Porirua City Council

For some time, I’d had in mind an organisation review for the [Poirirua City] Council. Discussions with ChangeWorks helped me to formulate my thinking in terms of how to go about such a review.

In particular, we were interested in breaking down our silos, increasing interaction and communication, and improving our overall leadership capability.

ChangeWorks’ philosophy attracted me initially. It is very in tune with mine, in terms of engaging and involving staff in the process. Their suggested approach to change – engage, involve, empower was very much participative, and their approach to how we were doing business was thorough.

The Outcome

We were really pleased with the level of buy-in early on. Around one third of total Council staff self-nominated into focus groups to assist with drawing out the range of issues.

This initial engagement process provided our management team with a very clear idea of what was needed, and the organisational review report and process provided us with an agenda for action.

Prior to the review, the Council utilised clunky systems/processes – this was frustrating and we knew that we needed to become more efficient and effective as an organisation. Working with ChangeWorks helped us plan and implement our move from being a product-based structure, to now working as a group of functional work streams.

Once we were clear about our strengths and what we needed to do differently, we used their innovative “Circuit Breaker” methodology, in order to “crunch” some strategic projects that were well overdue.

In the past, Council had embarked on a number of projects that had gone beyond desired time frames. As part of the review, the “Circuit Breaker” model allowed us to complete two major strategic projects within very short time frames, with clear deliverables and excellent results. People are now working much better cross-corporately, with senior managers having increased involvement in the planning of major projects. This is critical for the efficient running of Council, and for the development of our city.

As well as several “mission critical” projects being completed, use of the ChangeWorks Circuit Breaker approach has absolutely developed leadership skills across Council – we now have a group of champions as a result of using this methodology. By working in cross – corporate teams, we have benefited from the power of collaboration of people.

In terms of the organisation review, these Circuit Breaker projects have helped shift the culture across the Council. “One Council, one team” is how we wish to operate now and into the future.

Working with ChangeWorks

We worked with Grant, Shona and Phil on this project with each brining complementary strengths. Grant’s analytical, innovative approach to organisation development was the building block for the project’s infrastructure. Shona, with her keen perception, facilitation skills and strong focus on the importance of people issues around culture of change, kept our people well looked after. Phil brought his strong facilitation and analytical skills to many phases of the project, along with his preparedness to challenge and question.

Throughout this process, the ChangeWorks team worked very closely with our people. We found them to be professional and very insightful, and their advice was good. Their analytical and innovative approach to organisation development, combined with their strong facilitation and people skills, made them a valuable partner as we worked through this important process.

Full marks to ChangeWorks with respect to their approach to change.

Roger Blakeley
Chief Executive Officer
Porirua City Council