collective voice

Thanks for dropping by our blog page. Our team of over 40 full-time experts use our people-shaped approach to #MakeBetterHappen for individuals, communities and organisations. With insight, co-creation and engagement at the core of all that we do, our mission is to help shape a well, confident and self-reliant society. Call us on 0845 5193 423

How do you baseline your organisation's culture and strengthen its future?

April 5, 2016 15:55

Measuring the culture of your organisation can be a difficult challenge. How can you define such a multifaceted subject that spans the whole of your organisation?

Standard staff surveys offer a certain degree of insight into how individuals perceive your organisation or what they’d like to see done differently, but their offer does not stretch much further than this. By their nature, they are unable to give you a sense of whether people are aligned to or believe in your values.

From delivering culture and leadership transformations, ICE knows that a culture’s DNA consists of underlying beliefs, values and behaviours. It is essential that we dive deep into these factors to explore how they shape the current culture.

As well as unpacking and understanding the positive values and behaviours an individual exhibits, it is essential that you also discover any potentially limiting factors.

Through continuous learning, ICE has developed a simple, cost-effective starting point which enables organisations to explore and capture their culture – both in a current state and a desirable future state.

Using a model framed around Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Need’, we are able to differentiate positive and any potentially negative elements of your culture, while also establishing how your staff sit within the 7 levels of need.

Supported by our organisational development experts, our complete organisation overview will provide you with the professional guidance and support to address concerns and enhance strengths. This gives you the best chance of establishing a truly values-driven organisation.

To talk through how we can work with your organisation or for more information on our culture mapping offer, contact Simon Platt on 07583 049 603 or at simon.platt@icecreates.com

An Achievement to be Proud of

January 28, 2016 09:27

January can often be a time to reflect on what we have achieved in the last year. For me, a standout was spending time at the IRRV national conference with the Revenues & Benefits team from Tewkesbury Borough Council – and what an event it turned out to be!

Almost 12 months ago, ICE began working on a transformation programme with the service, and the conference was the culmination and celebration of all that we have achieved together. It’s been a long journey but with outstanding results, and the commitment and enthusiasm of the team throughout the process has been a pleasure to witness.

The team wanted to improve efficiency and processes, drive culture change and, most importantly, determine how to deliver better services to their customers. At the outset they had backlogs of work and long processing times.  The service was very reactive, with little or no capacity to look into the future and be proactive in their approach.

Using the ICE 7Es model, we worked with the team to transfer skills and knowledge which empowered them to make significant and sustainable changes in their system. The outcome: recognition at the IRRV Performance Awards 2015 as a top performing service and a transformation to be truly proud of.

One of the key features of ICE’s 7Es model is that we work with you and not doing change to you. Therefore, working together, the teams have achieved so much, including:

  • The Benefits team being ranked 15 out of 201 district councils and top performer in Gloucestershire
  • Elimination of the backlog of work
  • New claims: processing time reduced from 37 days to 9 days
  • Change of circumstances: processing time reduced from 25 days to 8 days
  • Significant increase in Benefits subsidy
  • 80% reduction in failure demand into the Benefits service
  • 75% increase in Revenues customers having their accounts administered at the point of contact
  • 60% reduction in incorrect ad-hoc bills
  • Creation of a motivated and empowered work force: open to change and with capacity to build wider partnerships

The core team we worked with included all levels of staff from the front line through to the Head of Service, with leadership and sponsorship from the Deputy Chief Executive. Having achieved so much in such a short space of time, we decided that it would be a great idea to enter the IRRV Performance Awards.  The service had never considered this in the past and it was testimony to the new way in which they now looked at their world. So, together, we began to think about the applications and put pen to paper.

To our delight, both the Revenues and Benefits teams were shortlisted into the last five nationally for their respective team of the year awards. The awards panel sent judges along to the Council to talk to the team about the work that they had done, and are continuing to do.  This was a great success, with both teams subsequently being invited along to the IRRV Performance Awards Gala dinner in Telford on 7th October 2015.

It was a joy to see their pride and sense of achievement on the awards night, and the realisation that they were indeed recognised for their hard work and positive attitude towards continuous service improvement.  I watched with all of the pride of a mother around her brood as they awaited the results and, despite not getting the award overall, they truly believed in themselves and their own achievements as their name came up on the big screen as national finalists.

Giving those that do the work the power, culture and enthusiasm to keep making better happen is truly a rewarding job and makes me realise it’s why I go to work every day, and something I can be truly proud of.

You don’t need a trophy or an award to be a winner, you just need the right way of thinking and the behaviour to keep on going, to achieve the outcomes you seek and to keep on growing.

Here’s to the next 12 months and the journey that keeps on going!

To find out more about ICE’s 7Es model and how we can help you on your transformation journey, contact: rachel.stamp@icecreates.com or call 0151 647 4700

Improved Tenant Experience from Repairs

January 14, 2016 10:15

 

One thing the ICE insight team find is that a tenant’s experience of reactive repairs clouds their view of many other services supplied by the housing provider. Further, this insight also shows that tenants will not strive for or achieve personal growth (in skills, wellbeing, employment etc) when the basics are not right. Repairs are one of these basic requirements; this is true whether it’s a local authority or a housing association.

The quotes below are from our insight work with a housing association and are not unusual:

“I’ve been trying to get this leak fixed in my roof. They said I should talk to them, but they have been a pain.”

“It’s bad… we had about an eight week battle to get the patio doors fixed.”

ICE is currently working within the sector to help organisations enhance the services and support provided to tenants, and to understand the benefits that a tenant focused repairs service can deliver. It’s worth remembering that reporting a repair is the most common interaction between tenants and their housing provider, and we all know how important that relationship is to both parties.

Working with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, our service review identified that over 30% of contacts received were from tenants chasing the progress of their repair. This volume was higher than those contacts where tenants reported a repair. This one statistic alone gives real insight into how tenants perceive the service they are provided with, and was the catalyst for the council’s desire to transform.

Here’s how it worked…

The work was based on the ICE model for service transformation, where our experienced practitioners help staff transform their own services - after all, “those who create, own”.

It began with stakeholder meetings designed to set up the work cleanly by building relationships across the service and with wider stakeholders to ensure the most value from the review.

Then followed the explore stage, where a team representing the whole of the service was brought together to create a current state map.  This visual representation of the in-scope work included the demands placed on the service by its customers, the flow of work and data to show the performance of the systems, as well as details of the root cause of reactive repairs.

The envisage stage then allowed the team to present these findings back to the wider stakeholder group at a vision workshop, ranging from tenant representatives to the executive management team. It was at this event that areas for improvement were agreed, and buy-in from across the organisation was gained. This buy-in was vital to ensure that any changes would be sustained in the future.

Through a period of experimentation, operatives, charge-hands and team managers were given the ability to use innovative solutions to the issues they faced.  They used an agreed methodology that built upon the principles of systems thinking to guide them, and measured the changes made against an agreed set of customer focused performance measures.

What did it achieve?

As well as virtually eliminating the failure demand chasing the progress of a repair, the team has reduced the time for reporting to completing the repair by over 50%, with plumbing repairs now running at an average of less than 2 days.

Reduced repair times have also had a knock-on effect to the “no access rate”, which had been a major cause of waste within the system.

It is still early days, and January sees a period where ICE will support the services to embed these changes and make them business as usual.

For more information contact Chris.Lunn@icecreates.com 0151 647 04700

 

Life at ICE

December 16, 2015 11:00

Those of you who are in regular contact with me will know that I have recently taken an exciting opportunity to explore a new chapter in my career. The plot remains similar as I continue with the passion I have for Health & Care, whilst growing the fascination for Organisational Development  - combining creative initiatives and innovation wherever possible.

I now find myself two months in and, at ICE Creates, my early experiences have been incredible! Allow me to shed some light on being the new guy.

First off is the fact I get to see this almost every day!

With my HQ situated on the banks of the River Mersey, I only have to lift my head above my monitor to take in the refreshing sights.

When you start at ICE, if the scenery doesn’t hit you first, the energy in the office definitely will. Like

a surge in a crowd at a rock gig, it will literally lift you and take you with it.

The team have been so welcoming and I have found it humbling to be accepted at pace into the family.

I use the word ‘family’ to its full, too. ICE has an impressive portfolio (Organisational/Leadership Development, Graphic Design, Digital, Marketing, Communications and Insights).

It can dip into craft valuable solutions, yet it does so within a relatively small, tight-knit group of people who take great pride in supporting each other.

Talking of support and family, what do you make of this year’s Christmas adverts? Good old JL set the ball in motion with ‘the man on the moon’, shortly followed by ‘Mog’ and all the others. What certainly seems to be a trend this time around is that most are trying to support a charity of some description. Now that’s very decent of them, but in my opinion, they have been slightly too whimsical in their approach to something that is in fact very real! Fortunately, many of my colleagues felt the same and we wanted to follow our thoughts up with actions.

With a relatively miniscule budget (certainly not £7million) and two mobile phones, we set about trying to show what people can achieve with small acts of kindness, closer to home, where we live. The outcome of this can be seen in the video below:

We loved every minute of making that short video, and hope others will feel compelled to complete similar acts of kindness? One friend told me she had taken a box of non-perishable food to her local sheltered home and they were delighted by such a simple yet thoughtful gesture.

So what of my first two months then? One thing is for sure thus far at ICE, no two days are the same. Opportunity is permanent and inspiration has no boundaries. I can’t sum up the excitement I have right now, but hopefully this blog is a clue. Perhaps I’ll touch base with you all in another two months, perhaps we could talk sooner…

Call me on 0151 647 4700 or Email simon.platt@icecreates.com