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Driving Forward – A model for achieving purposeful public service change

March 26, 2020

National Government

The issue: A review by the Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (RPID) highlighted the need for improvements to business efficiency, leadership and culture in the Government. RPID’s Senior Management Team (SMT) not only recognised the scale of the organisational change required, but also the importance of actively engaging staff in the direction of travel.

Their challenges included:

  • Time: tight timescales
  • People: 800 employees with diverse skills and agendas
  • History: a previous failed change initiative, with resultant employee scepticism

The approach: Our programme of psychologically-based interventions enabled a government directorate to implement quick, sustainable and meaningful organisational change, against a backdrop of financial pressures and employee scepticism.​

The Keil Centre carried out 4 initial one-day ‘Gathering Events’, enabling a total of 175 staff from across the business to establish recommended actions on 5 key improvement themes. Our methodology involved each participant visiting all the themes in a structured environment where everyone felt safe to input ideas.

The outcome: Using our adapted ‘divergent thinking’ problem solving models, the SMT and staff worked collectively to generate a total of 135 recommendations. Each participant also produced a single action they would be committed to taking personally.

The Keil Centre then facilitated follow up ‘Making it Happen’ events, enabling the recommendations to be rationalised and organised into management action groupings or workstreams. This was achieved using an innovative modification of GROW coaching techniques. All staff were given the opportunity to volunteer for a workstream.

Staff reported very high levels of engagement, with recommendations already being implemented and other workstream activities in progress.

This work was shortlisted for the Division of Occupational Psychology Practitioner of the Year prize.

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