How do you guide your team through change at many levels and still keep them focused?
The team we worked with were living and coping through these remote times. But even greater change was on the way. They were waiting for the announcement of their new boss, whilst also transitioning into a new organizational structure. On top of this, their company office was moving location in one year’s time. Their sense of home, community and of colleagues working together, was being hugely challenged. Our challenge was preparing this business for all this change.
- To help them move into their new structure as efficiently and painlessly as possible.
- For them to quickly understand the change of ways of working, roles and responsibilities.
- To develop the beginning of a culture for their new team.
Culture Change Principles
What struck us, was the need for a central message to be repeated and re-enforced from different viewpoints. In times of change, repetition is respectful and necessary. People have so much in their minds, it takes more time than you think for a new message to land. So, we created a structure of ‘show and tell’, in which different functions presented to each other as to how to get the best from working together.
When change is multi-layered, we seek the constant. What can people rely on? In this instance, we focused on the importance of their brand purpose. We held it up to the light, explored it in more detail and got people to appreciate their connection to it a little more. We also spent time getting to know their core consumer, the focus for all their activity.
The third principle we focused on was their need to belong. With no office and with a new group of people to work alongside remotely, we created a virtual home for them – a space where they could work together and build ideas, see the output from other teams, and collect stimulus and inspiration. This also meant that they were learning together in real-time, which is always a powerful process to bring people together.
The final culture change principle we used was to focus their attention. There is so much that is out of our control these days. But there is much that we can control and be conscientious about. There is an insightful quote, “No-one can affect our energy but ourselves. Energy is a choice.” The balance to achieve is around what to let go of and what to appreciate and embrace. Agility and adaptability is a core competency in any team. For some, it is not a comfortable place to occupy.
Preparing the Business for Change: The Results
- Everyone felt included, heard and engaged. There was a huge appreciation for taking the time to walk them through the changes in a manageable way bearing in mind all the demands of their day jobs.
- The virtual rooms live on. They are now a space that stores communal information, shared stimulus and allows group-thinking across time zones.
- The team leaders particularly valued the work because it allowed them to establish their leadership. This was true, regardless of which point in their leadership journey they were at; whether seasoned campaigners or brand new.
- Every team articulated how they wanted to work and started to shape their unique culture, all playing their part in preparing their business for the change before them.
- Before the workshop, some team members were thinking through their position and questioning whether to stay with the team. They all stayed.
Check out how else we’ve transformed company culture and helped businesses re-discover their Purpose with some of our other case studies: