Glen Eira City Council

Glen Eira City Council has been selected as an ABA100 Winner for Change Management in The Australian Business Awards 2019. The Australian Business Award for Change Management [CMA] recognises organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that demonstrate innovative change management strategies and outcomes.

Glen Eira City Council (GECC) is a Local Government organisation. The City of Glen Eira is in Melbourne’s south-east suburbs, approximately 10 kilometres from Melbourne’s central business district. GECC is responsible for the delivery of 110+ services across the community and hosts numerous community-focused programs and events per year. It is an organisation currently employing over 1,450 permanent and casual staff, structured into four directorates under the CEO — Community Wellbeing, Corporate Services, Planning and Place, Environment and Infrastructure.

Local communities are changing, with a growing population and increasing complexity for required infrastructures to cater to community needs. Shifting attitudes and increasing customer service expectations from a digitally empowered and experience led society has led to a justified resistance to complacency from councils. There is a growing demand from the community to access and engage with local government services through multiple channels and a requirement for embedded flexibility and convenience.

GECC has consistently been one of the best performing councils in Victoria. It is financially stable, operationally effective and has a trust-worthy reputation within the community and within the local government sector. However, the recognition that ‘effective’ is not necessarily ‘efficient’ has led to Glen Eira adopting a philosophy of going from “good to great”. To prepare for a future where it is increasingly harder to perform at the same level, there is a clear need to go beyond merely getting the job done. Community survey results also indicated clear areas for improvement and a need to realign processes with community expectations, particularly for community engagement and transparency.

The challenge for GECC was to establish how their back-office practices could step up to support the growing demand for service delivery with a customer-centric focus. The result was Glen Eira Transforming Together (GETT). A comprehensive program conceived as a way to facilitate and manage the change that GECC needed. The GETT program is one of the most significant programs to be launched by GECC. It is considered a crucial initiative and aims to ensure the Council is ‘fit for future’ across all dimensions and aspects of operating.

It has given Glen Eira the unprecedented opportunity to re-examine its culture, capability and organisational structure to ensure it is meeting community needs amidst the challenges of increasing population and complexity of infrastructure. GECC recognised that they would require substantial shifts in strategy, operations, workforce, systems and culture. GETT is an overarching change framework designed to achieve those shifts.

As a way to facilitate seamless and effective collaboration across multiple teams, GECC established an Innovation and Continuous Improvement team. The team was set up to build the strategic framework and ensure successful delivery of the program while working collaboratively with other business areas. This had the dual purpose of helping to embed a continuous improvement mindset within the organisation as well as provide a central focus for the GETT program for teams to collaborate with to reach the best outcomes for all areas.

GECC engaged KPMG to complete a strategic health check of its three-year transformation program GETT. As an outcome of this review, various improvement initiates were identified to support the successful delivery of GETT. The top four priorities were: Develop a Customer Engagement and Experience Program; ICT Transformation; Perform a capability uplift program; Enhance governance structure.

“The GETT program was designed to impact every part of the organisation – horizontally and vertically, focusing on improving service delivery and developing an innate culture of innovation, process improvement and change,” says CEO of GECC, Rebecca McKenzie.

A defining outcome for GETT is the introduction of a culture that tracks performance and seeks to continually improve results. The implementation of a framework to measure benefits, impact and value for the future is changing how Council sees and runs its services. Historically data was not recorded to establish qualitative benchmarks. Now Council can use these measures to analyse and iteratively improve performance of future projects and services. This is an excellent result for both the community and Council alike.

The Australian Business Awards are an annual comprehensive awards program which recognises organisations that demonstrate the core values of business innovation, product innovation, technological achievement and employee engagement via a set of established business and product award categories.

The Australian Business Awards are the national chapter of an integrated, hierarchical leadership initiative conducted on a national and international level. Eligible organisations are invited to participate in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards whereby participants are provided with the unique opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top performers globally.

The process culminates in the selection of organisations which implement world-class business initiatives, projects, products and services. The award recipients are recognised as the elite of their industry earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their achievements acknowledged and celebrated.

Organisational eligibility includes private companies, publicly listed companies, multinational subsidiaries, not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations, educational institutions, franchise systems, partnerships, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia.

Organisations are required to complete a submission for a specific business initiative, product or service.

Business initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, systems, technologies, developments, ventures and undertakings.

Products can include but are not limited to services, devices, equipment, programs, processes, activities, applications, information, knowledge, software, cloud-based services, platforms, systems and manufactured goods. Products must be commercially available on the Australian market and comply with all applicable Australian standards and regulatory requirements. Product eligibility includes domestic and international products available to the Australian marketplace.

The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards.

The Framework consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and sub-criteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.

Organisations that demonstrate the core values of business innovation, product innovation, technological achievement and employee engagement are recognised via a set of established business and product award categories.

The program provides a notable opportunity for high-performing organisations which implement world-class business initiatives and develop innovative products and services to be acknowledged and celebrated for their achievements both nationally and internationally.

Conducted annually, the program engages with organisations worldwide to benchmark the full spectrum of their products, services and initiatives and to review their business performance through a global recognition and knowledge building initiative that is underpinned by the program’s established framework.

The program provides the ultimate platform for building knowledge, increasing brand awareness, equity, loyalty and retention through increased exposure, recognition and prestige.

GETT, Glen Eira Transforming Together, is a multi-pronged approach to transforming and impacting every part of the organisation. Our focus was to improve service delivery and develop a culture of innovation, continuous improvement and collaboration. We are very proud to be recognised as an AB100 Winner for Change Management in The Australian Business Excellence Awards 2019 for delivering a comprehensive transformation program.

Shweta Babbar, Chief Transformation Officer, Glen Eira City Council