Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2011

Insight Communications

by Rajiv Lal and Natalie Kindred

Abstract

After undertaking a multi-year, metrics-driven operational and cultural overhaul, in April 2010 Insight Communications was planning the next phase of its development. Insight was a New York-based provider of cable, landline phone, and high-speed Internet service to 775,000 customers in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Insight had struggled to adjust to the new competitive dynamics in the cable industry. In response, CEO Michael Willner recruited a new management team to introduce the systems and culture necessary to win in an increasingly difficult market. Led by Dinni Jain, the team implemented a system of upstream measurement—establishing best practices, measuring, and holding personnel accountable for the day-to-day activities that ultimately drove outcomes such as revenue, customer growth, and operating cash flow. This system of dissecting operating activities as a way to push accountability throughout the organization was disruptive, but yielded impressive results. This case describes the unique "Insight system" and allows students to consider the company's options going forward.

Keywords: Organizational Culture; Competitive Strategy; Management Practices and Processes; Performance Improvement; Growth Management; Management Systems; Business Processes; Measurement and Metrics; Employees; Telecommunications Industry; New York (state, US);

Citation:

Lal, Rajiv, and Natalie Kindred. "Insight Communications." Harvard Business School Case 511-005, March 2011.