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Transforming Ways of Working [Blog]

executive team working together to build a big puzzleWe have recently connected with our clients about their business transformation needs for 2018 and beyond, and it appears that many organisations are in the process of scoping and resourcing transformation projects.

Some of our clients are introducing new system changes, replacing their legacy systems with contemporary, more efficient, fit for purpose CRMs; whilst others are seeking our advice on building customer focused people capabilities. In addition to this, a number of clients are working with us to put in place agile, collaborative, scalable and more creative ways of working.

If it is about business transformation, changing your business model, or updating the roles, systems and processes, the primary focus rests on defining and putting in place new ways of working.

At the core of every business transformation program, is the redefining and rejuvenating of cultural work practices, known as new ways of working.

The cultural foundations for new ways of working is unique and becomes an organisations signature of how work is approached, undertaken and delivered. These ways of working evolve and form, as we know, over time and are underpinned by a number of variables. Some of these variables include each organisation’s emotional intelligence quotient, the spoken and unspoken attitudes, assumptions and behaviours – both conscious and unconscious. These variables are impacted significantly by leadership behaviours and approaches.

Industry research is unequivocal about the impact of culture and cultural work practices on transformation goals and programs. The well-established management consulting axiom of culture eats strategy for breakfast comes sharply into play.

Our advice to clients is clear and unequivocal – to reshape cultural work practices, to realise the real value – your time, the organisation’s emotional and physical energy and critically the financial investment – from a transformation program it is about getting the right change process in place, with the right program content delivered at the right time, enabled by organisational culture diagnostics and metrics, and facilitated by authentic people engagement.

Our experience tell us that a transformation process which is informed by, and can be assessed against the following change criteria goes a long way to achieving the robust and sustainable cultural transformation outcomes needed to really transform business:

  • Inclusive of all employees and co-designed: where possible it is key to design change processes that enable employees to shape and influence transformation processes and outcomes. Where an industrial process is part of the transformation an organisation should think carefully about designing authentic communication and engagement channels. We are seeing more investment in people engagement platforms, for example.
  • A people centred process: This goes to an inclusively co-designed process where people are at the centre of the process and the emphasis is on genuine people engagement and strong leader led sponsorship and manager led change – supported by a change manager.
  • Focused on empowerment: While in management consulting fashionable words can come and go but empowerment remains absolutely critical to achieving effective and sustainable change. Empowerment in change refers to designing a change strategy or plan that is focused on improving the individual employees and the organisation’s ability to perform and deliver.
  • Leading by Doing: Senior managers and mid-level managers role is to translate and make the change happen within their organisations, for their teams and other stakeholders. Industry research continues to show this cannot be delegated to the change manager or the project team.
  • Showing, not saying: In a similar vein as Leading by Doing is leaders who show the behaviour required, who are seen to consciously change their approach in line with the transformation offer the most powerful impetus to change. Organisations are most likely to realise change project benefits if all managers begin to model and articulate the new ways of working and demonstrating the case of change at every opportunity.


For any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our transformation team here at TMS Consulting on

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