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What they said

We have 10 goals which are integral to our continued existence and growth. They are ambitious and we will only achieve them by adopting more modern, dynamic and agile working practices than we’ve been used to these past 300 years.

We’re finding this difficult. Our culture is deteriorating as we seek to do more with less. People are stretched and relationships strained. We’re pulling in different directions as we try to cope.

Recent employee surveys tell us that managers feel disconnected from the leadership. Leaders can’t see the problems; managers lack the will or the courage to tell them.

Help us rebuild a culture worthy of our purpose, without diluting focus on improving productivity.

Britain’s greatest palace was built in 1705 and needs constant attention to maintain it’s UNESCO heritage status. As a commercial enterprise it is evolving whilst trying to remain true to its purpose:

to share and protect this place for future generations, to enhance the lives of local people and to be the lifeblood of the local economy.

promontory ripple red

What we did together

We opted to address systems and people issues simultaneously.

Systems provided some easy wins – updating comms channels and promoting training and development opportunities gave us good reasons to gather managers and leaders from across departments together to share ambitions and objectives which Blenheim could then support.

From here we continued to promote open dialogue to address issues relating to people and culture. We facilitated cross-departmental workshops to define problems in a safe space, before developing solutions for testing. These solutions had a shared  ownership across the whole community.

As part of this work we re-connected managers and leaders to the Blenheim Story – the strategic narrative we created years earlier, which contains the purpose and a clear definition of what success looks like at Blenheim.

This re-connection resulted in a shared plan to bring the story back to their teams, to unite everyone behind one coherent, motivating narrative.

Leaders and managers united in small cross-departmental teams to share the Blenheim Story and in doing so, united the wider Blenheim community.

Managers developed personal action plans independent of their departmental leaders. These resulted in measurable improvements to the quality and frequency of high quality conversation and feedback, recognition at all levels, and people development plans and growth targets.

Leaders recognised the need to invest in coaching for themselves; the business now has formal coaching and mentoring in place for all leaders and any manager who wants it. About 80% have taken this up.

Promontory is planning a series of High Performance workshops for delivery when the leadership population is ready. In the meantime, we continue to support engagement sessions to keep developing the open culture which the group desires.

What we learned

Parallel realities can co-exist unchallenged. When we’re under pressure and not supported, we forget why it is we are doing the very thing we’re doing. What’s the point in coming to work, or even caring about it, if we’re all chasing our tails?

Our purpose unites us – and should continue to unite us even in times of high stress.

flower photo in front of round mirror, on the mirror there is reflection of cloudy bright sky

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