ThinkOTB Agency

Cultural change comes from the outside, in

January 11, 2021

The culture of an organisation is more than it feeling like a ‘nice place to work’. The culture effects people’s decisions, their behaviour and ultimately, the success of a company. If teams don’t respect other teams, aren’t inspired by the company vision or feel uncomfortable in the workplace, standards will slip, output will decrease and failure will follow. Changing your organisational culture can have huge rewards if managed successfully. 

The ISA (Infrastructure Strategic Alliance), is an organisation formed in a joint venture by Morgan Sindall and Arup. They provide essential infrastructure assets to decommission. The Sellafield site wanted to focus on their organisation’s culture. The three companies had their own established specialities, cultures and working practices. These needed uniting to form a future-focused culture that would ensure the ISA achieved success.

ThinkOTB partnered with the ISA to drive alignment through a Cultural and Behavioural Change Programme. We worked closely with the ISA management team to fully assess the situation over six months. We benchmarked behaviour, observed cultural norms and identified best practice across all projects and areas. Then, we set out a schedule of work to initially target change in hot spots.

Communicating the need for change

Our team also became integrated into the ISA ‘identity’ workstream. We developed a communications strategy that would educate every ISA employee on the Cultural and Behavioural Change Programme. We focused on driving awareness so that when it was time to start embedding organisational culture change, the workforce were onboard.

Our strategy started with a Credo – a statement that established the ISA’s purpose. It would provide common-ground for all colleagues to work towards. From here we devised a proposition that would guide the changing their organisational culture. The programme was named ‘Together we will…’. This was finished by galvanising statements such as ‘make excellence a standard’, ‘make things happen’ and ‘be the best infrastructure delivery team’. This campaign was rolled out across the Sellafield site on posters, lanyard cards, banner stands, and presentation templates. We also created the Credo launch film and the site induction film.

Changing a person’s attitudes and behaviour is not an easy or quick task. It’s even harder to achieve this over a large workforce of people. We needed to devise something that could be effective on a personal level and would be long-lasting. So, we created the ‘Change Champions’. This core of specially selected colleagues from across the ISA were enlisted to encourage best practice within their team. They are helping to stop behaviours that are detrimental to the ISA’s vision and values.We have seen some excellent results to date particularly in safety, teamwork, honesty and respect. The workplace already has a clear mission that connects employees’ daily work to a broader social purpose and positive change. What’s more, ThinkOTB team members are now part of the ISA’s delivery team. We are leading innovation and identity workstreams. Our team are Change Champions within the organisation.

Lasting organisational culture change

To effect lasting organisational culture change, every single person working for a company needs to join together. That’s exactly what we can see happening at ISA. Do you want to start changing your organisational culture for the better? Then please get in touch with the creative experts at ThinkOTB. Using our innovative strategies, we’ll work with you to transform your business.


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