We take a very simple approach to how we go about co-creating culture change with you. We help you to adopt the mindset that the complexity of culture change demands, we provide a practical toolset that guides the work we do together, and we equip you with the skills and knowhow required to put the tools to best use.
The practical methodology tools and concepts that underpin our work.
Our work to develop and embed capability in the organisation to effect sustainable culture change.
How we understand and approach culture change How we help you “show up” so you can apply it “No organisation can evolve beyond the level of consciousness of its leadership”.
Consulting Services & Approach:
Elements of GOLD
Our GOLD blueprint for culture transformation is the culmination of many years’ experience in helping clients to understand then shift their culture with stickability.
We have never had a “one size fits all” approach to such an imprecise journey as culture change – every organisation is different. However along the way we have developed and shaped our approach through a mixture of our own proven tools and approaches and those specialist complementary ones that we think are best in class.
What follows is not a “tick-box” list of culture change activities, but an explanation of the different elements of our GOLD methodology, which you might expect to encounter should you work with us. Our clients’ needs vary and we know how important it is to tailor our consulting approaches according to your needs and budget – so most of the following also serve as stand-alone activities that we might agree to deploy at various stages of your particular culture journey
There has been much criticism across all sectors regarding the failure of boards to oversee culture. In Australia, regulators including the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), outline the critical significance of organisational culture and the importance of the Board in setting the organisation’s cultural tone. The challenge isn’t deciding if work on culture should be done, but more in how this should be done.
Our BoardTalk service provides boards with opportunities to deepen their understandings of the organisational culture so they can explore how to monitor it effectively, whilst at the same time providing deep insight into how the board’s own culture sets the tone for the rest of the organisation. It involves a mixture of high-level insight, conversation and challenge, leading to a pivotal conversation with the executive team provoked through our CultureWalk simulation.
It’s well recognised that organisations are not capable of changing their culture without absolute shared clarity at the executive level around why change is needed and how culture change will contribute to strategic aspirations. In our work with clients we always advise that without that alignment any culture change initiative is fraught with slow progress and costly delays.
Given cultural transformation begins with personal transformation, our Executive Team Alignment work focuses on helping individual executives understand and work on their own development needs, as well as broadening the focus on how the team can influence collective leadership in taking the organisation towards its goals. Only then can it work effectively to lead any transformation and the culture change that goes with it
The early deliverables of this work are a Culture Blueprint, which outlines your iterative path to culture change, seamlessly weaving together strategy, leadership and the context of your changing environment and tangible measures which enable you to course correct and stay focused on your true north.
“There is no such thing as a high performing team, only a team that continuously co-creates value with and for all its stakeholders. High performance is not a place of arrival, but is always in service of continually co-creating value with and for all our stakeholders, including people, systems and the more-than-human world. Therefore, high performance cannot reside within the team’s boundaries, or be owned by the team”. Peter Hawkins – Renewal Associates 2019
A key characteristic of an executive team that is aligned around culture change is its capacity to operate as an enterprise team: demonstrating collective leadership, able to take multiple, often competing perspectives simultaneously and to able to process debate through the lens of enterprise – not departmental – needs. All framed in the context of the broader system of stakeholder needs and pressures. It is singularly different to leading project or departmental teams.
Our team effectiveness work draws on our training with the world’s foremost executive team development specialist Peter Hawkins and his systemic team coaching approach. Each intervention is custom-designed to meet the team’s needs and current situation, but the elements we draw on are broadly the same: individual development including 1-1 coaching , team dynamics and relationships work, stakeholder engagement, team observation and coaching and facilitation of the team as it goes about its day to day work. In all cases, our work is lighter touch on theory and high on collective learning on the job.
An experiential and constantly evolving simulation of a typical organisation in untypical times. Participants walk in the shoes of board members, executives, staff and customers and are exposed to culture-shifting scenarios. Through their own reactions in role-play, participants and the player group get to “see” the shifts and garner insights about what might be playing out in their own organisations.
As the name suggests, the Brain Crane has been a forum to elevate thinking and nurture networks for a decade. Now re-tooled for a virtual world, the original concept remains. A thought-provoking speaker lays out a concept, argument or new knowledge for just 15 minutes and participants progress the conversation, initially in the plenary and then in smaller self-forming groups. Eventually, the group naturally fictionalizes into other knowledge-sharing conversations and new network connections are made.
Culture change doesn’t happen in isolation. There are countless examples of initiatives that don’t get off the ground because of the way they are implemented. We use a blend of workshops, group coaching methodologies, experiential project work and online resources to ensure your Culture Crew are confidently leading culture change. We use experienced facilitators and accredited coaches to build collective leadership capacity that really ‘nudges’ culture change deep in your organisation and fast tracks your people with the necessary mindset, skillset and toolset they need. Your leaders will work on initiatives that matter and generate culture nudges at the same time. Those nudges become ripples, those ripples collide with the executive’s top down approach and before you know it …. culture is changing!
If you’re already at the stage where your Executive and Board are aligned and your managers are about to start engaging with their teams, this is the perfect time to engage your Culture Crew so they can start the work of creating the cultural shifts from the bottom up.
The selection of your culture crew is important. Having the right people in place will make a significant difference. We have developed a selection process that can be aligned to existing internal processes, so you can get your Culture Crew in place and ready to go as seamlessly as possible. We’ve done this many time before so can easily help you avoid the pitfalls.
Stories and storytelling are at the core of human culture. For thousands of years we have shared stories to create connections, build group identity and create visions of the future that inspire the tribe to bold adventure. Cutting-edge neuroscience has revealed that stories are, in fact, a fundamental structure of cognition. They are how we shape perception, memory and behaviour. Imagine being able to harness the stories flowing through your organisation to create ongoing dialogue around the values and behaviours driving your teams. Our Master Storyworker can show you how to harness the stories flowing through your organisation to create ongoing dialogue around the values and behaviours driving your teams. Imagine crafting a deeply meaningful narrative of your future vision and turning your strategy into an inspiring adventure…
Due to the personal nature of how we process change, coaching has become a vital part of the organisational change mix. At CulturAlchemy we have a diverse group of experienced and accredited coaches, all of who are experienced in leading culture change and building coaching cultures within your organisation. We work with you to strengthen coaching capability, resulting in resilient and thinking leaders who lean into the demands of culture change, one conversation at a time. You’ll find that coaching capability keeps giving, way beyond the life of the program.
We know that many organisations will have used a range of diagnostic tools to support the development of their leaders, executive teams and their culture. Our CulturAlchemy consultants are accredited and experienced in a wide range of leadership, team and culture diagnostic tools which enables us to translate and use the data you have already collected.
If you haven’t used diagnostic tools previously, we can share our insights and work with you to find tools that will be of greatest benefit to you. The diagnostic tools we most commonly use are the Barrett Cultural Transformation Tools, the Leadership Circle Profile, Clarity 4D and Hawkins Systemic Team Coaching.
Whilst there are countless tools which can diagnose your current and preferred organisational culture, this is not the type of measure we are talking about here. You’ll need regular feedback to track what’s happening and adjust your course little and often to keep on track.
Pulse tools are a wonderful means of tracking micro-shifts in culture. By asking the right questions in a way that is easy to respond to, leaders gain real-time feedback on how effective any initiative is and how to adjust it for greater effect. The Culture Measure we use is fully customisable, results in real time reports, and the feedback process takes just 20 seconds. We love it so much we regularly use it at CulturAlchemy to shape our culture.
Given CulturAlchemy’s approach is not to change the entire culture of an organisation, it is important to know where to focus your efforts to gain maximum impact. Our straight forward diagnostic processes and measures helps us ‘see’ the self-sustaining patterns of behaviour that are often hidden. This is where the real GOLD is. This insight helps you identify the unwritten ground rules that may be holding you back or those you could leverage more. This significantly strengthens the effectiveness of your communication, stakeholder engagement and the way you manage resistance. Even more powerfully, it provides insight into the cultural nudges that are most likely to work in your organisation!
Given culture change takes time, we know through first-hand experience how easy it can be to lose focus and momentum. This is why we will work with you to customise a culture dashboard which aligns to the requirements of your organisation and keeps culture on your board and executive agenda. This means you will have access to a monthly report of the progress made, evidence of how your culture is changing and be able to fine tune as your context and culture change trajectory emerges.