Case Study 1:
Culture change to deliver a New Strategy

The Change Navigators worked in partnership with the Forestry Commission to design and implement a change process that took account of the strategic imperatives and the organisational context for the changes that were required.

There was a requirement for a fundamental shift in organisational culture from a centralised, hierarchical organisation implementing standard solutions, towards devolved decision-making to deliver local solutions through greater consultation and participation with local communities and other partners.

The change process involved people at all levels in the organisation, including the Executive, senior and middle managers, and staff groups. Various groups worked interactively to debate different aspects of the organisational culture and decide how it needed to change to support the delivery of organisational goals. The Cultural Web was used as a framework for revealing the traditional culture and developing an understanding of the changes required to facilitate culture change.

The approach to change was holistic and a range of programmes were designed to engage people at many different levels and in many different ways on the subjects of leadership, communication, influencing, facilitation, coaching and performance management. These programmes were designed, developed and implemented over a period of 3 –4 years.

Did the culture change?

Quantitative and qualitative evidence indicates that there are changes in people’s perceptions of working within the FC. Employee feedback indicates that things have changed. A group of field staff stated: “Our work is more acknowledged now, we are encouraged to work for ourselves, which makes us proud of what we do.” When asked for his views on what was different as a result of the change process, one manager summed it up, “I think the FC is well placed for the changes it faces in future…because it has been able to embrace change, influence and actually initiate change in its own domestic sphere.”

In November 2002 a second staff survey was conducted to measure whether the change efforts had made any impact. This time 58% of employees participated and their responses indicated many definite improvements.

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