Unshackling culture change, starting with the exec team

location_city Melbourne schedule Jul 19th 03:30 - 04:15 PM AEST place  EN 313 (L100) people 22 Interested

MLC Life was spun out of NAB in 2016 and purchased by a Japanese insurance business with a dream to create the best standalone digital life insurance business in Australia. One year in the CEO realised Agile approaches could help the business deliver on its purpose, however he recognised a fundamental culture change was needed to make it happen.

How would we enable the culture change? Why by changing the system of course! A quarterly based operating rhythm won't change the culture itself, but it creates regular reflection and improvement cycle that drives change in itself.

In this talk, we'll cover two key elements: How Lani and Tim worked with the CEO to initiate the journey to agility, and how the new rhythm sparked change across the organisation.

Initiating the change

Building a relationship with the CEO and his executive leadership team, Lani & Tim portrayed the art of the possible – sharing what a healthy, aligned adaptive and agile organisation looks and feels like as well as expressing the risks if they continued with the current operating methods and practices. We reflected on past and present to understand constraints and pain points, co-designed a new operating rhythm to enable the leadership team to think and work differently and executed a safe experiment to test and learn from.

How a healthy rhythm sparks change

The change began at the top with a new operating rhythm that established quarterly goals which cascaded though the organisation. This new operating rhythm was not imposed, however high performing teams quickly identified the new pattern and adapted their operating cadence to match. This created a different way of thinking across the business, where people focused on the vision, purpose and strategy, but optimised for adaptability and value creation.


Do we know our stuff?
OKR Quickstart coaches and consults businesses on how to create strategic clarity, achieve audacious goals and build high performing teams. We've helped hundreds of people and businesses introduce OKR so that everyone finds crazy value out of them (not just the exec team). We've made every mistake in the book and this session summarises some of our biggest learnings!


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

  1. Introduction - 5 min
  2. Inspire the exec team for change - 10 min
  3. How quarterly planning shifted the culture - 7 min
  4. What it looks like today and what's different - 7 min
  5. Close and questions - 5 min

Learning Outcome

  • How to engage an executive team and inspire change
  • How a healthy operating rhythm unlocks culture change
  • How to support teams shifting to a quarterly planning cycle without breaking the bank
  • How to start a shift to a healthy operating rhythm

Target Audience

Senior Management, Executive and Change Agents working with the Senior Leadership Teams

Prerequisites for Attendees

  • Deep understanding of Agile Values and Principles
  • Basic understanding of how agility applies outside of technology
  • Is a, or has experience working with, senior leadership teams


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