We’ve seen shop floor driven change that has resulted in a six-fold increase in productivity. We have seen sales people identify new products by listening to customers. We have seen our people on the shop floor come to management and tell us that a certain individual has to leave the business because it’s not just what they do, it’s how they do it that matters – in equal measure. We have seen people change their whole lives not just their work life. We have seen discretionary effort go through the roof and we have seen record profitability – not just compared to recent bad times but in the company’s 60 year history! We are a profitable Australian manufacturer because we have chosen the virtuous cycle.
That’s just a taste. It’s not trivial to do. We have had false starts in parts of our business but we have not wavered from the approach. We have been absolutely consistent in our choice of the virtuous cycle over the vicious cycle.
Which bus is driving your organisation? What a great question!
How do you make people say they are proud to work for their local Council ? Prior to the Blue Bus Program the issue staff raised most was that others didn’t appear to share their commitment to helping the local community – this feedback appeared to apply equally to every part of the business.
How we related to each other and worked together as a team was increasingly important to staff. Beyond that building trust and respect across the whole organisation from CEO to the newest staff member and with the local community was vital.
The Blue Bus program helped us to create a common language that improved the day to day conversations within and across the Council and provided courage for staff to help their colleagues be aware of the value and importance of their contribution to the workplace.
In terms of outcomes that we could measure the Blue Bus Program reduced our absenteeism, increased staff retention rates, initiated workplace assistance programs and delivered improved program delivery times. That wasn’t however the most important outcome – this program put people in touch, helped them communicate across units and developed trust and pride in the work they did for the community.
For an organisation as diverse as a local government authority with more than 1000 employees and the best part of 80 different functional areas, the Blue Bus Program helped create a shared language and started us on the path to the positive, trusting culture that staff wanted to be a part of.
“At The Scots College, working together as a large team is critically important. How we relate to each other, build trust and work together as a team is a key outcome that will enable us to realise our vision and mission. The Red-Green-Blue Bus program has been powerful in shaping our collective understanding, language and mindset and has helped to make culture visible, practical and real in everyday workplace settings. It has created a common language that is helping us empower the day to day conversations that are moving our College increasing towards excellence.
Key cohorts of students at Scots have also trialled the program and found it an amazing way to drive new thinking and innovation in all elements of their education. The self-awareness it creates (“Which bus are you driving today?”) is a crucial building block for self-control (“Which bus do you want to drive today?”) which underpins the growth of our students’ Emotional Intelligence. We believe these are both key elements that will inform our students’ success in later life.
The Blue Bus is very different to any other program I have experienced in this space. It is values based and delivered through an experiential learning approach that is fun, challenging and effective. At The Scots College, it has created a safe environment where students and staff are examining their mindsets and are beginning to shift to a shared understanding where ‘change is something we can do together’. For any executive who is trying to create a shared vision, an aligned team and a reflective team culture, this program will get you on the front foot.”