Porirua City Council

Having worked with ChangeWorks on several projects, Porirua City Council contacted ChangeWorks to perform a Capability and Resources Review and an annual refreshment Vision/Values programme. We also worked with them on a regional shared services feasibility study for building compliance.

The Outcome

  • Ability to relate to a diverse staff and get them involved
  • Engaging us in the planning or project
  • Free and frank advice – ‘telling it how it is’
  • Clear and attainable capability planning
  • Accurate and complete capability and resource review
  • Values definition with a range of staff, supported by clear goals and action planning
  • Achieving the outcome with us

Working with ChangeWorks

We have always had excellent service from everyone we have worked with from ChangeWorks. Over the years PCC has developed a special relationship with Shona Mainwaring and find her knowledge, expertise and ability to relate to all members of our diverse staff to be invaluable. Shona has never failed to deliver anything but a quality outcome for us and this is why PCC has an on-going relationship with ChangeWorks based on confidence in the outstanding quality of results.

Don’t take our word….

“We have always been confident  that the outcome of the projects ChangeWorks has completed for us have been of the highest quality, rigorously researched, using the most appropriate management techniques or tools and delivered in a highly professional manner with a personal touch.”

David Rolfe
Acting Chief Executive
Porirua City Council

Special Olympics New Zealand

Special Olympics New Zealand approached ChangeWorks to assist us with a high level review of our organisation. Special Olympics was experiencing significant growth in its athlete numbers which puts pressure on funding and management roles and structure.

Our plans suggested we needed NZ$3.8 million in the next financial year to achieve our goals for that year. We were struggling to raise half of that and our current financial year operating costs were NZ$1.6 million. We were concerned we were actually developing a top heavy organisation when we needed resources at the front line supporting athletes and volunteers. We asked SPARC for help. SPARC suggested we consider ChangeWorks. We knew ChangeWorks had completed similar review work and were known for their understanding of the issues that face the sporting and not-for-profit sectors. They came to grips with our organisation quickly, challenged our thinking and delivered the results we were after. The return in the first year on our investment in ChangeWorks will be at least 600% and the impact on our effectiveness is greater than that.

The Outcome

We have implemented a new organisational structure where all but two staff are directly working on school or community sport issues with strengthened leadership and accountability for distinct work. Our stakeholders and staff are commenting regularly on the improvement. Funders are rewarding us.

We now have a clear focus on growing and supporting the core Special Olympics community through schools, clubs, volunteers and coaches and building a network of people who advocate and support the unique quality of Special Olympics for athletes. At the same time we have decreased the amount of money we need to raise while also increasing our focus on raising funds. Our attractiveness to funders has increased because we have removed layers of “national office” overhead cost while increasing focus on the people we serve.

The clear benefits in re-focusing our organisation have been:

  • paying more attention to our core frontline activities
  • huge cost savings – we are around 40% below the previous year’s expenditure and spending less than one third of planned expenditure while achieving plan outcomes.

Working with ChangeWorks

The key insight from ChangeWorks during this organisational change process was for us to organise around the community network we serve rather than by programmes we offer or traditional not-for-profit management roles. We also accepted that our CEO needed to be our Chief Fundraising Officer as well as the leader of our team. These insights were invaluable and it was because they knew our sector so well. We ended up asking ourselves why it had taken us this long to work it out!

ChangeWorks were direct in their advice throughout and provided huge value for us. We are extremely grateful for this.

David Rutherford
New Zealand Special Olympics 

Leading for Change Programme

The Youth Hostel Association (NZ) approached ChangeWorks to assist them with a transformational Leadership Development Programme which would develop the leadership capability of their senior managers in a planned and focussed way.

The Challenge

YHA needed to make a substantive commitment to their people’s professional development and help support those who had self-elected for transition from front line to senior management positions. At the time there was an absence of any organisational support or systems for those who wanted to progress to higher leadership roles.

The Outcome

The clear benefits of the Leadership Development Programme have been:

  • realising and better identifying true talent and leadership potential
  • an investment in human capital with greater efficiency and productivity gains
  • consistent behaviour that supported the wider change management process
  • a deeper commitment from their people with no participant turnover
  • a clear message to employees that the organisation was willing to commit and invest in their professional development
  • leadership in action working on real work challenges that they could apply immediately
  • leadership skills that developed them individually as people and for the organisation
  • a significant improvement in organisational engagement, morale and culture

Working with ChangeWorks

“They worked hard to achieve the outcomes we were seeking and were always very responsive to our specific needs and requests. They worked in a mutually-respectful and professional manner throughout and their match of consultants to the differing participant personalities was also invaluable. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to peers and colleagues.”

Mark Wells
Youth Hostel Association NZ

Charities Commission

Charities Commission contracted ChangeWorks to help us define our values and to embed them in to how we do business.

We worked with Grant Herman who was an excellent consultant. He is extremely professional, prompt, thorough and he has a good engaging facilitation style that matched our culture.

Identifying an organisation’s values can be seen by some managers as a “warm and fluffy” exercise. Grant conveyed to our management the strategic importance and benefits of values for our organisation and gained all staff’s “buy in” in a professional, credible and low key way. Staff warmed to Grant and felt comfortable participating in workshops.

The Outcome

The project involved a workshop with the senior leadership team (SLT) and two staff workshops to identify a set of values for the Commission and how these values would be interpreted in the workplace. There was then a follow up session with the SLT to refine the draft values, agree a series of definitions and discuss how they would be embedded. The Commission then proceeded to use the values to align work practices, the performance management system and role descriptions. The Commission reported that the whole exercise had been a success.

Working with ChangeWorks

Grant understood our needs, coached, rather than told, and supported us professionally through the whole project. Grant is a capable practitioner who remains understated. I liked that.

ChangeWorks are very good OD (Organisation Development) consultants who are self aware and competent. They are happy to pare back their consultancy to fit budget and still be realistic about what can be achieved within that budget. They used the consultancy time well and did not overcharge for the services we received.

ChangeWorks are practitioners, happy to defer to each other’s strengths and work as a team, rather than promoting their individual abilities. They stand for understated professionalism.

Leanne Mackay
Human Resources
Charities Commission

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

Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC)

Working with ChangeWorks

We asked ChangeWorks to assist us in reviewing our organisation. There were three stages to this:

  • Looking at how effective SPARC was in the way we operated, and identifying the best structure for us.
  • Developing proposals for changing our structure and ways of working.
  • Assisting us in deciding how to implement the changes.

We worked with two consultants, Phil Hartwick and Grant Herman who brought different strengths to the review.
Phil’s analytical approach and facilitative style during the diagnosis stage was very good. He developed the contribution of key staff and worked well with the project team.

Grant had a robust, pragmatic and “real” approach to implementation. It’s easy to get lost in process and detail, but Grant achieved the right balance in his advice between keeping up the momentum and ensuring that we observed our employment obligations.

Phil and Grant were very adaptable in working with our timetable challenges. They were responsive and willing to adapt to meet our needs, while also ensuring there was no undue “mucking around”.

The Outcomes

ChangeWorks provided us with a good diagnosis of the things we had to work on. This involved the development of a new organisational structure and ways of working, with the input of our staff throughout the process. This was not a solution that was imposed from outside or from the top.

Overall, the review helped us get clearer about our core structures and business processes.

Nick Hill
Chief Executive
Sport and Recreation New Zealand

Senior Management Team – Performance Evaluation

Our senior management team was lacking a meaningful performance management system. We asked ChangeWorks to work with us to come up with a robust performance management regime that would provide us with good, meaningful feedback.

We particularly wanted to avoid the “tick the box” type processes, rigid systems that were time consuming – often creating additional work for managers. We wanted a process that would deal with some quite entrenched behaviours and habits. We also wanted a process that avoided discussions about remuneration, promotion and bonuses and focussed on performance feedback and performance development.

ChangeWorks designed a process specifically for our people – it was very in tune with them. Using a competency based approach, ChangeWorks collected qualitative feedback about each senior manager which was distilled in to themes and fed back one on one.

We met a little cynicism at the outset, however, as people became more familiar with the process, the feedback was good – people could see the benefit in it for them and they felt engaged and valued.

People were able to discuss some, often fairly sensitive/difficult matters, and a non-threatening environment was evident, where the opportunity was taken to deliver bouquets as well as brickbats. This is not something that has occurred in the past, so it was a breakthrough for us.

The Outcome

We now have a meaningful process for performance feedback for our senior management team. It’s a process people feel part of, and one that will continue to deliver meaningful behavioural change going forward.

Working with ChangeWorks

ChangeWorks worked with us in a focused, efficient and productive manner. Having Shona conduct the interviews on my behalf, provided a non-threatening environment where people could be completely open and honest. Shona gained people’s confidence and people felt they could trust her discretion entirely – there were no connotations of criticising colleagues behind their backs. The feedback gathered will feed into key performance and personal objectives for the year ahead.

Throughout the project, Shona provided mentoring, assistance with planning and discussion around strategy with individuals as they worked through the feedback process. Her non threatening style along with her maturity and knowledge enabled people to be honest and frank.

To sum up, we gathered accurate, wide-ranging, relevant and comprehensive feedback, from a variety of perspectives. There were no “stains on the fence” throughout. People could say what they found difficult and what bugged them – coaching was available and we provided support for change through mentoring and facilitation.

General Manager

Other Clients

Some organisations, particularly in the Government sector, do not offer public endorsements. Although we cannot attribute them, these comments were offered freely and in good faith by other ChangeWorks clients.

  • …Shona, is “a professional”. She is someone who “knows her stuff” and is a “great facilitator”
  • ….I just wanted to thank you for facilitating our workshop on Thursday Shona. I really enjoyed your facilitation style. The day was well run and people are feeling much more positive about the road ahead …..The notes you provided are excellent
  • … We have a large volume of work that we just need help with at the moment. ChangeWorks have helped us to manage putting some policies in place, implementation and understanding of HR. At another time facilitation of a difficult situation for a manager and staff member. Another time it was staff training.
  • A good result was achieved in the facilitation, the training went well and the advice and support we are getting at the moment is great.
  • ChangeWorks have shown flexibility, experience and understanding of the reality of organisations.
  • They have been very helpful for us.…
  • … I’m happy to provide a verbal reference for Shona any time she wishes…
  • …We have had very good service from ChangeWorks. We do not provide endorsement. I am, however, happy to act as a referee…