Industry Category: Public Sector

Transformational leadership & employee-led culture change helps government agency transform

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Transformational leadership & employee-led culture change helps government agency transformcasestudy-image

We have worked with Blue Seed on an extensive change management program, supporting the complete restructure of a 1,600 FTE, 50-year-old NSW public service agency. Blue Seed has been an essential partner in this progress, helping us build the culture of a new executive team, manager team and broader leadership teams, and facilitating the development of an internal culture roadmap to guide us as we lead organisational behavioural and performance change over the next 18 months. All requirements of the project brief were delivered, and Blue Seed proved to be an excellent fit for our organisation

Robert Quirk, Executive Director, Park Programs, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

Brief

The NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), a public sector division of the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage enlisted the help of Blue Seed Consulting when it was faced with increasing pressure to manage resources more effectively.

Over its 50-year history NPWS had evolved significantly, often by region or function only, without a comprehensive strategic review and alignment of all roles and functions across the whole organisation. This had led to inconsistencies in job design, rewards, performance and other talent practices across the 15 branches. These issues resulted in cost inefficiency, limited talent mobility and hindered cross-function and cross-geography collaboration and innovation.

In addition, NSW National Parks experienced an incredible 33% increase in visitation over just two years (with this growth trend forecast to continue), placing pressure on park conservation as well as NPWS resources. Add to this challenge some difficult bushfire seasons, shifting governments and policy priorities and limits on spending, and the organisation was clearly stretched.

It was clear NPWS had to change to adapt to this new environment. An organisation redesign was needed. It had to encompass a fresh operating model and revitalised culture to ensure:

  • Future-fitness and financial sustainability
  • Consistent structure and role standards to enable employee mobility
  • Minimised bureaucracy and middle management
  • More ‘boots on the ground’ with an expanded field workforce
  • Enhanced leadership and team effectiveness

Solution

The ‘Future NPWS’ transformational reform program meant 1,600 full-time employees had to apply for new roles in an entirely new organisational structure (which was designed collaboratively with two Executive Directors and their 15 Director reports), with the potential to lead to significant disruption and employee resistance as well as affecting a number of external stakeholders, including unions and the general public. Following the restructure an in-depth team effectiveness and culture change program was implemented.

 NPWS needed to maximise their change leadership performance and drive the greatest possible employee understanding, support and engagement with the program’s objectives. So, to commence the program, prior to announcing the restructure, Blue Seed facilitated our proven change leadership development program. This gave an immediate uplift in change leadership capability and built the confidence of the team to lead the change program.

With uncertainty about how the change process would unfold and where most attention would be needed, Blue Seed’s Advisory offering, giving them specialist advice, direction and support on demand while minimising costs. Under the advisory service, one of Blue Seed’s Principal Consultants partnered with the NPWS executive team for 18 months, to advise and mentor the team of two Executive Directors and 15 Branch Directors in what would be one of the toughest leadership challenges of their careers.

During this process, our Principal Consultant identified a variety of culture issues throughout the organisation, including a ‘patch mentality’ limiting cross-functional collaboration and the need for greater inclusive leadership and courage to enforce cultural priorities.

A culture change program was then enacted, lead by Blue Seed’s Principal, who engaged face-to-face with every management team across the state, as well as many more employees at the grassroots level. NPWS needed to develop a consistent, enforceable culture.

NPWS also needed to help the newly formed management teams devise strategies to support the new operating model and drive even greater performance after the initial restructure.

As new management teams were appointed in each of the 15 branches, Blue Seed set about moving the organisation past the disruptive structural change stage towards allowing everyone to play a part in defining how people would work within the new structure. This included facilitating Leadership Team Effectiveness Workshops with all 15 new BU management teams to develop tailored leadership charters, analyse strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and create simple strategic action plans to enhance team effectiveness and align their teams to strategic priorities.

Also, through Blue Seed’s analysis of the organisation, via the management team workshops, culture focus groups and executive team sessions, we identify four Culture Priorities, with a number of behaviours linked to each, that the entire organisation needed to focus on, in order to leverage all benefits of the new operating model, to minimise HR issues and optimise the engagement and performance of all employees.

Blue Seed also set up a monthly Culture Working Group with a ‘Culture Ambassador’ from each branch to drive collaboration, explain their needs and champion the culture change across the business, and developed a two-year plan based around four new priorities, with a series of initiatives designed to promote these.

The culture change initiatives spanned a range of talent management practices like improving performance management skills as well as leadership workshops and communications plans to unite the organisation around the culture priorities and motivate them to fiercely enforce them.

 

Results

While the organisation design and culture change program did mean upheaval in its early stages, employees came to the consensus that it was the right thing to do. Support grew after the management team workshops that empowered team leaders to take ownership and shape the future for their staff; by the time the new priorities were introduced, there was overwhelming support.

This program drew out the passion of employees for their workplace and their peers, and the key message from our Blue Seed team was that we must celebrate the existing great culture traits but constantly seek improvements that move us closer to the vision and strategic priorities.

Equipping leaders to create a change-capable culture

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Equipping leaders to create a change-capable culturecasestudy-image

I engaged Blue Seed Consulting to assist with the development of a fit for purpose toolkit to uplift organisational change capability for individuals, leaders and projects.  I was really pleased with the product which enables people to be accountable for change with the support of information, training and tools to lift confidence and capability.

Acting GM Transformation, Public sector insurance organisation

Brief

This client, a relatively newly formed public sector entity, was in the early stages of an organisation-wide business transformation program. They had ambitious plans to become a more customer-centric organisation. The Change Director engaged Blue Seed to assist in building capability in Change Leadership for the organisation as a whole.

The brief was to develop a design and approach for the Leadership Capability Development Program. As well as implement a leader-led solution to fit in with the proposed organisational culture.  The approach, design and implementation were to model the organisation’s aspiration of being an agile and adaptable organisation.

Solution

Blue Seed worked with the client stakeholder to co-design a framework, principles and approach to guide the development of the Change Leadership program for three constituencies in the organisation:

  • People Leaders
  • Project Staff
  • Individual Change Leaders

During the design process, the approach was to draw on the client’s internal change community to participate in a co-design process facilitated by Blue Seed. Once a viable prototype was on the table, a wider stakeholder group was invited to participate in the design of the solution, with significant adjustments made after each prototyping session.

The result of the participative process was a leader-led Change Leadership toolkit with a focus on changing mindsets, enabling change and growing capability.  Given the leader-led nature of the solution, the implementation plan aimed to create opportunities for the leaders to engage with the intranet based solution through a series of learning sessions, as well as piloting it through a number of projects, in what can be described as an ‘infuse’ approach.

Results

Successful development of a fit for purpose toolkit to uplift organisational change capability for individuals, leaders and projects

After a meaningful and participatory design process, the Change Leadership toolkit was launched successfully to be digitally available to all Change Leaders in the organisation. A series of participative learning sessions supporting the building of change leadership capability in the organisation was launched, with the first session successfully facilitated by Blue Seed.  Blue Seed trained the internal change community in their roles of change leadership evangelists. They were the first line of support for the change leaders who want to use the toolkit with their staff and on their project teams. Once the toolkit was digitally available, the take-up and feedback from leaders were very encouraging.  The end of Blue Seed’s assignment was only the beginning of the ‘infusion’ of change leadership in the organisation, with the central change team left well placed to support the organisation’s ongoing journey towards being more agile and adaptable.

Innovative culture change for new government agency

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Innovative culture change for new government agencycasestudy-image

Chantal and her team worked brilliantly with our Executive team to assist with setting the cultural frame and DNA of this brand new, start-up customer-centric organisation within Government. Blue Seed also developed the strategy for enlivening this new culture and produced high-quality material and collateral to support it. I could not more highly recommend Blue Seed to any organisation looking to achieve effective and lasting culture change. Blue Seed made this important and challenging task simpler and easier to undertake. They provide quality advice on the best strategies to employ to effect change, the most effective tools to use and provide all the support that allows an organisation to effect change without adversely impacting on business as usual activity.

Deputy Commissioner, Government Agency, 2012

Brief

The NSW Governments 2012 Simpler Government Service Plan aims to deliver a customer-centric one-stop-government service model in New South Wales as part of the commitment to bring about improved and integrated customer services across NSW Government Services. A new entity, Service NSW, was planned to deliver:

  • A single 24/7 NSW Government phone service
  • A customer friendly web portal
  • One stop shops where multiple transactions are carried out efficiently for customers
  • Mobile applications that provide real time information

After the program had already completed its definition and design phase, Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to conduct initial scoping with the People stream to assess the work already completed, identify gaps and make recommendations for the inclusion of a Culture stream as part of the next phase.

Solution

The scoping phase included:

  • Fact finding to define the change and understand the environment.
  • Early stakeholder engagement to scope critical cultural success factors for Tranche 1 implementation, with consideration to:
  • Stake-holding culture considerations and needs;
  • Culture gaps and barriers to organisational effectiveness;
  • Early ideas for Culture Anchoring activities to integrate espoused values & behaviours as actual with project & new business teams;
  • Early thinking on the best Culture transformation approach for next phase of work, including measures for success, recommendations for implementation, enabling leadership alignment and BAU ownership all in line with the Behaviour Engineering Model.

Results

All recommendations in the proposal were approved and Blue Seed was engaged to lead the Culture Stream on the program over a 6 month period. Outcomes achieved included:

  • Designed and launched the target DNA and supporting leadership and behaviour model for the new Service NSW organisation and people
  • Aligned the newly designed values & behaviours to customer service model and customer journey
  • Integrated the target customer-centric values & behaviours in all project design and deliverables, across the technology, people and process work streams
  • Motivated the role modelling of target state behaviours within the project team and supported them with reinforcing factors
  • Co-designed an employee engagement campaign to attract and retain employees to the new SNW entity
  • Co-designed a series of culture workshops to be used as part of new team member orientation, induction and ongoing training programs, translating espoused values & behaviours into actual daily behaviours
  • Identified key levers for change, enablers for BAU ownership and measures of success

Our Blue Seed consultants were able to quickly integrate with the large consulting firm already engaged on the program and take a position of leadership on the Change Management stream as Culture Lead for the start up organisation.

Having completed a number of engagements within the NSW Government we have gained valuable experience and exposure to the inner workings of government departments and the culture and dynamics of workforces within them. This afforded us the opportunity to drive real positive change to both the culture and leadership bench strength and our continued engagement through the Service NSW project was evidence of our effectiveness and understanding of what it takes to implement good change within the public sector.

We offer a blend of public and private sector approaches that are fit for purpose and deliver results.

Unlocking a high performing culture change in the public sector through leadership and engagement

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Unlocking a high performing culture change in the public sector through leadership and engagementcasestudy-image

Blue Seed have effectively been leading and supporting the shaping, design and delivery of change programs to achieve sustainable business outcomes, and providing creative and fit-for-purpose design & delivery. Blue Seed have been brilliant, not only in the quality of their work, interactions, facilitation skills and outputs, but most importantly through their adaptability, flexibility and reliability. Chantal Patruno and her associates have been a pleasure to work with. I highly commend their services to any CEO or Executive contemplating effecting cultural change within their organisation. You can be assured that I will be using Blue Seed again in the future to effect cultural change within this or any other organisation that Im a part of.”

Deputy Commissioner – Government Agency, 2011

Brief

Teams in this part of the organisation were very customer focused and consistently achieving great customer outcomes. Internally, however, things were not working as well. Limiting factors included siloed work practices, misunderstood strategic direction, fractured teams, inconsistent leadership approaches, and poor performance and conduct all resulting in a less than optimal culture.
A culture change and leadership program was required, with the full support from the Executive Team. The initial diagnosis phase was to be followed by an agreed change roadmap, and then implemented in partnership with the business.
Culture is a little like dropping alka seltzer into a glass you dont see it, but somehow it does something.

Solution

Blue Seed Consulting worked with a cross-section of the organisation at multiple sites to diagnose the problem. The focus was on assessing the current culture (the constructive and the limiting elements) as well as defining the optimal future culture. Through a series of individual interviews and focus groups the voices of employees were captured and played back to the Leadership Team.
A process of planning and redesign followed with key stakeholders, underpinned by clear success measures for a culture change program and a co-designed roadmap for achieving the desired outcomes.

Results

In partnership with the Client, Blue Seed Consulting provided expertise particularly in the areas of leadership effectiveness, human behaviour, culture change, engagement and communication, and change leadership. This was combined with various hands-on activities and interventions, such as focus groups, interviews, participation in leadership off-sites as well as reviewing company documentation and observations all while co-located with the business teams through the engagement.
The first phase of the integrated culture change program was successfully delivered, and included the delivery of an Engagement and Playback Roadshow, co-design of the divisions new values and associated behaviours and a Coaching Program for a selection of business leaders. The second phase of work based on the roadmap was implemented by the business under a new leadership structure.