Team Development Case: Cultural Change Program

How we supporteds a large oil and gas joint venture to let go of old, limiting habits and behaviour and adopt a new and inclusive culture.

Our client was facing major changes in the industry. Questioning itself: am I ready for the future? The main challenge lying ahead was the current mindset of the workforce and its management. Relying on ‘old’ beliefs and intents, which do not resonate with the current environment. 

How do you change beliefs, dissatisfaction and mismanagement? Together we developed an approach working on all levels in the organization. Starting with investigating the core of the issue from both ends: management and the teams. What made them feel frustrated? What was really not OK? Continuously challenging on ‘your’ contribution to the issue. If you do not own it you can not change it. We moved together from an ‘unaware’ state to ‘awareness’.

“Management did not pick this up” – Ok, are you ready to take a look at what you can influence? Together we’re on a journey of pinpointing the issues and at the same time take responsibility for it – on all levels in the organization. It wasn’t one size fits all. We looked and tailoring the approach for each level, which directly matched the specific needs and challenges. This resulted in a specific way of working building a common language, but allowing each their own nuances. 

Seeing the issues we were ready to take the next step. Together within teams and within the management we continued building on defining actions to get ourselves into action. On all different levels of the organization people started to act differently, taking on initiatives that supported a new mindset. High fives went around the organization. “It is a light year of a difference”. 

Together with success, also comes fall backs. Falling back into our old patterns and behaviours when things do not go as planned. We moved from ‘aware’ to ‘in development’ but did not enter the most difficult phase: ‘self sustaining’.  

In order to make this last step, we touched every part of the organization. All teams got involved and were supported to have the real conversation. What is really happening and, again, how can you -as a team- take ownership for the greater good. 

Key elements in such an approach 
a. Personal connection,
b. Quality time together, take a full day out of the ‘normal office, go to a place in nature and set the scene for the real conversation,
c. Keep things simple: what is the issue, what do we want to achieve. Avoid being distracted by symptoms and focus on the root cause.
d.. Develop a true partnership with your client, sharing your thinking, fears and challenges. Building a relationship that will last for decades.