• Dave Corbet

A step change in organisational performance at South Kesteven District Council

Greengage worked with South Kesteven over nearly two years to support the organisation in bringing about a change in the way they work. The organisation had a new CEO with a private sector background who wanted to update the way the organisation worked. The key challenge was to get people believing that change could happen and to break down the silos that stopped the organisation from performing at its best.

​"I wouldn’t underestimate how far we have come. We’ve made lots of practical breakthroughs."

1. What was the original challenge or goal that led you to engage Greengage?

We needed a step change in the organisation. There was a need to move from an organisation focused on process, to one focused on delivery. We recognised that people are at the heart of what we do and we needed to shift the hearts and minds of staff.

2. What did Greengage do for you?

They worked with us over nearly two years to support us in bringing about a change in the way we work. They helped us develop a clear route map for success and set out a behavioural framework for how we would support that success. They delivered leadership training for senior managers and team leaders and helped us develop a programme of high performance team health checks and a coaching circles programme aimed at tackling difficult issues.

We liked the way they worked alongside us to create something tailor made and worked in a way which was right for us. There was a real responsiveness; quickly ‘getting’ us and translating this into something workable. There have been lots of ‘spin offs’: establishing a common language; galvanizing the organisation; a common toolkit.

3. What impact has that made in your business/organisation?

I wouldn’t underestimate how far we have come. We’ve made lots of practical breakthroughs. We’ve got a clear understanding of our expectations within the organisation now. We’ve got a clear positive journey set out. There is a real difference in the way people work and the way they relate to each other. It feels much more like the teams are now working for SKDC rather than just for their part of it.

They gave us a good objective perspective and enabled us to build a framework for change we could build on which was right for our organisation. The framework allowed us to build: new values; new competencies; new behaviours. They helped us to turn that framework into something to take forward the organisation.

We also have a common language and a set of tools that can help us deal with difficult issues. We can talk about challenging issues, get a conversation going and remind ourselves about what we agreed.

We’ve had lots of feedback about how much people valued being included in the process. People are using the tools and it has It has given them a ‘real buzz’.

4. What was the best thing about working with Greengage or the best thing they did for you?

Generally I feel like we sat and worked it out together. We really liked that. It wasn’t ‘our way or no way’. For instance the work on the competencies where we said ‘can we modify this?’ and together we came up with something better. I do like the fact Greengage challenge and tailor.

Also their approach is not ‘we’ll do exactly what you are asking us to do’– which is what other suppliers often do. They pushed that little bit more. They are challenging but they really wanted us to reach our potential. They were on the journey with us, going with us every step of the way. We felt like an individual client. Working with us to make a breakthrough.

Beverly Agass, CEO SKDC