in the market.

Fortunately Intersect Investment is not experiencing a crisis forcing the need to make changes. This is a good time to start changes that may be necessary for the future. Jeffers has put Janet Angelo in charge of implementing the new company direction within the next 12 months. In the simulation Angelo finds that the team she is to work with is not fully on board with the changes and realized that 12 months may not be a realistic time frame. Often when a company loses leaders, there is always a new one who will come in and will make all the necessary changes, but it is usually in an attempt to save a sinking ship (McShane and Von Glinow, 2005). With Intersect Investment this is not the case. It is possible that over time Janet Angelo can gain the full support of the team and implement the changes Frank Jeffers wants.

The lack of communication has caused problems that Mrs. Angelo has to overcome before she can begin to implement the “customer intimacy” model. There needs to be clarification in order to validate the changes that will be taking place. In essence the stakeholders must understand why the changes are needed and how they will be implemented. Change is a complex process and it is impossible to predict how the organization will react.

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Intersect is facing an extremely chaotic and volatile business climate that plagues the entire financial industry. In today’s market a successful financial company must offer an extensive array of products and advice from experts in order to remain competitive. Intersect Investments has faced their own challenges without making any drastic changes. As stated before this could be a fantastic opportunity to get out of the “barely making it” role and finally make the strategic shift that will propel the company to the next level. Frank Jeffers, the CEO at Intersect sees this as a perfect opportunity to implement his new vision to get to that next level. Jeffers’ vision is to “Provide a broad set of products and services to consumer and small business customers using a model of customer intimacy that will build long-lasting partnerships based on trust and value to the customer.” (University of Phoenix 2001). With work and proper communication, this new vision sounds like a possible solution to Intersect’s future.

Because Intersect’s previous Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales did not support the new philosophy, Frank Jeffers realized that they needed to be replaced with someone who was willing and able to quickly bring the sales department in line with the new customer intimacy model. Frank Jeffers is counting on his new hire to help Intersect improve their brand image and begin the task of establishing long-term customer partnerships. Janet Angelo is expected to posses the ability to accomplish the task and is known for her expertise in implementing the customer intimacy model at two other companies. Although Mrs. Angelo has experience with the intimacy model, there is still an issue in getting the team to buy into the new vision. One strategy that could prove useful is meeting with each member of the team one on one. This is also a great way to evaluate the team’s strengths and weaknesses. Getting to know the members of the team will be essential in implementing the new changes in the shorts amount of time. After all the individual meetings, Mrs. Angelo brought together the sales and marketing departments in an attempt to get to the root of the issues plaguing the company. The sales and marketing departments have been in a constant power struggle each blaming the other for uncooperative behavior.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

Intersect Investments Company is plagued with confusion due to a lack of positive communication from the CEO. Employees are confused and stockholders are losing consumer confidence. Janet Angelo is becoming painfully aware that the employees are receiving mixed messages. Employees are not happy with the way the new vision was communicated to them. Many are attempting to find ways of doing what they are told as their job is important to them. Mrs. Angelo is finding out that some managers have completely disregarded Mr. Jeffers orders and continue to do things as they always have. It is difficult for staff to understand how engaging clients equates to more sales. Management has noticed an increase in employee turnover which is costing the company money.

End-State Vision

Jeffers has a long road to travel if he wishes to implement his vision within the 12-month timeline. The fact that management has ignored his request speaks loudly as to how committed they are to his ideas. Management continues to do as they have done in the past and expects similar successes. The company mindset suggests that if it’s not broken leave it alone. Frank Jeffers has not been successful in changing the organizational culture and Janet Angelo has been forced to contend with the negative emotions from the employees. It may be wise for Mr. Jeffers to reevaluate his vision, communicate it properly, and take into consideration the stakeholders and their feelings. If his vision is truly what is best of Intersect Investment’s future then he must sell it to his staff and prove it to those resisting change. Frank Jeffers needs to arrange a meeting with his leadership team and set up clear and realistic goals. Jeffers needs to begin by explaining the importance of changing the company culture to realign with the new industry direction and prove to the doubters that this is the best path for Intersect. Resistance to change is human nature, but transformation can be accomplished with the right leadership and proper communication.

(2001). Scenario: Intersect Investment Company Overview, University of Phoenix rEsource.
Retrieved December 13, 2007, from
Kreitner, R, & Kinicki, A (2004). Organizational behavior, 6e.The McGraw-Hill Companies.
McShane, S, & Von Glinow, M (2005). Organizational behavior: emerging realities for the workplace revolution, 3e.The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Table 1
Issue and Opportunity Identification
Issue Opportunity Reference to Specific
Course Concept
The entire industry is facing lack of confidence both from Wall Street and from investors. The financial services industry has been in a state of uncertainty. Intersect Investments has the opportunity to offer an expanding array of products.
Distributive negotiations
Frank Jeffers, CEO of Intersect replaced the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales with someone that shares and can implement the vision of customer intimacy. The new Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales Janet Angelo has trouble motivating her team as they do not believe in the customer intimacy model. Convince her team that this is the best thing for Intersect. Find a positive way to communicate change and continue to work on the communication.

Table 2
Stakeholder Perspectives
Stakeholder Groups
The Interests, Rights, and
Values of Each Group
Employees need their job, have the right to know of any changes that might jeopardize that. Stockholders have invested money in the company and deserve a return on that investment.
Table 3
End State Goals
To continue to be successful implement the “customer intimacy” model, eventually retain as many positive employees as possible, develop a better way of communicating.
Table 4
Risk Assessment and Mitigation Techniques
Alternative Solution Risks and Probability Consequence and Severity Mitigation Techniques create a model of change.
• There will still be those who are resistant. (Medium)
• Organization will be unable to successfully meet its goals. (High)
• Set up a workshop to introduce the new model to all employees.
Develop an organizational culture that is conducive to change.
• Upper management will not implement the strategic objectives. (Medium)
• Organization will not grow and be profitable. (High)
• Require that all upper management reorganize their departments to encourage the change.
Create working teams to implement change.
• Working teams will not be productive. (Low)
• Employees will not be encouraged to implement change. (Low)
• Require that all employees attend yearly workshops that deal with various organizational development topics.

Table 5
Optimal Solution Implementation Plan
Deliverable Timeline Who is Responsible
Set up consistent employee training to develop organizational development. Six months to set up Employee relations Department/Human Resources Department
Conduct customer surveys 3-6 months to set up. Given once a year Sales/Customer Service Departments. Conduct employee satisfaction surveys 3-6 months to set up. Give once a year given by an outside source, but utilized by Human Resources/Employee Relations
Table 6
Evaluation of Results
End-State Goals Metrics Target
Implement a long term strategic plan that outlines the new vision and how the organization plans to achieve its goal. Thorough strategic plan in place. Yearly review by board of directors. Intersect Investments should establish organizational development as a major part of its culture. Set up consistent employee training to develop organizational development. Once a year. Develop employee workshops to deal with issues such as coping strategies, ways to deal with change, and stress reduction. Completion of workshops given quarterly.