Housing and Residential Services

Client: The Riverside Group

Assignment: Organisational Development & Change Management

Supporting Housing & Residential organisation through a period of significant development

The Problem

The Riverside Group is a major Social Housing and Care provider in the UK. Founded in in 1928 as Liverpool Improved Houses, it has grown through mergers, acquisitions and natural development to a turnover of £300m with approximately 53,000 homes and 3,000 staff.

Headquartered in Liverpool, its operations span the country through regional divisions.

With a focus on transforming lives and revitalising neighbourhoods, the organisation has a clear focus.

Bourton Group already had an existing relationship with senior staff and were asked to tender to deliver a programme of senior leadership development to support the organisations ‘One Riverside’ corporate plan.

Although the organisation had grown dramatically over time, there was evidence that the senior leadership group was struggling to share common purpose and to align improvements across the business.

To some extent, whilst performance was good, silo thinking was evident.

The challenge facing the executive team was to create a strong sense of focus and to then align corporate change activity, develop shared approaches to managing transformation and at the same time develop stronger employee engagement.

The Solution

Working with the CEO and the Director of Corporate Services, we engaged in developing greater understanding of the organisation, its intended direction and the leadership challenges it faced in delivering on its vision.

A series of one to one interviews was conducted with key stakeholders from the group of 30 Senior Leaders along with desk research on ‘Best Company’ survey results and Investors in People assessment feedback.

This collaboration and insight drove the development of an initial leadership development programme ‘Horizon’ that utilised Bourton’s FSDO™ Leadership framework.

The programme objectives were clear; develop better collective leadership, develop better leaders, enable ‘One Riverside’, develop common and consistent approaches to manage change.

An initial launch workshop with all the leadership group developed some clear understanding of the current organisational challenges and provided a context for the programme, including a vision for a high performing organisational culture (using our Organisational Culture Profile maturity model).

A series of modules then allowed a workshop approach to the programme to be delivered. Working over a six-month period with smaller groups and introducing key concepts and pragmatic tools, the programme delivered session on generating greater Focus, challenging and developing Structures and ways of working, ensuring Discipline and consistency; and developing engagement and Ownership (FSDO). Each module generated collective and individual action plans.

The programme was enhanced by focused performance coaching by Bourton consultants to ensure application of tools and to assist in deployment.

Two leadership conferences formed the process by which we engaged with the wider leadership group to effect organisational development.

Key topics for these sessions were the understanding of a shared vision for the organisation (One Riverside) and the initiation of key discussions on a future Target Operating Model for the business.

Focused Improvements – The workshops concentrated on developing individual and shared leadership.

Post workshop activity deployed included:

  • GOSPA Strategy Development and Planning
  • Departmental Culture development plans
  • Departmental Change and Improvement Strategies using focused tools
  • Lean Reviews
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Service improvement plans

Knowledge Transfer – Key to the long-term impact of this programme was our ability to share our approaches and tools with the organisation. By creating an action centred learning approach, we ensured that we developed deep understanding of the tools, frameworks and approaches

Additional projects – Because of this leadership development programme, we were engaged by Riverside to support several other change projects, including:

  • Executive Team Development Away Days and Coaching
  • Organisational Change Consultancy in support to the new Target Operating Model
  • Leadership performance coaching extensions to support 20 leaders through the implementation of their change programmes and to support the implementation of the new Target Operating Model
  • Organisational redesign of Tier 1&2 Leadership Stricture to support the implementation of the Target Operating Model
  • Strategy Development workshops in Riverside Home Ownership
  • Change Engagement Workshop in Riverside Home Ownership
  • Change Strategy Development in Asset Management Services
  • Rapid Improvement Event to improve Programme Management within the Corporate PMO
  • Rapid Improvement Event in Human Resources to improve the Payroll process
  • Design, development and delivery of 30 one day Cornerstone 6 ‘Be the Change’ modules to middle managers.

The Benefits

  • More cohesion and joint focus
  • Consistent tools deployed across the Group
  • Wider stakeholder awareness
  • Initiation of the development of a Target Operating Model

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What The Riverside Group said about us

“We have moved significantly in understanding what One Riverside means and in shaping the jigsaw”.

“We have more visible and improved wider leadership; all clear in the direction of where we are going and what their role is on the journey. I would say we are 50% of the way there with the critical part being the next 50% without the hand holding of Bourton as facilitators and coaches. This has been money well spent and now needs to dovetail with Cornerstone to ensure a clear golden thread is delivered throughout leadership in Riverside.”

“I am using the “waste goggles” to identify real areas of inefficiency and to then use the “Quad of Aims” and discussions with key stakeholders to generate an easy to understand proposal for changing both processes and systems underpinning some of our core activities. The result will (hopefully!) be more efficient processes, freeing up time to allow more value-added activities which in turn should lead to a more engaged and motivated team.”

“In some ways by keeping things simple and easy to follow has made the programme have great impact. It hasn’t been a programme full of “management speak” and overcomplicated theories but of relatively simple practical tools and examples which have been easy to bring to life within your own personal leadership world.

Probably the key learning point was one of the simplest – the importance of understanding what your stakeholders need / want by speaking to them properly, rather than assuming you know.”