Change Makers Programme – Wellington City Council

Wellington City Council

Learn how Wellington City Council (WCC) embedded a programme that grows staff to be change catalysts, contributing to an organisational mindset shift around how they create change.

Problem

WCC identified a gap in the way they supported their people who were passionate, restless self-starters who were trying to create change in a meaningful way.

Solution

WCC brought Digby Scott’s Change Makers programme in-house as an internal offering. Change Makers is a cultural change programme where ‘tribes’ of 12 people come together. Over the six month programme, participants build their ‘change muscle,’ learning practical skills and strategies to shift the way they think and approach their work.

Observations and lessons learnt

Skills to innovate

FOCUS ON THE MINDSET

Over six months, through the structure of the programme, participants are encouraged and supported to challenge their thinking and their approach to their work. Having the tools from the programme and a focus on experiments and thinking in a different way enables culture change for the participant and those who work with them.

It’s changed their outlook and the way they think and plan their work, contributing to culture change.

Autonomy

TANGIBILITY TO THE NOTION OF FREEDOM TO ACT ON IDEAS

WCC gives permission for all people to contribute and suggest new approaches or improvements to the way they work. The programme gives WCC a way to invest in change capability and a tangible way of signalling they’re trying to embed that "change is the way we do things around here."

They test, challenge and support each other – growing a community.

CREATIVE INCLUSIVE SELECTION PROCESS

Anyone interested from any level or team in WCC can apply. Interested participants answer three questions through any preferred medium – e.g. video, poetry, essay. This allows creative expression in communicating the applicants aspirations, what makes them curious about the programme, and the change they want to see and make happen. A panel then reviews and selects the tribe members.

Internal communication

INVOLVE THEIR MANAGERS

Before participants join the programme, there’s a manager briefing session to ensure managers are clear on how to support their people and what’s needed from them. This process gets the participant's manager on board and sets expectations for both parties.

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