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LIW: Organisational Transformation - what is required to really shift culture?

Project Stream:
 HRO Links, Summer Term 2023

Industry: Leadership Consulting

We believe it is important to base our learning content on good research so this project has supported our content development, with the credibility of the name of LSE.

About the company

LIW believes in the power of leadership to transform people’s experience of work. LIW is a global leadership consultancy which works with organisations to develop and inspire leaders at all levels in the organisation so that they can be more effective in their roles, in leading their teams and in delivering outcomes for the business. 

About the project:

As a business leadership consultancy we are frequently asked by clients to advise them on culture change, in particular helping them to identify the right culture to align to their business strategy and the most effective way to implement and sustain culture change.

Our hypothesis is that culture change cannot be achieved in a one-off project, but is more of a transformation journey which requires commitment and ownership from all parts of the organisation. We have a hypothesis of a top-down-led/bottom-up-built model of culture change that we want to test against the researched theory as well as evidence from successful culture change experience.

Project Objectives:

The project was designed to start by building an understanding of the broader context for culture change – why companies change culture, examples of successes and failures, and in particular the role of different groups in the organisation in the planning and execution of culture change.

With this context established the students were asked to define a structured interview guide in order to gather input from a range of culture change professionals including, senior business leaders, leadership consultants and HR/L&D Practitioners. The goal was to identify the most effective model for successful culture change and to determine the key enablers and barriers to culture change. 

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Company statement

What do you think the students brought to the business? Were their ideas different from what you could have achieved if you have conducted this project in-house?

The students brought a fresh perspective to the topic without the biases that we would bring from our years of work in this area.They started with a broad review of the literature to create a clear picture of the theory and practice of culture change. This gave us a really solid foundation and good credibility from which to launch the research project and they were able to develop an interview guide that built on this research and yielded great insights.They leveraged our contacts as well as bringing their own to the research so that we could tap into a wide range of professional perspectives – from senior business leaders to leadership consultants and HR/L&D practitioners.

How do you think the Business Projects have helped your business?

The project has provided us with some well researched insights on culture change which we can use with our clients to support them in addressing their most pressing challenges. We will be developing specific content and solutions based on the research findings which we will add to our content library. We believe it is important to base our learning content on good research so this project has supported our content development, with the credibility of the name of LSE. 

How will you use the outcomes in your business going forward? 

We are going to be building a marketing campaign around the topic of culture change in the new year. We will offer our LSE research document to clients to support them in thinking through this challenging topic. It will help us to justify an investment in leadership development to support culture change intitatives with our clients. It will also be leveraged in new content on culture change.

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