Culture Conversations

3 min read


watch-icon June 30, 2020




2000 staff


  • Large utility, including partner organisations.
  • Over 2000 people providing essential services to the South Australian community.
  • They were engaged in a significant culture transformation program, we have worked with them on a fully integrated program, but this is a small part of the project.


  • Customer feedback and media attention was not positive.
  • New CEO arrived in the business and wanted to improve the customer experience.
  • Leadership capability was inconsistent and the levels of leadership varied across the business, this meant the message about improving the business, living the corporate values and transforming the culture would be diluted by the time it got to the front line staff.


  • A program that allowed a consistent message to be provided to all employees, and also to all people within their partner organisations.
  • A 2 day workshop was developed, which included activities that focused on the core values, personal accountability, team work and challenging the status quo.
  • All people were expected to attend at all levels of the business. The attendees were mixed up from location, to position, to level. Which meant that a GM could be sitting with a junior employee and together they would work to solve a problem.


  • 34, 2 day workshops were run with a consistent message provided to each employee.
  • The feedback about the workshop included responses like “I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but it was fantastic”, “I’ve been here for 25 years and it’s the best training I’ve ever attended”, “After the workshop I phoned my boss and had a conversation that I have been avoiding. He was receptive and has booked a meeting with me and my team next week to discuss solutions”, and my favorite “I was in a meeting the other day and heard someone use the workshop language to challenge what we were doing. We have improved our result because of this challenge”.
  • The consistent language was being consistently applied by staff and managers, and employees began to feel empowered to change processes.
  • A rural team of leaders reported to starting a weekly ‘culture improvement’ meeting centred on actions that they could implement immediately.