Leadership team of a railway operator aligns organisation design to coherent purpose and strategic direction



Client focus

Strategy & purpose


Organisational design

Team development


Focus groups


Team diagnostics


The leadership team of a major division needed to bring together a number of disparate groups to work together with a coherent purpose and strategic direction, streamline decision making and improve organisational effectiveness in a new Asset Information Directorate.

We worked as a coach, mentor and an integral part of a multidisciplinary team that engaged all staff in the directorate in an appreciative inquiry into the future organisation required to deliver the strategic purpose. We also worked with the leadership teams to understand how their leadership competencies and preferences in thinking, feeling and behaving were shaping the overall culture of the organisation.

We used existing visualisation techniques to explore purpose, culture and behaviours. Using appreciative and visual dialogue we engaged all stakeholders, re-designed the organisational structure and competencies, and developed a cohesive team to deliver the newly defined purpose of the directorate and a supporting culture. Changing some internal controls from feed-back to feed-forward systems has allowed rapid re-focusing of the teams’ efforts. Culture and effectiveness have been transformed and decision making streamlined in a large, highly unionized organization.

As a result, our client was able to deliver its promise that trains “will run … safely, punctually and reliably… and that more trains are able to run, next year.”